Bumble Flower Beetle: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

The bumble flower beetle (Euphoria inda) is an intriguing member of the scarab beetle family. Measuring roughly half an inch in length, these beetles are known for their yellowish-brown or cinnamon-colored wings adorned with irregular rows of small black spots. With a fuzzy appearance, bumble flower beetles can often be mistaken for bumble bees, especially when in flight where they mimic the buzzing sound of bees.

Adult bumble flower beetles enjoy a diet that consists of pollen, nectar, plant sap, and fruit juices. They are commonly found around dying vegetation, where they lay their eggs after mating. As scavengers, they also contribute to breaking down dead and decaying plant matter. Besides their appearances, their unique diet and biological characteristics are worth exploring when seeking to understand these fascinating insects.

Bumble Flower Beetle Identification

Classification and Family Scarabaeidae

The bumble flower beetle (Euphoria inda) is a member of the scarab beetle family, Scarabaeidae. This family includes thousands of species, including dung beetles and June beetles.

Color

Adult bumble flower beetles have a distinct color pattern:

  • Yellowish-brown or cinnamon-colored outer wings
  • Irregular rows of small black spots

Elytra

The elytra, or outer wings, of the bumble flower beetle serve two purposes:

  1. They protect the delicate inner wings required for flight.
  2. They provide a unique appearance that helps differentiate them from other beetles.

Hairy Body

One noticeable feature of the bumble flower beetle is the presence of hairs on various parts of its body:

  • Head
  • Thorax
  • Underside of the body

The dense hairs give the beetle a fuzzy appearance.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Bumble flower beetles are easily identifiable by their features and behavior:

  • Size: 0.5-0.6 inches in length and 0.3-0.4 inches wide
  • Flight: Produce a buzzing sound similar to that of a bumblebee

Pros of identifying bumble flower beetles:

  • Can help gardeners and farmers detect potential pests
  • Provides an opportunity to learn more about an interesting insect

Cons of identifying bumble flower beetles:

  • May be difficult for those who are less familiar with beetles and their specific characteristics
  • Some people may mistake other similar-looking beetles for the bumble flower beetle

Comparison Table: Bumble Flower Beetle vs. June Beetle

Feature Bumble Flower Beetle June Beetle
Family Scarabaeidae Scarabaeidae
Outer Wing Color Yellowish-brown or cinnamon-colored Shades of green or brown
Spots on Elytra Small, irregular black spots None
Body Hair Dense hairs on head, thorax, and underside Less hairy
Buzzing Sound in Flight Yes No

Life Cycle and Biology

Egg

Bumble flower beetles (Euphoria inda) lay their eggs in soil or decaying organic matter. The eggs then hatch within 7 to 10 days, depending on environmental conditions.

Larva

Once hatched, the larvae, often referred to as grubs, feed on the organic matter. They undergo several stages of growth, called instars, as they develop.

Pupa

After the larval stage, the grubs transform into pupae. During this stage, the beetles remain inactive and develop their adult characteristics, such as wings and reproductive organs.

Adult Beetle Behavior

Adult bumble flower beetles are found primarily in North America. They have a distinct buzzing sound and are drawn to flowers. Features include:

  • Yellowish-brown or cinnamon-colored outer wings
  • Irregular rows of small black spots
  • Densely hairy head, thorax, and underside

Season

Bumble flower beetles are most active during late summer and early fall, when they seek out flowers for both food and reproduction.

To summarize:

Life Stage Duration Characteristics
Egg 7-10 days Laid in soil or organic matter
Larva (Grub) Varies Feeds on organic matter
Pupa Varies Inactive; develops adult traits
Adult Late Summer–Fall Feeds on flowers; reproduces

Ecological Roles and Interactions

Pollination

The Bumble Flower Beetle plays a small role in the pollination process. While they are not as efficient as bees and wasps, they still contribute to pollination by visiting flowers for nectar and pollen. As they move around within the flower, some pollen sticks to their hairy bodies, which can then be transferred to other flowers.

  • Nectar source for adult beetles
  • Pollen provisions for larvae and adult beetles

Bees, Wasps, and Bumble Bees

These insects are more efficient pollinators compared to the Bumble Flower Beetle. They have specialized structures, like bee tongue lengths and flower tube depths, that allow for better pollen transfer between flowers. An example of their effectiveness is seen in how bumble bees can damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when faced with pollen scarcity.

Comparison Table

Insect Efficiency in Pollination Pollen Transfer Mechanism
Bumble Flower Beetle Low Hairy Body
Bees, Wasps, and Bumble Bees High Specialized Structures

Range and Habitat

The Bumble Flower Beetle can be found in various regions across North America. Their range extends across the eastern United States and southern Canada. These beetles prefer habitats with flowering plants providing pollen and nectar, as well as decomposing organic matter for their larvae. The Utah State University Extension mentions that they have a preference for plant sap as a food source.

  • Widespread distribution
  • Prefers habitats with flowering plants and decomposing organic matter

Diet and Feeding Habits

Vegetation and Tree Sap

Bumble flower beetles, also known as Euphoria inda, primarily feed on a variety of vegetation and tree sap. They enjoy:

  • Decaying leaves
  • Tree sap

This provides them with the vital nutrients they need to survive and thrive.

Rotten Fruits and Vegetables

Apart from vegetation and tree sap, bumble flower beetles also have a particular affinity for:

  • Rotten fruits
  • Decaying vegetables

These food sources attract these beetles due to their sweet, fermenting scent and provide additional nutrition.

Sweet and Fermenting Liquids

Bumble flower beetles are naturally drawn to sweet and fermenting liquids that they can find in:

  • Overripe fruits
  • Nectar
  • Fermenting tree sap

These liquids offer them a quick source of energy and sustenance.

Food Source Nutrients Importance
Vegetation and tree sap Vital nutrients Primary food source
Rotten fruits & vegetables Additional nutrition Complementary food source
Sweet & fermenting liquids Energy & sustenance Quick energy source

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

another beetle
Found about 50 of these Junebug type beetles hatching in my large tub of compost dirt this fall. They are about the size of a Junebug but a bit more flat. Anything for our garden to worry about here? We are in SE Texas. Just love your site but can not even fathom the amount of work it takes to maintain it so well. You are doing a great job!

Thanks for the compliment. This is a Bumble Flower Beetle, Euphoria inda. The larvae are often associated with rotting wood, decaying vegetation, and dung, so the compost pile is the perfect breeding gound. You probably witnessed a mass metamorphosis. Adults visit flowers for pollen and nectar, and occasionally do damage to the blossoms.

Letter 2 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: brown hairy beetle
Location: Maumelle, Arkansas
September 4, 2012 8:57 pm
Found brown hairy beetle on brick path beneath oaks and pines today. He was upside down, eggs moving trying to right himself. Thank you for any help id’ing him.
Signature: Martha

Bumble Flower Beetle

Hi Martha,
This Scarab is a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”  BugGuide also states:  “Larvae usually reported to live in decaying wood, vegetation, and especially, dung (6). Eggs deposited in summer near these food sources. Males often seen searching for newly-emerged females.   Larvae are associated with Formica ants. (1) From Insects of Cedar Creek:   Larvae of these species are reported to live in decaying wood, but I suspect that some live as scavengers in ant nests (primarily those of Formica obscuripes). E. inda (yellow with black flecks) is commonly seen buzzing over Formica mounds in spring. On descending to the mound it is immediately covered by ants.”

Letter 3 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: Unknown
Location: Barrie Ontario
May 13, 2015 5:49 pm
My niece sent me a pic of a bug and I’m not sure where to begin looking. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Deborah

Bumble Flower Beetle
Bumble Flower Beetle

Dear Deborah,
This appears to be a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”

Bumble Flower Beetle
Bumble Flower Beetle

Letter 4 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: ID bug
Location: Denver, CO
July 21, 2017 5:21 pm
What is this bug?
Signature: Donna

Bumble Flower Beetle

Dear Donna,
Based on this BugGuide image, we feel confident that this is a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge in the late summer, overwinter, and then become active in the early spring, which accounts for the bimodal curve in adult activity” and “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”

Letter 5 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject:  Hairy, flying Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Michigan, USA
Date: 05/05/2019
Time: 10:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this bug was loud as it buzzed by my head. Landed in mulch and burrowed in. I uncovered it to take pics – then it flew away. I regret, i was not able to get a pic while it was in flight.
It is about the size of a large bumble bee. Hairy body and legs beneath an oval shell. Six legs. Flecks of orange and brown on a shell with slight ivory stripes? Red dot above head. Front end and head are Black.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Ab

Bumblebee Flower Beetle

Dear Ab,
We identified your Bumblebee Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, in Beetles of North America by Arthur V. Evans where we learned “Adults often fly close to the ground, especially over piles of grass, edges of haystacks, compost piles, manure, and other plant debris.  They drink sap from the wounds on tree trunks and exposed roots, or feed on various flowers and ripe fruits.  According to BugGuide where it is called the Bumble Flower Beetle:  “Adults emerge in the late summer, overwinter, and then become active in the early spring, thus the bimodal curve in activity.”

Bumblebee Flower Beetle

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

another beetle
Found about 50 of these Junebug type beetles hatching in my large tub of compost dirt this fall. They are about the size of a Junebug but a bit more flat. Anything for our garden to worry about here? We are in SE Texas. Just love your site but can not even fathom the amount of work it takes to maintain it so well. You are doing a great job!

Thanks for the compliment. This is a Bumble Flower Beetle, Euphoria inda. The larvae are often associated with rotting wood, decaying vegetation, and dung, so the compost pile is the perfect breeding gound. You probably witnessed a mass metamorphosis. Adults visit flowers for pollen and nectar, and occasionally do damage to the blossoms.

Letter 2 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: brown hairy beetle
Location: Maumelle, Arkansas
September 4, 2012 8:57 pm
Found brown hairy beetle on brick path beneath oaks and pines today. He was upside down, eggs moving trying to right himself. Thank you for any help id’ing him.
Signature: Martha

Bumble Flower Beetle

Hi Martha,
This Scarab is a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”  BugGuide also states:  “Larvae usually reported to live in decaying wood, vegetation, and especially, dung (6). Eggs deposited in summer near these food sources. Males often seen searching for newly-emerged females.   Larvae are associated with Formica ants. (1) From Insects of Cedar Creek:   Larvae of these species are reported to live in decaying wood, but I suspect that some live as scavengers in ant nests (primarily those of Formica obscuripes). E. inda (yellow with black flecks) is commonly seen buzzing over Formica mounds in spring. On descending to the mound it is immediately covered by ants.”

Letter 3 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: Unknown
Location: Barrie Ontario
May 13, 2015 5:49 pm
My niece sent me a pic of a bug and I’m not sure where to begin looking. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Deborah

Bumble Flower Beetle
Bumble Flower Beetle

Dear Deborah,
This appears to be a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”

Bumble Flower Beetle
Bumble Flower Beetle

Letter 4 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject: ID bug
Location: Denver, CO
July 21, 2017 5:21 pm
What is this bug?
Signature: Donna

Bumble Flower Beetle

Dear Donna,
Based on this BugGuide image, we feel confident that this is a Bumble Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge in the late summer, overwinter, and then become active in the early spring, which accounts for the bimodal curve in adult activity” and “Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Sometimes damage flowers. Also takes rotting fruit, corn, sap, other plant juices.”

Letter 5 – Bumble Flower Beetle

 

Subject:  Hairy, flying Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Michigan, USA
Date: 05/05/2019
Time: 10:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this bug was loud as it buzzed by my head. Landed in mulch and burrowed in. I uncovered it to take pics – then it flew away. I regret, i was not able to get a pic while it was in flight.
It is about the size of a large bumble bee. Hairy body and legs beneath an oval shell. Six legs. Flecks of orange and brown on a shell with slight ivory stripes? Red dot above head. Front end and head are Black.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Ab

Bumblebee Flower Beetle

Dear Ab,
We identified your Bumblebee Flower Beetle,
Euphoria inda, in Beetles of North America by Arthur V. Evans where we learned “Adults often fly close to the ground, especially over piles of grass, edges of haystacks, compost piles, manure, and other plant debris.  They drink sap from the wounds on tree trunks and exposed roots, or feed on various flowers and ripe fruits.  According to BugGuide where it is called the Bumble Flower Beetle:  “Adults emerge in the late summer, overwinter, and then become active in the early spring, thus the bimodal curve in activity.”

Bumblebee Flower Beetle

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

2 thoughts on “Bumble Flower Beetle: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell”

  1. Found this thing in my hair after I brushed it from tanning at the pool. I was so freaked out when I realized that thing had been chilling on my head! 😫

    Reply

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