Dogbane Leaf Beetle: Photo by George Grall
The dogbane beetle (Chrysochus auratus) is primarily found east of the Rocky Mountains. It is easy to spot with its iridescent colors of blue-green, metallic copper, with golden or crimson. It has a convex shape. It eats milkweed and dogbane. Dogbane is relative of milkweed and toxic to dogs.
National Geographic states: “This iridescent dogbane leaf beetle, found on a black-eyed susan in Frederick, Maryland, can trace its ancestors to the lower Permian, some 260 million years ago. Beetles survived the massive Permian and Triassic extinctions as well as two subsequent global extinctions, and now, with some 350,000 identified species, they are the animal kingdom’s most successful members.”