Currently viewing the category: "Ground Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Creepy beetle
Location: Sw Arizona- Sonoran desert
August 21, 2014 2:30 pm
Hi bugman,
I’ve seen these bugs in large groups in a snake trap. They have been seen eating caterpillars, and were found with a dead mouse. We are calling them creepy beetles that seem to be very aggressive and vicious.
Signature: Intern

Caterpillar Hunter

Caterpillar Hunter

Dear Intern,
We have problems with the use of the term vicious to describe a predator that is capturing prey to eat.  This is a Caterpillar Hunter in the genus
Calosoma, quite possibly Calosoma semilaeve, a species we featured numerous times in 2008 when we received numerous reports from Southern California, prompting us to name it as a secondary Bug of the Month for May 2008. We believe your Caterpillar Hunter may be Calosoma semilaeve, a species posted to BugGuide under the name Callisthenes semilaevis, indicating that it is in a subgenus.  Caterpillar Hunters are very effective predators that feed primarily on Caterpillars and other insects, so they are incredibly beneficial.  We imagine they might be opportunistic feeders that take advantage of dead animals like the mouse you found.  This species seems to experience years of few sightings, and then sudden population explosions, perhaps linked to years when desert caterpillars like the Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars are also plentiful.

Hello and thank you for responding to our resourceful intern! I have worked here at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Arizona) for over 25 years and have never seen anything like this. We do get “blooms” of insects and this is certainly one. We have abundant caterpillars, as we frequently do in summer, of Hyles lineata and so they are certainly plentiful. The beetles do seem at first to be a little “creepy” in their behavior but I would not call them vicious. So it goes.The odor is a bit much, but I have become accustomed to and now rather enjoy the odor of Pinacate beetles (Eleodes).
We have some really nice photos of other insects “in bloom” – mostly beetles and bugs – and would be happy to share if you like.
Again, thank you!
Charles Conner    Biological Sciences Technician

Hi Charles,
We would love to receive your other insect images.  Please use the standard form when submitting them.  Great World Cup image, but sadly, we won’t post images that we cannot get permission to include online.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of beetle is this
Location: Mississippi
August 5, 2014 9:52 am
I live in Mississippi and found this in my office.
Signature: Tayne

Caterpillar Hunter

Black Caterpillar Hunter

Dear Tayne,
This beautiful beetle is a beneficial Black Caterpillar Hunter,
Calosoma sayi.  You can compare your image to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it can be recognized by being:  “Large, black, with prominent gold or red punctures and blue or green margins of elytra. (These are not prominent on cursory inspection–the beetle appears all black.) Resembles C. calidum but larger (25-28 mm vs. 16-27 mm) and more southern in distribution. Quoting from Ciegler (2000).”  The red punctures are visible in your image despite the lack of critical focus and clarity.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?? Green Beetle
Location: Omaha, Nebraska near Missouri River
July 15, 2014 12:27 pm
Howdy there, found this gem at work, it was dead when I found it. It has characteristics of other green beetles, but have not found a match. I live outside of Omaha, Nebraska today’s date is 07/15/14
Signature: Thank you for your time! Joe

Fiery Searcher

Fiery Searcher

Hi Joe,
This is a Caterpillar Hunter known as a Fiery Searcher, and both adults and larvae are important predators that control the numbers of caterpillars.
  We received an account earlier this year of large numbers of Fiery Searchers in Missouri.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bombardier Beetle
Location: Madinah/Saudi Arabia
June 16, 2014 5:18 am
Hi!
I’ve found this beetle roaming near the house at night, when held in a napkin it squirted a yellowish substance making a strange sound -almost like a high pitched or a whistle sound-
After a little bit of searching I’m almost certain that it’s from the Pherosophus family.
Can you give me a more accurate Identification of the specimen?
Thank you.
M.A
Signature: M.A

Ground Beetle

Ground Beetle

Dear M.A.,
We agree that this sure looks like a Ground Beetle in the genus
Pherosophus, based on this image that we located online at http://jcringenbach.free.fr/website/beetles/carabidae/Pheropsophus_africanus.htm.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle with segmented body
Location: Southeasten Michigan
June 3, 2014 12:32 pm
hello – love your site. Please help ID this beetle – my wife found in basement – she is freaking out.
Thanks in advance.
Signature: Greg G

Big Headed Ground Beetle

Big Headed Ground Beetle

Hi Greg,
Calm you wife down and tell her this is a Big Headed Ground Beetle in the genus
Scarites, and it is a harmless species that is considered beneficial since it is a predator.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorful beetle
Location: Chicago area
May 19, 2014 1:27 pm
I had this bug sitting on my deck for hours this weekend. Can you identify it? Date was 5/18/14 in the Chicago area.
The colors were beautiful but I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was approx. 2.5″-3″ long.
Signature: LP

Fiery Searcher

Fiery Searcher

Dear LP,
This beautiful species of Caterpillar Hunter is known as a Fiery Searcher.  We wish you had sent a higher resolution image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination