Michael Farmer was strolling across the grounds of his Costa Rica property one day when he noticed something he couldn’t believe.
There was what appeared to be a small metal object on the leaves of a guava tree, glinting in the sun like a bit of polished chrome. But then it started crawling.
It was, after all, a living creature.
Farmer had just discovered one of the world’s most unusual beetles, Chrysina limbata, a species famed for its argentine, reflective shells.
Farmer was taken aback after witnessing it firsthand.
When Farmer picked up the beetle, she stopped crawling and pretended to be dead, giving him a better look.
In an interview, Farmer says, “I was amazed by how beautiful it was. [I’ve] never seen anything like it.”
Farmer photographed the bug, which appeared almost too lovely to be true.
He continues to add, “It was like looking into a mirror. Perfect reflection in the beetle. Truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”
Farmer later discovered that these beetles are quite rare. Though historically more prevalent in the area, the species has suffered from habitat degradation as well as being caught and sold to collectors.
The insect Farmer discovered that day escaped that dreadful destiny.
Finally, Farmer declared, “I don’t believe in selling living creatures like that. I reattached it to the tree, and it flew away.”
The recollection, on the other hand, has stuck with him.
Farmer had never seen a beetle like that before, but he hopes it won’t be the last.
“I’m not much of an insect person,” he said. “[However], it continues to astound me. I can’t wait to see more.”