Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fiery Searcher (Calosoma scrutator)

Photo taken 7/7/08
Fiery Searcher (Calosoma scrutator)
This brilliant, metallic green beetle is sometimes found in large numbers during the Arkansas spring, being attracted to lights at night. It may cause alarm because of its large size (it reaches 1 - 1½" in length) and the odor it emits to ward off predators and intruding humans. The wing covers have many fine longitudinal furrows that are beset with tiny punctures, and each cover has a reddish-copper border. The head, pronotum, and legs are deep metallic blue or purple, and the pronotum has a gold margin. Imprudent handlers could receive an unwelcome nip from the hefty mandibles. However, Calosoma scrutator is a highly beneficial species that climbs trees in search of caterpillar prey. Although the beetles are active from May to November, they seem to be especially numerous in May after trees are fully leaved out and while the spring flush of caterpillars is ravaging the foliage. Adults winter over, and they live up to 3 years. Eggs are placed one at a time in soil. Larvae also hunt caterpillars and climb trees and shrubs in search of prey. They pupate in earthen cells.


(Originally posted on 9/5/08)



Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am sure I have seen this beetle around here. You have marvelous photos here Marvin. I am pleased to see that they are good predators.

Ellen Rathbone said...

What a beautiful beetle! I grew up hating insects in general, but in my old age I am finding I spend more and more time among them, taking their photos, trying to ID them, and then find out as much interesting info as possible. Thanks for sharing.

Lana Gramlich said... lovely & so big! I'd love to see some of these. Nice subject for photography.

Shelly Cox said...

Beautiful close-up Marvin. These are fascinating beetles. I've only ever found two on our farm, and both times they were in our hog nursery feeding on the darkling beetle larvae that are attracted to the feed that is kept in there. They are very fast and scurried away quite quickly when I turned over the sacks of feed.

The Fuller Family said...

Incredibly beautiful beetle. The close-up is awe-inspiring! Your photos are wonderful.

Joy K. said...

What a beautiful frightening face. Like a beetle robot. I'm in awe.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh I do like the look of this one too Marvin. Looks as if he would have no problem chewing a findger off if you picked him up and he didn't like it. :) Great shots of it too.

Rambling Woods said...

A blog carnival for beetles? I don't think I have looked for any here. Another avenue to explore... Michelle