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Cedar Beetle (Sandulus sp.)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Cedar Beetle, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Cedar Beetle  
Picture of Cedar-Beetle
Picture of Cedar-Beetle Picture of Cedar-Beetle

The Cedar Beetle does not attack its namesake. It actually prefers to hunt the grubs of Cicadas before they mature.

The Cedar Beetle has a parasitic relationship with Cicada larvae. Female beetles lay their eggs on trees so sightings of them on trunks may cause one to think they are actually attacking the tree like other beetles (i.e. the Asian Longhorn Beetle). The Cedar Beetle's eggs hatch and the larvae burrow into the ground, searching for young Cicada grubs or nymphs buried there. The beetle larva will attach itself to the Cicada larva and slowly eat through its exterior and into the insect, eventually killing it.

Cedar Beetles appear completely black from overhead, but the abdomen, hidden by wing coverings, is orange. The abdomen is usually only visible when the beetle spreads its wings. Ridges on the elytra give it texture. They have fan-like tips at the end of their antennae. They may increase surface area, which could help collect more information about the environment and surroundings. They are active during the day, and when in flight, may be mistaken for fireflies.

Picture of the Cedar Beetle
Picture of the Cedar Beetle

Cedar Beetle Information

Category: Beetle
Common Name: Cedar Beetle
Scientific Name: Sandulus sp.

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Coleoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Rhipiceridae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Sandulus
       Arrow graphic Species: sp.

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length):
Identifying Colors: black
Additional Descriptors: slow, feathery antennae

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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