Subject: Can I stop losing my mind?
Location: Brooklyn, NY
June 10, 2014 9:24 pm
I live in Brooklyn, with ever-present fear of bedbugs. Found this thing crawling on a shirt on top of a dresser today and about came unglued but later concluded it wasn’t a bedbug. It’s about 2.5-3mm long, and revealed wings only after it had flailed, stuck, upside down for a little bit in a small glass container I put it in to try to figure out what it was. I’ve put too much time into internet searches in my effort to identify this bug and thus figure out if I need to keep freaking out/do something. Any help you can provide with the ID would be much appreciated.
We don’t know anything about the loss of your mind, but if it is any consolation, it is our observation that a mind isn’t that important in the Third Millenium. As you have already determined, this is not a Bed Bug, and it sure looks to us like a beetle because of the clubbed antennae and what appears to be mandibles. We will do some research and attempt to identify your distinctive looking beetle soon. We plan to step away from the computer and read through Arthur V. Evans new book: Beetles of Eastern North America. We just had a curious thought, which we hope doesn’t put you over the edge, but we think this looks like a Carrion Beetle.
Carrion like dead meat? Am I dead meat?
Thanks–if it helps I can try to get a better photo of it now that it’s daytime and my daughter is not sleeping in the room with the real camera.
Freaky but interesting?
Thanks so much. Look forward (sort of?) to hearing back from you–
I did, btw, think it looked like some silphidae pictures last night but wasn’t sure, and I’m not cleaning any bones or anything around here, I promise!
It was crawling on a shirt my husband got free from a run in Central Park but that was last week and I thought he’d washed the shirt…?
Good Morning Evangeline,
We believe we have identified your beetle as a Bark Gnawing Beetle, Peltis septentrionalis, thanks to Arthur V. Evans new book: Beetles of Eastern North America, where it states: “Adults found under bark of conifers in association with red banded (Fomitopsis pinicola) and brown staining cheese (Oligoporus fragilis) polypores. Across Canada and northern United States; in eastern North America south to New York and Minnesota; Eurasia.” Here is an image from BugGuide. Your individual appears shinier, but other than that difference, which might be an illusion because of flash photography, we believe it is a good match. So, we hope we didn’t alarm you with the Carrion Beetle speculation.
You all are awesome!!! The bug is a bit shiny but looks very much like the one linked.
Correction, courtesy of Karl: June 12, 2014
Hi Daniel and Evangeline:
Close, but the carapace does not look right. I believe it is actually a Sap-feeding Beetle, probably a Six-spotted Sap-feeding Beetle, Prometopia sexmaculata (Nitidulidae: Nitidulinae). They are also known as Picnic Beetles. Regards. Karl