Acmaeodera gibbula beetles are wood-boring beetles in the Metallic Wood-boring Beetle or Jewel Beetle Family (Buprestidae). Unfortunately, I was unable to find any generally recognized common name for this species. A. gibbula beetles are common here in Arizona, and I observed this one in August of 2006 in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson.
A. gibbula beetles are mostly black with the typical Buprestid beetle body shape. These beetles are quite variable but can be identified by the three red spots on their sides and by the ten (two pairs of five), large, yellow to cream spots on top of their elytra. Some A. gibbula beetles have a small, fourth red spot on each side or additional smaller yellow or cream spots on their elytra.
Adult A. gibbula beetles are usually observed feeding or mating on flowers. I observed this mating pair on a Camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris) flower in September also in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The wood-boring larvae of A. gibbula feed on some of our native trees like Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina), Yellow Paloverde (Parkinsonia microphylla), Blue Paloverde (Parkinsonia florida), and Goodding's Willow (Salix gooddingii).