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Meet the Beetles: Stunning Museum Specimens from London

Eudicella

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(Image credit: Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Eudicella, a genus in the scarab beetle family, is part of a group known as flower beetles. This specimen was collected in what used to be known as the Gold Coast region of West Africa.

Neospades cruciatus

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(Image credit: Keita Matsumoto/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This Australian beetle species was described by the Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775, and was named Buprestis cruciata, but it is currently known as Neospades cruciatus in the Buprestidae family of metallic, wood-boring beetles.

This specimen is a holotype — a single specimen forming the basis for a species name Natural History Museum's historical Sir Joseph Banks entomological collection. This 300-year-old collection includes approximately 4,000 insects, among which are butterflies, flies, bugs, beetles and moths.

Unidentified Bolivian Cerambycidae

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(Image credit: Kiran Lyn/Noah Baker/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2)

This unidentified species belongs to the beetle family Cerambycidae, also commonly known as longhorns, longicorns, capricorns, round-headed borers, timber beetles and sawyer beetles, according to the insect identification website Bug Guide.

It was collected in 2004 by British entomologist Max Barclay, curator and collections manager of Coleoptera and Hemiptera at the Natural History Museum in London. Barclay found the specimen in Bolivia, in Amboro National Park, at an elevation of around 3,281 feet (1,000 meters).

Neptunides polychrous marginipennis

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(Image credit: Lucia Chmurova/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Neptunides polychrous marginipennis is a flower beetle — a colorful flower-feeding group within the scarab beetle family — that is distributed across eastern Africa. This individual originated in Tanzania, in the Udzungwa Mountains, and the species was described in 1904 by Austrian entomologist Josef Moser.

Oxysternon conspicillatum

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(Image credit: Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Beetles in the Oxysternon genus, which contains around 11 species, are typically green and very shiny. The neotropical species Oxysternon conspicillatum was described in 1804 by the German entomologist Friedrich Weber, and is found in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Panama.

Pseudotorynorrhina fortunei

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(Image credit: Keita Matsumoto/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The beetle species Pseudotorynorrhina fortunei is a type of scarab beetle found in Vietnam. It is in the subfamily Cetoniinae, also known as fruit and flower chafers, according to the insect identifying website Bug Guide.

English entomologist Edward Saunders described the species in 1852.

Taeniotes orbignyi

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(Image credit: Kiran Lyn/Noah Baker/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2)

Described in 1844 by the French entomologist Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville, Taeniotes orbignyi belongs to a genus of longhorn beetles. This individual was collected in 2004 by British entomologist Max Barclay, curator and collections manager of Coleoptera and Hemiptera at the Natural History Museum in London. Barclay found the specimen in Bolivia's Amboro National Park, at an elevation of 3,281 feet (1,000 meters).

Pterodunga mirabilis

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(Image credit: Keita Matsumoto/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Colorful Pterodunga mirabilis was discovered in Queensland, Australia in 2000 by Italian entomologist Mauro Daccordi. It is a type of leaf beetle in the subfamily Chrysomelinae, which includes about 2,000 species distributed around the world.

Rhamphorrhina bertolonii

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(Image credit: Lucia Chmurova/Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This Rhamphorrhina bertolonii specimen was collected in Tanzania's Nguru Mountains. The species was described in 1879 by the English entomologist William John Lucas.

Scaphidomorphus bosci

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(Image credit: Natural History Museum London/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2)

Scaphidomorphus bosci belongs to the beetle family Erotylidae, also known as pleasing fungus beetles. This specimen was collected in Bolivia, and the species was described in 1871 by the English entomologist Frederick William Hope.