Checkered Beetle Carnage

Subject: Never seen a bug like this in my 32yrs.
Location: Northern illinois
July 23, 2016 8:33 pm
At first glance I thought it was an ant….and so did my 3yr old who was freaking out yelling about it climbing on the chair in the house by her.
We live in northern Illinois. Its hot, and humid currently.
After killing said big I looked at it and realized its like no ant I’ve seen before. In fact I’ve never seen this bug before. I’ve searched the depths of the internet high and low trying to identify it.
I think it may be a beetle of some sort?
It is the only one we have seen here at home.
Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Amber Johnson

Checkered Beetle Carnage
Checkered Beetle Carnage

Dear Amber,
This is a beneficial Checkered Beetle in the family Cleridae, and we believe we might have correctly identified it as
Enoclerus ichneumoneus thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “predaceous on other insects, larvae mostly on wood- and cone-borers; some adults feed on pollen; a few species are scavengers.”  We hope that should you encounter a Checkered Beetle in the future, you would not allow your child’s “freaking out yelling” to cause another incident of what we consider to be Unnecessary Carnage.  We shudder to think of the carnage that would occur if every parent quickly dispatched every creature that ever caused a child to cry, be it a beetle, a baby deer or a person who might just appear to be different.

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