This stunning beetle’s name, auripennis, means “golden winged,” although they range from iridescent green to gold, with an uncommon black form. They are a type of Leaf Beetle (family Chrysomelidae), a diverse group of colorful vegetarians. Many are host specific and feed on one particular group of plants. These beetles prefer Monarda species (think Beebalm) and a plant that is native to eastern North America, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (commonly known as Narrowleaf Mountain Mint, among others). They range from Manitoba-Montana-New Mexico to Indiana-Alabama. 

Size: Around 9 mm 

Photo by: Dan Poore on 5/9/22 in Helena, MT