Last updated: April 30, 2013
A large iridescent beetle that belonged to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. When the National Park Service took over administration of the site at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge, among the many objects found in the house was this beetle. It was kept by Longfellow in a small box, labeled in his own hand as "Burmah Beetle".
The beetle has been identified as Sternocerna aequisignata, a member of a group of insects commonly referred to as Jewel Beetles due to their vivid green iridescent carapaces, and which occur in the region of Asia stretching from India to Thailand. Where Henry W. Longfellow got the beetle from is unknown; he never traveled to Asia, although his son Charley did pay a visit to Siam (Thailand) in 1874.