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

Subject: Insect Identification
Location: Oklahoma, USA
September 24, 2016 11:51 pm
My son has these in his garden. What are they?
Signature: BPWO

Larva of a Caterpillar Hunter

Larva of a Caterpillar Hunter

Dear BPWO,
This is the larva of a Caterpillar Hunter, a Ground Beetle in the genus
Calosoma.  Many times immature insects have a different diet than the adults, but not so with the Caterpillar Hunters.  Both larvae and adults ravenously feed on Caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Nice Black Beetle
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
August 26, 2016 5:29 pm
I’ve lived in Alaska for 2 years and I’m not well acquainted with the insects here. I caught this guy ambling around in my garage. I took a photo and set it outside. What kind of beetle is this?
Signature: Sara

Ground Beetle

Ground Beetle

Dear Sara,
This is a beneficial, predatory Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae.  There are many similar looking species found in Alaska on the Carabidae of the World site, and we are not certain of your species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Afghan Beetle
Location: Bagram, Afghanistan
August 23, 2016 4:06 pm
Hey. I wondered if you could tell me what this bug was that I caught crawling past my feet in the office when I had no shoes on! I’m sure he means no harm but didn’t want any nasty surprises crawling up my leg so I caught him anyway. I’ve let him go outside now though but still wondering what he was as he looks quite cool!
Signature: Dean, AFG

Ground Beetle: Pheropsophus catoirei

Bombardier Beetle: Pheropsophus catoirei

Dear Dean,
Your pretty beetle is a Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as
Pheropsophus catoirei, a member of the subfamily Brachininae according to the Carabidae of the World site.  According to BugGuide, Brachininae is the subfamily that includes Bombardier Beetles, a group that have chemical defenses explained on BugGuide as:  “Adults have chemical defenses, ejecting toxic, foul-smelling gases from their abdomen with a loud popping sound. The explosive brew is composed of hydrogen peroxide, hydroquinone, and catalytic enzymes.”  A very similar looking beetle is pictured on RevolvY where it states:  “Bombardier beetles are ground beetles (Carabidae) in the tribes Brachinini, Paussini, Ozaenini, or Metriini—more than 500 species altogether—which are most notable for the defense mechanism that gives them their name: when disturbed, they eject a hot noxious chemical spray from the tip of their abdomen with a popping sound.  The spray is produced from a reaction between two chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in two reservoirs in the beetle’s abdomen. When the aqueous solution of hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide reaches the vestibule, catalysts facilitate the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide and the oxidation of the hydroquinone.[1] Heat from the reaction brings the mixture to near the boiling point of water and produces gas that drives the ejection. The damage caused can be fatal to attacking insects. Some bombardier beetles can direct the spray over a wide range of directions.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Monkton MD
August 9, 2016 5:31 pm
Help. Our neighborhood cannot figure out what this bug is
Signature: Curious

Beetle Larva we presume

Beetle Larva we presume

Dear Curious,
Your somewhat blurry image reminds us of the classic photo of Nessie.  Our best guess on this is that it is some beetle larva, possibly a Ground Beetle larva as it looks rather similar to a Caterpillar Hunter larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle ID
Location: Anchorage, AK
July 31, 2016 10:37 am
Although born and raised in Anchorage, this year is the first I’ve come across this beetle. I can not seem to find any Alaskan reference (picture) on the web, so I’m turning it over to you. The sample photo’d was found while working in a flower bed. A couple of more came up while raking out some heavy moss in the yard. (They seemed to be under the moss.) They definitely do not like light and run until they can hide their body under something, or can burrow into loose dirt or a crack. (This one was very hard to photograph.) They are at least 3/4 inch long and possibly closer to an inch. Other than the size, the iridescent horns on the rear edges of thorax is the most distinctive feature.
Signature: Rich Johnson

European Ground Beetle

European Ground Beetle

Dear Rich,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are confident this is a European Ground Beetle,
Carabus nemoralis, a species that was introduced from the Old World.  Its North American range, according to BugGuide is:  “n. US & Canada, absent from Great Plains (BG data) native to Europe, adventive in NA (in the east: NF-MN-ne.VA; in the west: BC-CA to AB-UT; isolated in the Saskatoon area, SK).”  According to the Natural History of Southeast Alaska:  “Introduced species so far (as of 2011) known only from Sitka, where it does not seem to be uncommon” and “First reported from Alaska in Sitka, adults seem to be relatively common around yards/gardens by May and into June, though not later in the summer.”

Thank you so much for the ID; the photo attached to your link is my guy.
Given the climate around south central I’m not too surprised they are this far north of Sitka.
We’ve also just had two of the mildest winters and warmest summers that I can remember.
(And I’m Anchorage born & raised, and over 60.)
I’m sure they are not seen much due to their apparent aversion to daylight, which can be tough to avoid in the summer up here.
All the best, and thank you again.
Rich

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identify bug
Location: plymouth mass
July 17, 2016 10:18 am
Just wondering what type of bug this is
Signature: lara killen

Caterpillar Hunter Carnage

Caterpillar Hunter Carnage

Dear Lara,
This is the larva of a Caterpillar Hunter, one of the Ground Beetles in the genus
Calosoma.  It looks like someone killed it, so we are tagging this posting with Unnecessary Carnage.  Many people kill insects with which they are unfamiliar out of irrational fear.  This is a beneficial species and we hope that should you encounter another in the future, you will let it survive to eat caterpillars.  Caterpillar Hunters are important natural control agents for Gypsy Moths and others.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination