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

Subject: Help Identify
Location: Colorado
April 28, 2016 1:56 pm
found these on a few mature Douglas fir.
Signature: John

Unknown Exuviae

Probably Pleasing Fungus Beetle Exuviae

Dear John,
These are the exuviae or shed exoskeletons of some unknown insect.  We will continue to research their identity.

Unknown Exuviae

Probably Pleasing Fungus Beetle Exuviae

Unknown Exuviae

Probably Pleasing Fungus Beetle Exuviae

Update May 4, 2016:  Introducing our new intern Bennett
Several weeks ago, we received an intriguing request from a local neighbor that eventually led to a meeting with our neighbor and his young science-minded son.  In his free time, Bennet will be attempting to identify the currently 444 unidentified postings in our archives.

Subject: Need Help?
Location: Los Angeles
April 27, 2016 9:33 pm
Hi Daniel,
I am a neighbor on Mt. Washington (Ave 37) and I have a science minded teenager. He’s done experiments at the Cabrillo Aquarium, won multiple medals in the LAUSD science bowl since grade 5 and was Captain of the Eagle Rock Science Olympiad team that went to the national finals in 2013. I was wondering if you ever need help or took on an intern (non-paid of course) for WtB? He wants to study entomology and I thought perhaps a project like yours would be a fun spot for him.
Thanks,
Todd

Here is Bennett’s first attempt at identifying a recent posting.

May 3, 2016
Hi Daniel, this is Bennett. I’m sorry for not looking into the unidentified post earlier, I had a lot of schoolwork getting in the way. Now that I spent some time looking at it and doing some research it seems to resemble some sort of carpet beetle larvae shedding. I’m not able to give a definite ID on species, and I could be wrong on this, but after doing some research it’s my best guess so far. I’ve attached 2 images that seem similar to the images the person provided, but the main difference is the lack of spikes at the tip of the tail. I hope this helps in some way.

Thanks so much for looking into this unidentified posting Bennet.  Our big doubt regarding Carpet Beetle exuviae is that the habitat seems wrong.  The exuviae are hanging from the tip of the abdomen, which is a common orientation for Lepidoptera pupae as well as Coleoptera pupae.  Our initial thought is that this was most likely one of those two orders.  We do have one request in the future:  Please provide links to images you locate in your online research rather than to attach the images.  We cannot pilfer images from another site to post them to WTB? as that would be plagiarism.  A better strategy is to link either to an outside site or even better, to link to our own archives.  We are not yet closing the book on this ID.  Searching for caterpillars or beetle larvae that feed in large numbers on Douglas Fir would be a good start.  We would also not entirely rule out that these might be Sawfly exuviae.  We believe they are pupal casings and not larval casings, indicating that the insect that left them has complete metamorphosis.

Update from Bennett:  May 23, 2016
Hi Daniel,
… I do think that I have positively identified the mystery exuviae. The images seem also identical to the exuviae of the Fungus Beetle (Gibbifer californicus), I am almost positive that it is this or another closely related species. Here is the bugguide page that contains the image that I found identical: http://bugguide.net/node/view/253897/bgimage
I hope this is accurate!

Wow Bennett,
That BugGuide posting looks like a really good visual match.  Additionally, according to BugGuide, the species is found in Colorado.  BugGuide also states “Larvae feed on wood-destroying fungi” and “female lays eggs in bark crevices of fallen rotting logs” and though the exuviae are on a branch attached to a tree, it is also possible that it could be a lower, dead branch that has fungal growth.  Of the family Erotylidae, the Pleasing Fungus Beetles, BugGuide notes:  “
larvae and adults feed on the fruiting bodies of fungi growing in decaying wood” and fungus is frequently found on living trees that are compromised.  We agree that though this might not be the exact species, it is likely something closely related.  Great job Bennett.  Thanks so much for helping us to clear up some postings that are currently Unidentified on our site one posting at a time.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle ID – Black with green patches
Location: Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam
April 9, 2016 12:12 am
Hi there,
I enjoy your site, and it has been a great help to ID some of the local bugs I find in California. Recently I went to Vietnam and this bug caught my attention. I have tried to do my due diligence identifying it myself but I’m not getting anywhere. It was seen March 8th at approximately 8 p.m. For size reference, I think about 3/4″? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you!
Signature: Alison

Pleasing Fungus Beetle, we believe

Pleasing Fungus Beetle, we believe

Dear Alison,
Based on the shape of the antennae and other features, we believe this is a Pleasing Fungus Beetle in the family Erotylidae, but we have not had any success finding any matching images online with this striking black and green coloration.  The closest we would find is this image on Alex Hyde Photography of an unidentified Malaysian species with similar, though yellow markings.  There are examples of beetles, like the Australian Fiddler Beetle, that have green coloration while other members of the same species are yellow.  There is another similar looking Pleasing Fungus Beetle on the Beetles of Borneo site.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bugs
Location: Indiana
April 11, 2015 3:54 pm
These bugs are on a hackberry tree.
Signature: Mag

Pleasing Fungus Beetles

Pleasing Fungus Beetles

Dear Mag,
These are Pleasing Fungus Beetles in the genus
Megalodacne and they will not harm your tree.  According to Featured Creatures:  “In the United States, the pleasing fungus beetles are not economically important, but in the Orient where many people regularly collect and eat wild mushrooms, pleasing fungus beetles may be considered pests (Boyle 1956). Many of the fungi upon which these beetles feed are edible by humans. Currently none of these fungi is easily cultivated and they are not sought after by most people. With the increasing popularity of mushrooms and cultural technological advances, it is possible that pleasing fungus beetles may become economically important in the United States. If these beetles become pests, chemical control is not recommended because mushrooms are very absorbent. Biological or cultural controls should be considered.  These beetles may also be beneficial. Fungi like Inonotus spp. and Armillariella spp. are known to be pathogenic to hardwood trees. These fungi also serve as hosts for several species of pleasing fungus beetles.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Subject: Gibbifer gibbosus?
Location: La Estrella, Antioquia, Colombia
December 17, 2014 9:39 am
I found this beautiful beetle walking over a fungus, near Medellin, Colombia, at about 1700 m over the sea level. So I think it could be a “pleasing fungus beetle”, but I only find references of this species in Central American countries.
During my search in internet, I also found the latin word “gibbosus” that means “humpback”. It seems to be clearly the case of this beetle.
Signature: luchogu

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Dear luchogu,
Your images of a Pleasing Fungus Beetle on its namesake food are spectacular, but they took us so long to format for the web that we don’t have the after final energy to research their identity, but we believe the genus
Gibbifer is correct.
It’s a new day and we are linking to a Costa Rican Pleasing Fungus Beetle submission from earlier in the year that might be
Gibbifer gibbosus, but we were never able to substantiate that identification.  Insetologia from Brazil has an image of a Pleasing Fungus Beetle that look identical to your individual that is identified as being in the genus Cypherotylus, a name we cited as obsolete in a posting from our archivesFlickR includes an image of a Pleasing Fungus Beetle in the genus Gibbifer, but it looks nothing like your individual.  A search for Gibbifer led us to another FlickR image from Peru that looks similar to your individual, but it is only identified to the genus level.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Penthe obliquata–fungus beetle
Location: Mancelona, MI
June 30, 2014 4:26 pm
I found this distinctive black beetle while I was out last night moth hunting, and since he seems to be missing from your archives I’m passing him along! This particular species of polypore fungus beetle is about 1-1.4 cm long (according to Bugguide; consistent with my specimen). That little orange scutellum (right between the thorax and the abdomen) is the key to identifying it, along with the overall rounded shape. Evidently they like living in dry fungus and decomposing trees, both of which we have in abundance around here, though this one was drawn to a lamppost.
Signature: Helen

Fungus Beetle

Fungus Beetle

Dear Helen,
Thank you for your continued efforts to supplement our archives with your excellent images.  BugGuide does have some additional information on this Fungus Beetle that does not have a common name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Gibbifer sp.)
Location: Rincon de la Vieja NP, Costa Rica
May 10, 2014 5:48 pm
I found this beetle while hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Costa Rica. I’m guessing that it belongs to the genus Gibbifer based on the ID that I found here on your pages. But I couldn’t find any matches for a species ID. Maybe you or some of your readers can help.
Signature: Siggy

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Hi Siggy,
You are correct that we have several examples from Costa Rica of Pleasing Fungus Beetles in the genus
Gibbifer, but we cannot substantiate their species identity.  There is a posting on Project Noah that is identified as Gibbifer costaricensis.  That same species is represented on Biologia Centrali Americana, however, the obsolete genus name Cypherotylus is used.  It is also important to understand that insects do not respect international boundaries drawn up by humans.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Daniel,
Thanks for replying so quickly. I seen that plate from Biologia Centrali Americana as well and thought insect #3 matched mine pretty closely. But when I did a search on Gibbifer gibbosus, what I assume would be the current name, I found pictures of beetles without the black band across the middle. I don’t know how much variability can be expected in a species, but maybe it’s just a variant.
I have a few more pictures of some insects that I want to ID from that hike. If I can’t come up with anything myself I may resort to enlisting your help again. Even if I can ID them, I’ll submit the images for use on your site.
Siggy

Hi again Siggy,
We would love to see any identified images from your hike.  It is much easier for us to post interesting images of interesting creatures without having to do any additional research.  Please include the species name and location in the subject line to catch our attention as traffic is once again increasing due to warming weather in much of the northern hemisphere.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination