Subject: Bug in smoky mountain national park near Gatlinburg
Geographic location of the bug: Above
Time: 05:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Curious as to what this bug is?
How you want your letter signed: Dawn
This is definitely a Pleasing Fungus Beetle in the genus Megalodacne, and according to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on bracket fungi. Adults overwinter under bark, often in groups.” We are puzzled as to what is protruding from its abdomen. No images on BugGuide depict such an ovipositor. We have contacted Eric Eaton for his opinion on this.
Eric Eaton Confirms:
Your assessment is correct. Many beetles, especially those that place eggs in bark crevices or other nooks and crannies have telescoping ovipositors like this.