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 ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.