Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Red and black haf inch beetle
June 19, 2009
This little guy has been perplexing me for years. It was about a half inch long, and flew onto the door latch right infront of me. It was slow moving and calm. It had a black head with small flecks of red underneath by the jaws, and the black tapered to a point halfway down the back, leaving the sides of the wings red. I’ve seen a lot of beetles while searching this, that have a similar color pattern, but they are the opposite, with red bodies and black wings. This guy has me stumped.
love the site, keep on buggin
Abi
Upper peninsula MI

Scarlet Malachite Beetle
Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Hi Abi,
We are trying to catch up on some unanswered emails by skipping around until we find an interesting request.  Your beetle is a new one for us, so we did some research on bugGuide.  This is a Scarlet Malachite Beetle,
Malachius aeneus, one of the Soft-Winged Flower Beetles.  BugGuide lists the range as:  “across southern Canada and northern United States, south in the east to at least North Carolina, south in the west to Oregon  also occurs in Europe, western Asia, and the Middle East  introduced to North America (no info available on date or location).”  This remark on BugGuide is also quite interesting:  “In 2005, Buglife, a UK charitable organization devoted to the conservation of invertebrates, lauched the Scarlet Malachite Beetle Project, requesting members of the general public to report sightings of Malachius aeneus, whose numbers have declined in England in recent years. A number of clubs and groups (examples: 1, 2, 3) have joined the project, which has generated a good response and involvement from the public, and has helped to raise awareness of invertebrate conservation issues in general.”

9 thoughts on “Scarlet Malachite Beetle”

  1. We have them in Massachusetts. I live on the north shore, I spotted a couple of them last year in mid spring around this time indoors and just saw another one today. Put him outside in the lavender but damaged one of his legs while trying to take him off a window screen, hopefully he makes it.

    Reply
  2. We currently have an infestation of these bugs, and live in Southern California. We are in the middle of a very serious drought. Would that have anything to do with that?

    Reply
  3. Found one in our house, in a rural area near Edmonton, Alberta. I had put it outside before I read that it may damage wheat!

    Reply
  4. I live in Maine, USA and I didn’t see any of these in recent years but this year they are all over my windows, mating quite frequently. I had to look them up because I have never seen one before, they are quite pretty for an insect. I see that they are rare in the UK so I won’t be killing them.

    Reply
  5. We just found one. We live in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Took some searching to identify this northern invader. My son was so excited because he thought he discovered a new species.

    Reply
  6. I have had them on my peonies for a couple of years and this year I am finding them on the irises in the same flower bed. Each year there seems to be more but just in this particular thick flower bed.

    Reply

Leave a Comment