Jewel Scarab (Chrysina sp.) - El Oro Province, Ecuador
A jewel scarab achieves lift-off from a bromeliad in the cloud forest of southern Ecuador. These beetles are gorgeous and as it turned out on some nights quite common. I was able to hang my headlamp on a twig above me and wait and soon enough I had a cloud of willing subjects coming to me. However I never before or after encountered such numbers of these beetles again. Its easy to see why they are called jewel scarabs with the bright color of their carapace. Most species of jewel scarabs, including this one, are found at high elevations. The larvae feed on rotting logs and the adults feed on foliage.