Currently viewing the category: "Ground Beetles"

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.

Subject:  Large green beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwest indiana
Date: 09/08/2018
Time: 01:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have been unable to find a matching picture of this large bettle
How you want your letter signed:  Laura Redenbaugh

Fiery Searcher

Dear Laura,
Commonly called a Fiery Searcher,
Calosoma scrutator is one of the Ground Beetles known as Caterpillar Hunters.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae prey on caterpillars. Adults will climb trees in search of their prey.”

Subject:  Large Black smooth beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Oklahoma City
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I am 41 and first time I have ever seen this beetle. Was not able to locate a match for Oklahoma or Texas. Was about an inch long. Looked like very strong pinchers and was trying to come in front door. It is mid August late morning
How you want your letter signed:  Very curious

Pedunculate Ground Beetle

Dear Very curious,
This is a Pedunculate Ground Beetle in the genus
Pasimachus, and according to BugGuide:  “Large, extra-robust, flightless ground beetles (elytra fused into rigid shell). Huge jaws, head, pronotum. Some have blue margins. Typically run about under or on leaf litter in forests.”  They are beneficial predators that are harmless to humans.

Subject:  Ground Dwelling bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Henderson, KY
Date: 08/08/2018
Time: 03:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey Bugman!
I been seeing these little holes in the ground, with a bug head in em. I’m curious so for past 2 weeks been trying to lure out the dam things.
Today i managed to make a trap where i could get it out the hole.
I got it out, and took some photos. Google reverse image  search is coming yp with nothing.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, The Dude Man

Tiger Beetle Larva

Dear The Dude Man,
First off, congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of The Big Lebowski.  Secondly, and probably more importantly, we are thrilled with your awesome images of a Tiger Beetle Larva, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology website:  “The newly-hatched larva enlarges the hole and burrows perpendicularly to the soil surface. This is accomplished byloosening the soil with its mandibles and using its head and thorax like a shovel to carry the soil. At the surface, the larva flips the soil backward off its head. There are three larval stages, and larvae enlarge and lengthen their burrow as they grow. The burrow may be 18 inches or more in depth, depending on the substrate. While in their burrows, larvae can survive without food for weeks and can also survive temporary flooding. They do not leave their burrow under normal circumstances but often wait at the burrow entrance to ambush small arthropods. When a suitable victim is near, the larva attacks with lightning speed. It throws its head (usually backward) to grab the prey with its sickle-shaped jaws. Then, it pulls the prey down into the burrow to devour it. Somewhat like a spider, larvae secrete digestive enzymes to help break down their food before ingestion. Tiger beetle larvae are unique in that they have hooks located on the back of their abdomen to anchor them to the side of the burrow while they subdue large prey. Tiger beetle larvae, in turn, are fed on by hister beetles, birds, and ants, and are parasitized by bombyliids (bee flies) and several wasps. The larval period may last up to four years depending on the species.”  We hope you were able to return this Tiger Beetle Larva to its hole.

Tiger Beetle Larva

Hole of a Tiger Beetle Larva

Subject:  Eleodes?
Geographic location of the bug:  Thornton Colorado 80241
Date: 08/05/2018
Time: 02:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found a lot of these guys running around a school. Followed by a lot a questions about what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you for your help!

Ground Beetle

This is definitely not a Desert Stink Beetle in the genus Eleodes.  It is a beneficial, predatory Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae.  Here is a similar looking individual pictured, but not identified, on BugGuide.

Ground Beetle

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!