Green June beetle - cotinus nitida
We found this beautiful jewel-like beetle on the deck rail. Looked it up and it's an apparently common beetle especially in the south. I usually see about one a year so it's not abundant here in NJ. It eats fruits in the adult stage and the larvae will eat turf grass roots like the other scarab beetles. This one is so beautiful and scarce in these parts so we just let it go, actually it flew off just as I took the last photo. Note the metallic and flourescent markings on legs, side of body and near the shell that covers the wings. Click on the photo to enlarge.
Here are a couple of excellent beetle sites. The bugguide site is a tremendous resource of beetle photos.
The Oklahoma State site is a nice informative site about the lifecycle of the beetle and photos of color variations.