54 of the Most Colorful Beetles in the World

Many of us think of beetles as nondescript nuisances. But did you know that these creatures are so radiant that they rival the brightness of butterflies?

Here’s our list of the world’s most colorful beetles:

1. Alpine Longhorn Beetle

Alpine Longhorn Beetle on tree trunk.
  • Latin name: Rosalia alpina
  • Habitat: Can be found in European Beech trees from Spain to the Caucasus
  • Size: 0.59″ to 1.5″ long
  • Diet: Various types of pollen
  • Colorful feature: This stunning beetle is a pretty powdery blue in color. Its back has a black band and a few black spots, and its long antennae have striking alternating bands of black and blue.

You might wonder how this striking beetle stays hidden from predators. But if you see it sitting on a beech tree, you’ll understand why. The bark of beech trees is a pale blue-gray with black flecks, so it blends in surprisingly effectively. But despite its excellent camouflage abilities and wide distribution, this colorful creature is currently classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being vulnerable to extinction.

2. Beyer’s Jeweled Scarab Beetle

Close-up of Beyer's Jeweled Scarab Beetle.
  • Latin name: Chrysina beyeri
  • Habitat: Areas with plentiful wood in parts of Arizona and New Mexico
  • Size: About 1″ to 1.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly oak leaves
  • Colorful feature: These pretty beetles are not quite as metallic as some other jewel beetle species. But they are a pretty, springlike green (often with a tinge of yellow) that helps them blend in as they feed on trees.

This beautiful beetle almost looks like a plastic toy or statue at first glance. It’s also one of the jewel beetle species that can be found in North America, and many people consider them to be among the most beautiful beetles in the United States. Since it is relatively easy to breed in captivity, it is a popular choice among hobby beetle breeders. If you like these beetles but don’t want the trouble of breeding them, you can also purchase framed dead specimens for display!

3. Harlequin Flower Beetle

Harlequin Flower Beetle on pink flower.
  • Latin name: Gymnetis thula
  • Habitat: Can be found in areas with trees in Florida, the Deep South of the United States, Texas, and parts of Mexico
  • Size: About 0.62″ to 0.82″
  • Diet: Mostly fruit, nectar, and plant sap
  • Colorful feature: This beautifully-patterned beetle is one of the brightest on the list! It is bright yellow with an ink-black, splashy pattern along the back.

If you see a beetle that looks like the one in the photo but not exactly the same, chances are good that it’s still a harlequin flower beetle. This species has a good bit of variation when it comes to color and pattern. Some individuals have a softer yellow base color, and the black splash on the back varies from beetle to beetle.

4. Ten-Lined June Beetle

Ten-lined June beetle on the edge of a green plant stem.
  • Latin name: Polyphylla decemlineata
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of Mexico as well as the western portion of the United States and Canada
  • Size: About 0.78″ to 1.37″ long
  • Diet: Larvae eat the roots of trees; adults eat fruit and other plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This striped beetle has one of the most high-contrast patterns on the list. Its wings are lined with dark bronze-brown and white. If you try to count the lines and don’t find 10, make sure you count the middle line twice: when this beetle opens its wings, it splits into two lines.

Though the ten-lined jewel beetle is pretty, it’s considered to be an agricultural pest. Its long-lived larvae stay underground for two to three years feasting on the roots of various types of trees. A large enough group of larvae can destroy multiple trees. And worst of all, you’ll often have no idea a tree has been infested until it falls.

5. Spotted Flower Beetle

Spotted Flower Beetle isolated against white background.
  • Latin name: Stephanorrhina guttata
  • Habitat: Can be found across Nigeria and Cameroon
  • Size: Up to about 1″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and pollen
  • Colorful feature: This stunning beetle is a rich metallic green with a hint of red along the middle edges of the wing. It is covered in bright white spots and has striking bronze-colored legs.

This beautiful beetle is stunning enough that you can often find mounted specimens in museums! And if you’d rather see these beautiful beetles in life, there’s good news: they are among the easiest beetle species to raise in captivity. Many of them are able to live peacefully and side-by-side in a terrarium.

6. Chrysochroa saundersii

Chrysochroa saundersii on green leaf.
  • Latin name: Chrysochroa saundersii
  • Habitat: Mostly found throughout Southeast Asia
  • Size: Up to about 1.9″ long
  • Diet: Various types of wood and plant matter
  • Colorful feature: Like many jewel beetles, this one’s wings are mostly metallic blue-green. It has a band of rich cream color across the back as well as a patch of metallic rust red on the neck. In some lighting conditions, the blue-green wings have a purple sheen.

You probably already know that Southeast Asia is home to colorful animals of all types. This jewel beetle is no exception! It is one of the many species of jewel beetle that can often be found for sale as a preserved specimen. This species is one of the most popular jewel beetles, as artists will often use it to make frames or in other aspects of design.

7. Phanaeus demon

Phanaeus demon isolated on a white background.
  • Latin name: Phanaeus demon
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests and scrub in Central America and Mexico
  • Size: About 0.39″ to 0.83″ long
  • Diet: Mostly dung
  • Colorful feature: This colorful beetle exhibits a lot of variation when it comes to color! Some are green with reflections of yellow, others are a green-tinged gold with reflections of deeper green, and still others are coppery red with greenish reflections.

This impressive-looking dung beetle’s appearance lives up to its name! If you look closely, it has a curved, rhino-like horn on the head. But this colorful beetle is harmless to people and quite beneficial to the environment. As it eats dung, it improves soil conditions dramatically!

8. Polybothris sumptuosa gemma

Polybothris sumptuosa gemma isolated against white background.
  • Latin name: Polybothris sumptuosa gemma
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout Madagascar
  • Size: About 1.4″ to 1.5″ long
  • Diet: Various types of foliage
  • Colorful feature: This stunning beetle looks like it’s made out of metal. There are three subspecies of Polybothris sumputosa, each with a different brilliant color. The one pictured is the shiny blue variant. Polybothris sumptuosa superba is metallic dark green, and Polybothris sumptuosa sumputosa ranges from dark green to black.

This striking beetle is arguably one of the most prized among insect collectors, and it’s easy to see why! Its magnificent blue color looks almost unreal. Even a quick internet search will show you specimens dried and framed or preserved in resin offered for sale.

9. Chrysina adelaida

Chrysina adelaida isolated against white background.
  • Latin name: Chrysina adelaida
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of Mexico and some parts of Guatemala
  • Size: About 0.59″ to 1.38″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plant matter, especially juniper, pine, or pine-oak foliage
  • Colorful feature: As you can see in the picture, the striations on this beetle’s body make quite a statement! Some individuals have stripes of pale leafy green and darker green. Others, like the beetle in the picture, have some brown stripes mixed in.

This pretty beetle hasn’t been as widely researched as some on the list. It’s one of the many species known as “jewel scarabs” (not to be confused with “jewel beetles”). And though it may not be quite as striking as some of the most metallic specimens in its genus, its intricate striped pattern still makes it popular among collectors.

10. Spring Dumbledor

Spring Dumbledor isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Trypocopris vernalis
  • Habitat: Can be found in open areas and newer woodlands across much of Europe and Asia Minor
  • Size: About 0.5″ to 0.8″ long
  • Diet: Primarily dung
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle looks more colorful in some lights than in others! In lower light, it looks closer to being black. But in brighter lighting, it appears purple with a mesmerizing green sheen.

This pretty dung beetle is one of the more dominant species in the world. Often, you’ll be able to see countless spring dumbledors in spring and summer. Since they are partial to sheep dung, they can often be found in areas with many sheep.

11. Protaetia cuprea

Protaetia cuprea flower beetle isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Protaetia cuprea
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of Europe, Russia, and Asia Minor
  • Size: About 0.63″ to 0.89″ long
  • Diet: Various types of foliage, pollen, nectar, fruits, and sap
  • Colorful feature: There are many subspecies of this particular species, and many of them have different colors. Some, like the beetle in the picture, are green with metallic red toward the center of the body. Some subspecies are violet, blue, black, or a mix of two or more colors.

Though these beetles are beautiful, they can become pests thanks to their love of fruit. In parts of Europe, large numbers of them will sometimes feed on orchard plants. Growers will sometimes resort to using either pheromone traps or traps filled with fermenting fruit in order to catch and kill them.

12. Spotted Asparagus Beetle

Spotted Asparagus Beetle on plant.
  • Latin name: Crioceris duodecimpunctata
  • Habitat: Can be found near its host plants across the Palearctic (Eurasia and northern Africa)
  • Size: About 0.2″ to 0.3″ long
  • Diet: Primarily feeds on asparagus and plants in the gourd family
  • Colorful feature: This small, brightly colored bug looks a bit like a ladybug. Its body ranges from bright red to reddish-orange, and it is covered with 12 black spots. It’s especially glossy!

Like many beetles on the list, this one may be beautiful, but it’s still widely regarded as a crop pest. Larvae and adults enjoy eating different parts of the asparagus plant; larvae eat asparagus berries and adults prefer new leaves and shoots.

13. Pachyrhynchus loheri

Pachyrhynchus loheri isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Pachyrhynchus loheri
  • Habitat: Can be found across the Philippines
  • Size: About 0.6″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This beautifully patterned weevil has a thorax and upper legs patterned in glossy black and vivid lime green. The abdomen is streaked with black and rich brown.

You might know weevils as nondescript creatures that invade your pantry. But exotic weevils like this one are a lot more memorable! It’s one species in the large and colorful Pachyrhynchus genus, a group of weevils that are distributed across most islands in Southeast Asia. Many weevils in the genus are blue, so the Pachyrhynchus loheri really stands out.

14. Cryptocephalus sericeus

Cryptocephalus sericeus, blue specimen isolated on white backrgound.
  • Latin name: Cryptocephalus sericeus
  • Habitat: Meadows and lawns in much of Europe all the way to northwestern China and other parts of the Near East
  • Size: About 0.24″ to 0.28″ long
  • Diet: Mostly pollen, especially of plants in the celery, carrot, and parsley family
  • Colorful feature: Males and females of this species have somewhat different coloration. Males are metallic greenish-gold, while females are metallic bronze with reflections of red, orange, or greenish blue.

These small, sturdily-built beetles offer impressive colors if you look closely! You can often find them on yellow flowers, and they are most prevalent from April to July.

15. Eupholus schoenherri

Eupholus schoenherri isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Eupholus schoenherri
  • Habitat: Can be found across New Guinea
  • Size: About 0.98″ to 1.22″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plant matter, especially yam leaves
  • Colorful feature: This striking weevil is somewhat variable in color, though its body is marked with broad bands in varying shades of metallic blue. These bands are usually separated by dark black. It also has bright blue legs.

Blue is a somewhat rare color in nature, and that makes this beetle all the more striking! Experts think that the bright blue bands on this species may be there to warn predators that this beetle doesn’t taste good. There are many other species in its genus, many of which are various shades and patterns of blue.

16. Tiger Beetle

Tiger Beetle outside.
  • Latin name: Rivacindela hudsoni
  • Habitat: Can be found in dry areas in Australia
  • Size: About 0.8″ long
  • Diet: Various types of caterpillars, beetles, ants, and other small animals
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle is mostly a deep iridescent blue, though it has hints of green, gold, and rust colors. Each wing also has a few irregularly-shaped, cream-colored spots.

This colorful beetle enjoys the distinction of being the fastest-running insect. It can move at a speed of 120 body lengths per second! It moves so quickly that it experiences moments of temporary blindness while hunting. However, it’s still able to move fast enough to catch prey.

17. Ugandan Flower Beetle

Ugandan Flower Beetle on log.
  • Latin name: Mecynorrhina ugandensis
  • Habitat: Can be found in many areas of Uganda and in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Size: Females up to 2.4″ long; males up to 3.3″ long
  • Diet: Mostly ripe or rotting fruit
  • Colorful feature: This large beetle has a good bit of variation when it comes to coloring. They can be patterned in cream, yellow, black, reddish brown, green, and dark brown.

This large and impressive beetle has some of the most remarkable color variations on the list. Thanks to its unique coloring, it’s somewhat commonly kept in captivity. And since it’s relatively easy to keep, it’s a popular choice among those new to raising beetles.

18. Feather-Horned Beetle

Feather-Horned Beetle outside.
  • Latin name: Rhipicera femorata
  • Habitat: Can mostly be found in swampy areas in southeastern and southwestern Australia
  • Size: About 0.39″ to 0.98″ long
  • Diet: Mostly roots and leaves of eucalyptus plants
  • Colorful feature: These beautiful beetles have black bodies marked with white spots. The males have large, feathery black antennae that make them relatively easy to spot.

This beetle is somewhat rare, so it has not been studied as extensively as some of the other species on the list. But researchers do know why the males have such striking antennae: they are designed to pick up pheromones from female beetles ready to mate.

19. Banded Cucumber Beetle

Banded Cucumber Beetle plant.
  • Latin name: Diabrotica balteata
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the southern portion of the United States, Central America, and South America
  • Size: About 0.2″ long
  • Diet: Most parts of plants, especially cucumber, squash, cantaloupe, and bean plants
  • Colorful feature: Though it’s considered to be a pest, the banded cucumber beetle is certainly pretty! Its wings have a rich green base color and are marked with bands of yellow. It has a pale green thorax and a red head.

This little beetle can do some serious damage to a variety of agricultural plants. Larvae eat roots and tubers while the adults focus on the parts of plants that are above ground. They even eat corn silk!

20. Podontia affinis indochinensis

Podontia affinis indochinensis on leaf.
  • Latin name: Podontia affinis indochinensis
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the mainland part of Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia, Yunnan, and Malaysia
  • Size: About 0.4″ to 0.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly leaves of plants in the cashew family
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle comes in a range of colors. The wings have a base color of red, yellow, pink, white, or almost any color in between. The color is broken up by large black spots.

This colorful creature is classified as a “flea beetle.” And although that name might sound boring, it’s clearly one of the most colorful beetles on our list! Though there are only two officially described subspecies, there are many different color variants.

21. Checkered Beetle

Closeup of a checkered beetle on white flowers.
  • Latin name: Trichodes apiarius
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout Europe, in parts of eastern Asia, and in North Africa
  • Size: About 0.35″ to 0.63″ long
  • Diet: Mostly pollen and small insects
  • Colorful feature: This strikingly patterned beetle is marked with wide, wavy bands of black and red. Its head is black or blue and is especially glossy.

The checkered beetle is a parasite of various bee species. It lays its eggs in nests or hives of bees. When the eggs hatch, the checkered beetle larvae eat the nymphs and larvae of the bees.

22. Thick-Legged Flower Beetle

Thick-Legged Flower Beetle on leaf.
  • Latin name: Oedemera nobilis
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout much of western Europe
  • Size: About 0.3″ to 0.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly pollen and nectar of several different flower species
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are especially colorful. They are usually glossy green with a bronze sheen. However, some individuals have a bluish or violet hue. Females have a metallic green head with coppery wings.

It only takes a quick look at this beetle to know where its name comes from. On the male, the portion of the hind legs closest to the body are large and resemble those of a frog. Female beetles have thin legs. Both males and females are easy to spot as they feed on various species of flowers.

23. Iron Cross Blister Beetle

Tegrodera Iron Cross Blister Beetle in Rocky Sonora Desert.
  • Latin name: Tegrodera aloga
  • Habitat: Can be found in many parts of North America and Central America
  • Size: Up to about 0.8″ long
  • Diet: Primarily various parts of palo verde trees
  • Colorful feature: These very bright beetles are named for the large black cross on their yellow wings. They also have bright crimson heads and long black antennae.

This beetle’s bright coloring serves as a warning to predators: it produces a toxic substance called cantharidin. If this substance is ingested, it can be fatal to humans or animals. In some cases, these beetles are inadvertently rolled up into hay bales given to horses. If a horse eats enough of these beetles, it can die.

24. Firefly

Firefly flying away from a child's hand.
  • Latin name: Lampyridae family
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical and temperate climates across the world
  • Size: About 1″ long
  • Diet: Depending on the species, they feed on insects, pollen, or nectar
  • Colorful feature: Most fireflies are some combination of dark brown, reddish brown, and tan. But their most colorful feature is their spectacular bioluminescence. Adult fireflies use bioluminescence as a way to attract mates.

Not everyone realizes that the word “firefly” doesn’t just refer to one species of beetle. There are more than 2,000 species of fireflies! Most of the species emit yellow-green light, but some species emit pale red light or light that appears bluish from afar.

25. Eupholus magnificus

Eupholus magnificus isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Eupholus magnificus
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout New Guinea
  • Size: About 0.94″ to 1.1″ long
  • Diet: Primarily yam leaves
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle, as its name implies, is one of the most magnificent weevils. Its body has alternating black and blue (or green) bands. Often, those bands are a mix of deep blue, pale blue, turquoise, and green.

This species is one of the many colorful weevils that can be found in New Guinea. Since there are many species related to this one in close proximity, many of the species look similar. Many of the weevils in the Eupholus genus have different patterns of blue, black, green, and turquoise.

26. Rainbow Stag Beetle

Rainbow Stag on rock.
  • Latin name: Phalacrognathus muelleri
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout New Guinea and northern Queensland, Australia
  • Size: Females are about 0.91″ to 1.81″ long; males are about 0.94″ to 2.76″ long
  • Diet: Largely decaying wood, sap, nectar, and fruit
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females of this species are incredibly colorful. They are metallic and often reflect a number of different colors and can have a base color of black, green, blue, or red.

This beautiful beetle has many common names: the king, magnificent, golden, or Mueller’s stag beetle. And when you see one, it’s easy to see why! Unfortunately, after death, the colors of these beetles fade dramatically, so they can be a challenge to photograph.

27. Golden Jewel Beetle

Golden Jewel Beetle on log.
  • Latin name: Buprestis aurulenta
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest and as far south as Mexico
  • Size: About 0.8″ long
  • Diet: Mostly wood and plant leaves
  • Colorful feature: Like many types of jewel beetles, this one has a body that is mostly metallic green. Each wing cover is outlined in metallic orange or gold.

These stunning metallic beetles can sometimes spend a very long time as larvae. The longest known instance was one found in the United Kingdom. It developed into a full-grown beetle after being a larva for at least 47 years!

28. Hercules Beetle

Hercules Beetle on log.
  • Latin name: Dynastes tityus
  • Habitat: Can be found in areas with trees in much of the eastern United States
  • Size: Up to about 2.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly decaying wood and sap
  • Colorful feature: Each of these beetles has a unique pattern of black spots across the body. The base color can be gray, tan, or green. If a beetle spends a lot of time in soil or rotting wood, the moisture will result in it looking much darker.

Males of this species have large, rhinoceros-like horns, and those with larger horns had greater access to food when they were young. The males use the horns against each other while fighting for mates. Despite their imposing appearance, these beetles are not harmful to humans.

29. Pachyrhynchus gemmatus

Pachyrhynchus gemmatus isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Pachyrhynchus gemmatus
  • Habitat: Can be found on various islands in Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines
  • Size: About 0.75″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This stunning weevil is one of the most beautiful on the list. Its base color is dark, glossy purple, and it is marked in green to turquoise spots with yellow outlines.

This weevil is one of the many colorful insect species that can be found in Southeast Asia. And because of its beauty, it is often raised in captivity and sold as a preserved specimen for either educational or decorative purposes.

30. Knotweed Beetle

Leaf beetle Gastrophysa polygoni isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Gastrophysa polygoni
  • Habitat: Found near its host plants across much of Europe; it’s especially widespread in Britain
  • Size: Up to about 0.2″ long
  • Diet: Mostly feeds on knotweeds and related plants
  • Colorful feature: This tiny beetle’s wings are dark, glossy blue-green. Some individuals are so dark that they appear almost black. Its head and legs are a vivid, contrasting orange.

This beetle is so small that it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking carefully. You can find it feeding or resting on its host plants in spring and summer. Thanks to its adaptability, its range has gradually expanded. However, it does not do well in tropical or very hot areas.

31. Tansy Beetle

Close-up of tansy beetle.
  • Latin name: Chrysolina graminis
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout much of the Palearctic realm
  • Size: About 0.3″ to 0.4″ long
  • Diet: Primarily different parts of the tansy plant
  • Colorful feature: This pretty beetle has a body that is mostly metallic green. But as you can see in the photo, it often reflects red, yellow, orange, blue, or a combination of those colors.

This small beetle has a very wide distribution, and there are a few different subspecies. But despite this beetle’s wide distribution, it is classified as being endangered in the wild. Much of this is due to the fact that many other plant species outcompete the tansy plant for resources, so the beetle’s host plant has become less common.

32. Crepidodera aurea

Dorsal view of Crepidodera aurea isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Crepidodera aurea
  • Habitat: Woodlands, wetlands, and dunes across almost all of Europe and the Palearctic realm
  • Size: About 0.1″ to 0.2″ long
  • Diet: Usually various parts of poplars, willow trees, and sometimes other trees
  • Colorful feature: This species comes in a wide range of colors: it can be greenish-gold, copper, green, blue, or violet. Usually, these metallic beetles will also reflect contrasting colors.

Though these beetles feed on trees, they very seldom cause serious issues to the trees. Usually, the only evidence that they have been feeding on a tree is a series of tiny holes in some of the leaves.

33. Mint Leaf Beetle

Mint Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina herbacea) isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Chrysolina herbacea
  • Habitat: Damp, marshy areas in Portugal, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Turkey, Central Asia, and the Caucasus
  • Size: About 0.3″ to 0.4″ long
  • Diet: Primarily mint leaves
  • Colorful feature: These beetles are mostly rich metallic green. However, female beetles have a much greater range of color. They can be any color from green to grayish purple.

This small beetle is very easy to confuse with the tansy beetle. However, the tansy beetle is extremely rare, while the mint leaf beetle is extremely easy to find. Both the adults and the larvae, which are small and black, can most commonly be found feeding on mint plants.

34. Chilean Magnificent Beetle

Isolated photo of rainbow-colored Chilean Magnificent Beetle.
  • Latin name: Ceroglossus chilensis
  • Habitat: Primarily forests and Monterey pine plantations in Chile
  • Size: About 0.98″ to 1.26″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plant material (exact diet depends on subspecies and location)
  • Colorful feature: There are many different subspecies of this lovely beetle, and the exact coloring varies depending on the subspecies. Usually, these beetles are metallic brown, green, red, or blue.

These striking beetles often exhibit more than one color at once. And as you can see in the photo, some species have nearly every color of the rainbow! Their unusual body shape, where the thorax and head are much narrower than the abdomen, makes them easy to spot.

35. Tamamushi Beetle

Tamamushi Beetle isolated on black background.
  • Latin name: Chrysochroa fulgidissima
  • Habitat: Can be found in wooded areas in Japan and Korea
  • Size: About 1.2″ to 1.6″ long
  • Diet: Mostly various parts of trees
  • Colorful feature: This beetle is one of the world’s most colorful jewel beetles. Though it often looks like it has a green base color, it reflects multiple lengthwise stripes of various colors depending on the light.

This striking beetle’s unusual color has led to it being used in art for centuries. One notable miniature shrine called the Tamamushi Shrine is decorated with gilded plaques, oil paint, lacquer, and tamamushi beetle wings. The shrine was built somewhere between the year 238 and the year 710.

36. Calosoma sycophanta

Close-up view of rare Calosoma sycophanta beetle sitting in grass.
  • Latin name: Calosoma sycophanta
  • Habitat: Can be found across most of Europe and parts of Asia and North Africa
  • Size: About 0.83″ to 1.38″ long
  • Diet: Mostly different types of caterpillars
  • Colorful feature: This ground beetle is one of the many metallic beetles that reflects different colors depending on the exact nature of the light. It often has a bluish base color and reflects just about every color of the rainbow.

Many of the beetles on the list feed on plants, but this one aggressively hunts caterpillars. It’s such an effective hunter that it has been introduced to New England to control invasive gypsy moth caterpillars.

37. Glorious Scarab Beetle

Glorious Scarab Beetles on a blooming yellow flower.
  • Latin name: Chrysina gloriosa
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico
  • Size: About 0.78″ to 0.98″ long
  • Diet: Primarily juniper leaves
  • Colorful feature: This unusually-colored beetle certainly lives up to its name! Its base color is a vivid green that looks a lot like enamel. The wing covers are marked with lengthwise stripes of metallic silver.

This pretty beetle is a much different shade of green than many beetles on the list. But its glossy green body (broken up with lengthwise stripes) allows it to effectively camouflage among juniper leaves, its preferred food source. Its shining, iridescent stripes make it a popular choice among buyers of preserved beetles.

38. Rainbow Jewel Beetle

Rainbow Jewel Beetle on Peacock fern leaf.
  • Latin name: Chrysochroa fulgens
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout most of Thailand
  • Size: Up to about 1.6″ long
  • Diet: Usually various types of wood
  • Colorful feature: The rainbow jewel beetle is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful jewel beetles. And true to the name, many specimens exhibit nearly every color (and sometimes every color) of the rainbow. It is a rich metallic green or blue with patches of red rimmed with orange, yellow, and green. The wings are marked with a broad horizontal band of creamy off-white.

All jewel beetles are beautiful, but this one is especially so. And thanks to its beauty and rarity, it’s one of the more expensive preserved specimens. Framed specimens are sometimes sold for around $100!

39. Chrysochroa fulminans nishiyamai

Chrysochroa fulminans nishiyamai on leaf.
  • Latin name: Chrysochroa fulminans nishiyamai
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and surrounding areas
  • Size: About 1.2″ to 1.6″ long
  • Diet: Various types of trees
  • Colorful feature: This jewel beetle is probably the most colorful subspecies of Chrysochroa fulminans. Many individuals are a combination of metallic pink, purple, yellow, green, and orange.

As you can see in the photo, this beetle is remarkable thanks to its unusual colors. Not too many beetles (especially jewel beetles) are pale pink or lavender, and not many have the impressive range of coloration you can see in each individual Chrysochroa fulminans nishiyamai.

40. Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Beetle on a green leaf.
  • Latin name: Agrilus planipennis
  • Habitat: Native to areas of northeastern Asia where ash trees are present, though it has been introduced to Europe and North America
  • Size: About 0.33″ long
  • Diet: Mostly ash trees
  • Colorful feature: True to the name, these pretty but destructive insects are a rich, metallic emerald green. Depending on the exact individual, they may have more bluish undertones.

This beetle has proven to be very destructive to ash trees in Europe and North America. That’s because larvae bore into the trees to feed on the trees themselves. Checking a tree for infestation is relatively easy; adults will bore their way out of the trees and leave D-shaped holes in the bark.

41. Catoxantha opulenta

Catoxantha opulenta isolated on whilte.
  • Latin name: Catoxantha opulenta
  • Habitat: Can be found in parts of Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia where Indian mahogany and Lagerstroemia speciosa trees are present
  • Size: About 1.8″ to 2.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly Indian mahogany trees and Lagerstroemia speciosa trees
  • Colorful feature: This beetle is relatively easy to identify thanks to its unusual pattern. Its body is almost entirely deep green, but each wing cover is marked with a line-like yellow patch.

This pretty jewel beetle has unusual coloring, but its wing covers are also shaped somewhat differently than the norm. They appear to be almost corrugated thanks to narrow, lengthwise indentations.

42. Strongylium cupripenne

Strongylium cupripenne isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Strongylium cupripenne
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of Madagascar
  • Size: About 0.8″ to 1″ long
  • Diet: Various types of vegetation
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle has a metallic green head and thorax. Its wing color is an unusual metallic purplish brown, and the wing colors are marked with narrow ridges like some other species on the list.

This colorful beetle is part of the massive Strongylium genus of beetles termed “darkling beetles.” The genus contains over 1,400 beetle species that can be found all over the world. Most darkling beetles aren’t as colorful as this one; they tend to be near-black in color. 

43. Oxysternon conspicillatum

Oxysternon conspicillatum isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Oxysternon conspicillatum
  • Habitat: Forested parts of Central America and northern South America
  • Size: About 1″ long
  • Diet: Primarily dung and various types of decaying matter
  • Colorful feature: These glossy beetles are usually metallic green to blue-green. Males have large black horns, and both males and females have black lines running down the wing covers.

Especially when viewed from the side, these beetles are especially oddly shaped. They have very large heads, and the abdomen is very short and slopes downward. Males also have large, rhinoceros-like horns on the nose as well as two shorter horns sitting atop the head.

44. Anthaxia hungarica

Anthaxia hungarica isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Anthaxia hungarica
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of the Mediterranean region
  • Size: About 0.3″ to 0.6″ long
  • Diet: Primarily oak trees
  • Colorful feature: As you can see in the picture, this colorful beetle’s wing covers are mostly metallic blue-green. But its head is a lot more colorful: it’s often patterned with metallic red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and black.

This beautiful beetle takes a good bit of time to develop into an adult. Larvae will mature in oak branches for about two to three years. Once adults emerge, they can usually be seen flying around the edges of forests. Interestingly enough, despite its name, it is only rarely spotted in Hungary.

45. Plagionotus bobelayei

Plagionotus bobelayei, a longhorn beetle mimicking a wasp.
  • Latin name: Plagionotus bobelayei
  • Habitat: Can be found in wooded areas of some parts of Europe and Asia
  • Size: Around 1″ long
  • Diet: Mostly various types of wood
  • Colorful feature: This striking beetle has highly unusual coloring that makes it look a lot like a wasp or yellow jacket. Its body is marked by horizontal bands of black and bright yellow.

It isn’t only this beetle’s coloring that makes it look somewhat wasp-like. As you can see in the photo, it has an elongated body that looks like that of a hornet or yellow jacket. It also has especially slender legs that are thinner than those of most beetles.

46. Protaetia niveoguttata

Protaetia niveoguttata isolated against white background.
  • Latin name: Protaetia niveoguttata
  • Habitat: Can be found in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
  • Size: About 0.9″ long
  • Diet: Researchers are uncertain of its host plants
  • Colorful feature: This unusual-looking beetle has a base color of very dark green that sometimes appears almost grayish. But its most distinctive marking is its pattern of irregular yellowish or off-white spots.

When you look closely at this rare beetle, you might notice that its shape is somewhat unusual. It is oval in shape, but the end of its thorax tapers into a V shape that covers the beginning of the wing covers. This is also one of the most poorly-understood beetles on the list. Researchers have observed it near farmland, but aside from that, they aren’t certain of its feeding habits or life cycle.

47. Leaf-Rolling Weevil

Leaf-Rolling Weevil isolated.
  • Latin name: Rhynchites sp.
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of the Palearctic region
  • Size: About 0.25″ to 0.35″ long
  • Diet: Typically buds and other parts of orchard plants
  • Colorful feature: This diverse genus includes a range of very colorful species, though they can be very difficult to differentiate. This individual is one of the more unusual ones, as its bright metallic pinkish-purple color is not often seen in the insect world!

This weevil, along with others in its genus, is known for being an orchard pest. And in the 1500s, winemakers in France actually took a related species to court for destroying crops! The judge didn’t convict the weevils, instead telling the winemakers to repent for their sins.

48. Chrysochroa mniszechi

Chrysochroa mniszechi on green moss.
  • Latin name: Chrysochroa mniszechi
  • Habitat: Can usually be found in Thailand and Cambodia
  • Size: About 1.8″ long
  • Diet: Uncertain
  • Colorful feature: This delicate beetle has a metallic black to very dark blue base color. The wing covers are marked by two horizontal bands ranging in color from lemon yellow to pale cream.

As we’ve seen thus far, scientists are still discovering and researching various types of beetles. This species is rare and possibly endangered, as it is very seldom sighted. Scientists are not sure what this beetle eats or even the full extent of its range. It has only been seen in Cambodia and Thailand, though it may be present in surrounding countries as well.

49. Lime Tree Jewel Beetle

Lime Tree Jewel Beetle on a leaf.
  • Latin name: Lamprodila rutilans
  • Habitat: Can be found in southern and central Europe
  • Size: About 0.4″ to 0.6″ long
  • Diet: Largely linden trees
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle has coloration and patterning reminiscent of that of a rainbow trout. Much of the body is iridescent green, while the sides have patches of red, orange, and yellow. The sides and back are also marked with flecks of black.

As you can see in the photo, this jewel beetle isn’t just metallic; in the right light, it looks as though it’s dotted with flakes of glitter! This beetle has not been quite as well researched as some on the list, but it is relatively common in parts of Europe.

50. Ladybug

Ladybug on green grass.
  • Latin name: Coccinellidae family
  • Habitat: Exact habitat depends on location
  • Size: About 0.03″ to 0.7″ long
  • Diet: Primarily aphids and scale insects
  • Colorful feature: These colorful beetles are often red, but they can also be yellow or orange. They are also covered in small black dots. Some species have horizontal or vertical bands instead of spots.

Many of us think of ladybugs or ladybird beetles as being a single species. However, there are more than 6,000 species in this family! Because they feed on smaller insects that are infamous crop and garden pests, ladybugs are very helpful to have around. They also are some of the most culturally popular beetles. Ladybugs often appear in nursery rhymes and children’s songs. In some areas, they are regarded as a sign of good luck.

51. Goldsmith Beetle

Goldsmith beetle on a lush purple flower bloom.
  • Latin name: Cotalpa lanigera
  • Habitat: Forests and areas close to forests in the eastern United States, Arizona, and Nevada
  • Size: About 0.75″ to 1″ long
  • Diet: Various types of tree leaves
  • Colorful feature: Not every goldsmith beetle is as colorful as the one in the picture! Some are closer to being yellowish brown. Its wing covers are often paler yellow, though the brightest goldsmith beetles are bright yellow all over.

This pretty beetle is relatively uncommon even though it has a fairly large range. If you do want to see one in its natural habitat, it’s best to look at night, as it’s a nocturnal species. Sometimes, but not always, the goldsmith beetle may be attracted to light.

52. Musk Beetle

Musk Beetle on stick.
  • Latin name: Aromia moschata
  • Habitat: Can be found in most of Europe, Asia, and parts of northern and eastern Africa
  • Size: Around 1″ long
  • Diet: Largely various parts of willow trees
  • Colorful feature: This richly-colored beetle has a beautiful gradient of blue-green to golden green. As you can see in the picture, the head, antennae, and legs are deep bluish green, while the wings are paler green with hints of yellow.

As you may have guessed, this beetle’s name comes from the fact that it emits a musky smell if it’s disturbed or threatened. Oddly enough, though its musk is unpleasant, one of the compounds it contains is rose oxide. This is one of the most common chemicals used in making perfume! Since the musk beetle is a type of longhorn beetle, it has large antennae that exceed the length of its body.

53. Cyphogastra javanica

Cyphogastra javanica isolated on white.
  • Latin name: Cyphogastra javanica
  • Habitat: Primarily found in Indonesia
  • Size: About 1.2″ to 1.6″ long
  • Diet: Mostly fig leaves and the leaves of some other plants
  • Colorful feature: Like many jewel beetles, the exact color of this one depends on the light. Its abdomen is a dark, metallic blue. But as you can see in the picture, it often reflects fiery red, orange, and yellow, as well as a little green. Its head and thorax are metallic red to red-brown.

Indonesia is home to plenty of exotic insects. And as you can see in the picture, this is one of the most colorful species on the list! There are many other colorful jewel beetles in the Cyphogastra genus. Many are in Indonesia, but a few can be found in Australia.

54. Chrysina argenteola

The Golden Beetle isolated against black background.
  • Latin name: Chrysina argenteola
  • Habitat: Can be found in forested areas from the southwestern United States to South America
  • Size: About 0.59″ to 1.38″ long
  • Diet: Primarily the foliage of juniper, pine-oak, and pine forests
  • Colorful feature: Like many other members of its genus, this brilliant beetle looks like it’s been dipped in gold!

This beetle (along with related species) has become quite popular with collectors and breeders. In fact, well-preserved specimens will sometimes sell for hundreds of dollars. Some individuals exhibit variations of the traditional colors and will sell for even larger amounts of money.

Nature’s Brightly Colored Beetles

Hopefully, you have a new appreciation for the wonderful world of beetles. The next time you go outside, keep an eye out for these tiny and magnificent creatures. Best of all, you probably won’t need to travel to a faraway location to see them. Colorful beetles can be found in tropical and temperate regions alike.