Fiery Searcher

Mystery Scarab Beetle at Env. Charter School
Location: Lutz, Florida
February 29, 2012 3:51 pm
Dear Bugman,
I teach at an Environmental Charter School in Lutz, Florida (just north of Tampa). One of our 5th grade students found this beetle walking around the campus last week. Since then, a number of others have been seen by students in other grades.
We did some research and think it is a member of the Euphoria genus of Scarab beetles. Can you tell us any more about it?
Thanks for all your hard work. We LOVE the website!
Jim McGinity
Learning Gate Community School
Lutz, FL
Signature: Jim McGinity

Fiery Searcher

Dear Jim,
Your beetle is a Ground Beetle, not a Scarab.  More specifically, it is a Fiery Searcher,
Calosoma scrutator, one of the Caterpillar Hunters.  According to BugGuide:  “Life cycle is one year, but adults long-lived, reported to live for up to three years. Adults attracted to lights. Eggs are laid singly in soil. Larvae pupate in earthen cells. Adults can overwinter.”

Thanks so much, Daniel.  The students are finding them all around the campus and with the bright colors they really attract attention.
Have a great day!

2 thoughts on “Fiery Searcher”

  1. These beetles also can emit a very unpleasant odor. We came across one in one of the isles of a retail store one evening. It ran very quickly. My daughter was about 8 at the time, and she picked up a cup from one of the shelves and put it over top of the beetle to “capture it” (this is an absolute necessity to an 8-year-old bug lover). Then that odor hit our nostrils. Wow, it was bad! Like a harsh metallic smell mixed with something else I really can’t even describe. Very potent. We couldn’t believe something so small could be so stinky. Very interesting beetles.


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