What is this bug??
We have had lots of these little critters in our den lately – and my husband and I have NEVER seen these before- we live in a wooded area in Southern California w/ lots of Eucalyptus trees. We find a few a day lately- and are so curious as to what they are and what they do and where they come from and how we can get rid of them! HELP! Thanks mucho!
Our first thought was perhaps you had some type of beetle larva, but we checked with Eric Eaton who thought that it might be one of the Rove Beetles. Your photo is a little unclear and the fact that you shot through plastic didn’t help.
Thanks for getting back to me- and yes, they do seem to be in somewhat of a larvae stage- when they move, their whole bodies shorten and extend, almost like a lizard or snake. I’ve been obsessed w/ them wondering what they are, and have been watching them quite closely 🙂 I did a search online of rove beetles, and the ones we have look nothing like any rove beetle listed on this site. They don’t move fast at all either- and they tend to “Cling” when you try to grab them. I am having a pest person come over in a little bit to try and identify them- their 6 legs are in the upper quadrant of their body- and when I tried to grab one yesterday, this yellow fluid came out- wasn’t sure if it was waste, or trying to defend itself. It was bright yellow though. I’ll let you know what they say- he said if he couldn’t ID it, he’d send some up to the Cal Agro people… I can try and take some better shots if you want.
Hi again, Just found out that they may be lady bug larvae- since the pest guy wasn’t 100% sure, he’s sending them to the California Agro people to see what they say- the funny thing is we have seen a few lady bugs around lately- and just thought they were good luck! He did find a few dead lady bugs that were tan in color, and hadn’t fully developed to their red color yet.
Let us know what the California Agro people have to say Jody. Eric Eaton also agrees. He wrote back: “Ah-HA! The lady beetle larvae answer seems much better, though I would have expected some red markings somewhere….”
Update: California Eucalyptus Beetle Larva
October 28, 2011
Thanks to a comment from sundeeavila, we now know that this is the larva of a recently introduced species of Leaf Beetle, the Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle, Chrysophtharta m-fuscum. The UC Riverside Entomology site has a nice profile on the species that contains this information: “Eucalyptus leaf beetle is a new pest of ornamental eucalyptus and was introduced from Australia into southern California around 2003. It is not controlled by native parasites or predators. In Australia it is commonly known as one of the eucalyptus tortoise beetle species. It is known as an outbreak pest of commercial E. globules, blue gum plantations in southeastern Australia.” Here is a matching photo of the larvae.