Currently viewing the category: "Bark Beetles and Bark Gnawing Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this beetle??
Location: San Diego
January 7, 2017 10:50 pm
Can you identify this bug/beetle
Signature: Thank you

Bark Gnawing Beetle

This appears to be a Bark Gnawing Beetle in the genus Temnoscheila and according to BugGuide:  “can inflict a painful bite if handled carelessly.”  Despite its name, Bark Gnawing Beetles are not injurious to trees, but rather they are predators.  Of the family Trogossitidae, BugGuide notes:  “Many are predatory on other beetles and their larvae.”  The Myrmecos Blog states:  “This colorful insect arrived to a blacklight in my backyard a couple of years back, right when I first moved to Tucson. Previously I’d encountered Temnoscheila only under the bark of dead trees, where they apparently prey on the larvae of other beetles. I’ve always wondered why a beetle that spends most of its time secluded in the dark would need such a brilliant metallic sheen, if the color serves a purpose or is just a spandrel.”

Ok I found 2 in my house…… so do you think it came In on some wood? We cut down and split our own…

That is a distinct possibility.  We read on iNaturalist that pine is a preferred host.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bark-Gnawing Beetle?
Location: Delmar, MD
October 26, 2015 3:45 am
Could this be a Bark-Gnawing Beetle? Thanks…
Signature: G Robinson

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear G,
You are absolutely correct that this is a Bark Gnawing Beetle in the genus
Temnoscheila as the images on BugGuide will verify.  BugGuide also notes:  “can inflict a painful bite if handled carelessly.” 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug at Yale BC
Location: Yale, BC
April 18, 2015 9:10 pm
My friend sent me this photo of a scarlet bug on his fire pit at Yale, BC but I have been unable answer his question as to what it is. I am sure I have seen it myself many years ago, but have not been able to find reference to it on the internet.
Signature: James

Red Flat Bark Beetle

Red Flat Bark Beetle

Dear James,
This looks like a Red Flat Bark Beetle,
Cucujus clavipes, and we suspect is was living on some wood your friend was going to burn in the fire pit.  According to Your Piece of the Planet:  “The Red Flat Bark Beetle, Cucujus clavipes, is typically found under the bark of ash and poplar.  Its flat shape allows it to easily move around under bark, and sometimes even into the tunnels of destructive wood borers and bark beetles, which it likes to eat.  This is beneficial, as it helps limit wood borer and bark beetle damage to the tree.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Temnoscheila
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas
May 30, 2014 2:46 pm
We have identified the green beetles on one of our red oak trees as temnoscheila.
We used a tree drench on it a few days ago to systemically rid the tree of the beetles, which are gnawing holes in the bark and making it fall off. But drench can take up to three months to work. Is there anything else you would recommend to help us? We don’t want to lose the tree.
We live in Wichita Falls, Texas, and are in a bad drought. We have been watering the trees with pond water, since we are not allowed to use city water on the yard.
We don’t see the beetles on any other trees (hope they don’t spread). Thanks.
I hope I sent the right picture of the beetles and not my dogs.
Signature: Ercie Hill

Metallic Green Borer Beetle

Metallic Green Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Ercie,
We are very excited to be able to post your image of this beautiful species that helps to return trees to humus.  We took the liberty of cropping and correcting your image of a Bark Gnawing Beetle.
  The BugGuide page on the genus  is a beautifully designed page.

Temnoscheila species

Temnoscheila species

Daniel, thank you.  Sorry my image was not better.  My camera doesn’t take very good close-up photos.
Any idea why the beetles are on the oak tree and how to talk them into going somewhere else?
Thanks again,
Ercie Hill

We have very good news for you Ercie, sort of.  We just received a complimentary copy of Arthur V. Evans’ new book, Beetles of Eastern North America, and here is what he has to say about Temnoscheila virescens:  “Adults and larvae found in pines infested with bark beetles and are important predators of Dendroctonus.  Adults prey on adult bark beetles, while their larvae consume Dendroctonus eggs and larvae.”  According to BugGuideDendroctonus:  “Breed on boles of conifers; sometimes kill healthy trees.”  So, you have photographed the predator, not the problem.  We would urge you not to take any action against this magnificent Bark Gnawing Beetle, even though its family name is deceptive.  It is feeding on the beetle that is the problem.  The material we are citing lists pines as the trees affected by the Bark Beetle, but that is not to say that the Bark Gnawing Temnoscheila might also prey on Bark Beetles that affect other trees, namely, your oak.

Daniel, thank you.  We’ve seen these beetles around here as long as I can remember, just never saw them on a tree.  I appreciate your responses – thanks so much.
Ercie


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination