Orange/black mystery bug
Location: Radnor, Pennsylvania (suburban Philly)
August 16, 2011 7:07 am
I saw this insect sitting on my car this past week and don’t recall ever seeing it before. The body/wings are about 5/8” long and with the antennae it was just over 1 inch total length. I’ve so far not been able to get an ID on what it is.
Signature: Orla

Banded Net-Wing Beetle

Hi Orla,
This little beauty is a Banded Net-Wing Beetle,
Calopteron reticulatum.  It is a generally accepted theory that orange and black insects display aposomatic coloration to dissuade predators, either because they are dangerous, or poisonous, or don’t taste good.  The Banded Net-Wing Beetle is not dangerous or poisonous, and taste is relative.  It may be part of a complex mimicry system that includes some moths and some wasps.  The wasps sting, and insects that mimic them may benefit from the protection the wasps enjoy because of their stinging capacity.  This is speculative editorialization on the part of our staff, and not something we can cite.  You may turn to BugGuide for additional information on the Banded Net-Wing Beetle.

Location: Pennsylvania

6 Responses to Banded Net-Wing Beetle

  1. Robert says:

    I have these in my yard as well. It is interesting that you mention mimicking wasps….when they land they pump their wing covers like wasps and hornets do

  2. Cheryl says:

    Hello, I just found these on my raspberry bushes. Are they a post that will do damage to the plants and fruit?

  3. Isabella says:

    Hello, I was also wondering about possible damage to crops. I found one or two in the beginning of the week and there are now at least a dozen scattered across my garden mostly on my squash plants. No matter where I look I cant find a definitive answer on whether or not they are beneficial.

    • bugman says:

      Though we don’t know why your squash plants are attracting Banded Net-Wing Beetles, we can relay that on the genus page on BugGuide, it states: “adults take nectar; larvae prey on small arthropods under bark” which would imply that this is a beneficial species.

  4. Alinne says:

    Hey I live in Costa Rica and I have seen this bug at my school! I am using it for a project and the bug looks identical to it!

  5. Koreen Brennan says:

    Just saw one of these on our farm in Central Florida, Dec 12, 2019. On a passionflower plant. First one we’ve seen here (four years in).

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