This colorful beetle came from our back yard. It’s a ground beetle in the genus Chlaenius, recognizeable from its pubescent elytra and pungent defensive secretions. Like most ground beetles, Chlaenius makes a living as a predator.
The beetle’s metallic sheen is not the result of a pigment but of fine microscopic sculpturing on the integument. This is evident when the insect is viewed at a different aspect: notice how the color turns to green in lateral view:
photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 200, f/13, 1/80 sec, indirect strobe in a white box