What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

big shiny beetle
November 1, 2009
I found this guy wandering across my office floor this morning (November 1st). I live in Hampton Bays, NY (East End of Long Island). It’s been steadily cooler weather, but we haven’t seen a frost (or been close) yet. He’s about an inch & a half long – the nail in the photo is a good reference. I scooped him up and put him outside for the photo shoot. Thoughts?
Dawn L
Hampton Bays, NY

Fiery Searcher

Forest Caterpillar Hunter

Hi Dawn,
What a positively gorgeous specimen of the Caterpillar Hunter commonly called a Fiery Searcher, Calosoma scrutator.  The reds and golds on your specimen are much more pronounced than in most individuals.  They are known to climb trees in search of caterpillars, and though the typical life cycle is one year, adults may overwinter and are reported to survive as long as three years.  You may get additional information on BugGuide.  The Fiery Searcher is one of the predators we plan to profile in the book we are attempting to complete.

Fiery Searcher

Forest Caterpillar Hunter

How interesting!!  Let me know if you want to use the photos for the book – I have others of her, as well as an AMAZING set of photos of a black widow with her egg sac!  You have a wonderful website, and I rely on it all the time for bug id.  It somehow makes them less scary when you know what they are and learn about them…

Thanks for the offer Dawn, but since our book is not an identification guide, we will not be using photographs which will make the publication cost prohibitive.  We will be using old entomological drawings as a more decorative means of illustrating the book.

WE received a comment that corrected this identification as the imported Forest Caterpillar Hunter,
Calosoma sycophanta, and according to BugGuide:  “native to w. Palaearctic (east to Siberia)(1); introduced intentionally and established in e.US (so.ME-MD-WV-w.PA) Introduced in 1905 to control Lymantria dispar and Euproctis chrysorrhoea.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Hampton Bays, New York

One Response to Forest Caterpillar Hunter, not Fiery Searcher

  1. noel says:

    That is a very beautiful pic of a Calosoma sycophanta forest caterpillar hunter imported from europe,in the early 1900s to control the spread of the gpsy moth in Massachussettes.The native fiery searcher Calosoma scrutator has a red margins going around the edges of the elytra which is slightly darker matellic green to dark The previous is more of a golden green with reddish irradesence in elytra lacking the red margin on edges of elytra.Compare on bugguide.net. sincery Buggnout.

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