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Four-spot Sap Beetle (Glischrochilus quadrisignatus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Four-spot Sap Beetle



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The varied diet of the Four-spot Sap Beetle makes them both friend and foe of the backyard gardener.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Four-spot Sap Beetles feed on the larvae of tree-boring beetles. This makes them somewhat of an aborist's ally in maintaining tree health. They can become a nuisance, however, if they catch the scent of spoiling vegetation in the garden. This species of beetle will take advantage of overwhelmed gardeners. When fruits and vegetables are left on the vine to rot, or fall victim to a disease and begin to spoil, they release volatile chemicals into the air. The Four-spot Sap Beetle senses this aroma and will descend on the dying fruit/vegetable to feed on the residues. Where there is one Four-spot Sap Beetle feeding, there are others on their way. This can lead to an infestation. Though they do not attack healthy produce, their large numbers can quickly get out of control and make them a difficult pest to eliminate. Since they do not feed on healthy fruits and vegetables, preventative spraying of insecticide on plants as they grow does not prevent the beetle from coming. Only good garden maintenance stops the beetle from finding a produce patch. Removing diseased, spoiled and rotting produce at regular intervals effectively prevents the beetle from discovering a garden.

Adult females will lay eggs on decaying plant matter after they emerge from overwintering. The eggs hatch sometime in June or July, and the larvae feed on whatever plant material is near them until they pupate. Once they become adults, they seek out food sources. Vegetation damaged earlier in the season by other types of insects, like beetle or moth larvae, allow the Four-spot Sap Beetle to immediately begin feeding at the areas of the existing wounds. They are secondary invaders of many types of important agricultural crops like corn and strawberries. Large numbers of them have been known to spread a fungal infection to the crops which further reduces a healthy harvest.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Garden pest insect icon
Patterned insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Nitidulidae
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          Genus: Glischrochilus
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            Species: quadrisignatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Glischrochilus quadrisignatus
Other Name(s): Picnic Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 11mm (0.23" to 0.43")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, red
Descriptors: spots, round, garden pest
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 6mm and 11mm
Lo: 6mm
Md: 8.5mm
Hi: 11mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Four-spot Sap 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 Four-spot Sap Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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