Currently viewing the category: "Scarab Beetles"

ID?
Hi, Bugman.
Can you identify the beetle in the attached photos? My dad has a bumper crop of them in his garden, about 30 miles outside of Dallas, TX. Love your site. Thanks for any wisdom you can impart. (My money’s on scarab beetle.)
amanda

Hi Amanda,
We wanted to be more specific than just a generic scarab beetle agreement, so we contacted Eric Eaton. He quickly wrote back: “Nice images. These are flower scarabs in the subfamily Cetoninae. They mimic bees, flying with the wing covers closed. This is probably Euphoria kerni, or a related species in that genus. Other possibility is Stephanucha sp., but they are apparently more northern, and also along the Atlantic coast. None of these are pests, just sometimes more abundant than usual. Eric”

Two More Puzzling Specimens
Dear Mr. Marlos?
Thank you very much for identifying my previous mystery insect: the Trichiotinous bee-scarab. It was one of several insects which I have yet to ID. If you and your colleagues would be so kind as to have a crack at naming another two specimens of mine, I would be most pleased. The first, found near my home on Vancouver Island is likely a dung beetle but of an unknown genus (to me). The second, from my region as well, has proven to be even more challenging to ID. I am not even certain of it’s family and I hesitate to call it a scarab even though it exhibits several anatomical features which resemble those of such a beetle. (See attached photos for both.) On a final note, might I request the urls of the best sites in your opinion that may aid me in my quests for further insect identification? This may save me from troubling you with more ID requests in the future. Thanks again,
Sandy.

Rugose Stag Beetle Bolboceras obesas

Dear Sandy,
We always love turning to a real beetle expert, Eric Eaton, with difficult identifications. Here is what he has to say: “Well, as luck would have it, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and both these species are familiar to me. Both are males. Females do not have horns. The top [first] image in your e-mail to me is of a rugose stag beetle, Sinodendron rugosum. They are usually found in rotting logs. The second image is of an earth-boring scarab (family Geotrupidae). The species is Bolboceras obesus. Females dig burrows terminating in cells which they provision with fine humus, which serves as food for their offspring (grubs). Neat insects. I’ve never seen one alive, but they are supposedly common. Thank you for sharing.”
Regarding our favorite websites, we recommend Angel Fire and for caterpillars, we like Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests.

A Mysterious Scarab Beetle
Hello, my name is Sandy and I am an insect enthusiast from British Columbia, Canada. I have written to your site (which is doing a wonderful service to the public) because I have failed to identify a particular scarab beetle specimen I have found. It and 2 others were collected on the flowers of a fire weed plant outside of Thunder Bay, Ont. in the summer of 2004. The actual size of the specimen in the photograph is roughly 1 cm. Hopefully the enlargement and the given information will aid you in an identification. Many thanks, I anxiously await your findings.
Sandy

Hi Sandy,
We wrote to Eric Eaton who is a specialist in beetles and he wrote back to us: “This is a species of [genus] Trichiotinus. They are difficult to ID to species without a key. Good mimics of bees, though.” Our beetle guide says they commonly occur on flowers during the day and readily take flight when disturbed.

bug i found
hey i live in australia [south coast] and i was walking along the beach on the hight tide line when i came across this beetle love to know what it is.I took few pics i dont think it was ment to be on the beach.
Matt

Hi Matt,
It is some species of Scarab Beetle from the Family Scarabaeidae. Many species are metallic green in color. They include the largest beetles known. You are correct in speculating the beetle probably did not belong on the beach.

Correction:  December 14, 2016
Thanks to a comment, we now know that this is a King Christmas Beetle,
Anoplognathus viridiaeneus, which is pictured on Australian National Botanic Gardens

Update:  February 1, 2017
We just posted the following comment on a Goldsmith Beetle posting, but it should really be included here:  you most likely encountered a Christmas Beetle in the genus Anoplognathus, possibly the King Christmas Beetle or Giant Christmas Beetle, Anoplognathus viridiaeneus, which is pictured on the Australian National Botanic Gardens site where it states: “This is probably the largest of that section of our insects known as Christmas Beetles. It is common in the bushland around Sydney and the north coast of New South Wales. Essentially a summer insect, it appears on the foliage of eucalyptus trees; where one is found you can be certain there will be others on the same tree.” We are very amused at the (now closed) competition held by the Australian Museum to give common names to nine species formerly known by only scientific names. According to the site: “These beautiful bugs are Aussie icons, heralding the coming of summer and Christmas. You might know the three kinds of Christmas Beetle in New South Wales that have common names: the King Beetle, Queen Beetle and the Washerwoman! But the other nine of the 12 species are known only by their Latin scientific names. So, the Australian Museum has run a competition for NSW residents to give common names to the nine nameless festive beetles. … Common names – unlike the Latin names used by scientists to identify species – are part of the everyday lexicon, so whatever is chosen will exist for generations to come.” On a sadder note, the Australian Museum also has a posting entitled “Where Have All The Christmas Beetles Gone?” where it states: “The evidence suggesting a decline is anecdotal yet compelling. In the 1920s, they were reported to drown in huge numbers in Sydney Harbour, with tree branches bending into the water under the sheer weight of the massed beetles. You won’t see that these days, and I’ve never seen a Christmas beetle come to light where I work, next to Hyde Park. While public concerns suggest that numbers are also much smaller in the suburbs, I’ve found at least five species near my home, clustered around street lights at the southern edge of Royal National Park, 55 kilometres south of Sydney.”

My “Peanut Butter Log” bug…
Hi there. You were so helpful to recently identify my pleocoma, for which I thank you! However, I’d be curious to know what type of bug this is. I call it a “Peanut Butter Log” bug as it reminds me of the little striped candies I used to like (and STILL like, if the truth be told). I’m in Northern California. These guys show up in summer months and I am quite fascinated with their markings. Thanks in advance for your awesome site!
–Michelle Mahood

Hi again Michelle,
Beautiful photo of a Ten-Lined June Beetle, either Polyphylla decemlineata or P. crinita. I saw my first live specimens several months back when they were attracted to lights at the campus I teach at in Pasadena. Adults feed on the needles of coniferous trees and make loud squeeking noises when handled.

Large yellow beetle
Bug Man,
My four year old son found this bug while camping… he quickly became attached to it and played with it for most of the morning! (a budding entomologist??); unfortunately the close up photo did not come out very clear. It was approx 1 inch long, bright yellow and unlike anything I’ve seen around here (central Saskatchewan , Canada ). The bottom was furry, much like the “Watermelon Bug” on your beetle page – though not striped. It had large legs that it used to help right itself when flipped on its back. Quite entertaining for the crowd of kids it attracted. A lady on the beach thought it was a “Japanese Dung Beetle” which she claimed to have encountered while farming cotton in the southern US – I’ve looked up pictures and this does not seem to be the case. Assistance with identification appreciated.
Thanks!
Guy

Hi Guy,
Identification is difficult because of the blurriness of the image. We sharpened it as much as possible, and believe it is a member of the genus Cotalpa. Here is a link with some good beetle photos, including Cotalpa lanigera and Cotalpa consobrina.