Currently viewing the category: "Bark Beetles and Bark Gnawing Beetles"

Subject:  Is this a Cottonwood Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  AZ  Tucson
Date: 01/24/2020
Time: 07:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on my bar which I had the top replaced with a large Mesquite slab.  This the second one I’ve found.  There was a lot of small wood chips and sawdust falling out of holes.  I was worried it was termites.
How you want your letter signed:  Mason

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Mason,
Based on this BugGuide image, this is a Bark Gnawing Beetle in the genus
TemnoscheilaBugGuide does not describe the food preferences in its genus page, but of the family Trogossitidae, BugGuide notes:  “Many are predatory on other beetles and their larvae.”   Myrmecos states:  “Previously I’d encountered Temnoscheila only under the bark of dead trees, where they apparently prey on the larvae of other beetles.”  We have not located any information on the larvae, and we can speculate that if the larvae are also predatory on wood boring beetles, the two individuals you found may have emerged after spending their larval stages feeding in the mesquite slab, and they emerged after metamorphosis.

Subject:  Whats this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Pennsylvania
Date: 06/13/2019
Time: 09:42 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can u help me identify this bug on a ash tree
How you want your letter signed:  Ryan

Red Flat Bark Beetle

Dear Ryan,
This is a beneficial Red Flat Bark Beetle, and according to BugGuide the habitat is “under loose bark of deciduous trees” and they eat “presumably predaceous on other arthropods.”

Subject:  Red beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Foothills of Western Cascades in Washington
Date: 04/26/2018
Time: 09:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this on our deck… Can’t recall seeing a red beetle in our area before. What’s that bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Anonymous

Red Flat Bark Beetle

Dear Anonymous,
This is a Red Flat Bark Beetle,
Cucujus clavipes, and according to the Pennsylvania State University site:  “The flat bark beetle is found in forested habitats of northern North America (Alaska, Canada, and many northern and central U.S. states). … Adults are typically found under the bark in living or freshly cut trees although they might also be present in old logs and even in the leaf litter around fallen or cut trees. Tree species that seem to be preferred by the flat bark beetle include poplars, ashes, and oaks, but they are also found in a wide range of other species of trees. The adult flat bark beetles are active predators within their constricted, sub-bark micro-habitat.”

Subject:  Beetle with tree bark camoflauge
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Lake Burrendong in NSW Australia
Date: 03/29/2018
Time: 10:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
On the 28h of March, in the location specified, a beetle with an interesting camoflauge that looked rather like tree bark landed on my green t-shirt. I was curious as to what kind of beetle it was so I managed to take a few photos before it flew away. It stayed on my t-shirt without moving very much for quite a while, maybe 10-20 minutes before it flew away. I knew it was a beetle of some sort since it had wing covers, which I saw when it took flight. It also had six legs, which I observed while it walked across my t-shirt.
It would be great if this beetle could be identified, thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  A 16 year old, Alvin Yao

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Alvin,
The best clue we have based on your image as we embark upon trying to provide you with an identification are the beaded or moniliform (see BugGuide) antennae.  We searched the Brisbane Insect site for Darkling Beetles, but found nothing similar.  We just took a guess at the family.  We will post your images as unidentified and continue to research your request.  Perhaps one of our readers will write in with an identification.

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Update:  Thanks to a comment from frequent contributor Karl, we agree that this is a Bark Gnawing Beetle which is depicted on Life Unseen.

Subject:  What is this beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  League City, Texas
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 12:24 AM EDT
These beetles have infested my towel closet in the bathroom (20-50 bugs).  I’ve fogged the room and it killed some, but they showed up again in 48 hours, primarily in the towels, but some are crawling along the floor.  They are tiny, about 1/5 the size of rice grain. What are these things?
How you want your letter signed:  CR and bugs

Bark Beetles or Cigarette Beetles???

Dear CR,
Based on the University of Minnesota Extension site, these look like Bark Beetles in the family Scolytidae, that are described as “small (1/8-¼ inch long), robust reddish brown to black insects. They are very common in the landscape, and can emerge from many types of wood brought into homes.”  Is your towel closet made of cedar?  Though there are many species of similar looking Bark Beetles, your individuals resemble the Cedar Bark Beetle pictured on BugGuide.

Update:  Cesar Crash of Insetologia has suggested these might be Cigarette Beetles, but BugGuide indicates they eat:  “Dry plant matter of any sort, including spices and tobacco.”  We wonder what might be their food in the towel closet.

Subject: Black Hairy Insect nesr White Pine Beetles
Location: California in Sequoia
March 19, 2017 6:43 am
Cannot identify the hairy black and white insect on this pine tree. The two pine beetles I could identify. This is taken at Wishon Camlground near Doyle Springs/Sequoia, in California.
Signature: Emily

Checkered Beetle and Red Turpentine Beetles

Dear Emily,
We believe your Pine Beetles are Red Turpentine Beetles,
Dendroctonus valens, a species pictured on BugGuide and found in California.  According to BugGuide:  “Primary host: Pinus.”  Your unidentified beetle is a Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae.  A similar looking species is the Red Bellied Clerid Beetle, Enoclerus sphegeus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the species if found in California.  Of the Checkered Beetle family, BugGuide notes:  “predaceous on other insects, larvae mostly on wood- and cone-borers; some adults feed on pollen; a few species are scavengers” so it is possible that the Checkered Beetle you found was preying on the adults and larvae of the Red Turpentine Beetles.