Currently viewing the category: "Net-Winged Beetles"
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Subject: Strange bug
Location: Southern Kentucky
February 24, 2014 4:39 pm
We found this bug on our deck in southern Kentucky. I have never seen anything like it. It’s body was hard and had spikes on it but the head was snail/caterpillar like and could stretch out really far.When touched, it pulled it’s head in and played dead.
Signature: Stumped

Firefly or Netwinged Beetle Larva

Firefly or Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Dear Stumped,
This is either the larva of a Firefly (see BugGuide) or the larva of a Net-Winged Beetle (see BugGuide).  If it eats snails, according to Eric Eaton, it is a Firefly Larva, and if it eats fungus, it is a Net-Winged Beetle Larva.

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Subject: Identification of red insect
Location: Alabama
February 6, 2014 1:42 pm
Neighbor found this insect on her patio. What looks like honeycomb is actually a doormat. To me, it looks like a Lepidoptera (moth) but I can’t see enough of the head to make out the antenna form. Also can’t see the wings on the metathorax. I would appreciate any help or suggestions that you can give me. In the meantime, I will continue to research the internet. Thank you.
Signature: Don

Net Winged Beetle

Net Winged Beetle

Thank you for your prompt response. I continued looking and I now believe that it is a Net Winged beetle. If I had been able to see the head, the antennae would have pointed me to the Coleoptera rather than the Lepidoptera.
“Net-winged beetles (family Lycidae), any of some 2,800 species of soft-bodied, brightly coloured, predominately tropical beetles (insect order Coleoptera) whose wing covers, or elytra, are broader at the tip than at the base and are characterized by a raised network of lines, or veins. The adults feed either on plant juices or on other insects and can easily be seen as they fly slowly between plants or crawl on flowers . The bold colouring of orange and black or blue probably warns predators of their acidic, burning taste. Larvae feed on wet rotting wood and are often found in high numbers.”
Don

Hi Don,
We apologize for the delay.  For some reason, there was a glitch in our email delivery and submissions were being delayed several days.  We agree that this is a Net Winged Beetle in the genus
Dictyoptera, and it is most likely the Golden Net Wing, Dictyoptera aurora.  Of the four species listed on BugGuide, only two are reported from Alabama, including the Golden Net Winged Beetle.  The other, Dictyoptera munda, is represented by a single mounted specimen on BugGuide, but the thorax lacks the dark markings.

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Subject: red velvety winged bug
Location: Singapore
November 27, 2013 2:10 am
This bug flew into the office one day and is now our office pet. We have no idea what to feed it. Just trying with wet tissue and yeast paste. Thanks for helping!
Signature: Jacs

Net-Winged Beetle

Net-Winged Beetle

Dear Jacs,
This is a Net-Winged Beetle in the family Lycidae, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults eat nectar and honeydew. Larvae: Despite anecdotal reports of carnivory, most, if not all, feed on myxomycetes or metabolic products of fungi.”  Though you may desire to keep this lovely beetle in captivity, we feel it would be better to release it back into the wild to fend for itself.  We are unable to provide a species identification at this time.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange and black guest just flew in
Location: Greenbelt MD
September 4, 2013 6:04 am
The star of our outdoor breakfast table this fine September morn in Greenbelt MD… About one inch from tip to stern. Alit on our milk carton but allowed himself to be coaxed to a placemat. Flitted off after a minute to inspect the hedges after permitting a lovely photo op. To whom do we owe the pleasure?
Signature: Jeanne McLaughlin

Banded Net Wing Beetle

Banded Net Wing Beetle

Hi Jeanne,
Though it resembles a moth more than a beetle, this is actually a Banded Net Wing Beetle,
Calopteron reticulatum.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar, other plant juices” so it might have been attracted to that cranberry juice drink you were serving.  

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Subject: Crawling Orange and Black insect on Forest floor
Location: Tioman Island, Malaysia
August 8, 2012 3:38 pm
I have been trying to figure out what this thing is for close to 6 months now.
Its got a tiny head, a wide flat black body at the front with orange/red tips and then the segments get smaller after the first 3. Its legs are tucked in toward the center line of the body.
Found it hiking on the island of Tioman in Malaysia
heres a link
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=orange+and+black+insect+in+malaysia&um=1&hl=en&safe=active&sa=N&biw=1280&bih=883&tbm=isch&tbnid=11PTftjVu61mVM:&imgrefurl=http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/trilobitebeetle/Interesting&docid=WNsTjBRt9WqrUM&imgurl=http://farm1.static.flickr.com/208/449128409_3e6ea2c4fa.jpg&w=334&h=500&ei=CM0iUOLtBeitiAKbzIGICw&zoom=1
couldnt find a smaller link.
Signature: Brandon

Trilobite Beetle

Hi Brandon,
This unusual creature is known as a Trilobite Beetle,
Duliticola hoiseni, and we first posted an image of this interesting beetle back in 2006.  At that time Eric Eaton wrote in: “The firefly larva from Thailand is actually an ADULT female Demosis species of net-winged beetle (family Lycidae). They are known commonly as trilobite beetles.”  There is now more information online for this fascinating creature, including these great images on Animals, Animals, Animals.  There is a wealth of information but no images on Animal Diversity Web, including this physical description:  “Duliticola hoiseni is an exceedingly segmented creature with a very small head that retracts into the prothorax. The prothorax is a triangular segment that has two small tubercles protruding from the front of the segment near the area where the head extends. Two larger tubercles are near the back of the prothorax segment. The extendable head of the trilobite beetle has very small eyes which sit behind two-jointed antennae. The segment behind the prothorax, the mesothorax, is much wider than the first segment, with four large tear-drop shaped tubercles situated in the middle and a pair of smaller ones near the rear. The next segment, the metathorax, is much like the mesothorax, with the addition of a straight, swept back posterior edge. The nine-segmented abdomen is covered in cylindrical abdominal processes, which originate from the rear of each segment and angle back and upwards. Mature females are yellowish-white, whereas the males and immature females are generally a dark brown color with cinnamon colored processes. The average size of this insect is between 35 mm and 45 mm. (Lok, 2008)”

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Subject: Isopod?
Location: Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada
August 6, 2012 8:58 am
Hi there – this looks like some sort of isopod, but I’ve not been able to find anything more specific. Perhaps it’s some sort of insect nymph instead? It’s maybe 1/2” long.
It was spotted in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada in August.
Signature: Jim

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Hi Jim,
This is a beetle larva, and even experts can have difficulty distinguishing a Net-Winged Beetle larva from a Firefly Larva.  Firefly Larvae are predators and most species feed on snails.  Net-Winged Beetle Larvae tend to feed on fungus, and the presence of the partially eaten mushroom in the background contributed to our speculation that this is most likely a Net-Winged Beetle Larva, though snails will also feed on mushrooms and this could always be a predatory Firefly Larva searching for snails at their food source.  Interestingly, we found this online posting on Myrmecos Blogof a larva that looks very much like your larva.  It was originally identified as a Net-Winged Beetle, but then changed to a Firefly Larva. 

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Thanks Daniel!  You may see that I had resubmitted my photo with a follow up question about whether it was a firefly larva, and it was in part because I also saw that same blog post.
I hadn’t considered the net winged beetle possibility.  I certainly do see beetles of approximately this type here in NS.  Even the adults look pretty similar to fireflies, don’t they?
Anyway, mystery (mostly) solved.
Thanks!
Incidentally, have there been any reports of a lack of fireflies across the continent this year, as with bees, and as with cicadas in some years?  I haven’t seen any fireflies at all in Nova Scotia this summer.

Fireflies were very plentiful in Ohio this June, and Pearl, our contact in Ohio reports that Fireflies were very common this summer, though thankfully, Japanese Beetles were noticeably absent.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination