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

Subject:  Scary Looking Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Island, NY
Date: 07/04/2018
Time: 12:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I’ve seen a few of these in our basement.  Any idea what it is?  Looks like it can bite…
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Grifftuh

Big Headed Ground Beetle

Dear Grifftuh,
This is a harmless Ground Beetle in the genus
Scarites.  Though the common name of Scarites subterraneus, according to BugGuide, is Big Headed Ground Beetle, the name could apply to the entire genus.

That’s great.  Thank you Daniel.  I appreciate you getting back to me!
-Mike

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  beetle ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Banks of Green River in western washington, near Auburn Washington
Date: 06/19/2018
Time: 04:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little guy on the bank of the green river in western Washington (June). Runs very fast, I only got picture while one was stopped. Appears to be tan or gold. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Larry Silsbee

Northwest Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle

Dear Larry,
This is a beneficial, predatory Tiger Beetle in the subfamily Cicindelinae, and based on images posted to The Xerces Society and BugGuide, we believe it is the Northwest Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle,
Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis.  According to BugGuide:  “Almost always in close association with a body of water i.e., sandy beaches of streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma
Date: 02/26/2018
Time: 01:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just wondering what bug this is
How you want your letter signed:  Diana

False Bombardier Beetle

Dear Diana,
This is a False Bombardier Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults eat other insects, especially caterpillars” and “Caution: These beetles have chemical defenses.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What am I?  I scared the people around me!
Geographic location of the bug:  San Francisco, CA USA
Date: 11/27/2017
Time: 04:22 AM EDT
Hello, I found this bug crawling across my bathroom floor.  I poured 70% alcohol over it and that stopped it. I took this picture after it dried.  It is about a 1/2 cm.  Should I be scared?  Do you think he was alone…
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you very much, Rick

Ground Beetle

Dear Rick,
This is a harmless (to humans), predatory Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae.  As Ground Beetles go, it is a small individual, with Caterpillar Hunters reaching about an inch and a half in length.  In our opinion, pouring alcohol on a harmless creature is Unnecessary Carnage.

Daniel,
Thank you for your quick response.  Point taken.  When I saw, what I now know to be a beetle, I called in my roommate.  He thought it was a bed bug– and we did kill it.   When we looked up close, we figured out it probably wasn’t a bed bug, but still didn’t know if it might be dangerous.  Now we know.
Thanks, Rick

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bugs on bugs.
Geographic location of the bug:  Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Date: 10/30/2017
Time: 12:39 PM EDT
Upon taking some photographs of a Granulated Carabid, I noticed that there was a smaller individual on the subject. Locating several other Carabids in the area, it was found that several individuals had these unknown hitchhikers, with numbers ranging between 0 and 4.
How you want your letter signed:  Scott

Mite on Ground Beetle

Dear Scott,
The creature you found on this Granulated Carabid is a Mite, and there are phoretic or hitchhiking mites that use beetles as a means of transportation.  Phoretic Mites are commonly found on Sexton Beetles in great numbers and the Mites take advantage of the flying Sexton Beetles to transport them to new locations to find food.  We know of no instances of phoretic Mites using Ground Beetles for transportation, so it is entirely possible that this particular Mite might have a more ominous reason for being on the Granulated Carabid you found.  Ground Beetle Macro Photography has an example of a Mite found on a Ground Beetle but there is no explanation.  This might be a phoretic Mite, but we haven’t the expertise with Mites to be certain.

Granulated Carabid

Mite

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle eating banana slug Southeast Alaska
Geographic location of the bug:  Juneau, AK
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Hi there! I see these beetles wandering the ground and on and under rotten logs all over Southeast Alaska and the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, British Columbia) and I have not been able to ID them! They have these wonderful purpleish abdomens and are maybe an inch long or less. This one was found with a baby banana slug in its jaws! What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks! -Mike J

Snail Eating Ground Beetle with immature Banana Slug

Dear Mike,
Your image is gorgeous.  We have several images on our site of Snail Hunters or Snail Eating Ground Beetles in the genus
Scaphinotus, but your image is the only one showing its preferred prey.  According to BugGuide:  “55 spp. in 9 subgenera total, all in our area.”  Several species are known from Alaska, including Scaphinotus angusticollis which is pictured on BugGuide and Scaphinotus marginatus which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Both species look very similar to your individual and we are not confident enough to provide an exact species identification for you.  According to Bugs of the Month:  “Scaphinotus angusticollis is large (satisfyingly so) and black, with a beauteous purple or greenish sheen in sunlight. The thorax is peculiarly shaped, turned up at the outer edges (a bit like a satellite dish), the legs are quite long and slender and the head is distinctly narrow and elongate. Truly the Afghan hound of the carabid world. The narrow head is an adaptation to eating snails from the shell. Now there are shelled snails in forests around these parts, but with forest clearing and the introduction of non-native pests, shelled snails are less frequent and slugs abound.”

Wow thank you for the thorough reply! They really are quite beautiful, and now I know that the beetles I see eating snails and on the ground are snail eating ground beetles 🙂 You are right, those two species are nearly identical, I guess if I was on the spotI would tell someone it was Angusticolus.

Thanks again!
Stay Curious

Mike Justa
Wildlife Naturalist
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination