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Cedar Beetle (Sandulus sp.)


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



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



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Rhipiceridae
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          Genus: Sandulus
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            Species: sp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Sandulus sp.
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 5mm (0.07" to 0.19")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black
Descriptors: slow, feathery antennae
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 2mm (0.1in) and 5mm (0.2in)
Lo: 2mm
Md: 3.5mm
Hi: 5mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Cedar 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 Cedar Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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