Among the most interesting bug species you may encounter are beetles. Different types of beetles in Pennsylvania come in various harmless varieties that are good for backyards and gardens.
Nevertheless, certain kinds of beetles are also capable of destroying flora or plants.
To determine the sort of beetle you have, it can be helpful to identify them based on their color, body form, and other characteristics.
Let’s dive into our post list of types of beetles in Pennsylvania!
1. Grapevine Beetle
As a member of the Scarab beetle family, grapevine beetles are one of the types of beetles in Pennsylvania that have bodies that resemble those of June beetles and Japanese beetles.
Depending on the area, the Grapevine Beetle’s color can range from tan to a deeper shade of brown, with either brown or black legs.
Legs are hairy and thick and feature some serrations. One characteristic that sets this species apart is its elytra.
Three black spots are near the outside border of each wing covering, or elytron. Complementing the elytra’s dots on either side is a black dot on the thorax.
There is a black or brown semicircle where the top center of the abdomen and the thorax meet. The head may be tan or a deeper shade of brown, with black eyes on either side.
2. Giant Stag Beetle
The giant stag beetle is also on our list of types of beetles in Pennsylvania. What makes the giant stag beetle so fascinating is easily understood.
It is massive, with lengths of surpassing two inches or six centimeters.
Males have enormous, curved mandibles that resemble powerful pincers on the front of their heads; females have much shorter, more regular mandibles. Men use these to compete with one another for girls.
The male’s head appears to be shielded by a flattened region around the base of his mandibles.
Although the beetle’s pale wings are tucked under its elytra or covers, it is usually seen moving across the ground.
The overall color of the body is a shade of maroon or black. It can bite if handled aggressively and is the largest species in the Stag family.
3. Convergent Lady Beetle
While all Convergent Lady Beetles have reddish-orange elytra (wing coverings) with black spots, some have more than 13 black spots, while others have less.
The white lines that encircle the prothorax, or “shoulder plate,” and converge behind the head are similar in all individuals.
The apex of the prothorax is shown by two white dashes, one on the left and one on the right.
These beetles in Pennsylvania larvae resemble small alligators and are entirely different from the adult form.
Larvae have six legs near the head and a long, tubular body. They have orange spots on their black bodies and are spiky.
Once again, they transform into spherical, plump pupae that resemble snails. They have reversed their larval coloring to this point when they are orange with black markings.
Throughout their cycles, Convergent Lady Beetles are frequently observed grouped together on the ground or close to one another on plants.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania serve as natural biological barriers against aphids and other plant pests that wreak havoc on fruit.
Although the usefulness of releasing live Convergent Lady Beetles into gardens and farm fields is still being investigated, containers containing the insects can be bought.
4. Click Beetle
Click bugs are harmless, elongated, and thin bugs. Although many species are black, they can also be brown, reddish brown, or any shade.
They are well known for the noise they produce when they have to flee from a predator quickly.
When the beetle’s strong spine on its front (belly) side snaps violently, it launches itself clear of harm.
There’s an audible click due to this snap. Even a beetle caught on its back may be flipped back to its feet by the force.
Since an upside-down beetle is defenseless, it can be saved by quickly returning to its upright position.
Wireworms are the larvae of this genus of Click Beetles. These types of beetles in Pennsylvania consume the roots and tubers of crops like wheat, corn, and potatoes. They are slender.
Since they migrate underground from plant to plant, often for years before pupating into adults, they are considered a pest.
5. Checkered Beetle
The checkered beetle’s elytra, or wing covering, has a vibrant banding pattern that contributed to its name.
The head and thorax of the checked beetles are red. The abdomen is multicolored, with bulging bands of black and yellow towards the back and red near the head.
Black segments on the antennae and legs. From late spring through early summer, adults can be observed around weeds and flowers.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania are very good at eating insects such as weevils, borer beetles, and bark beetles in both of their life stages.
The adult Checkered Beetle consumes different adult species. You can find them napping on flowers, and while they’re there, they might even be sipping nectar.
The Cedar Beetle parasitizes the larvae of Cicadas. Since female beetles deposit their eggs on trees, seeing them on trunks may lead one to believe that, in contrast to other beetles, they are truly attacking the tree (e.g., the Asian Longhorn Beetle).
After their eggs hatch, the larvae of the cedar beetle dig beneath the earth in search of buried nymphs or young grubs.
The beetle larva will cling to the Cicada larva and eat slowly through its outer layer, eventually destroying the bug.
Cedar beetles appear all black from above, yet their orange abdomen is covered in wing coverings.
Typically, these types of beetles in Pennsylvania only display their abdomen when their wings are spread.
7. Burying Beetle
When burying a deceased bird or small animal, adult Burying Beetles will even pluck its feathers or hair. The ladies mold the carcass into a ball before laying their eggs.
To help conceal the carcass from other creatures that prey on rotting animals, these beetles in Pennsylvania cover it with earth or plant debris.
The emerging larvae eat the animal’s carcass once their eggs hatch. The parents of certain species assist in feeding the just-hatched larvae.
Burying Beetles have big red spots on their elytra (wing covering) that resemble puzzle pieces.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania are black in color. Large red clubs, or knobs, are seen on the tips of antennae. Adults consume maggots, rotten fruit, and even carrion itself.
8. Bumblebee Scarab Beetle
Despite having a bee-like appearance, the Bumblebee Scarab Beetle is not a bee and does not sting.
It has hair on its pronotum, abdomen, and even between its eyes, just like a bee. The insect? Their perfectly sized dark brown wing coatings may easily be mistaken for bee wings.
The True wings are covered, concealed, and shielded. It perches on leaves and fingers, visits flowers, and flies.
Tiny clubs formed by short antennae split apart to reveal the insect. A genuine family of descent.
At the very least, such remarkable resemblance shields these beetles in Pennsylvania from harassment while they visit flowers.
9. Bran Leaf Beetle
The pattern and color of the Bean Leaf Beetle can vary. While some are brown or even crimson, others are green.
Two of them might be mistaken for two distinct kinds of beetles if they are on the same leaf. The majority have six black, square-shaped patches on the back.
Unlike its near sibling, the Spotted Cucumber Beetle, which has a series of dots, the sides include a long black stripe. There is a triangular black spot at the top of the wings.
Other individuals in this species have plain wing covers and no black markings.
Every individual has a black head, and the pronotum, or collar, is the same color as the rest of the types of beetles in Pennsylvania.
10. Banded Net-Winged Beetle
Banded Net-winged Beetles are often observed resting on leaves or flowers. They are active during the day and at dusk.
They might be trying to frighten off a threat by flaring their wings and elytra. Orange and black, in vivid broad stripes, alternating over the elytra.
The name of these beetles in Pennsylvania comes from a raised textural pattern of lines that covers the elytra like a net.
The head rounds off the orange pronotum, which ends in two long points on either side of the “neck.”
On the pronotum, a dark line goes down the middle. Their pupae have fewer hues. The youngsters without wings are brown and speckled with ridges; white appendages protrude from their sides, making them plump centipedes.
11. Ashy Grey Lady Beetle
Adult Ashy Grey Lady Beetles are next on our list of types of beetles in Pennsylvania, which come in two color varieties.
On its elytra (wing covering), the grayish-white variant bears two huge black markings and numerous smaller ones.
On the other hand, the black variant has two huge red spots on its elytra and little white coloring on its head and pronotum (also known as the “shoulders”). Both versions seem to be shiny.
Larvae of these types of beetles in Pennsylvania are unlike any other in terms of look and shape. This larva’s long, black, tubular body is coated in sharp ridges.
12. American Carrion Beetle
The larval and adult American carrion beetle derives its name from its habit of consuming decomposing meat. Adults are occasionally observed consuming rotting fruit or mushrooms.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania consume not just rotting fruit and dead flesh but also maggots and other insect larvae that feed on deceased animals.
Muscle and dried skin are also consumed. This repulsive function helps recycle nutrients from deceased animals into the natural food chain.
At first look, this small beetle resembles a plump firefly. It might resemble a little, flattened bumblebee when in flight.
It instinctively flies to the carrion, where it can smell it from a distance, and digs in for a delicious feast.
It’s head and elytra (wing covering) are both black. The elytra are rough in texture and have a distinct midline where it rips open to allow the wings, which are kept secure underneath, to take flight.
13. Net-Winged Beetle
This beetle, like its near cousin C, has a firefly-like appearance. Reticulated, yet this species belongs to the Lycidae family due to the ridges and net-like vein pattern on its wings. None of them sparkle.
A broad black band covers the bottom portion of the elytra, or wing coverings, primarily orange.
Adults open and lift their wings as a defensive warning when threatened, maybe giving the impression that they are larger and more aggressive than they actually are.
Many similarly sized orange and black insects taste poorly. Therefore, this coloring is a passive defense in and of itself.
Because it lacks a stinger and is not a fighter, the Net-winged Beetle’s display may not always deter a predator.
14. Stag Beetle
Stag beetles are abundant in areas east of the Mississippi and are recognized for their massive size and fierce appearance.
While males’ massive, pincer-like mandibles and robust exoskeleton suggest hostility, this is not a true representation of the beetle.
When a male Stag Beetle wants to court a female, he usually saves his mandibles for man-on-man fighting.
The male who wins has the chance to mate. Males with shorter mandibles than older ones are younger.
The male’s mandibles, which can grow to the size of their heads, are significantly longer than the female’s. Its exoskeleton has a deep reddish-brown color and a smooth, glossy appearance.
15. Water Scavenger Beetle
Water Scavenger Beetles have hydrodynamic, streamlined bodies that make them great swimmers.
They have feathers on their feet to aid in their aquatic propulsion. They take in air, hold it beneath their wings, and then dive beneath the water’s surface to use it for breathing.
Predaceous Diving Beetles are similar to them. Predaceous Diving Beetles lack the little clubs at the tips of their antennae that are present on Water Scavengers.
Predators such as water scavenger beetles naturally lower summertime mosquito populations by eating mosquito larvae. Others feed on water vegetation while they scavenge.
They are herbivores. Their larvae are omnivores, consuming other aquatic detritus, tiny insects, and other waste products.
Adults are occasionally observed on land close to lights, which draw them.
16. Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle
Identification of the Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle is aided by the two red dots on its glossy black elytra. A thin lip or ridge protrudes from the elytra’s lower margin.
This beetle is not a delicate bug; it has powerful jaws that can gnaw through the hard exoskeletons of many other insects resembling armor.
Insects that could damage leaves and fruit or even kill the plant are naturally and organically removed from plants by beetles.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania feed on scale and other organisms that can spread viruses or fungi that affect plants.
It is, therefore, a great ally for farmers and gardeners. For safety, females deposit their fertilized eggs inside the empty-scale insect carcasses.
17. Striped Cucumber Beetle
The soft, lush foliage of garden plants is the food source for Striped Cucumber Beetles, which are members of the Leaf Beetle family.
The pronotum is orange-yellow, the head is black, and the wing coverings are striped in black and yellow.
Contrary to their name, these types of beetles in Pennsylvania do not limit feeding to cucumber plants alone.
Gourds, melons, zucchini, and squash types are very delicious. A few insects do not negatively impact vegetable yield. Even in tiny quantities, backyard gardens can yield good crops.
But there’s a good chance the population will expand quickly, and many Striped Cucumber Beetles can harm food plants’ leaves and fruits.
Additionally, they could spread the disease-causing vector for bacterial wilt, which annihilates cucumber plants and their cousins.
18. Six-spotted Tiger Beetle
Six white dots line the side borders of the elytra, or wing coverings, of the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, punctuating its brilliant, metallic emerald green color.
Some people might not have white spots, while others might have two extra spots on either side of the midline.
Some people are still purple with blue undertones rather than green. When not in use, the black pincers bend over each other to close the wide white mouth section in front of the face.
White, feathery hairs are on the top legs, nearer the abdomen than the feet.
19. Seedcorn Beetle
Seedcorn beetle is also one of the types of beetles in Pennsylvania. Larvae of the seedcorn beetle inhabit soil used for growing maize plants.
Where underground invertebrates are available, adults and larvae consume them.
These types of beetles in Pennsylvania feed on many maize pests, including rootworms, which maintain the health of corn plants’ roots. Under these circumstances, the Seedcorn Beetle is helpful.
However, troublesome insects like corn seed maggots and wireworms that attack corn will not yet be ready for consumption if cold, rainy weather in the spring prevents maize seeds from germinating and forming roots.
The Seedcorn Beetle consumes the maize seed directly to obtain food under these circumstances. Replanting or replacing maize seed makes a maize crop easier to achieve.
20. Rove Beetle
Typically, rove beetles are found in damp soil or compost, feeding on soft-bodied larvae and other insects like mites and maggots.
This species’ elongated body is divided into what appear to be four segments: a long, slender abdomen, a truncated elytra, a thorax, and a head.
Rove Beetles resemble earwigs in body form. However, they do not have pincers. Large numbers of species have light-colored, nearly translucent legs.
Certain species have two tones: one is black and yellow, while another is black and brown. Some might have brown coloring and be pallid.
The short elytra and wings cause the exposed plated abdomen.
21. Rhinoceros Beetle
The most distinguishing feature of the male rhinoceros beetle is the large, black horn that protrudes from its head.
The purpose of this horn is to ward off male attention from a female. There are no horns on females.
The pronotum is big and rounded. On the black elytra of both sexes, there are little ridges. Underneath the flake-like extensions on their legs, dark red hairs protrude.
Rhinoceros Beetles have horns on their heads that resemble pincers. However, they are smaller than Eastern Hercules Beetles despite being larger than others.
Rhinoceros beetles are considered fairly amiable and not known to bite.
22. Poplar Borer
Tiny black spots, or freckles, adorn the white bodies of many mature Poplar Borer Beetles.
The face and ‘neck collar’ are lined with orange-yellow markings, which also cover the elytra (wing covers).
Some of these beetles in Pennsylvania have black specks all over their mostly orange skin. All belong to the Cerambycidae family of beetles, known for having long antennae. Antennae are often orange or white, matching most of the insects.
In North America, Poplar Borer Beetle larvae are a major nuisance. On tree trunks, females deposit their eggs.
After hatching, the larvae burrow into the trunk and tunnel through the sapwood, girdling (cutting all the way around) branches and the trunk to disrupt the water and nutrient flow throughout the tree. A girdling holds a tree’s trunk or branches tightly.
23. Oil Beetle
One kind of blister beetle is the oil beetle. This kind of beetle’s abdomen can release cantharidin, a caustic substance.
This chemical’s toxicity is high enough to irritate human skin, resulting in blister formation, redness, and irritation.
Usually, the beetle will utilize it when it senses danger or mistreatment. Oil Beetles should not be handled or picked up as a result.
Its abdomen is exposed and has a matte shine, all black. Wing coverings could have dimples and be short.
Like other blister beetles, it enjoys flowers and can consume plant liquids and nectar. It is present in grass, blooms, and the stems or trunks of trees.
24. Red Flat Bark Beetle
Red Flat Bark Beetles appear as though they have been crushed and compressed. Their life history is unknown.
However, it is thought that they feed on other insects hidden behind the bark of trees.
When these types of beetles in Pennsylvania are in their larval stage, they resemble orange centipedes more than their brilliant red adult form.
Under the loose bark of tree trunks are larvae and adults.
25. Soldier Beetle
Soldier beetle is ending our list of types of beetles in Pennsylvania. The fact that soldier beetles consume other insects is beneficial to plants.
The beetle searches through leaves and stems for any potential prey, most likely attempting to take nutrients from the plant.
The Soldier’s labor is appreciated when such plant pests are eliminated. Though they don’t light up, they resemble lightning bugs.
Some species in this genus can be black, orange, or red. The plant the soldier beetle hunts on will be happy if you let it do its thing.
All beetle species are classified as anthropoids or members of the Coleoptera order (phylum Arthropoda).
There are families and subgroups among the more than 400,000 types of beetles in Pennsylvania. While certain beetle species can fly, others bite.
While different types of beetles in Pennsylvania are black, they can also be green, brown, red, or orange in color.
Some of Pennsylvania‘s most beautiful types of beetles have metallic-hued iridescent coloring.
Others may have bodies that are patterned, speckled, or striped.