15 Different Types of Beetles in New Jersey

Different Types of Beetles in New Jersey
Photo by Filipe Resmini

Have you ever wondered about the types of beetles in New Jersey? Native species of beetles have been around for thousands of years, and New Jersey is home to some amazing ones!

New Jersey has a vibrant beetle population that adds to its natural beauty. Some are very large compared to others, and each species has different behaviors that make it enjoyable to observe.

This article will discuss the world of beetles in New Jersey. We’ll talk about their habitat, characteristics, behavior, and the most common species in the state.

By understanding more about these little critters, you’ll be able to appreciate their unique features even more!

1. Acorn Weevil

The Acorn weevil is one of the most famous types of beetles in New Jersey. Also known as Curculio glandium, the acorn weevil feeds on and lays its eggs inside acorns.

It has a brown body and measures about 3/8 inches in length, with a long, thin snout.

The adult weevil feeds on the nuts of various trees, such as oak and hickory. The larvae of the acorn weevil are legless grubs with a curved body shape that tapers towards both ends.

Also, they are creamy-white with a brown head and can grow up to 1/4 to 3/8 inches long.

Acorn weevils can be a severe pest of oak trees, as they can cause significant damage to the tree’s acorn crop.

To control these pests, remove infested nuts from the tree as soon as possible and dispose of them properly.

Additionally, it may be necessary to use insecticides to keep populations under control. Taking these steps can help protect your trees from damage caused by acorn weevils.

2. American Oil Beetle

The American Oil Beetle is another among the types of beetles in New Jersey. They are part of the blister beetle family (Meloidae) and can be a dangerous pest for homeowners to have to deal with.

The adult beetles are about 7-30mm, and their colors could be dark blue or black.

American Oil Beetles have a soft abdomen with a shell that covers the backside, which resembles overlapping plates.

Also, they feed on items such as potatoes, tomatoes, alfalfa, grasses, and more.

The beetles get their name from their defense mechanism. When scared or squeezed, they will release a liquid called Cantharidin.

This irritant causes blisters on contact with the skin and can cause severe irritation if ingested.

Thus, you must take precautions when dealing with these pests, as they can be dangerous if not handled properly.

3. Antelope Beetle

The Antelope Beetle is also among the different types of beetles in New Jersey. Also known as Dorcus parallelus, the antelope beetle is an impressive insect, measuring up to an inch long.

It belongs to the Stag beetle family Lucanidae, where males are larger and more heavily armed than females.

People believe this beetle’s name comes from its mandibles, like the horns of the American Pronghorn antelope.

There are two species in the genus Dorcus north of the Rio Grande – D. parallalus and D. reichei. However, most of the 30 species live in Asia.

Male Antelope beetles have a distinctive feature on their mandibles – an upward-pointing spur on each side.

This feature gives them an aggressive appearance, and they use these spurs when fighting over female mates.

They also have powerful jaws, which they use for feeding on decaying wood and other plant material.

The Antelope Beetle is a fascinating creature with impressive size and unique features. Thus, it’s an exciting addition to any bug collection!

4. Bean Leaf Beetle

It would be an incomplete list of the different types of beetles in New Jersey without the Bean Leaf Beetle.

Native to North America, the bean leaf beetle has adapted to feed on soybean. So, it’s a destructive pest in Midwest soybean fields.

Originally people described it as a pest of edible beans when America was first colonized.

Bean leaf beetle adults are small, oval-shaped beetles with yellowish-green bodies and three black stripes running down their backs.

They have long antennae and short legs. However, the larvae are white grubs with brown heads that feed on the roots of plants.

Adult bean leaf beetles feed on soybean foliage by chewing holes in leaves or eating entire leaflets.

They also feed on developing pods by chewing through the pod walls and consuming the seeds. This can reduce yields significantly if left unchecked.

Besides direct feeding damage, adult bean leaf beetles can also send diseases which can further reduce yields.

To control this pest, you must scout for adult beetles throughout the season. Also, apply insecticides if necessary to prevent significant yield losses.

5. Banded Ash Borer

The Banded Ash Borer is also among the types of beetles in New Jersey. It is a wood-boring beetle that is native to North America.

You can find it in many habitats, including forests, wooded, and urban areas.

Adult beetles are small, dark-colored insects with a distinctive band of yellow or gold around their thorax. They are most active in the summer and fall when mating and laying eggs.

The Banded Ash Borer feeds on the leaves of ash trees, but it does not cause significant damage to the tree.

However, the beetle’s larvae can be a severe pest of ash trees, as they burrow into the bark and wood of the tree and feed on the inner layers. This can weaken the tree and make it susceptible to other insects and diseases.

6. Big Dipper Firefly

We must count the big dipper fireflies as one of the types of beetles in New Jersey.

They are small, elongated beetles measuring between three-eighths to three-fifths of an inch (9 to 15mm). Also, they have soft bodies covered with small hairs and large eyes.

The wing covers (elytra) are black with yellow margins, and the pronotum (top surface of the thorax) is pink with a black center dot.

This color pattern on the pronotum can vary from one population to another. Thus, it isn’t easy to distinguish adult big dipper fireflies from other species within the same genus, Photinus.

The light-producing organs of male and female big dipper fireflies also differ; males possess these organs on two segments, while females only have them on one part.

These light-producing organs are used for communication during mating season and can be seen flashing in the night sky.

Big dipper fireflies are common in North America and can be found in wooded areas near streams or ponds.

7. Black Blister Beetle

You can also find the black blister beetle among the types of beetles in New Jersey.

Blister beetles are a type of insect found in the family of Meloidae. They come in many colors and sizes, ranging from small to large.

The most remarkable aspect of their anatomy is the combination of a big head and slender thorax, which makes them different from other beetle species.

The abdomen of most blister beetles is elongated and cylindrical. However, some species have a rounded “ball-like” abdomen or short wings and a larva-form abdomen.

Black blister beetles feed on plants such as alfalfa and clover and other vegetation like flowers and fruits. They also feed on other insects, such as grasshoppers and caterpillars.

While they are not considered pests themselves, they can cause damage to crops if their populations become too large.

Besides this, some species of blister beetle produce an irritating chemical called cantharidin when disturbed or threatened which can cause skin irritation or blisters if touched or ingested.

8. Black Carpet Beetle

What’s this list of the types of beetles in New Jersey without the black carpet beetle? The black carpet beetle is a tiny insect measuring between 2.8 and 5 mm.

It has a black to reddish brown coloration and is covered with short, sparse pubescence.

‘The first segment of the tarsi of the hind legs is much shorter than the second segment, and the last antennal part of the male is twice as long as that of the female.

In contrast to adult black carpet beetles, their larvae are quite different in appearance.

They can reach up to 12.7 mm in length and have an elongated, carrot-shaped body that is golden to chocolate brown in coloration.

At the tail end of their body, they have a tuft of very long, curled, golden-brown hair, which helps them stand out from other carpet beetle larvae.

9. Black Firefly

The black firefly is among the types of beetles in New Jersey. It has an adult body length of up to 12 millimeters, making it one of the smallest insects around.

Its most distinctive feature is its segmented black serrated antennae, giving it a unique look.

The firefly’s antennae are used to sense its environment and communicate with other fireflies. They also help the insect detect potential mates and food sources.

The antennae are covered in tiny hairs, which help them pick up scents from their surroundings.

Further, the firefly’s bright colors serve as a warning signal to predators, letting them know that they should stay away.

10. Black Vine Weevil

The black vine weevil is another beetle in New Jersey that causes damage to crops. The larvae of the pest are white and C-shaped, with a brown head and no legs.

As adults, they are slate gray to black in color, flightless, and measure between 9-13 mm long.

They have a short snout with elbowed antennae, and their front wings are covered with tiny concave areas and small patches of short golden hairs.

The black vine weevil looks like the strawberry root weevil but is twice as large. The adult weevils feed on foliage at night, while the larvae feed on roots below ground during the day.

Farmers should regularly inspect their crops for signs of these pests to prevent infestations and take appropriate action if necessary.

11. Calligrapha Beetle

The Calligrapha beetle is one of the beetles in New Jersey. It is a small, slender insect with an elongated body and measures about 4-7 mm.

This beetle’s adult form is a long white oval measuring about 3/8 of an inch in length.

Its head and thorax are a strikingly dark, metallic green. The wing covers have 10 to 14 metallic green spots, a dark green boot-shaped spot at the base, and a dark, metallic green irregular stripe along the inner edge.

The larvae of this beetle are hump-backed with yellow heads. Also, their bodies are light yellow or cream with a black line down the middle of their backs.

They mature into adults that display the same unique coloring as described above. This beetle is an exciting species due to its distinct colors and patterns.

12. Cedar Beetle

Cedar beetles are among the different types of beetles in New Jersey. They are wood-boring beetles that feed on and lay their eggs in the wood of cedar trees.

Several cedar beetles are found in different parts of the world. These include the western cedar bark beetle (Phloeosinus punctatus), the eastern cedar bark beetle (P. calligraphus), and the European cedar bark beetle (Thamnurgus sartor).

Cedar beetles are small, dark-colored beetles with elongated bodies and sharp mandibles.

The adult beetles lay their eggs in the bark of cedar trees, and the larvae (immature stage) feed on the inner layers of the bark and wood. This can weaken the tree and make it susceptible to other insects and diseases.

Cedar beetles are most commonly found in cedar trees, but they attack other species of trees, such as fir, spruce, and pine.

Also, they can be severe pests of cedar trees in certain areas. To control cedar beetles, you must remove and destroy infested trees and use chemical pesticides to kill the beetles and their larvae.

Additionally, using traps baited with pheromones can help reduce populations of cedar beetles.

13. Click Beetle

Click beetles are a diverse group of insects found in many parts of the world, including New Jersey.

They range in size from small and brown or black, without markings, to large and colorful.

The adults are typically nocturnal and feed on plants, but only some species are economically important pests.

On hot nights they may enter houses, but they do not cause any damage.

The larvae of click beetles, known as wireworms, usually feed on dead organisms such as decaying wood or plant material.

However, some species are serious agricultural pests due to their voracious appetite for crop roots and seeds. Other species are active predators of other insect larvae.

Some elaterid species, such as the genus Pyrophorus, have bioluminescent properties in both larval and adult forms.

Larvae have elongated cylindrical or somewhat flattened bodies with hard exoskeletons that resemble mealworms.

14. Darkling Beetle

Darkling beetles are another among the types of beetles in New Jersey. Small, dark-colored insects feed on decaying organic matter, such as dead leaves and wood. They can also be found in compost piles and manure piles.

Darkling beetles have long, slender bodies with short antennae and six legs. The adults range in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch long.

They are usually black or brown, but some species may have yellow or red markings. The larvae of darkling beetles are mealworms, serving as food for pet reptiles and birds.

The larvae feed on decaying organic matter and can be found in compost piles, manure piles, and other areas with decaying organic matter.

Darkling beetles are beneficial insects because they help to break down decaying organic matter and return nutrients to the soil.

They are also important food sources for many animals, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

15. Dung Beetle

Dung beetles are the last on our list of the types of beetles in New Jersey. They feed on the dung of animals such as cows, horses, and sheep.

They are small, black, or brown insects with hard shells and long antennae. The adults range in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch long.

Dung beetles play an essential role in the environment by helping to break down animal waste and return nutrients to the soil.

They also help reduce disease spread by consuming bacteria and other pathogens found in animal dung.

Dung beetles are beneficial insects because they help to keep pastures and fields clean by removing animal waste.

They also provide food for many animals, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article on the types of beetles in New Jersey. There are many different species of beetles in the state, including black fireflies, cedar beetles, and more.

Each beetle has its own unique lifecycle and behavior. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments section.

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