Currently viewing the category: "Ground Beetles"

Subject:  Ground Beetle Larva
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 07/28/2021
Time: 11:33 AM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Yesterday while digging in the garden where he made a compost pile in April, Daniel encountered the predatory beetle larva, almost two inches long, and he moved it to another place in the garden where no new activity is planned.  Research on BugGuide indicates this is a Ground Beetle larva.

Ground Beetle Larva


Subject:  Beetle identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 08/19/2019
Time: 12:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this beetle? Found it in my house. Wondering if this is what killed one of my trees! Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Oklahoma Beetle

Ocellated Tiger Beetle

This harmless, predatory Tiger Beetle did not kill your tree.  We believe we have correctly identified it as an Ocellated Tiger Beetle thanks to this Gossamer Tapestry image and this BugGuide image.  We will be tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage in an effort to educate the public that every insect encountered is not a threat.

Cara on Facebook Asks:  Why do people kill first, then ask questions?!

Subject:  Big?
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey, USA
Date: 08/17/2019
Time: 03:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello daughter rescued this guy from our pool. He scurried away, was very fast. Looked to have front legs but back end more worm like
How you want your letter signed:  Cher Mom

Ground Beetle Larva

Dear Cher Mom,
Immature insects often present greater identification challenges than adult insects present.  We suspected this to be a Ground Beetle larva and we found supporting visual validation on Project Noah which has a similar looking image identified as a Pterostichini sp. and on BugGuide where a similar image is identified as a
Pasimachus species.   Ground Beetles are predators as larvae and adults and Caterpillars are often a preferred prey.

Subject:  Bug Lookup
Geographic location of the bug:  Morehead City, NC
Date: 07/22/2019
Time: 07:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just trying to find out what kind of bug it is.
How you want your letter signed:  No

Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle

This is a beneficial, predatory, Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle, Tetracha carolina, which we identified on BugGuide and on Flickr.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is “Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas; often near water. Hides under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day” and “Nocturnal. Comes to lights. Apparently, does not fly often.”

Subject:  Garden pest?
Geographic location of the bug:  Belgrade, Maine
Date: 06/12/2019
Time: 07:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw these tiny little perfect holes in my newly seeded beet bed and carefully excavated with a small twig, maintaining the integrity of the hole; when I got to about 5-6 cm. down this “scary” beast jumped up and attacked the stick! It’s about 1.5 cm long. Could this be what made for an unsuccessful beet bed last year?
How you want your letter signed:  Mary

Tiger Beetle Larva

Not at all Mary.  This is a beneficial, predatory Tiger Beetle larva.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  

Thank you! So wonderful- I was hoping it was one of the ground beetles! Not being sure, I set it free behind my house far from vegie garden, in my wildflower garden! Now I will know for sure and  will leave them be. This is the first year I haven’t rototilled, hoping to encourage beneficials.

Subject:  Unknown Bug Found While Hiking
Geographic location of the bug:  Gatlinburg, TN
Date: 01/21/2019
Time: 08:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I was walking along the Fighting Creek Nature Trail near the Sugarlands Visitor Center outside of Gatlinburg, TN when I saw this bug. I’ve tried googling it but can’t seem to find a match. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Matt

One Spotted Tiger Beetle:  Apterodela unipunctata

Dear Matt,
This is a predatory Tiger Beetle, and many species have metallic green coloration, so we decided to search BugGuide for a Black Tiger Beetle and quickly identified it as
Cicindelidia punctulata thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Overwinters as larva, adults present in summer. One- or two-year life cycle” which makes your January sighting quite unusual.  BugGuide data lists April sightings in Florida as the earliest sightings of the year, and most other states only report sightings from May to October.  Perhaps you took this image last summer?

Wow! Awesome – thank you so much!
And yes, you’re absolutely right it was taken last summer (late June)
Thanks again!

March 14, 2019a:  Correction and Comment from Timothy P Friedlander.
This is actually a very interesting tiger beetle, Apterodela unipunctata, and a good find. They are most active in late May, through June, into July, and prefer sandy woods. They seem to be mostly nocturnal, and less active in the day, and frequently “play dead” when disturbed. They resemble fast, black spiders as they run through the forest litter, and will hide under leaves.