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NOTE: As of 2014, the California Beetle Project page is no longer updated. The original database and list of California beetles in the menu on the left will remain for the time being, but the information contained within is not necessarily current. SBMNH Entomology Curator Matthew L. Gimmel has divided up the function of the original database into two conceptual halves:

  1. The SBMNH Entomology specimen-level database, including all SBMNH beetle specimens included in the CBP database, which is now available (and ever-growing) through the ecdysis portal at

  2. A literature- (and available specimen-)based checklist.
  3. of the Coleoptera of California, which is being revised and re-compiled by Dr. Gimmel, and, as of January 2017, is about 85% complete.

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Last updated 01/16/2009

 California Beetle Project > Species Pages > Lytta nuttalli


Scientific name: Lytta nuttalli Say
    Order Coleoptera
    Superfamily Tenebrionoidea
    Family Meloidae

Images (click to enlarge)

What it looks like: The head and pronotum are usually metallic green with a little purple around the edges. The elytra, or wing covers, are a very iridescent metallic violet. The underside of the body is metallic green. The legs can be metallic green, violet, or blue. The pubescence is clear or colorless. These beetles are about 7-21mm long.

Where you'll find it: These beetles are mostly found in the central western parts of North America. They are found in a few spots in California such as Mono County, Tulare County, Inyo County, and Sonora Pass.

Natural History: The adult beetles have been reported to feed on a variety of plants including beans and beets.

This page was written by Marina Herrera, a 2005 participant in the Quasars to Sea Stars teen program.

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