One day, while stro.lling the grounds of his property in Costa Rica, Michael Farmer spotted something he couldn’t quite believe.
There, on the leaves of a guava tree, was what looked to be a sm.all metal object — glinting in the sun like a piece of polished chrome. But then it began crawling.
It was, in fact, a living thing.Turns out, Farmer had just stu.mbled upon one of the world’s most unique beetles, Chrysina limbata, a species known for their silvery, reflective shells.
When Farmer picked up the beetle, she stopped crawling and played dead, allowing him to get a better look.
“I was amazed by how beautiful it was,” Farmer told The Dodo. “[I’ve] never seen anything like it.”
Farmer snapped these images of the beetle, who seemed almost too beautiful to be real.“[It] was like a mirror. Utterly flawless reflection in the beetle,” he said. “Truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”
Farmer later came to learn that these beetles are actually quite rare. Though once more commonly fou.nd in the region, the species has been hard hit by habitat loss — and from being caught .and sold to collectors.
The beetle Far.mer found that day was spared that sad fate.
“I don’t believe in selling living creatures like that,” Farmer said. “I put it back on the tree, and it rapidly flew away.”
The memory, however, has stayed with him.That was the first time Farmer had encountered a bee.tle like that, but he hopes it’s not the last.
“I’m not much of an insect person,” he said. “[But] I’m still am.azed by it. Can’t wait to see another.”