While Colorado is full of stunning natural scenery, there are also different types of beetles in Colorado (over 850 and counting!).
These beetles can be found anywhere in Colorado, though some species are found more frequently in certain locations.
Meanwhile, most of the beetles in Colorado are nocturnal or crepuscular.
This means they only come out at night and near dawn or dusk; you can still see them if you know where to look!
Colorado has a wide variety of species of beetles, but the most commonly seen ones are either the Scarabaeidae family or the Cerambycidae family.
You might have thought that Colorado was too cold to have many types of bugs or beetles, but you’d be wrong!
In addition, several types of beetles in Colorado are found nowhere else in the world, making your home state truly unique and special!
Here are types of beetles that you will want to pay attention to the next time you visit Colorado and want to explore its beautiful beetle landscape.
1. White-spotted Sawyer Beetle
This is the first on our list of types of beetles in Colorado. The white-spotted sawyer beetle (Monochamus scutellatus) is a large and imposing beetle that can reach lengths of 1.6 inches.
They are light brown in color, with alternating bands on the elytra that give them a mottled appearance.
The upper surface is covered in white spots, while the underside is mostly orange or reddish-brown.
Meanwhile, these beetles feed primarily on dead and dying trees and logs, although they will also eat live ones if given the opportunity.
Their larvae hatch from eggs laid by females inside moist wood, growing up to be adult beetles themselves.
Their larvae hatch from eggs laid by females inside moist wood, growing up to be adult beetles themselves.
2. Western Sculptured Pine Borer
The Western Sculptured Pine Borer is the second on our list of the types of beetles in Colorado.
This type of wood-boring beetle eats mainly pine trees and can be found throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
The Western Sculptured Pine Borers (Chalcophora angulicollis) have a black head and body, with yellow or red lines running across their body.
Furthermore, they are about 1/8 inch long and have a 1/4 inch wingspan. The adults are active from April to November, and the larvae feed on the inner bark.
This makes them difficult to detect because they do not create any telltale holes in the outer bark.
3. Western Eyed Click Beetle
The Western Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus melanops) is one of the most common types of beetles in Colorado that you might tend to find.
It has a black body with many fine hairs on it and large, round, white spots on its back.
Also, this beetle can be found near flowers, such as sunflowers and thistles.
The Western Eyed Click Beetle is harmless and only eats pollen and nectar from flowers.
4. Water Scavenger Beetle
The water scavenger beetle is one of the very many types of beetles in Colorado. It is a large aquatic beetle that can be found across North America.
Water scavenger beetles live near water sources and use their long front legs to catch prey.
Often, these creatures are found near streams, lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water.
They have a dark brown or black body with orange-red patches on the underside of their abdomen that they use to scare off predators while they search for food.
5. Acorn Weevil
The acorn weevil is a large, gray, black beetle native to the southwestern United States.
They are most commonly seen in early spring when they emerge from trees to mate. They are types of beetles in Colorado.
Males fly around trees while females lay their eggs on the acorns. The eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the acorns and then pupate at the tree’s base.
Adults emerge from these pupae during late summer and lay eggs on new acorns to repeat this cycle next year.
6. Variegated June Beetle
This beetle is typically found in the Eastern United States but has been spotted as far west as Kansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota.
The bug’s coloration varies, ranging from yellow to black with red stripes. It gets its name from the noticeable white arcs that are on its wings.
These insects can grow up to one inch long and have a lifespan of about six months.
They love gardens and flowerbeds but will also eat other insects. As a result, they are considered beneficial because they help control pest populations.
The Variegated June Beetle is recognizable by its striped yellow-and-black colors and white arcs on its wings.
7. Water Penny
One of the types of beetles in Colorado that you may likely find is the water penny beetle.
This species is found throughout the United States but tends to be more abundant near water sources.
These beetles are small, only about 1/8 inch long, and have a dark brown color with a round body shape.
Also, they have four short wings that do not cover their abdomen.
Water pennies use their hind legs for swimming and are often seen on the surface of still waters or along shorelines.
The water penny beetle is not harmful to people or animals but can be annoying.
This is because they tend to crawl indoors during warm weather, especially when it rains.
The most common way people try to control water penny beetles is by using insecticides, which can be dangerous if used improperly.
8. Golden Net-wing Beetle
Golden net-winged beetles are among the most common types in Colorado found throughout, with males and females flying during the summer.
These large, yellowish insects have a distinct net pattern on their wings, giving them their name.
They can be in meadows and fields where other types of flowers are blooming.
Golden net wings are closely related to the more well-known ladybug, but they do not eat aphids or other garden pests as the ladybug does.
Instead, they feed on nectar from flowers and vegetation.
9. Knapweed Root Weevil
The Knapweed Root Weevil, also known as the Cyphocleonus Achates, is a type of beetle that can usually be found on the roots of knapweed.
The beetle is typically brown with black stripes and lengths from 1/2 to 3/4 inches long.
Moreover, they are most commonly found between the months of July and September, and they are most active during the daytime.
The larvae feed on the roots and then pupate within them.
10. Larder Beetle
In particular, Colorado has a lot to offer for beetles. In fact, there are over 2,500 species and types of beetles in Colorado.
One example is the Larder Beetle or Dermestes lardarius.
These beetles will eat almost anything, including animal carcasses, dried meats, and woolens.
They can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and many other continents.
The name Larder Beetle comes from their ability to infest homes where they feed on items left out or stored away.
These items are probably not used for some time, such as bacon or cheese that’s been forgotten in the fridge.
11. Locust Borer Beetle
The locust borer beetle is a great example of an insect that can be found worldwide but particularly loves to call Colorado home.
These beetles are often found in low-lying areas where they feast on plant roots and lay eggs to keep the infestation going.
If you have a locust borer problem at your home, be sure to contact a pest control professional as soon as possible.’
They’re insects that could cause serious issues if left unchecked for too long!
12. Hermit Flower Beetle
Hermit Flower Beetles are on our list of the types of beetles in Colorado. These are ground beetles that can be found throughout the state.
These beetles are small with black and brown body color but have a characteristic orange head.
In addition, Hermit Flower Beetles are most commonly seen at night around lights or other places where they can find plenty of food.
They feed on dead and dying insects, so if you see one, it could be because of an infestation nearby.
They also eat small arthropods such as spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and pillbugs.
13. Fire-colored Beetle
Fire-colored beetles are one of the most commonly seen types of beetles in Colorado and are prevalent across the state.
They can be found in various habitats, including open fields, forest edges, roadsides, and gardens.
Adults feed on leaves and other plant parts, while larvae live under bark or in rotten wood. Fire-colored beetles typically fly between late spring and early fall.
Again, you’ll find fire-colored beetles near logs or stumps where they wait for prey – such as spiders or ants.
When this prey comes close, they jump out to snatch it with their mandibles (a pair of elongated jaws).
Even though fire-colored beetles are very small (about 1/8 inch), they can inflict a painful bite due to their strong jaws.
Fireflies are the most well-known types of beetles in Colorado, and for a good reason.
They are one of the few insects that use bioluminescence to communicate with other fireflies.
They are believed to do this as a mating call or to warn predators away from them and their eggs.
Besides, you can find fireflies around wetlands, forests, meadows, and fields throughout the summer months.
Interestingly, they can be found at higher elevations than any other insect. When you see flashes coming from the forest floor, it’s likely a firefly trying to attract a mate!
15. Flower Longhorn Beetle
The Flower Longhorn Beetle is one of the more common types of beetles in Colorado.
It can be found from the Rocky Mountain foothills to the eastern plains and southward into Mexico. It is a large beetle with a body about 3 cm (1 inch) long.
In addition, the head and prothorax are orange, the elytra are brownish red with white spots on them, and the legs are black.
The larvae feed on grass roots and other plants, while adults eat flowers and leaves.
This particular beetle is also known as an anteater because it will eat ants trying to invade their territory or gardens.
They spray them with formic acid from their abdomens (a defense mechanism).
16. Four-spot Sap Beetle
The four-spot sap beetle (Glischrochilus quadrisignatus) is a small, black insect that is found primarily on the east side of the Rocky Mountains.
This beetle, one of the types of beetles in Colorado, can be identified by its conspicuous yellowish spots on its wing covers.
These beetles feed on decaying vegetation and are often found near damp places such as under logs or rotting leaves.
Similarly, they are rarely seen during daytime hours but are most active at night when they leave their hiding places to search for food.
The species has two generations per year, with adults present from May through September and again from October through November.
Adults emit a foul odor when crushed or threatened, which is thought to discourage predators.
17. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle
The Ashy Gray Lady Beetles are one of the most adorable types of beetles in Colorado that you’ll likely get to see often.
They’re about 3/4 inch long and have a grayish brown body with a few black dots on their back.
These beetles are known for being highly beneficial to gardens, as they eat aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, and other soft-bodied pests.
Also, they lay their eggs inside the larvae or eggs of these pests, which can kill them before they become adults.
In addition to being beneficial, these beetles are also aesthetically pleasing to look at!
The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle is common throughout the state and easy to identify due to its unique markings.
18. Banded Alder Borer Beetle
The banded alder borer beetle is a North American species that is found in the eastern United States and Canada.
They are small beetles that grow to be around 1/2 inch long. They have an orange head and thorax, with black and white bands across their back.
Additionally, they feed on alder trees as well as other hardwoods. There are two generations per year, with the first appearing during late spring and early summer.
The second shows up during late summer through fall. Above all, our list of the different types of beetles in Colorado isn’t good to go without the Banded Alder Borer beetle.
19. Banded Ash Borer
The Banded Ash Borer is an insect that feeds on ash trees.
It can be found throughout the Eastern United States and is believed to have been introduced to North America from Europe.
Surging, the Banded Ash Borer has distinctive bands on its antennae, legs, and abdomen and black and white markings on its wings.
The larvae tunnel under the bark and feed off the tree’s inner tissue. Infested trees will eventually die from this damage if not treated by a professional.
20. Bee-like Flower Scarab Beetle
The Bee-like Flower Scarab Beetle is a small beetle with an elongated, slender body that is usually black or dark brown in color.
One distinguishing characteristic of this species is the long, curved setae on the legs.
Equally important, these beetles are found throughout North America, though they are most prevalent in the western United States.
However, they are on the list of the various types of beetles in Colorado. The larvae and adults feed mainly on rotting wood and fungi, respectively.
21. Beetle Grub
Beetle grubs are the larvae (younger stage) of various beetles that live primarily on roots and decaying plant matter. They also eat each other when there is not enough food.
Some beetle grubs are pests that attack crops, while others are beneficial because they recycle organic matter back into the soil. Importantly, they are one of the types of beetles in Colorado.
Further, the beetle grubs found in Colorado include the Mexican bean, Japanese, and European chafer.
The white stripes can recognize the Japanese beetle larvae on their backs.
They live underground for two years before emerging as adults to feed on various plants from late summer to fall.
The Mexican bean beetle feeds mostly on legumes such as beans or peanuts and is most active from April to October.
22. Big-headed Ground Beetle
The Big-headed Ground Beetle is the largest ground beetle native to North America. It can be found on the ground and under logs, stones, and other debris.
Being on the list of the types of beetles in Colorado, the beetle feeds on snails, slugs, and earthworms.
These beetles are not aggressive and will walk away if given a chance.
23. Black Carpet Beetle
Black carpet beetles are the most common in Colorado in homes and other buildings.
These beetles are often mistaken for moths, but they are actually beetles. Black carpet beetles are small, only reaching about a quarter inch long.
Mostly, they come during the fall and will stay inside until winter comes around again.
The black carpet beetle gets its name because it’s often seen on dark surfaces such as carpets, curtains, upholstery, or clothing items.
This beetle is not harmful to humans or animals and will leave your house once it starts cold outside.
24. Black Vine Weevil
The black vine weevil is a type of beetle that has been known to cause damage to grape, citrus, and avocado crops.
The adult beetles are black and around 1/2 inch long. They lay eggs on the surface of leaves that hatch and feed on the foliage.
If you are lucky enough to find one while they are still small, they can be picked off by hand or squashed with your shoe.
Once they become adults and fly away, it is too late to do anything about them.
As already said, it’s one of the various types of beetles in Colorado that are very destructive.
25. Blister Beetle
The Blister Beetle is a common beetle found throughout the United States.
It is called the Blister Beetle because, if they are touched or handled, they will burst and release a caustic chemical that can cause blisters or burns.
They are mostly brown or black in color but have some red markings on their back. Their head has two antennae and distinctive cheek spots.
Specifically, the blister beetle can be recognized by its long legs, which it uses to search for food on plants and trees.
The adults measure 1/2 to 3/4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide at their widest point near the head.
The larvae look like caterpillars but lack hair and have dark spots on their sides. They, as well, have rows of bristles along their back end.
26. Blue Death-feigning Beetle
Colorado has many varieties and types of beetles, including Blue Death-feigning Beetles.
These are moderately sized beetles with a blue and black coloration. They are classified as part of the carrion beetle family but do not eat dead flesh or live insects.
Rather, they emit a chemical that mimics the smell of carrion to attract flies from miles away.
When the flies get close enough, they then attack them and lay their eggs inside them.
27. Burying Beetle
One species, the burying beetle (Nicrophorus spp.), is known as a carrion beetle because it feeds on dead animals.
These very species are quite different from other types of beetles in Colorado.
These beetles are often seen in cemeteries, feeding on carcasses that other animals or humans bury.
At the same time, the adults lay eggs into the carcass and wait nearby for the larvae to emerge from the eggs to feed themselves.
This species will often bury beetles from other families alongside their prey to save them for future use.
28. California Root Borer Beetle
This beetle is a pest to cotton, soybean, and alfalfa crops. It is found most often in the western United States but can also be found in Arizona.
However, they are also found on our list of the different types of beetles in Colorado.
Larvae are white with brown heads and live below ground, feeding on the roots of plants.
This beetle has a two-year life cycle; females lay eggs during the summer that hatch the following spring.
29. Calligrapha Beetle
Speaking of the types of beetles in Colorado, the Calligrapha beetle is a relatively large and brownish-black insect.
They can be found across the eastern United States and Canada.
The larvae typically live under the bark of dead or dying trees, feeding on sap and other organic materials.
Adults emerge to mate and lay eggs on living trees, which are typically hardwoods like oak or maple trees.
While the adults are easy to spot due to their large size, it can be difficult for people to see the larvae because they spend most of their time hidden from view.
30. Case-bearing Leaf Beetle
If you’re looking for the types of beetles in Colorado, be sure to look for the Case-bearing leaf beetle.
These beetles are found primarily on plants and trees, but they can also be found on flowers, shrubs, and herbs.
They are typically less than 3/4 inch long with an oblong brown or black body.
The most distinctive feature of this beetle is its protective case, which it uses as both armor and a home for when it’s not feeding.
These cases are usually constructed from sand grains, dried leaves, pieces of bark, and other organic matter.
These matters have been cemented together with secretions from the beetle’s mouthparts.
31. Cedar Beetle
The cedar beetle is a black and red oval beetle that can be found throughout the United States.
Of all the types of beetles in Colorado, they are among the most destructive pests to coniferous trees, such as junipers and pines.
Like many beetles, they bore into trees, weakening them and making them more susceptible to other insects or diseases.
Furthermore, the cedar beetle mainly feeds on juniper trees but will also eat other types of conifers such as fir, spruce, pine, and hemlock trees.
The female lays eggs on tree bark or needles, where her larvae hatch from the eggs.
Then, they feed on the wood inside the tree until it has been completely mined or killed.
32. Checkered Beetle
Next up to be discussed on the list of the different types of beetles in Colorado is the checkered beetle.
Enoclerus Eximius is a small black and yellow beetle typically found on plants’ flowers.
That being said, the female checkered beetle lays her eggs on leaves and then covers them with dirt to protect them from predators.
After hatching, the larvae will stay near their mother for a few days before they disperse to feed.
They are nocturnal scavengers that eat dead insects and plant material.
33. Click Beetle
The click beetle is one of the different types of beetle in Colorado.
These insects have a distinctive clicking sound when they are disturbed. The larvae and adults feed on dead plant material and fungi.
Click beetles are often mistaken for others because they are quite small, but their clicking sound can help distinguish them from other species.
There are over 800 different species of click beetles, so it is difficult to identify the specific species based solely on appearance.
Click beetles usually live only 1 year; however, some may live up to 2 years due to favorable conditions.
They lay their eggs near or under plants during the summer months.
34. Clay-colored Billbug
Clay-colored billbugs are often found in gardens and crop fields, where they feed on seeds.
They measure about an inch long, with a narrow, elongated head and a distinctive red-to-orange color.
The larvae are white to yellowish and hairy; the first three pairs of legs are enlarged for burrowing.
Again, Clay-colored billbugs have been observed feeding on potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), corn (Zea mays), field beans (Pisum sativum), and black nightshade (Solanum nigrum).
Clay-colored billbugs prefer fields that have been cropped for several years or are fallow.
35. Colorado Potato Beetle
The Colorado potato beetle, also known as the Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a pest that lives on potatoes and other plants.
The adult beetles are dark red, with three white stripes running lengthwise down their back.
The larvae (or grubs) are yellowish to light brown with black spots on their backs. They have a characteristic looping movement when they move.
We are far from being through with our list of different types of beetles in Colorado. So don’t stop reading!
36. Convergent Lady Beetle
You’ll love convergent ladybeetles if you’re a fan of ladybugs.
These beetles are huge with a dark red body, orange head, and spots. They feed on aphids, scale insects, and mealy bugs.
What’s more? Convergent lady beetles have been introduced to many countries to control crop pests.
Ladybirds were originally called ladybirds by the Irish, but it was changed to ladybug when they were introduced to America because that’s what we call them here.
Beloved by farmers, gardeners, and homeowners alike for their aphid-eating prowess, convergent lady beetles are also valued as natural pest controllers. This is one of the few helpful beetle types in Colorado.
37. Cottonwood Borer Beetle
Cottonwood borers can be found all over the United States, but they are one of Colorado’s most common types of beetles.
Cottonwood borer beetles feed on cottonwood trees by laying eggs inside the bark. The larvae then burrow into the tree’s heartwood and cause extensive damage.
The cottonwood borer beetle is also greenish brown with a flattened, elongated body and copper-colored spots on its wing covers.
Also, it has an orange head with black eyes and black antennae except at the tip. Adult beetles measure one to two inches long and have a one-inch wingspan.
Female beetles lay eggs in slits cut into the bark of infested trees, usually during spring or summer.
38. Cottonwood Leaf Beetle
The Cottonwood Leaf Beetle (Chrysomela scripta) is a small, dark, black or brown beetle with a white band on its wing covers.
The beetles are often found on cottonwood trees and attack ash, birch, box elder, and sassafras trees.
This beetle has one generation per year, and adults can be seen from mid-June through August.
Further, females lay eggs under the bark of cottonwood and elm logs, staying until spring when they hatch.
Larvae feed on the inner bark for about two years before pupating in the log for another two months.
Adults emerge from the logs to start new infestations. Don’t forget we are still on the list of the diverse types of beetles in Colorado!
39. Darkling Beetle
The darkling beetle is one of the several types of beetles in Colorado. It is a member of the ground beetle family.
In fact, it is one of the most common beetles found on forest floors and under logs, grasses, and debris.
Also, they are commonly found indoors, attracted to light fixtures and windows.
Most species eat plant material, but some feed on other insects or even small vertebrates. Adults range from 3 to 10 mm long.
49. Desert Stink Beetle
The Desert Stink Beetle is one of the most commonly found beetles in the desert.
It is an amazing predator that can eat up to 50 times its weight in food. These beetles feed on flies, grasshoppers, and other insects.
Adults are attracted to lights at night, so they are easy to find if you look for them. They’re also small and red, so spotting them in the open during the day is not hard.
During mating season, males will release a stinky odor from their abdomen to attract females, who would then respond by releasing their own stench.
If two or more males get close enough together, they will fight each other with their mandibles until one gives up or dies.
40. Devil’s Coach Horse
The Devil’s Coach Horse is a large, non-native beetle that was introduced to North America from Europe in the late 1800s.
They are often found near streams and ponds where their larvae feed on decomposing vegetation.
Adults may fly during the day but are most active at dusk when they’re attracted to lights.
Sometimes, they are called electric light beetles. This is because they’ll fly toward an artificial light source like a street lamp or porch light, making them easy to catch.
Adults range from 1.2 to 2 inches long with shiny black exoskeletons, orange heads, and legs.
Females have shorter wings than males and cannot fly. When threatened, she will curl her abdomen under her body for protection.
Our list of the several types of beetles in Colorado isn’t quite complete without the Devil’s Coach Horse.
41. Dogbane Leaf Beetle
The Dogbane Leaf Beetle is a black and green striped beetle that is about one inch long.
One characteristic distinguishing this beetle from other types of beetles in Colorado is that it has an enlarged head and a strong, serrated mandible.
The larvae are grubs with white, spiky hairs on their abdomen.
Moreso, they feed on the roots, buds, and leaves of dogbane plants (Apocynum cannabinum) as well as other members of the Apocynaceae family, including milkweed (Asclepias) and hemp dogbane (Apocynum).
The larvae mature into adults over winter before pupating in late spring to early summer.
42. Drugstore Beetle
The drugstore beetle can grow to about 1/4 long and is dark brown or black with a pale yellowish segment on its head.
These beetles also have a pair of reddish spots on the wings, which are visible when it’s flying. Their larvae are white with brown heads and can grow up to 1/2 long.
Additionally, Drugstore beetles prefer dry goods, cereals, rice, flour, macaroni and cheese, chocolate syrup, cookies, and crackers.
These bugs often get into pantries or other areas where food is stored.
The first sign of drugstore beetles is usually small piles of sawdust-like material around their exit holes on infested products.
43. Dung Beetle
The dung beetle is a type of scarab beetle that feeds on the dung and larvae of larger animals such as cows, horses, rhinoceroses, and elephants.
Dung beetles are critical to many ecological systems because they recycle nutrients from animal waste.
They are beneficial insects on the list of the types of beetles in Colorado.
That being said, the size and shape of the horns on the male’s head can vary depending on the species.
For example, males with large horns have been observed to have higher reproductive success than males with smaller or no horns. Females do not have horns at all!
44. Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is a green beetle native to eastern Asia.
It was first identified in North America (Michigan) during the summer of 2002 and has since been detected throughout the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.
The beetles lay eggs on ash trees, and the larvae burrow into the tree’s bark and feed under it.
This makes it difficult for nutrients to reach the tree’s leaves, which then wither and die. It can kill a tree within two or three years.
Plus, Emerald ash borers are hard to detect because they are tiny (1/8 inch long).
They don’t make any noise either, so you may not know about them until it’s too late for your ash trees!
They are one of the low-key destructors on the list of Colorado‘s diverse types of beetles!
45. Festive Tiger Beetle
Found only in the southwestern U.S., Festive Tiger Beetles are most populous at or near the edges of water sources like streams, lakes, or ponds.
It is also common to find them near sand dunes and other sandy areas.
The larvae are aquatic and feed on snails and worms. Adults can be found both crawling on the ground (sometimes on plants) and walking on logs, tree trunks, stones, fences, etc.
They prey mostly on other insects, such as flies and grasshoppers, but will also eat scorpions.
46. European Ground Beetle
The European Ground Beetle, also known as the black beetle, is a type of ground beetle found throughout North America. It can grow up to 11/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
The beetle’s body is black, with coppery markings on its head and thorax. Its antennae are dark brown or black, and its legs are reddish brown.
The European Ground Beetle lives primarily on the ground in forests, grasslands, meadows, and open fields.
It feeds on other animals that live in the soil, such as earthworms and snails.
However, as one of the types of beetles in Colorado, this insect does not like to fly or jump very far.
It prefers to move by walking quickly for short distances or by rolling when there is no danger around.
47. False Bombardier Beetle
The false bombardier beetle, also known as the cantharidin beetle, ends our list of the numerous types of beetles in Colorado.
It is a member of the genus Galerita. This species belongs to the subfamily Galeritinae and is closely related to bombardier beetles.
Also, False Bombardier beetles are commonly found throughout North America, Central America, and South America.
They are active during the day and often fly over an area before taking off. False bombardiers live near mud pools with densely vegetated shores that provide larval habitat.
Colorado has an amazing array of insects in its forests, fields, and other locales, and beetles are among the most numerous and diverse of them all.
While there are many different types of beetles in Colorado, here are those that you’ll find more than almost any others.
Use this article to get started on your beetle identification journey!