The Spiritual Symbolism of the Ivory Marked Beetle Explained

The ivory-marked beetle is a fascinating insect that has captured the attention of many people due to its unique appearance and characteristics. The beetle, scientifically known as Eburia quadrigeminata, is a longhorned beetle with a brown to golden brown color and four pairs of ivory spots on their wings, each surrounded by a darker brown halo.

In various cultures and spiritual practices, insects and animals can hold symbolic meanings or represent spiritual concepts. For the ivory-marked beetle, one possible avenue for spiritual exploration is its resilience and longevity. The beetle’s larvae can bore deep into the heartwood of various deciduous trees, and adults have been known to emerge from finished furniture and flooring after 40 years. This remarkable lifespan and ability to withstand difficult conditions may be seen as a symbol of enduring strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Another aspect to consider when examining the spiritual meaning of the ivory-marked beetle is its striking appearance. The contrasting ivory spots against the dark brown wings can be interpreted as a visual metaphor for the balance between light and dark or the duality of life. This symbolic representation might resonate with individuals seeking to find harmony and equilibrium in their own spiritual journey.

Ivory Marked Beetle Spiritual Significance


The Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata, is a longhorned beetle with a unique appearance. Its wings have four pairs of ivory spots and each pair is surrounded by a darker brown halo. The beetle’s symbolism is deeply rooted in:

  • Transformation: Just like other beetles, the Ivory Marked Beetle undergoes metamorphosis, representing personal growth and life changes
  • Strength: Their ability to bore deep into heartwood of deciduous trees signifies determination and power
  • Passion: Their distinct and vibrant appearance reflects a strong inner drive and intensity
  • Protection: As a beetle totem, the Ivory Marked Beetle symbolizes a guardian spirit that helps ward off negativity

Spiritual Meaning

The spiritual meaning of the Ivory Marked Beetle revolves around several key aspects:

  • Connection: These beetles build a bridge between the physical and spiritual world, serving as a reminder of our innate spiritual connection
  • Spirituality: They inspire individuals to find meaning and purpose in both daily life and spiritual practice
  • Perseverance: As they can live remarkably long, with adults emerging from furniture after 40 years, they encourage resilience and persistence in overcoming challenges
  • Rebirth: The metamorphosis process exemplifies rebirth and the idea of constantly evolving as individuals
  • Resilience: Similar to the beetle spirit animal, the Ivory Marked Beetle exemplifies endurance and adaptability in the face of adversity

In summary, the Ivory Marked Beetle carries strong spiritual significance, encompassing transformation, strength, connection, passion, protection, and resilience. This beetle serves as a powerful symbol and spiritual guide for those who resonate with its energy.

Roles in Different Cultures and Religions

Ancient Egypt and Scarab Beetles

In Ancient Egypt, the scarab beetle was a symbol of resurrection and hope. They were revered due to their connection to the god Khepri, who was responsible for the rising sun and new life.

  • Symbolized Khepri’s role in rebirth and renewal
  • Often depicted in ancient art, jewelry, and amulets

Christianity Significance

Christianity also has some connections to the symbolism of beetles. They are seen as a representation of death and resurrection.

  • Associated with the spiritual transformation found in Christianity
  • Seen as a metaphor for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection

Celtic Symbolism

In Celtic culture, beetles play a role in their traditions and folklore. They are often associated with good luck and protection.

  • Represent the idea of metamorphosis in Celtic beliefs
  • Found in Celtic art and symbols of protection
Cultural Context Symbolism
Ancient Egypt Resurrection, hope
Christianity Death, rebirth
Celtic Culture Good luck, protection

Colors and Species Diversity

Black Beetle Symbolism

The black beetle, often associated with the scarab beetle, holds spiritual importance in many cultures. They symbolize protection, strength, and transformation:

  • Protection: Ancient Egyptians believed they shielded them from evil.
  • Strength: Their sturdy exoskeleton signifies resilience.
  • Transformation: They undergo complete metamorphosis from larva to adult.

Green Beetle Meaning

Green beetles, like the green June beetle, convey meanings related to prosperity and growth:

  • Prosperity: Their shimmering, green appearance represents abundance in life.
  • Growth: Their larval stage in the soil symbolizes personal development and transformation.
Beetle Type Symbolic Meaning Example
Black Beetle Protection, Strength Egyptian Scarab Beetle
Green Beetle Prosperity, Growth Green June Beetle

Jewel Beetle Spiritual Importance

Jewel beetles, known for their iridescent colors, signify spiritual awakening and the beauty of life:

  • Spiritual awakening: Their vibrant colors represent the discovery of inner wisdom.
  • Beauty of life: The iridescence symbolizes the variety and richness of life experiences.

In summary, the diverse range of colors and species in the beetle kingdom carries different spiritual meanings. Black beetles symbolize protection and strength, green beetles represent prosperity and growth, while jewel beetles signify spiritual awakening and the beauty of life.

Dreams and Totem Animals

Common Beetle Dreams Interpretations

  • Scarab beetles: Represent wisdom and good fortune in dreams
  • Colorful beetles: Signify creativity and transformation
  • Dead beetles: May indicate the end of a phase or situation

Dreams can hold significant meaning, and interpreting beetle dreams can provide insight into one’s life. For instance, scarab beetles, known for their connection to ancient Egyptian culture, are often seen as a symbol of wisdom and good fortune. Dreaming of colorful beetles may represent creativity and transformation, while encountering dead beetles may signify the end of a phase or situation.

Beetle as a Totem Animal

When a beetle appears as a totem animal, it brings with it a variety of characteristics:

  • Strong connection with the Earth
  • Dedication to hard work and determination
  • Ability to adapt and transform

These traits can guide individuals in their relationships and help them develop their instincts and decision-making skills.

As a totem animal, the beetle can teach valuable lessons through its unique qualities. For example, the beetle’s strong connection with the Earth encourages grounding and connection with the natural world. Its dedication to hard work and determination can inspire perseverance, while its ability to adapt and transform can assist in navigating changes and challenges.

Comparison of Scarab and Ivory Marked Beetle Symbolisms:

Scarab Beetles Ivory Marked Beetles
Wisdom Strongly associated Possible connection
Good luck Common symbolism Potential symbolism
Creativity Some interpretation Possible connection
Hard work Yes Yes
Transformation Prevalent Inherent

In conclusion, dreams and totem animals provide different perspectives to discover inner wisdom, recognize omens, and understand the significance of relationships. Embracing the beetle as a symbolic guide can help individuals deepen their connection to nature and gain confidence in their instincts and decision-making abilities.

Life Cycle and Natural World Connections

Beetle Life Cycle Stages

Beetles undergo a fascinating process called metamorphosis. Here’s a brief outline of their life stages:

  • Egg – A female beetle lays eggs, which hatch into larvae.
  • Larvae – These worm-like creatures, also known as grubs, grow and molt their skin several times.
  • Pupal – In this stage, the larvae transform into pupae, enclosed in protective cases.
  • Adult – Fully formed beetles emerge from their pupal cases to live, reproduce, and continue the cycle.

Beetles are often associated with qualities like patience and self-nurturing due to their slow and steady growth.

Beetle’s Connection to Earth and Harvest

Beetles play a vital role in the natural world, acting as scavengers, decomposers, and even pollinators. Some examples include:

  • Dung Beetles – These insects are known for their duty to clean up waste, actually promoting soil health and fertility.
  • Ants & Potato Beetles – Both insects have a complicated relationship with the earth. They can act as both pests and helpful organisms in maintaining ecological balance.

Connecting to themes of growth and harvest, beetles contribute to the wellbeing of the natural world, enabling new life and promoting nourishment. This connection to stability ties in with the spiritual notion of trustworthiness.

In summary:

Spiritual Features Life Stages/Beetles
Change Metamorphosis
New beginnings Egg
Growth Larvae, Pupal
Fertility Adult (Dung Beetle)
Soul N/A
Self-nurturing Adult (Duty)
Destiny N/A

Understanding the life cycle and natural world connections of beetles can provide insight into their potential spiritual meaning, particularly regarding transformation, growth, and our relationship with the earth.

Lessons, Meanings, and Good Fortune

Lessons from the Beetle

The Ivory-marked Beetle, a fascinating creature, offers spiritual lessons that can be applied to various aspects of life:

  • Goals: Like the beetle that lays its eggs in the heartwood of trees, we should focus on setting clear, deep-rooted goals.
  • Hard work: The beetle’s larvae bore deeply into the tree, symbolizing persistence and hard work needed to achieve our goals.
  • Courage: These beetles emerge after years in the tree, reminding us that it’s never too late to face our fears and take action.

Beetle Symbolism in Business and Career

The Ivory-marked Beetle’s characteristics can also be related to business and career success, such as:

  • Creativity: Its distinct ivory spots and long antennae inspire us to think differently and stand out in our professional fields.
  • Energy: Like the beetle’s high metabolic rate, maintaining high energy levels can propel us towards success and abundance.
  • Good fortune: The beetle’s lengthy lifespan is linked to the longevity and prosperity of businesses, attracting wealth and positive energy.

When comparing the spiritual meaning and lessons from the Ivory-marked Beetle in personal and professional aspects of life, we can observe the following:

Aspect Personal Lessons Business Lessons
Good fortune Afterlife & love Prosperity & wealth
Growth Courage Career & creativity
Resilience Hard work Energy

By applying these spiritual meanings from the Ivory-marked Beetle to our lives, we can seek prosperity, love, and success in both personal and professional domains.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Brown beetle, four white spots
July 20, 2009
I found this little fella flying clumsily around my room tonight and caught him in my handy dandy bug catcher (after he made a mad dash for my hair! yikes!) and I was wondering what he is. He’s 3/4″ in length, caramel brown, with four white spots on his back (technically 8, i think, but they’re in groups of 2).
Kina A.
Memphis, TN

Ivory Marked Beetle
Ivory Marked Beetle

Dear Kina,
Your beetle is an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata, one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae bore into heartwood of deciduous trees, esp. ash, hickory. May emerge from finished lumber years after milling

Letter 2 – Ivory Marked Beetle


can you identify the beetle in attached photo
I found two of these beetles on the farm where I live in eastern Iowa. Its body is about an inch long and its antenna are slightly longer. The body is tan with white (maybe light tan) spots as illustrated. The farm has a windbreak with white pines, spruce, mulberry, silver leaf maple, hackberry, and red oak. Also blackberries and raspberries.
Eugene Clark

Hi Eugene,
This is an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata and the larvae bore in the wood of many hardwood trees including ash and hickory. Adults sometimes emerge years after milling. Adults are attracted to rotting fruit.

Correction: (10/13/2005) Saperda cretata or Eburia quadrigeminata ??
Dear Bugman, I have spent several hours cruising your website and find it all very fascinating ! I did find one misidentification, or perhaps I am wrong. Attached is a photo of a Cerambycid beetle that is common here in Georgia (I am an avid collector of beetles). I have come to know this beetle as being the “Ivory Marked Beetle” or Eburia quadrigeminata. I have seen this beetle posted twice on this website and it was identified as the Spotted Apple Borer (Saperda cretata). You say these beetles are active during the day. I know from my experience that they are found at night actively crawling on sick/dying hardwood trees. I have never seen nor collected one during the day. Is it S. cretata or is it E. quadrigeminata ???

Thanks George. One of our reliable sources steered us awry on this one. The correction is much appreciated.

Letter 3 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Browsed your site..
I didn’t see this one. I live in Memphis, TN and found this crawling up the wall in the bathroom (Yeecch!). I think it flies, I’m not sure. It made a strange noise when I was putting the top of a "side salad" plastic lid over it to capture it without crushing it. Perhaps it was trying to tell me it didn’t like what was going on. Intrigued by the markings on the posterior, but have no clue at all what it is. Can you help ?

Hi Stephen,
This is the Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata. Larvae bore in the heartwood of ash, hickory and other hardwoods, and adults can emerge years after milling.

Letter 4 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Ivory-marked beetle?
Hello – My wife found what I think is an Ivory-marked beetle on our rosemary plant. Thought you might like to add the photo to your collection. If you get a chance, please let me know if I got the ID correct. Thanks.

Hi Dave,
You are correct. This is an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata.

Letter 5 – Ivory Marked Beetle


What bug is this?

Hi Jim,
This is an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata.

Letter 6 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Photos from Bedford, VA
These photos were taken in Bedford, VA on Tuesday July 10, 2007 at roughly 7:20 AM. I have no clue what it is, as I have never seen it around here before.
Bill Wo¯denhelm

(Just in case the vowel in my last name didn’t show up properly, it’s the letter “O” with a macron (straight line))

Hi Bill,
This is a wonderful photograph of an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata. Adults are attracted to rotting fruit and according to BugGuide: “Larvae bore into heartwood of deciduous trees, esp. ash, hickory. May emerge from finished lumber years after milling.” Sorry, our software added a space in your name that does not exist to accomodate the macron.

Letter 7 – Ivory Marked Beetle


long horn?
Hi bugman its Adrian again from georgia I found this
weird beetle on my porch… its a longhorn
that resambles banded hickory borer. Can you identify it?

Hi Adrian,
What a beautiful specimen of Eburia quadrigeminata, the Ivory
Marked Beetle, one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles in the
family Cerambycidae.

Letter 8 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Subject: bug identification
Location: North of Pittsburgh, pa
August 18, 2017 5:45 am
found this bug in our window-August. Live in Cranberry Township, pa..north of pittsburgh. Taken on August 17, 2017 on very warm day.
Signature: CB, PA

Ivory Marked Beetle

Dear CB, PA,
This is an Ivory Marked Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include a wide variety of hardwoods (oak, ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, maple, elm, beech, cherry); larvae bore in heartwood.”

Letter 9 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Subject:  What is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Indianapolis Indiana
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 04:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have never seen a bug that looks like this please tell me what it is i live in  Indianapolis Indiana and i just took that picture in my grandfather’s breazway
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you in advance Taneil Holt

Ivory Marked Beetle

Dear Taneil,
This is an Ivory Marked Beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include a wide variety of hardwoods (oak, ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, maple, elm, beech, cherry); larvae bore in heartwood.”

Letter 10 – Ivory Marked Beetle


Subject:  Bug that bit son
Geographic location of the bug:  Lebanon jct.  KY.
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 12:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What type of bug is this?
How you want your letter signed:  Bill A.

Ivory Marked Beetle

Dear Bill,
This is an Ivory Marked Beetle,
Eburia quadrigeminata, and like many other members of the Longhorned Borer Beetle family Cerambycidae, it does have powerful mandibles that it will use to defend itself, however it has no venom nor poison, so it is actually quite harmless.  Unless someone has extremely thin skin, we highly doubt a bite would even break the skin, but your query did not include many details.  We would probably describe the “bite” as more of a pinch.  According to BugGuide:  “Notorious for emerging from furniture after as many as 10-40 yrs .”

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and you are correct it was a strong pinch it emerged from the couch in the room where he was at he is fine mostly scared him we will release it outside today again thank you so much


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44 thoughts on “The Spiritual Symbolism of the Ivory Marked Beetle Explained”

  1. I just had one of these nasty looking bugs on my umbrella outside – ewwwwww and it is 2:49 pm so yep they are out during the day…..

  2. I just found one of these guys walking on my couch. Are they common in the NE US? Are they dangerous to the house structure? Is there a natural deterant if so?

  3. My Mom’s kitchen ceiling and walls are made of old barn wood and when it was first put in we had strange insects galore for the first year or so that was 10 years ago. This afternoon after a hard rain I noticed some water coming in around the chimney and then one of the Ivory Marked Beetles came down I assume he didn’t like the water. I was wondering if he had been hanging out in the wood this is the first one I’ve seen.

  4. i found a beetle like this in my room except with 6 DOTS on it. And as I held it dow n because I was trying to get to a door and throw it outside but it was biting me and I dropped it. I’m a little scared now because he was creeping on my shoulder and it was a big Beatle that looked similar to this but I don’t know anything about the beetle. Any answers on what it is?

  5. So I just got home and I found one . Of these Ivory Marked Beetles on my back door outside. I didn’t know what it was, so I got a sandwich bag and put it in and it bit me through the bag.

  6. I noticed this beetle flying around in my bedroom and I almost ran through the door, but instead I found the fly seat and gave it a hard swat, it didn’t kill it then I had to find it and it was hanging on my lamp shade, I knocked it to the floor, had my grandson take a picture while I was holding it with a paper towel and was making a strange sound like an outer space creature. I mashed him and flushed down the drain. I pray I never run into one again, it is something evil about that insect.

    • You did not clarify what you mean by “harm humans” so we will err in the direction of caution and state “Yes, Ivory Marked Beetles might harm humans” and we will pose a scenario. A person with a morbid and irrational fear of insects is driving a car with the window opened. An Ivory Marked Beetle might enter the vehicle and startle the driver. The driver might lose control and wreck the car, causing grave personal bodily harm or possibly even harming others. Barring such an extreme example, Ivory Marked Beetles do have strong mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled, and the bite might cause a slight pinch, but the Ivory Marked Beetle is not poisonous, so no lasting damage will occur. Is a slight pinch harm? You decide.

  7. When they are babies, or whatever the term for a preteen bug is, what do they look like? I live in NC and just found one of these ivory beetles, but have found about 3 smaller, similar looking bugs, they lacked the white dots, but had a design that looked almost like tree bark

  8. Just found one in the corner of my kitchen. Not a fan of bugs, although for a bug it’s kinda cute with the markings…hubby trying to move him now…glad to know he flies!

  9. We found one of these cute guys tonight in the TX panhandle, in my empty tea cup on the porch. I’ve never seen one before in my 30 years of life, most of which have been lived curiously investigating bugs. Our friend thought he was dead and showed him to me, and I poked a stick towards his legs and he gratefully grabbed on. For the record, he only had two sets of spots. Does that mean he was a young bug?

  10. I have lived in central Indiana about 60 yrs and I have never seen this Ivory Marked beetle. Good to know he is not harmful ! Squished him in paper towel, hard shell took a little effort. After reading your article if I find another one I will turn him loose outside ! Thanks, Phil

  11. One of these just crawled down my arm and buzzed and scared the tar out of me, kids got a good laugh and he got put outside. Wondering if he could have been bored into the wood floor or trim in the house? We just bought a 140 year old house with lots of wood. I know death watch beetles can hide in trees and hatch decades after it’s become lumber. Can these guys do that too?

    • The Ivory Marked Beetle is a native species, and to the best of our knowledge, they do not pose a threat in the decimation of ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer is a documented threat, as it is not native and does not have natural enemies in North America. Read about the Emerald Ash Borer on Emerald Ash Borer Info.

  12. I found one in my room and poked it with a remote control. It made a weird sound (that I can’t describe)and I then put it inside a water bottle. I found one bigger bug then the one before and instead of killing it my mom set it LOOSE. I’m scared that more will come back and (as I learned through comments and websites) bite or mess my wood iteams up. AND THEY FLY! Please someone give me advice on what to do.

  13. I just found one in Loveland, Ohio. Do we need to have our trees treated? Or worry about them getting in our home? We have a lot of wood work. Trim work, wood floors.
    Thank you

    • According to BugGuide: “hosts include a wide variety of hardwoods (oak, ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, maple, elm, beech, cherry); larvae bore in heartwood” and “Notorious for emerging from furniture after as many as 10-40 yrs.” We don’t know how you would treat your trees, and we suspect anyone you contact to treat your trees would sooner separate you from your money than they would actually make a difference. This is a native species and we seriously doubt it will kill a tree unless that tree’s health was already seriously compromised. We also do not believe they will infest milled lumber, so your wood wor, trim work and wood floors should all be safe from infestation from Ivory Marked Beetles. Termites would be a much more viable threat.

  14. Brown and white or tan ish whit looking better with weird swirl markings two black ovals above eyes? Is this a postal beetle? It doesn’t look like the pictures I’ve seen though.

  15. I just had one of these tan bugs with four white spots on it. It flew to the wall . I’m wondering . Is there more in my house. We just got alot of wood to be split outside. WHERE did it come from.??? Please let me know if you can

  16. Just came in from Golf. Found one of these guys on the floor next to my couch. I actually found him by accident stepping on him.i didnt crush him but at first thought in the “Roach” family. My question is are there usually more to look for. Never saw one but there are what seems to be a bunch of “New” species of bugs coming around.(Jersey Shore)
    “Should I worry about more?”

  17. One just found me as I was washing dishes at 2 30 pm here in Huntsville, Al. Downright scared the bejesus out of me. I described it as literally having Rams horns, nice to know they arent carnivorous. Thanks.

  18. I just found one of these critters on the floor in my upstairs hallway. Creeped me out. I took a picture and tossed it outside. I live in southern Michigan. Are these bugs bad?

  19. Thanks for all the q&a’s. First ivory marked beetle ever, and I’m 72! Weird tickle on my back, glad I tapped him to the floor. Probably b/c grandson is doing yard work this week. Appreciate info. He has gone to a far better place near our creek.


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