What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery Beetle with fan-like antennae
Location: Central Ohio (in October)
October 25, 2011 3:29 pm
Hi! I found this bug while walking down the street and didn’t know what it was. It has very interesting antennae and seems like it should be fairly easy to identify but I cannot find it anywhere. I was just wondering if you could help me out. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Hannah

Cedar Beetle

Hi Hannah,
We looked at your photo last night and decided your entry would most likely take us some time to research, so we postponed until morning when our staff is fresh.  At first glance we thought this was some species of Scarab Beetle, but searching BugGuide proved fruitless.  We expanded the search to related families and we finally discovered the Cicada Parasite Beetles or Cedar Beetles in the genus
Sandalus, a new genus for our site, and the family RhipiceridaeAccording to BugGuide:  “Adults active primarily from Aug to Oct” and “Adults apparently do not feed.”  The most interesting information on BugGuide is “Species undergo hypermetamorphosis and are ectoparasitoids of nymphal cicadas (1) Species are infrequent to rare. (2) When encountered, often found in large numbers during the day, indicating that a pheromone was used. (1)  On one day in late September, near Bloomington, Ind., 12 specimens were collected on hickory trunks or in flight in just 1 hour. Collecting at the same time in the same place during previous years had yielded no specimens. It is likely that these beetles were parasites on the brood of periodical cicadas which had emerged the previous year. (2)  Rings (1942) recorded 16,846 eggs from a single female S. niger.”  We thought we would need to create a new category for our new species, but upon searching our own archives, we discovered this posting of a Feather Horned Beetle from Australia, also in the family Rhipiceridae.  In that particular posting, we wrote:  “If the closest relatives found in North America (see BugGuide) are known as Cicada Parasite Beetles, it might be deduced that the same might be true of the Australian members of the family since Australia has such a robust population of Cicadas.”  Thanks for sending us your photo and for starting our day with some exciting revelations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Ohio

10 Responses to Cedar Beetle: New species to WTB?

  1. Barry says:

    Hi I am from the UK and found last night the Cicada Parasite Beetle in my garden, I love all sorts of bugs and never seen one before in the UK, Having doing a search for this feathered beetle I came across this site and pleased to have taken a photo not very good but its a photo time taken the picture was 11:15 pm .. Just wanted to shout out Hi we in the UK have the same Cicada Parasite Beetle in the UK.

    God Bless

  2. Steph J says:

    I found two of these in my drive last night. I live in Oklahoma, the temp this time of year is 90’s-100’s. Very intresting to see, my little boy loved them. I hope we get to see more of them. What do they eat? Also, they hissed.

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide: “Adults active primarily from Aug to Oct” and “Adults apparently do not feed.”

      • Mark Anderson says:

        I Found a dead annual cicada the other evening and was carrying it home on a piece of plastic when I heard a sound and saw a small pink slug-like thing crawling away from the tail of the carcass. I put the worm in the grass and took the cicada home and put it in a shallow empty tin in the garage. The next morning there were 2 more worms in the tin! Are these parasites? I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture, but I also didn’t harm them. I am in London ,Ontario , Canada. Mark.

  3. Daniel R. says:

    Does anyone know where we could buy 10 brooding females, and mates for them at? We have a massive cicada problem, they have been allowed to take over the land, and our 10 acre farm’s trees have been annihilated by cicada. If anyone knows where we could start up a good colony of them, please let us know. We are in zone 5b-6a, and would love to do some annihilating of cicadas.

  4. Spock says:

    My brother-in-law found this in south Texas, on the Mexican border on one of his trees. Is this a cedar beetle? Does it harm trees?

  5. Spock says:

    Sorry. I was not able to send pic. I will keep trying. In the meantime, it is about an inch long, orange with black spots.
    Thanks.

  6. Rik Wilson says:

    I’ve just seen one of these for first time in Norwich, UK got pictures and video clip

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