An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Dogbane Beetle – Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods and marshes of New England

Many of the images and much of the information in this blog can be found in my book, Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.


Dogbane beetles rank right up there in my list of favorite insects. Like all beetles, they have specialized, hard outer wings, or elytra, which provide a protective covering for the more delicate inner pair of wings. The iridescense of the elytra has to be seen to be believed. When looked at from different angles, their metallic colors change, due to the microscopic crystals in the surface of the elytra, which split and refract light like miniature prisms. Adults feed strictly on dogbane leaves, the larvae on the roots of dogbane.

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