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  • Black Caterpillar Hunter - (Calosoma sayi)

    Black Caterpillar Hunter - (Calosoma sayi)

    The Black Caterpillar Hunter is a roaming beetle that feeds on caterpillars at night and rests under rocks and debris by day.

    Staff Writer (6/2/2017): More common in the southern U.S. states, the Black Caterpillar Beetle has ridges on its elytra (wing covering) and metallic, rust-colored spots that run down its back in lines. It is a ground beetle and spends most of its time wandering the earth and trees for caterpillar prey and other edible insects. Large jaws help dispatch and devour the meal. Moth and butterfly caterpillars are the main diet of this beetle, and they have voracious appetites. This diet benefits the plant by removing leaf-eaters.

    While constantly searching for food, they may run into their own predators. They can defend themselves in an attack by secreting a malodorous chemical. They are fast movers and can be difficult to follow. Females lay fertilized eggs in the soil. Grubs (larvae) overwinter underground, and adults are active from early spring through autumn. Lifespans vary from 2 to 3 years, which is long for a beetle.

    They are most active at night and will come to lights. They can be found in woodlands, coastlines, gardens, and prairies.

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    Details of the:
    Black Caterpillar Hunter

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Black Caterpillar Hunter
    Scientific Name: Calosoma sayi

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Carabidae
           Genus: Calosoma
            Species: sayi

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 28mm (0.98in to 1.10in)

    Identifying Colors: black, red, orange, rust

    Additional Descriptors: metallic, spots, lines, ruby, rust, gold, south

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): EASTERN NORTH AMERICA ONLY: Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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