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Bumblebee Scarab Beetle (Lichnanthe vulpina)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Bumblebee Scarab Beetle

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This may be the closest a beetle can get to looking like a bee without losing itself in the deception.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Bumblebee Scarab Beetle is not a bee and it does not sting though it looks like a bee in every way. Just like a bee, it has hair on its abdomen, on the pronotum, and even between the eyes. The beetle?s dark brown wing coverings are just the right size to be mistaken for bee wings. The beetle?s true wings are tucked under, hidden and protected. It flies, visits flowers, and sits quietly on foliage and fingers. Short antennae separate into little clubs, and reveal the insect?s true family of origin. At the very least, such convincing mimicry prevents the beetle from being harassed when it is visiting flowers. Unfortunately, people may be quick to swat at it before realizing its non-threatening nature.

The worm-like larva of this beetle is called the Cranberry Root Grub. It remains underground, feeding on the roots of cranberry plants, damaging their health and productivity. The grub lingers below the soil for about a year, so prolonged feeding by a large number of them can be problematic. The appearance of adults near cranberry bogs is an indication that larvae are likely to be present.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Harmless insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Glaphyridae
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          Genus: Lichnanthe
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            Species: vulpina

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lichnanthe vulpina
Other Name(s): Cranberry Root Grub (larva)
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 15mm (0.39" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; brown; orange
Descriptors: bee; dark wings; fuzzy; hairy; flying; harmless

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 12.5mm
Hi: 15mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Bumblebee Scarab Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Bumblebee Scarab Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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