Currently viewing the category: "Beetle Larvae"

Subject: Glow worm?
Location: Rimrock, AZ
April 25, 2017 8:27 pm
Found this on the floor of my apartment tonight. What is it?
Signature: Laura

Bioluminescent Larva

Dear Laura,
This does not look like a typical Glowworm to us.  Glowworms or Railroad Worms are the larvae of beetles in the family Phengodidae.  This doesn’t look like a Firefly Larva from the family Lampyridae either.  It does look like a Wireworm, the larva of a Click Beetle.  There are bioluminescent Glowing Click Beetles in the genus Deilelater, but we have not been able to locate an image of the larva.  BugGuide only lists North American sightings in Texas and Florida, however, BugGuide does indicate “
D. physoderus GA-FL-AZ, Mexico.”  Though that is circumstantial, our best guess right now is that this might be the larva of a Glowing Click Beetle.

Subject: Creepy centipede-like insect
Location: Cavite, Philippines
May 24, 2015 1:13 am
Hi! My brother found this odd looking centipede in our house. Definitely, this is not a centipede because it only got 6 legs. I tried doing some research but can’t find any match. We’ll really appreciate it if you can help us identify this creature.
Thanks, WTB!
Signature: Jop

Beetle Larva

Beetle Larva

Dear Jop,
Without doing any research, we suspect this is a Beetle Larva, most likely the larva of a Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae.  Carabidae of the World has some very similar looking images of a species identified as
Carabus (Morphocarabus) karpinskii.  This most resembles larvae of the Caterpillar Hunters, a group of large predatory Ground Beetles.  We have not had any luck matching your images to online images from the Philippines.

Probably Ground Beetle Larva

Probably Ground Beetle Larva

Hi Daniel,
Wow! It’s a larva. It must be a very big beetle then when it matures because this larvae measures around 2 and a half inches.
Thanks Daniel for your response!
We appreciate it.

Subject: Weeping Willow Bug?
Location: North Carolina
October 14, 2012 11:27 am
Found this cocoon like bug on my weeping willow…what is it?
Signature: Does not matter

Beetle Pupae

Dear Does not matter,
These are Beetle Pupae, and our first thought is that they are most likely some species of Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  We are entertaining the possibility that they might be Imported Willow Leaf Beetle pupae,
Plagiodera versicolora, which we learned about on BugGuide.  Alas, BugGuide doesn’t have many pupae photos and those seem to be from the wrong angle to be certain.  They could also possibly be Lady Beetle pupae like the V-Marked Lady Beetle pupae pictured on MoBugs

Mealworm confusion, looking for expert
December 18, 2011 7:44 pm
I know you’re terrifically busy in all senses of the word ‘terrific’, but I was hoping you might ask your entomologist backup crew to get in touch.
I’m starting out with mealworms and have some rather odd things going on in the colonies.  Major size differences in larval stage just before pupation and in pupae is only the beginning…!
I’m suspecting a mix of species, but which species?  Need to know so I can give them each their optimum environments, and I’m totally lost. 🙂
Have pics, can send, can take more…
And any help, as always, is wonderfully appreciated!
Signature: Pamela Alley

Mealworm Pupae

Mealworm pupae size difference
Location: N. California
December 18, 2011 7:55 pm
You ROCK, folks…!
This is a picture of a darkling beetle, matured from one of my mealworm colony pupae–and in the next pictures, you can see there is a huge size difference between two distinct groups. Supplier A’s mealworms are larger at pupation and make large pupae; Supplier B’s mealworms are pupating at a smaller size and result in smaller pupae.
I suspect a mix of species–let me know what photos will be most helpful in ID’ing the darn things?
Thanks so very much for all you do–I swear, I recommend you to about six teachers a year. *evil grin*
Signature: onafixedincome

Mealworm Pupae

Ed. Note:  These two emails came minutes apart, and despite the different signatures and email addresses, we suspect they have the same origin.

Darkline Beetle: Mealworm

Dear Pamela and/or Onafixedincome,
Since your two emails came minutes apart, and deal with a similar subject matter, we suspect they are related despite different signatures and different email addresses.  Please confirm our suspicions.  Additionally, since only onafixedincome sent photos, we are treating this as a single posting and we will respond to both together.  Mealworms are a common commercial name for the larvae of Darkling Beetles that are raised as food for a variety of pets including larger tropical fish, turtles, lizards and frogs.  The Aquatic Community website has a nice page on Raising Mealworms.  The common commercial species is the Yellow Mealworm,
Tenebrio molitor, though we suspect other species may also be raised commercially, which might be one explanation for the size discrepancy you have witnessed.  Individual species also have considerable variation in size from individual to individual, and this may be partially explained by genetic traits.  Perhaps one supplier has individuals that are passing on a gene that is producing smaller larvae and pupae, and this is producing smaller adults.  We hope someone with experience will provide a comment to this posting, though sometimes comments take years to be posted.  We would recommend that you place a comment to this posting so that you will be notified in the future if there are any comments or answers to your questions.

Whups!  My apologies, wasn’t trying to be sneaky…Just brainless as usual, which takes little effort. 🙁
I wasn’t going to send you pics, because they are ‘domestic’ insects, then thought you might find them fun, if not useful, so posted them.  The difference in emails was a screwup, and I am sorry.
Any rate, I appreciate your input as always!–can’t imagine how you manage to keep up with all this stuff.
Given the current average of malformation (50%+) thus far on the large pupae, I’m leaning toward the theory that these were treated with with growth hormone to get size–and that the beetles from these may well turn out sterile. 🙁
So, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see….Much obliged for the link, it’s always good to learn as much as you can when raising anything, even bugs! 🙂
Again, you ROCK!!!
And of course, thank you so very much. 🙂

Do you know what kind of bug this is?
Location: Charlotte, NC
October 9, 2011 11:10 pm
Hi there,
This bug was outside my door yesterday. I live in Charlotte, NC. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Charlotte, NC


Hi Charlotte,
Had you turned off the lights, you might have been treated to seeing this Glowworm in the genus 
Phengodes glow, like this image from our archives.

Thank you so much!  My friends thought it was a palmetto bug egg/larvae, etc.  Whew.  I am relieved!

Young Palmetto Bugs look just like adults, but smaller and without wings.

Having trouble identifying this guy!
Location: Vancouver
October 8, 2011 7:35 pm
Hi! I found this bug on the forest floor. Consulted my Bland identification book but can’t determine what it is!
Signature: David

Caterpillar Hunter Larva

Hi David,
This is the larva of one of the Caterpillar Hunters in the genus
Calosoma.  The adults are large active Ground Beetles that often have metallic coloration.  Both larvae and adults are ravenous feeders that consume caterpillars.  We would much rather see living specimens than preserved specimens in bottles.

Thank you Daniel, I will try my best to snap pictures before preserving or pinning them next time.

Thanks David,
We realized your specimen was for a collection.  Our real issue is with people who squash everything they see and then send us photos of mangled corpses for identification.