30 Different Types of Beetles in Texas

Different Types of Beetles in Texas
Photo by Nicolas Brulois

Texas is home to a wide variety of different beetle species. From the ground beetles, leaf beetles, and weevils, there’s an abundance of these fascinating insects to be found throughout the Lone Star State.

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at the top types of beetles in Texas that you’re most likely to come across when exploring the diverse landscape. 

We’ll also discuss their physical characteristics, habitats, and why they’re so important to the local environment.

So, let’s take a look at the top types of beetles in Texas!

1. Jewel Beetles

Jewel Beetles, which are a member of the Metallic Wood Borer family, are typically seen close to their host tree.

Like borer beetles, the larvae tunnel through the trunk’s interior before emerging from the bark to pupate on the ground.

Adults have textured elytra and a glossy, vivid hue (wing coverings). North America is home to a wide range of native species, and there is still room for research into them. This starts our list of the different types of beetles in Texas.

2. American Oil Beetle

The American oil beetle, also known as the black oil beetle, is the second on our list of the types of beetles in Texas.

This beetle is typically found during summer and can be identified by its shiny black exoskeleton and distinct yellow markings.

It has a strong defensive mechanism of releasing an oily liquid when it feels threatened or disturbed. 

This liquid is actually a combination of toxins and can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin.

These beetles are usually found in open grassy areas, gardens, and fields. It can be seen feeding on flowers, plants, and other organic materials. 

The American Oil Beetle is an important part of the food chain in Texas. They are an important source of food for various animals, such as birds, frogs, lizards, mice, and even some small mammals. 

As these beetles provide nutrition for other species, they help maintain the ecosystem’s balance.

Not only are they beneficial to the environment, but they are also popular among collectors and hobbyists due to their unique appearance and fascinating defense mechanisms.

3. Andrew’s Snail-Eating Beetle

Andrew’s Snail-eating Beetle is a small species of beetle found in Texas. It is typically black in color, with distinct patterns on its wings and head.

This beetle is part of the Carabidae family of insects and is most commonly found around decaying organic matter, such as rotting wood and leaves.

In addition to its diet of snails, it will also feed on other insects and grubs. This beetle can be found in many different habitats, including wooded areas, grasslands, and marshes.

It is considered an important member of the ecosystem due to its role in controlling pests. 

Andrew’s Snail-eating Beetle is a great example of the diverse range of beetles that can be found in Texas.

This species has adapted to the local climate and can be found throughout the year in various habitats. 

With its unique appearance and diet, this beetle stands out among the other types of beetles in Texas.

Helping to keep the population of pest insects under control helps maintain a healthy environment for other species to thrive.

4. Hister Beetle

Most of the Hister, or Clown Beetle, species have not been researched. You can find these little black beetles living anywhere, in anything.

They resemble little black seeds due to how small they are when they fold their legs under themselves. This can be their way of defending themselves.

Clown beetle species, one of the various types of beetles in Texas, can be found in trees and abandoned rodent burrows.

Some species only consume fungi, while others will consume animal waste and expired food.

Each species of clown beetle has successfully carved itself a niche that allows it to thrive in its particular environment.

5. Ironclad Beetle

The Ironclad Beetle gets its name from its exceptionally thick and robust exoskeleton. It aids in their ability to retain water, which is essential for any animal surviving in a desert.

The “spine” of the white beetle features a line of black spots that resemble paint droplets. Strong legs are dark. 

Night-active ironclad beetles will pretend to be dead if they are touched or startled. Although little is known about their life cycle, it is known that they consume fungus.

This beetle can be seen meandering across the chaparral and desert’s stony, sandy terrain. In Mexico, a different species of this genus are referred to as “alive” jewelry.

Jewelers adorn them with tiny jewels, glass beads, and other ornaments, and they are proudly exhibited.

6. Harlequin Flower Beetle

The Harlequin Flower Beetle is a sturdy yellow and black beetle. Individuals vary greatly; therefore, even though they may not be identical, they still belong to the same species.

Adults have frequently seen strolling among trees, and leaf litter also stops at flowers. Only a few U.S. states and eastern Mexico along the Gulf of Mexico make up this species’ range.

Additionally, populations may be found in isolated areas along Louisiana, from Florida’s interior eastward. 

On or near oak, mesquite, and other trees, larvae have been discovered. Adults like ripe fruit and sap-covered tree trunks.

This is one of the several types of beetles in Texas that poses no hazard to either people or plants.

7. Ant-Like Longhorn Beetle

The Ant-like Longhorn Beetle is a type of beetle found in Texas. This species of beetle has an elongated shape and is usually black with brown spots.

The head and thorax are slightly darker than the abdomen, while the legs are lighter. It has long antennae that are easily visible and look like small black hair.

These beetles feed primarily on plant material, such as leaves and stems. They can also be found feeding on decaying wood and fungi.

The Ant-like Longhorn Beetle is beneficial to the environment as it helps to break down dead material and recycle it back into the soil.

They also play an important role in pollination, as they are known to move pollen between flowers while they feed. 

These beetles are commonly seen flying around gardens and yards in the warmer months of the year.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these types of beetles in Texas, consider yourself lucky!

8. Giant Stag Beetle

It is simple to understand why people find the Giant Stag Beetle to be so fascinating. It is huge, boasting 6 centimeters in length (over 2 inches).

Males have enormous, curving mandibles that adorn the front of their heads like fearsome pincers; females have much shorter, more common mandibles. 

Males utilize these to compete for females with other males. Nearly like a shield for the male’s head is a flattened area round at the base of the mandibles.

The elytra (coverings) of this beetle conceal pale wings, although it is typically encountered walking on the ground. 

The color of the body is halfway between maroon and black. Because it is the largest species of its kind in the Stag family, handling it roughly could result in a bite.

The sticky, delicious honeydew that plant stem-dwelling aphids emit, as well as leaked tree sap are both consumed by giant stag beetles. 

They are types of beetles in Texas that can be found on or around rotting tree stumps, logs, or oak trees. Females deposit fertilized eggs in decaying tree trunks and logs.

Before molting into the adult form, the big, white larvae grow over the course of a year or more.

Giant Stag Beetles are frequently found in old, untamed woodlands because the offspring depends on soft, rotting wood.

Less rotting wood is typically present in parks and managed forest land, lessening the area’s habitat value.

Adults of these types of beetles in Texas are most active at night when they may hide from predators under the cover of darkness.

9. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle

The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle is one of the types of beetles in Texas. These beetles are small, round, and generally gray in color with black spots. They have short antennae, six legs, and two front wings that help them fly. 

The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle is an insect predator, feeding mainly on aphids, mites, scale insects, and other small invertebrates.

They are commonly seen in gardens and flower beds around the state, where they help keep pests under control.

The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle can be seen from late spring to early fall in Texas. During this time, they mate and lay eggs, which then hatch into larvae.

These larvae then feed and develop into adults over the course of the summer months. 

In addition to their beneficial role in controlling pest populations, these beetles also serve as an important food source for birds and other wildlife. For this reason, they are considered a valuable part of the Texas ecosystem.

10. Bean Leaf Beetle

The Bean Leaf Beetle is a species of beetle found in Texas and other southern regions of the United States.

These beetles are typically bright yellow or green in color and have black spots along the wing covers.

This type of beetle is an agricultural pest, as it feeds on bean and pea plants, causing serious damage to crops. 

The larvae also feed on the plants and can cause additional damage. Controlling these types of beetles in Texas is important to avoid crop damage.

The most effective control methods include hand-picking the beetles from plants and applying insecticide treatments. 

Spraying insecticides can be useful in controlling large populations of Bean Leaf Beetles, but should only be done after consulting an agricultural specialist.

Applying beneficial nematodes to the soil can also help control the larvae and reduce crop damage.

11. Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle

The Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle is a species of longhorn beetle native to Texas and other nearby states.

It is easily recognized by its striking coloration, which consists of a black base with reddish-orange or yellowish markings on the wings and body. The length of the adults can range from 12–25 millimeters. 

This species of beetle is commonly found in wooded areas and near streams. The larvae of this beetle feed on dead wood, making them important for recycling organic matter.

The Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle is an important part of Texas’ ecology, as it plays an important role in pollination. They are also a food source for other animals, such as birds and small mammals. 

This species of beetle has also been known to cause minor damage to woody plants, such as oak trees.

In general, however, the Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle, which is also one of the types of beetles in Texas, does not pose any serious threat to crops or humans.

12. Big-Headed Ground Beetle

The Big-headed Ground Beetle, also known as Scarites subterraneus, is a type of beetle found in the state of Texas.

It has a dark brown body, and its head is almost entirely black, giving it its common name. Its body is about 1/4 inch long and has strong hind legs that it uses for burrowing in the ground. 

Its wings are short and rounded, allowing it to crawl around on the ground. This beetle lives in moist areas and is often seen around rotting wood and decaying vegetation.

The Big-headed Ground Beetle is an important part of the Texas ecology as it helps to break down decaying organic matter, which is essential for healthy soil. 

They are types of beetles in Texas that are also beneficial predators, helping to control pest populations.

While they can be considered a nuisance when they enter homes, they rarely cause any damage and can easily be removed with a vacuum cleaner.

These beetles can live up to five years in the wild and will remain active throughout the year, even during winter months.

13. Black Bladder-Bodied Meloid Beetle

The black bladder-bodied meloid beetle, otherwise known as Cysteodemus wislizeni, is native to the state of Texas. It is a species of a blister beetle and grows to about 8 millimeters in length.

This beetle is usually black with reddish-brown markings on its thorax and elytra (wing covers). 

This species of beetle has been found throughout many parts of the state, especially in central and western areas.

The black bladder-bodied meloid beetle feeds on plants such as grasses, legumes, and other plant materials. They can also be seen near flowers or other areas of foliage. 

This species of beetle is beneficial to agriculture since it helps to control populations of pest insects.

The black bladder-bodied meloid beetle is an important part of the insect population in Texas. Additionally, it helps to maintain a healthy balance in its native habitats.

14. Flower Longhorn Beetle

This species belongs to the family Cerambycidae because of its long antennae, or horns. Its name, which means “famished,” was inspired by its tiny abdomen.

Ironically, the larvae of S. famelica rarely have trouble locating food because they consume a variety of deadwood from widely distributed trees including oak and birch. 

Adults are most active from late spring through summer and visit flowers to consume nectar and consume pollen. Not much else has been written about this species’ life cycle.

15. Black Blister Beetle

The black blister beetle (Epicauta pennsylvanica) is a common species of beetle found in the United States, including Texas.

It is a member of the Meloidae family and can be found in many different habitats. These beetles are often found feeding on plant material, including flowers and leaves. 

The adult beetles range from 11 to 19 mm in length and have a shiny black body with brownish-yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen.

They can also be distinguished by the presence of two spines at the end of the abdomen. These beetles are active during the day and can be found in fields and gardens across Texas.

They are types of beetles in Texas and are especially fond of cruciferous plants, such as cabbage and mustard.

Black blister beetles are considered a nuisance because they can damage crops if left unchecked. 

If a large number of them are present, they can also cause skin irritation due to their secretion of a toxic fluid when disturbed or handled.

To control these beetles, insecticides may be used, but natural predators, such as birds and lizards, can also help keep populations under control.

16. Black Carpet Beetle

The Black Carpet Beetle is a type of beetle native to the state of Texas. This beetle is small and black in color, with adults ranging from 2-5mm long.

It is characterized by its hard and shiny exoskeleton, which is often covered in small scales. 

The Black Carpet Beetle is a pest that feeds on carpets and other fabrics, making them an unwelcome guest in any home.

The Black Carpet Beetle is an important part of the Texas ecosystem, feeding on pollen, plant matter, and other insects. 

These beetles are also important pollinators, playing a critical role in the health of local plant communities.

While these beetles can be annoying if they find their way into homes, it is important to remember that they serve an important ecological purpose and should not be treated harshly.

17. Burying Beetle

The Burying Beetle, or Nicrophorus spp., is a species of beetle found in Texas. This species is characterized by black and yellow stripes along its body and wings. It can grow up to 15 mm in length and has short antennae. 

The Burying Beetle is commonly found near rotting animal carcasses or areas where such animals have died.

This beetle feeds on the carrion and uses the remains as a form of protection while they are mating or laying eggs. 

These beetles are known to benefit the environment by reducing the spread of bacteria and other organisms associated with decaying carcasses.

As such, they are types of beetles in Texas that are important parts of its ecosystem.

18. Fire-Colored Beetle

This noticeable insect appears dangerous while not being so, thanks to its bright red head and wings.

The sides of the skull are home to two sizable, rounded black eyes. Antennas with long segments are also red. 

The Fire-Colored Beetle, one of the types of beetles in Texas, is not a hazard to people, despite its iconic alarm hue. It doesn’t sting, bite, or spray corrosive substances.

The life history and diet of many species of the Dendroides genus of Fire-Colored Beetles are poorly understood. 

It is thought that their larvae hide in woody debris and beneath rocks. Adults could make an interior appearance after riding on firewood as a child.

On flowers, adults have been spotted. They could be drawn to lights. 

19. Earth-Boring Scale Beetle

Domed and round, digging the Earth Scarabs are tiny, tank-shaped insects with orange extensions in the shape of discs on their antennae. The body is mostly orange and black, with a black head. 

The elytra’s top, sides, and center (wing coverings) are marked by thick black bands, and a black patch next to the head is covered in horn-like lumps. Legs are orange and black, with short, thin hairs covering them.

According to their name, Earth-boring Scarab Beetles make deep holes in the ground, sometimes reaching 2-3 meters (6-9 feet).

An egg is laid at the end of each lengthy tunnel, and nourishment is put there for the developing grub.

A few examples of larval food sources are fungi, manure, compost, and decomposing plant matter.

The beetle grub will consume its food supply after hatching, climb the tunnel to the surface, and pupate into its adult form with wings.

Adults also consume hummus, rotting plant stuff, and dung. They can frequently be seen on (or in) manure piles and compost heaps. 

Although the diet of the Earth-boring Scarab Beetle appears rather disgusting to humans, the nutrients in the substance assist valuable resources to return to the food web.

It offers a speedy natural method of recycling and reusing minerals and vitamins.

20. Falae Potato beetle

Similar to the Colorado Potato Beetle in appearance is the False Potato Beetle.

In contrast to its Colorado sibling, which has a black mid-line between its two wing coverings, the False Potato Beetle has a brown one.

The wing coverings, or electrons, have five black stripes on them. Two yellow or white stripes are located between the black stripes, followed by a brown stripe and a final yellow stripe on the edge.

There are two large black dashes and two tiny black dots on the brown pronotum. 

The face and head start to develop more black patches. These types of beetles in Texas also have orange-colored legs.

Antennas have black and orange coloring. Although potatoes seem like a logical food source, this species prefers horse nettle.

21. California Root Borer Beetle

The California Root Borer Beetle is a type of beetle found in the state of Texas. These beetles measure up to three inches in length and have a dark brown or black coloration.

The larvae of these beetles feed on the roots of plants such as trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. 

Adult beetles are attracted to lights at night, so they can often be seen around homes and buildings.

They are also known to enter homes through cracks and crevices, where they can cause damage to carpets, furniture, and other fabrics.

The California Root Borer Beetle is an important member of the beetle family in Texas, providing a vital role in the environment.

These types of beetles in Texas are beneficial for their scavenging of dead plants, providing a food source for other organisms in the area. 

Additionally, they act as a natural pest control by preying on small insects, such as caterpillars, aphids, and grasshoppers. This helps reduce the risk of plant damage from pests.

As such, the California Root Borer Beetle is a valuable species in Texas and should be protected for its ecological value.

22. Darkling Beetle

This fluffy, tiny Darkling Beetle is at home in the Southwest. Its size makes it a lesser target for predators, and the hairs might help keep them away.

The beetle eats salt grass, wild onions, and Russian thistle that flourish in the dry climate. 

They are most active in the spring when they emerge from their hibernation and again in the late autumn as they get ready for the following winter.

They are also types of beetles in Texas and may occasionally leave their shelter on mild winter days. 

Observe this species as it moves along the ground; keep in mind that it never grows larger than the size of a pinky fingernail.

A keen eye may be required to see it, but the spray of hairs on its back may give it a little more presence., but a keen eye may be needed to see one, especially if it isn’t moving

23. Drugstore beetle

Due to their propensity to consume pharmaceuticals, beetles are frequently discovered at pharmacies.

Additionally, nearly anything else is consumed by this small brown beetle. It consumes flour, grains, and bread-like other bugs in the pantry. 

Additionally, these types of beetles in Texas destroy delicacies like cake mixes, chocolate, and cookies.

Animal parts like leather, wool, and fur can be eaten, and libraries and museums may discover them leafing through books.

It is a pest that affects the entire planet, and the white larvae usually cause damage. The worm-like grubs have brown heads and white bodies with fine hairs.

Females can lay over 50 eggs at a time, which makes it possible for infestations to appear indoors almost overnight.

Identifying their primary food source is essential if you want to manage and eradicate them. In households, storing food in airtight containers helps keep it out of the pantry or cabinet.

According to the University of Florida, freezing non-food objects for days will kill all phases of this beetle’s life cycle.

In order to prevent outbreaks from new inventory that might have come with the beetle eggs or larvae inside, it is crucial to routinely clean shelves and check them for the insect.

24. Calligrapha Beetle

The Calligrapha beetle is a type of leaf beetle found in Texas. These beetles have a black and white patterned body, with yellowish-white stripes running along the top. They can reach up to one-fourth of an inch in length. 

The larvae of the Calligrapha beetle feed on the underside of leaves of common Texas plants such as elm, maple, and oak.

Adult Calligrapha beetles, as one of the several types of beetles in Texas, feed on pollen and nectar from flowers.

The Calligrapha beetle is a beneficial species in Texas as they help to control certain plant pests by preying on their larvae. 

They are also often found in gardens and other outdoor spaces, where they help to pollinate flowers.

If you live in Texas and spot these beetles, you should be sure to leave them alone since they benefit your local ecosystem!

25. Cottonwood Borer beetle

There are many different types of beetles in Texas, and one of them is a member of the Long-Horned Beetle family, the Cottonwood Borer. It has very long antennas that extend past the length of its own body.

The beetle has black antennae and a white face. Its body is creamy white or ivory in color, and each wing is covered in two rows of black blocks. 

The pronotum, or neck region, is likewise white and covered in enormous black spiky ovals. It ranks among the largest North American beetles.

Cottonwood Borers enjoy poplar, willow, and cottonwood-tree-filled forested regions and reside close to riverbanks.

Throughout the summer, this species forages on trees. Adults climb the branches gradually, gnawing and shredding them until they reach the leaves.

With enough time, these boring beetles can infest woodlands, occasionally removing the trees from neighborhood blocks. 

To lay her eggs, the female adult Cottonwood Borer cuts holes into the tree bases of the prey. When the larvae hatch, they devour the interior wood into pulp and sawdust, destroying the tree. 

Additionally, these types of beetles in Texas gnaw on the tree’s weak underground root system until it cannot take water or nutrients from the soil. Affected trees age and weaken over time, eventually toppling over at ground level.

26. Cedar Beetle

The Cedar Beetle is a species of beetle native to Texas and found in the eastern and western parts of the state. This beetle can be recognized by its dark brown body and yellow spots.

The cedar beetle is about 7-12 millimeters in size and is an omnivore, feeding on plant material and other insects. 

Its diet includes cedar, cypress, and juniper trees, and it can also feed on sap from various trees.

In addition to providing food for the beetle, the trees also provide a place for it to hide from predators.

Cedar beetles, as one of the various types of beetles in Texas, play an important role in the ecology of the state. 

They are considered beneficial insects since they help to control the population of other pests that can damage plants and trees.

As such, they provide a valuable service to the ecosystem and should be protected rather than eradicated. 

Additionally, the cedar beetle’s presence has been linked to increased biodiversity due to the variety of prey it hunts.

The cedar beetle can be found in many different habitats in Texas, including forests, fields, and urban areas.

Therefore, it is important to protect their habitats so that they can continue to thrive in the state.

27. Carolina Tiger Beetle

The Carolina Tiger Beetle is one of the most interesting and recognizable types of beetles in Texas.

This beetle is known for its bright green color, elongated shape, and impressive flying capabilities.

In the wild, these beetles are commonly found near open grasslands and sandy areas, where they feed on other small insects and occasionally on small frogs. 

Despite their size, Carolina Tiger Beetles can fly up to 15 miles per hour and have been observed hovering in midair for several seconds.

The Carolina Tiger Beetle is a species that is not endangered in Texas. However, these insects are sensitive to changes in their environment and require a certain amount of habitat to survive. 

As such, it is important for Texas residents to be mindful of land development, pesticide use, and other threats to their habitats.

Conservation efforts have been successful in preserving this species in some parts of Texas. This helps to ensure that future generations can appreciate the beauty of the Carolina Tiger Beetle.

28. Case-Bearing Leaf Beetle

Case-bearing Leaf beetles are one of the several types of beetles in Texas. Some are matte black with orange dashes, while others are glossy black with red dots.

Some have crimson bodies with white patterns or copperheads. Some are entirely black and have a lot of texture, making them look warty. This subfamily has a variety of hues and characteristics.

But all beetles have tiny, worm-like larvae, and these defenseless larvae construct protective covers for themselves out of adjacent trash, even their own feces. 

Dark, tubular cases provide some protection from the weather and disguise. It can walk since its head and legs protrude from the case’s aperture. Many of them have orange or red bodies with blackheads.

29. Click Beetles

Click Beetles are elongated, slender insects that do not harm humans. Although many species are black, others might be brown, reddish brown, or any shade in between.

When they need to flee quickly from a predator, they are renowned for the noise they produce. 

The beetle is propelled out of danger when a stiff spine snaps violently on its anterior (belly) side.

It makes an audible click when it snaps. Even a beetle caught on its back may be flipped back to its feet by force. 

Because an upside-down beetle is defenseless, it can be saved by quickly rising to its feet. Wireworms are the name for the larvae of this genus of click beetles.

They are also types of beetles in Texas that consume the roots and are scrawny.

30. Convergent Lady Beetle

Although the elytra (wing coverings) of all Convergent Lady Beetles are reddish-orange with black spots, some have all 13 black spots while others have fewer.

The prothorax, often known as the “shoulder plate,” is surrounded by identical white lines that meet behind the head of every individual.

The top of the prothorax is indicated by two white dashes, one on each side. Lady Beetle larvae are entirely different from the adult form and resemble small alligators.

Larvae have six legs close to the head and long, tubular bodies. They have spiky bodies that are covered in orange spots. 

As pupae, they undergo another shift, becoming spherical and swollen like snails. They are currently an orange tint with black dots, which is the opposite of how they were when they were larvae. 

Convergent lady beetles frequently congregate in groups on the ground or close to one another on plants during all phases of their life cycles. They are natural biological defenses against fruit-destroying plant pests like aphids.

Convergent lady beetles can be purchased in containers for release in gardens and farm fields while their efficacy is still being researched. 

These beetles give farmers and gardeners a reliable, natural way to safeguard their harvests if populations can survive in agricultural areas.

There is no assurance the Convergent Lady Beetles will stay close to the release place after being released after purchase, though. And this wraps up our list of the different types of beetles in Texas!

Conclusion

Texas is home to an incredible variety of beetle species, from small ground beetles to large and impressive stag beetles.

With over 400 types of beetles in Texas found across the state, it can be difficult to narrow down the list of the most commonly encountered species. 

Up there, we explored the top types of beetles in Texas. Whether you’re a beetle enthusiast or simply curious about the many creatures that inhabit the Lone Star State, you’re sure to find something interesting here. Till later!

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