10 Types of Beetles in Tennessee (With Pictures)

Types of Beetles in Tennessee
Photo by Karin Chantanaprayura on Pexels

Are you curious about the different types of beetles in Tennessee? If so, you’re in for a treat!

In this post, we’ll explore the fascinating world of beetles and discover the various types of beetles found in Tennessee.

 From the colorful Ladybugs to the fierce Ground Beetles, we’ll discuss Tennessee’s various types of beetles and their unique traits.

So buckle up and get ready to explore the wonderful world of beetles!

1. Glowworm Beetle

by In Memoriam: Ecuador Megadiverso is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of the most fascinating types of beetles in Tennessee is the glowworm.

These unique insects belong to the family of Lampyridae beetles and are well-known for their bioluminescent abilities.

Male glowworms use their light to attract female glowworms during mating season. 

Despite their name, glowworms aren’t worms at all – they’re the larvae of fireflies!

They spend most of their lives as underground larvae, hunting for small insects and snails to feed on.

Once ready to pupate and become adult fireflies, they emerge from the ground and transform into winged insects.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a glowworm in Tennessee, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and wonder of these amazing creatures.

With their soft, greenish glow, they are one of Tennessee’s most unique and fascinating types of beetles.

2. Pustulated Carrion Beetle

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

The Pustulated Carrion Beetle, also known as Nicrophorus pustulatus, is a member of the burying beetle family.

These beetles are known for their unique behavior of burying small animal carcasses as a food source for their larvae.

You can find these beetles in forested areas and open fields in Tennessee. 

They are typically about an inch long with a black body and distinctive orange pustules on their elytra (wing covers).

These bumps contain a chemical compound that acts as a defensive mechanism against predators.

Pustulated Carrion Beetles are essential for their role in the decomposition process.

By burying and consuming animal carcasses, they help break down the organic material and return nutrients to the soil. Interestingly, Pustulated Carrion Beetles also exhibit parental care behavior.

After mating, the male and female work together to prepare a suitable burial site for the carcass and lay their eggs. 

Once the eggs hatch, the parents feed and protect their young until they can fend for themselves.

The Pustulated Carrion Beetle is a fascinating and essential species to observe and appreciate in Tennessee’s ecosystem.

3. Acorn Weevil

Acorn Weevil
by Bruce Marlin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

The Acorn Weevil is a fascinating beetle species commonly found in Tennessee.

These tiny insects are usually no more than 0.5 inches long and have a distinctive curved snout resembling an elephant’s trunk.

Acorn Weevils are known for their unique breeding habits involving laying eggs inside acorns. 

The female weevils will use their snouts to bore a small hole in the acorn, where they will then lay their eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the acorn before eventually emerging as adults.

While Acorn Weevils are generally harmless to humans, they can cause significant damage to oak trees. 

Large infestations of these insects can cause acorn crops to fail and even kill young trees. 

Despite their destructive tendencies, the Acorn Weevil is still a fascinating beetle species that play a vital role in Tennessee’s ecosystem.

By helping to control the growth of oak trees and promoting diversity in the local flora, these insects serve as a vital component of the state’s natural environment.

4. Rose Chafer

Rose Chafer
by treegrow is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another fascinating beetle that you may come across in Tennessee is the Rose Chafer.

As its name suggests, this beetle is attracted to roses, but it can also be found on various other plants.

It has a vibrant metallic green color and is about 1⁄2 inch long. 

The Rose Chafer belongs to the family Scarabaeidae, which includes many other types of beetles in Tennessee.

These beetles are known for their rounded bodies and antennae clubbed at the tips.

In addition to the Rose Chafer, you may encounter other Scarab beetles like the Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle and the Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle.

One interesting fact about Rose Chafers is that they only live for a few weeks as adults.

They spend most of their lives as grubs in the soil, feeding on the roots of plants.

Once they emerge from the soil, they mate and lay eggs, and the cycle begins anew.

Next time you’re out in your garden or exploring Tennessee’s natural areas, watch for the Rose Chafer and other types of beetles in Tennessee.

You never know what fascinating creatures you might encounter!

5. Emerald Euphoria Beetle

Emerald Euphoria Beetle
by Wedontneedfeatherstofly is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Emerald Euphoria Beetle is a stunningly beautiful beetle species that can be found in Tennessee.

It is characterized by its metallic green body, which shines and shimmers in the sunlight.

This beetle belongs to the Scarabaeidae family, a large and diverse group of beetles that includes many species found in Tennessee.

The Emerald Euphoria Beetle is typically found in wooded areas, where it feeds on tree sap.

It is most active during the summer when it can often be seen flying around for food or mates.

This beetle is relatively small, measuring only about 1.5 centimeters in length, but its vibrant green color makes it a standout species.

Despite its small size, the Emerald Euphoria Beetle is essential to the ecosystem.

It helps pollinate flowers and plants as it feeds on their sap and is a food source for predators such as birds and small mammals.

While the Emerald Euphoria Beetle is not as well-known as some other beetle species, it is a fascinating and vital part of Tennessee’s biodiversity.

Next time you’re out in the woods, keep an eye out for this beautiful green beetle and appreciate the vital role it plays in our natural world.

6. Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle

Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle
by cotinis is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Another interesting beetle species found in Tennessee is the Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle.

As its name suggests, this beetle is known for its gleaming green or golden color and its preference for living on the leaves of various plant species.

Like many other types of beetles in Tennessee, the Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle is essential in its ecosystem as both a pollinator and a decomposer.

One interesting fact about this beetle is that it is attracted to lights, making it a common sight around outdoor lighting fixtures during the summer months.

It is also known for its ability to produce a loud, buzzing sound by rubbing its legs together, a behavior that is thought to help attract potential mates.

Despite its relatively small size, the Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle is essential to Tennessee’s insect community.

By learning more about these fascinating creatures and their roles in their environment, we can better appreciate our state’s complex and interconnected web of life.

7. Goldsmith Beetle

Goldsmith Beetle
by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Goldsmith Beetle is a large and shiny beetle native to Tennessee and can often be found in wooded areas.

As its name suggests, it is known for its bright golden color and intricate markings on its elytra (rigid wing coverings).

These beetles can grow up to an inch long and have long, thin legs ideal for climbing and clinging to plants.

They also have potent mandibles, which they crush and chew on complex vegetation like tree bark.

Interestingly, the larvae of Goldsmith Beetles can cause damage to trees as they feed on the wood and burrow through the trunk.

While this can be detrimental to the tree’s health, it is also an essential part of the ecosystem as it allows for the recycling of nutrients.

Goldsmith Beetles are still fascinating creatures to observe despite their potential for harm.

Their shimmering metallic colors and distinctive patterns are a sight to behold.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one on your next hike through the woods, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the insect world.

8. Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle

Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle
by cramsay23 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you see a small beetle that looks like a bee buzzing around a flower in Tennessee, chances are it’s a Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle.

These little insects have black and yellow stripes resembling a bee but belong to the Scarab Beetle family. 

Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetles are often found near flowers because they feed on nectar like bees. 

They are about half an inch long and have shiny, black bodies with sometimes red or orange stripes.

The Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle is most commonly seen in Tennessee’s late spring and early summer months.

These types of beetles in Tennessee play an essential role in pollination.

 As they visit flowers to feed on nectar, they transfer pollen from one flower to another, aiding in fertilization.

While they are beneficial for the environment, Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetles do not cause any harm to humans.

In some cultures, the Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle is considered a symbol of luck or a sign of good fortune. 

This is because the beetle is associated with the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, believed to bring fertility and abundance.

Overall, the Bee-Like Flower Scarab Beetle is a fascinating insect to observe in its natural habitat.

Its bee-like appearance can often be deceiving, but with a closer look, it is easy to appreciate its unique characteristics and contribution to the ecosystem.

9. Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Oil Beetle is another exciting species among Tennessee’s many types of beetles.

Beetles are distinctive with their elongated, slender body shape and black, oily appearance. They can be found in various habitats, including fields, woodlands, and gardens.

One interesting fact about Oil Beetles is their unique defense mechanism.

When they feel threatened, they secrete a toxic substance called cantharidin, which can cause blistering and irritation on the skin of humans and other animals.

Despite their name, Oil Beetles do not produce oil. They get their name from the oily appearance of their exoskeleton.

They also have fascinating life cycles. Female Oil Beetles lay their eggs in the ground, and the larvae develop inside the eggs until they emerge and seek out a host bee or solitary wasp to hitch a ride on.

Oil Beetles are a fascinating species and a great example of Tennessee’s diverse range of beetles.

If you encounter one of these exciting insects, admire it from a distance and resist the temptation to handle it, as their toxic defense mechanism can harm humans.

10. Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Dogbane Leaf Beetle
by sankax is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Another fascinating type of beetle found in Tennessee is the Dogbane Leaf Beetle.

As the name suggests, this beetle feeds on the leaves of the dogbane plant, a member of the milkweed family. The beetle is shiny, metallic green, and about 8 mm long. 

The Dogbane Leaf Beetle is easily identified because of its striking coloration and distinctive feeding behavior.

These types of beetles in Tennessee are specialist feeders and can only feed on the dogbane plant, making it a highly adapted species.

Adult beetles lay eggs on the plant leaves, and the larvae feed on the foliage until they mature into adults.

Dogbane Leaf Beetles are found throughout North America, and their population fluctuates dramatically yearly.

They play an essential role in controlling the population of dogbane plants and are considered beneficial insects. 

Despite being relatively small and unassuming, the Dogbane Leaf Beetle is a fascinating and essential species in the ecosystem of Tennessee.

By understanding the different types of beetles that live in our state, we can better appreciate the diversity of life surrounding us and the intricate relationships between different species.


After exploring the various beetles in Tennessee, it’s clear that the state is home to a diverse range of these fascinating insects.

Each species has unique characteristics and ecological importance, from the luminous glowworm to the metallic emerald euphoria beetle.

While some beetles are pests, others are crucial in pollination, decomposition, and nutrient cycling.

It’s worth noting that many beetles still haven’t been identified or studied in detail.

As scientists continue to uncover new species and learn more about their behavior and habitat requirements, our understanding of the role of beetles in the state’s ecosystem will undoubtedly grow.

In conclusion, the types of beetles in Tennessee offer a glimpse into the complex and beautiful world of insect diversity.

Whether you’re an amateur naturalist or a seasoned entomologist, there’s always something new to discover about these fascinating creatures.

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