Subject: Beach Beetle
Location: Plum Island, Massachusetts
June 13, 2016 1:17 pm
We were on a class field trip to the beach and came across this golden guy. Any idea what he (or she) is?
Signature: Curious kids from AMS
Dear Curious kids from AMS,
Our response is delayed as we were away from the office when you submitted your request. This is a Goldsmith Beetle, Cotalpa lanigera, and it appears to have experienced some trauma. According to BugGuide: “Adults feed on foliage of oak, poplar, hickory, pear, maple, cottonwood, willow and sweetgum.” As you are in Massachusetts, you may be interested in knowing that this is allegedly the insect that inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s classic short story “The Gold Bug.”