Currently viewing the category: "Net-Winged Beetles"

Subject: Isopod?
Location: Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada
August 6, 2012 8:58 am
Hi there – this looks like some sort of isopod, but I’ve not been able to find anything more specific. Perhaps it’s some sort of insect nymph instead? It’s maybe 1/2” long.
It was spotted in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada in August.
Signature: Jim

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Hi Jim,
This is a beetle larva, and even experts can have difficulty distinguishing a Net-Winged Beetle larva from a Firefly Larva.  Firefly Larvae are predators and most species feed on snails.  Net-Winged Beetle Larvae tend to feed on fungus, and the presence of the partially eaten mushroom in the background contributed to our speculation that this is most likely a Net-Winged Beetle Larva, though snails will also feed on mushrooms and this could always be a predatory Firefly Larva searching for snails at their food source.  Interestingly, we found this online posting on Myrmecos Blogof a larva that looks very much like your larva.  It was originally identified as a Net-Winged Beetle, but then changed to a Firefly Larva. 

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Thanks Daniel!  You may see that I had resubmitted my photo with a follow up question about whether it was a firefly larva, and it was in part because I also saw that same blog post.
I hadn’t considered the net winged beetle possibility.  I certainly do see beetles of approximately this type here in NS.  Even the adults look pretty similar to fireflies, don’t they?
Anyway, mystery (mostly) solved.
Incidentally, have there been any reports of a lack of fireflies across the continent this year, as with bees, and as with cicadas in some years?  I haven’t seen any fireflies at all in Nova Scotia this summer.

Fireflies were very plentiful in Ohio this June, and Pearl, our contact in Ohio reports that Fireflies were very common this summer, though thankfully, Japanese Beetles were noticeably absent.


Subject: Coleoptera
Location: Asia
July 25, 2012 12:35 am
Hi Mr. Bugman maybe you can help me ID this insect. I think this is a net-winged beetle.I’m not so sure though.Hope to hear from you 🙂
Thank you and more power!
Signature: Full name of the entomologist (or the one who did the ID) of the insect

Net-Winged Beetle

We agree that this is a Net-Winged Beetle.  We are not even going to attempt a species identification because Asia is such a large continent.

Long Nose Lycid Beetle
Location: Queensland Australia
November 15, 2011 8:18 am
Hi bugman, been a while since i sent you anything. I have went to Australia since my last submission.
What we have here is the Porrostoma rhipidium – Long nose Lycid Beetle. He is a very docile and somewhat curious critter. He crawled around on me while i took many shots.. then as I let him go, he landed beside of me and continued hanging around in the yard for another entire day.

Long-Nosed Lycid Beetle

Thanks so much for sending us this marvelous submission.  The Brisbane Insect Websitehas many excellent images of this species.  Members of the family Lycidae are commonly called Net-Winged Beetles and they are somewhat unusual in that they have soft elytra, unlike most beetles.  Now that winter is approaching in the northern hemisphere, we are expecting a surge in submissions from Australia if our typical annual cycle remains unchanged.

Long-Nosed Lycid Beetle


Orange/black mystery bug
Location: Radnor, Pennsylvania (suburban Philly)
August 16, 2011 7:07 am
I saw this insect sitting on my car this past week and don’t recall ever seeing it before. The body/wings are about 5/8” long and with the antennae it was just over 1 inch total length. I’ve so far not been able to get an ID on what it is.
Signature: Orla

Banded Net-Wing Beetle

Hi Orla,
This little beauty is a Banded Net-Wing Beetle,
Calopteron reticulatum.  It is a generally accepted theory that orange and black insects display aposomatic coloration to dissuade predators, either because they are dangerous, or poisonous, or don’t taste good.  The Banded Net-Wing Beetle is not dangerous or poisonous, and taste is relative.  It may be part of a complex mimicry system that includes some moths and some wasps.  The wasps sting, and insects that mimic them may benefit from the protection the wasps enjoy because of their stinging capacity.  This is speculative editorialization on the part of our staff, and not something we can cite.  You may turn to BugGuide for additional information on the Banded Net-Wing Beetle.

Wonders from Malaysian Borneo!
Location: Malaysian Borneo
August 12, 2011 9:09 pm
Hey Bug-people!
A challenge for you!
I took myself backpacking through Southeast Asia a while ago, and came back with some amazing pictures of bugs.
I’ve included three of what were to me the most fascinating and baffling varieties. Can you help me identify them?
Signature: Doug

Netwing Beetle Larva, or Firefly Larva

Hi again Doug,
We have split up your question into separate postings.  …  Your third insect is a larval Firefly not unlike this North American example.  Did we meet your challenge?

Wow!  I guess everything’s bigger on Borneo, because that larval Firefly was  nearly three inches long!
Thanks for that. The info about the flatworm was particularly fascinating.

Hi again Doug,
We are ready to research the Bornean Firefly Larva, though we cannot discount that it might be a Netwing Beetle Larvae.  Eric Eaton says the way to tell the difference it to introduce a snail.  If the beetle larva eats the snail, it is a Firefly Larva.  If it prefers fungus, it is a Netwing Beetle Larva.  We imagine that there may also be snail and fungus specificity in the preferences.  Here is an example from The Flying Kiwi of a Larviform female Netwing Beetle from Viet Nam, and here is another example of a Netwing Beetle and The Flying Kiwi‘s, AKA Richard Seaman’s, written account:  “I didn’t notice that this one in Malaysia was glowing, but it turns out that both this and the Vietnamese “firefly” aren’t fireflies at all, they’re actually the larvae of net-winged beetles in the genus Duliticola, otherwise known as “trilobite larvae” because of their prehistoric shape; the one you see here is Duliticola hoiseni.   The drops of liquid on this one’s back look like they are some toxic substance exuded for protection, I’m not sure if that was for my benefit or whether it was already feeling stressed when I arrived.” Interestingly, last year Bert traveled to Malaysia and he sent us a Netwing Beetle or Firefly Larva as well as a Land Planarian.  Though there are similarities, they are both distinctly different for your examples.  We imagine there is great diversity in the jungles, and there may also be distinct local populations that over time have developed into distinctly different looking relatives that may or may not be different species.

What is this bug?
Location: Wickenburg Arizona
May 24, 2011 8:19 pm
Found this a couple days ago crawling along the wall in the front yard. it’s about an inch+ long – we are located about 60 miles NW of Phoenix Arizona. Medium/High desert – summer will get highs of 105 and some nights below freezing in the winter. I asked my dad who has lived in this area for over 30yrs and he didn’t know what it was either. I just let it go on it’s way but got the photo first.
Signature: tammy

Newly Metamorphosed Net-Winged Beetle

Hi Tammy,
This is a Net-Winged Beetle.  Because of its engorged abdomen and the relatively small size of its wings, we believe it is a freshly metamorphosed individual.  The wings will increase in size and harden slightly so that the Net-Winged Beetle will be able to fly.  Net-Winged Beetles are frequently confused with moths.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Lycus based on photos and information posted to BugGuide.