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16 Types of Beetles in Ohio with Pictures

Beetles in Ohio thrive in diverse habitats, ranging from woodlands to urban environments. With over 2,000 species identified, they play crucial roles in ecosystems.

From the common Ant-like Longhorn Beetle to the elusive Desert Stink Beetle, Ohio hosts a wide array of beetle species. These insects serve various ecological functions, including pollination, decomposition, and pest control.

The article below will summarize the 16 most common beetle species found in Ohio, as well as their identification and characteristics.

Different Types of Beetles in Ohio

Dung Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Renowned for their incredible strength, dung beetles may bury up to 250 times their body weight in excrement in a single night. Their primary food source is animal feces, although several species have evolved to make use of them exclusively.

Others gather into balls of dung and place their eggs within before rolling them away for food. These beetles, also known as coprophages, are found in warmer areas that are rich in animal manure, such as Ohio. They are essential to the recycling of nutrients.

Furthermore, their larvae flourish in substrates deficient in nutrients, aiding in the process of decomposition—thus their other name, scarab.

Desert Stink Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

The Desert Stink Beetle is a desert-specific species that is well-known for its defensive stench, which it emits to ward off predators. The smell, which is often described as a combination of sour milk, rotting cilantro, and vinegar, is repulsive.

But if you come into these beetles, they usually won’t hurt you unless you irritate them. Their peculiar qualities make them fascinating to many, even with their strong defense.

Luckily, the smell goes away fast, and most animals don’t seem to dislike these bugs at all.

Tiger Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Tiger beetles, known for their voracious appetite, prey on smaller insects like ants and termites. Ohio hosts a variety of species, with the orange-spotted tiger beetle being the most common in woodland areas. Globally, there are approximately 400 species, with over 250 in the United States alone and 18 identified in Ohio.

Sporting bright colors on their forewings, these beetles warn predators of their potent bite or sting. They inhabit open fields and meadows, hunting prey during sunny mornings or evenings.

Tiger beetles exhibit diverse hunting strategies, from laying eggs under bark or grass stems near ant colonies to foraging along shorelines or near wetlands for aquatic prey like snails, worms, tadpoles, and frogs.

They mostly hunt soft-bodied invertebrates such as flies, aphids, bees, wasps, and spiders, with insects making up about 90% of their diet.

Ground Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

As members of the Carabidae family, ground beetles are important predators in both agricultural and garden settings. In Ohio, these beetles are active at night and may fly towards light sources when disturbed.

They are frequently found under logs, stones, or plants, as well as in leaf litter or bark scales. Being predators by nature, their main prey includes invertebrates like millipedes, centipedes, and sowbugs, as well as insects like roaches, slugs, snails, and earwigs.

They occasionally eat small animals like frogs, mice, and lizards, biting and chewing their food with their strong jaws.

Ground beetles are normally not aggressive, but if their nests are disturbed, they may bite. This highlights the need to exercise caution when gardening or engaging in outdoor activities after dark.

Scarab Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Within the Coleoptera order, scarab beetles comprise over 30,000 species. They are distinguished by their strong oval forms and compact, hefty body composition. The larvae of scarab beetles feed on decomposing plants, animal corpses, manure, and other organic items found in soil, while the adult beetles mostly consume plant matter such as leaves and flowers.

Families of scarab beetles have a variety of traits, such as preferred habitats and body shapes. Within the family of scarab beetles, each subgroup—from cylindrical Cybister beetles to elongated Dynastinae, narrow-bodied Phanae, and skinny Geotrupinae—displays distinctive characteristics.

Furthermore, Mycetophilidae are not closely related, despite sharing a feeding behavior with scarab beetles by devouring fungus.

Long-Horned Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

In Ohio, long-horned beetles are frequently seen, especially in the late summer and early fall. Though they have a frightening look, they are not harmful to people because they cannot bite or sting.

They eat insects like ants, just like Longhorn Beetles that resemble ants. Their food, which includes ants, crickets, flies, and cockroaches, may differ according on their habitat.

Males have characteristic horns, and females have an ovipositor to lay eggs in dead wood. The species’ survival is ensured by frequent mating, with a lifespan of approximately six weeks.

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Before hibernating for the winter, the Eastern Eyed Click Beetle, like many other beetles, mostly feeds on leaves and plants. They have been observed to feed on maple trees and facilitate decomposition. Their wide diet, however, can seriously harm crops, including coffee, soybean, and maize beans.

The huge eyes of these 2-4 mm Ohio beetle, with its yellowish-brown bodies and unique triangular heads, give them their name. Identification is essential when coming across one; release it if it doesn’t represent a hazard. If not, it is advisable to set traps or take action against possible invaders.

Fire-colored Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

The diet of the fire-colored beetle is varied; it eats lichens, mushrooms, snails, and decomposing leaves. With the help of their long, thin legs that allow them to fit through the cracks in tree trunks, its larvae primarily consume fungus that grow on the forest floor.

Because of their cyanide-filled bodies, these beetles have an unusual defense mechanism that keeps predators away.

They live under rocks or in abandoned animal burrows in Ohio. The larvae of these species can go up to three years without food before they become adults.

Ant-like Longhorn Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

The most common beetle species in Ohio, the Ant-like Longhorn Beetle, is found all year long on herbaceous plants, deciduous trees, and shrubs. Adults are identifiable by their black color and ant-like antennae. They feed on live insects, whereas larvae, which are initially cream in color, eventually turn brownish and mostly eat dead insects.

It’s interesting to note that some ant species shield these beetles from potential predators. When found indoors, it is important to assess whether it poses a threat.

Antelope Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Due to their size and unique markings, antelope beetles are easily recognized. They are larger than many other beetle species, growing up to half an inch long, with black bodies and two bright orange stripes on their wing coverings. Their larvae have black bodies with white patches on their heads that resemble skulls, and they can grow up to 3/4 of an inch in length.

By eating almost 100 aphids a day, they help reduce aphid populations by feeding on a variety of plants. It’s critical for personal safety to know how to recognize these beetles because some can sting or contaminate clothing and furnishings.

Acorn Weevil

Beetles in Ohio

As its name implies, the Ohio-native Acorn Weevil is a kind of beetle that lives on oak trees. These beetles eat acorns, breaking through their shells with their jaws to obtain nourishment. Although acorns make up the majority of their diet, more information about the other plants they eat is required.

Larvae are between 1/2 and 1 inch long, whereas adults are between 1/8 and 3/4 inches long. Unlike other Ohio beetles, which mostly feed on leaves and stems, they have six legs, which become useful only when they reach adulthood.

Like other Ohio bugs, these weevils have a variety of hues, such as greenish-black, yellowish-brown, or dark red. They are primarily fed on seed or nut material.

Beetle Grub

Beetles in Ohio

The larval stage of different beetle species is represented by beetle grubs, which have different diets depending on the type of beetle. For example, while clothing beetle grubs feed on natural materials like cotton or silk, carpet beetle grubs eat wool rugs.

The grubs of several famous beetles can be found in Ohio, including dung beetles, carpet beetles, garment beetles, and furniture beetles. These insects thrive in cow dung and help recycle nutrients. At the nymphal stage, these grubs have six legs and two wings, just like other beetle grubs. When fully developed, they are around 2 mm in length.

They occasionally appear in gardens and are typically found close to their food sources, where they burrow. Because burrowing bugs can be either adult beetles or grubs, identifying them can be difficult.

Black Blister Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

Though prevalent in Ohio, the Black Blister Beetle doesn’t really cause much harm. They are usually found on trees and shrubs, where they dine on fallen leaves. They prefer a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and sometimes meat.

Generally non-aggressive, they don’t pose much of a threat if left alone and only emit a chemical that causes blisters when threatened. However, sensitive people may experience allergic responses or blisters from this material, which is why it’s so important to keep these beetles away from handling or disturbing them.

The presence of abandoned skins on plants or food products may be a sign of an infestation. Avoiding contact with these beetles can be achieved by maintaining a clean environment.

Rove Beetle

Beetles in Ohio

The brown rove beetle, which is widespread in Ohio, resembles ladybugs due to its scaled-back appearance. On closer inspection, though, tiny patterns and patches that vary in color from white to orange to red can be seen on their wing covers.

Among these, the Prosternon tessellated, also known as the tiger beetle, is commonly observed near residences due to its body’s stripes, which resemble those of a tiger. Aphid and garden pest predators, they help gardeners by assisting with pest management.

They are essential to the protection of plants because they feed on caterpillars and weevils. Unless they are carriers of plant illnesses, allowing these beneficial creatures into your garden will improve plant health.

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