Certain types of beetles in Virginia are either rare or threatened because of their close proximity to natural habitat loss and pollution.
While beetles are typically considered a pest in the home, some species of beetles can be beneficial to our ecosystem.
In fact, there are more than 300,000 species of beetle in the world! Below are the types of beetles in Virginia and how they interact with humans and their environment.
1. Andrew’s Snail-eating Beetle
This type of beetle, the very first on our roll of the types of beetles in Virginia, lives on coastal sand dunes. It’s gray with a yellow underside and has a strange habit: it eats snails! To do so, Andrew’s Snail-eating Beetle buries itself up to its neck in sand and waits for unsuspecting prey.
When a snail comes close enough, it quickly pops out, grabs its victim with its mandibles, and drags it back into its hole. After consuming the snail, it lays eggs on top before covering them back up with sand.
Thanks to conservation efforts by The Nature Conservancy, Andrew’s Snail-eating Beetle has experienced an astounding recovery. However, habitats are still dwindling due to poor land management practices.
2. Ant-like Longhorn Beetle
This beetle is native to North America and belongs to a large family of wood-boring beetles. The Ant-like Longhorn Beetle is commonly found in woodlands, parks, and gardens; it will not infest homes.
It can reach lengths of up to 13 mm (1/2) and has a metallic green head, thorax, and abdomen with coppery brown wing covers.
Also, it may have copper spots on its wing covers. These beetles are shiny and can be mistaken for wasps or bees at first glance.
They are the second on our list of the types of beetles in Virginia and usually burrow into pine, fir, hemlock, poplar, oak, and maple trees.
However, they will occasionally cause damage to furniture or ornamental woodwork when making their holes for egg-laying purposes.
3. Flat-headed Bald Cypress Sapwood Beetle
The Flat-headed Bald Cypress Sapwood Beetle is a rare species on the list of the types of beetles in Virginia.
It only exists within Richmond and Petersburg, VA. Although these beetles are considered rare, they have no special protection and can be easily destroyed.
The beetle is completely harmless to humans but tends to live within utility poles, trees (particularly bald cypress), walls, and tree trunks.
The Flat-headed Bald Cypress Sapwood Beetle has a light brown head and thorax with rusty-colored forewings.
4. Antelope Beetle
The antelope beetle is a member of a large family of beetles called stag beetles, which get their name from their long antennae. Stag beetles also have large mandibles that are used to grab and hold prey (primarily ants).
Moreso, the antelope beetle, is unique among stag beetles because it can leap over small obstacles. This, therefore, earns it its other common name: pronghorn beetle.
It’s found throughout much of North America, including most parts of Southwestern Virginia. Antelopes feed on cactus plants, which protect other predators with different diets.
5. Flatheaded Hardwood Borer
Flathead Hardwood Borers are often found in softwoods (such as pines, spruces, and firs) that fungi or other causes have weakened. They bore into hardwoods (like oaks and maples), although they tend to avoid wet or decaying wood.
Their scientific name is a mouthful, but these types of beetles in Virginia are easy to identify. Plus, they’re small, black with a gold head.
Also, they sometimes feature white markings on their back. This beetle can cause damage—they’re known to eat heartwood. But they are not generally considered pests because their larvae do not typically attack healthy trees.
If you find signs of flathead hardwood borers, call an exterminator immediately to prevent further infestation and damage to your home!
6. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle
This beetle is primarily a pest to trees and shrubs, though it’s also a known predator of aphids. And, like most lady beetles, Ollas serve an important role as a pollinator for various plants. In fact, its close relation (the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle) is one of nature’s greatest pollinators.
Other lady beetles enter homes through windows and doors or come up from underneath floors when attracted to light.— Unlike them, Ollas are ground dwellers that do not venture into people’s houses.
As such, you won’t find them walking on walls or trying to fly around your living room at night. So rest assured: They’re unlikely to harm you or your family unless you try eating them! This is one of the most beneficial and harmless types of beetles in Virginia!
7. Flower Longhorn Beetle
Unlike most types of beetles in Virginia, Flower Longhorn Beetles don’t look like menacing predators. A member of a family that also contains long-horned grasshoppers, these strange bugs are brightly colored. Their antennae and legs are red with black tips, and their thorax is yellow.
Adult beetles feed on nectar from flowering plants (hence their name), while larvae eat decaying plant matter. These friendly bugs can be found throughout the eastern United States.
8. Banded Ash Borer
Banded Ash Borer larvae bore into ash trees and feed on sapwood. They can be found living between cracks in bark or boring under loose bark, but not always.
As one of the types of beetles in Virginia, the adult Banded Ash Borer has a bright blue-green head and yellowish banding around its body (hence its name).
These beetles only reach about 5 mm long, so you may need a magnifying glass to spot them when they’re out feeding at night.
9. Banded Longhorn Beetle
Banded longhorn beetles, which can measure up to a full inch long, have a black body with striking white or orange bands running along their wings.
These beetles are commonly found in trees and sometimes in homes. Entomologists consider Longhorn beetles to be defoliators—they chew off leaves.
While they don’t harm trees, they can often feed on coniferous needles rather than deciduous tree leaves. And looks like they are getting ready to make a meal from your Christmas tree.
The good news is that longhorn beetles, one of the types of beetles in Virginia, don’t eat enough foliage to kill a healthy tree. If only one or two bugs are present, you can ignore them without consequence.
10. Bee-like Flower Scarab Beetle
Flower scarabs are small beetles with a metallic green-gold color. These beetles have large, black, compound eyes and long antennae that extend beyond their bodies. Their legs are long and thin, which helps them to move quickly through flowers.
Furthermore, Flower scarabs use their heads and mouthparts to feed on flower pollen and nectar. Also, some species feed on plant fluids or other insects.
They may be confused with ladybugs because they look similar, but unlike ladybugs, they lack spots! Flower Scarab Beetles are types of beetles in Virginia that can be found in many places, including urban environments.
11. Beetle Grub
These are another set of destructive insects if not taken care of as soon as possible. Equally important, they are also types of beetles in Virginia. You know those scarab-like larvae you dig up while gardening?
Those are beetle grubs, which can quickly turn your beautiful flower beds into muddy pits. Some adults are pretty spooky looking, too, like rhinoceros beetles and weevils. You don’t want to end up with a pile of beetle grubs at your front door!
12. Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle
The Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetle, or so-called Flowery Long Horned beetle as it is also known, can be found in almost all regions of North America.
The beetle measures around 1 inch long and features a glossy black coloration with orange antennae. Aside from its unique coloring, one thing that sets it apart from other Longhorns is its unusually long antennae. These are roughly 1.5 times as long as its body.
Male Bicolored Flower Longhorn Beetles sport longer antennae than their female counterparts due to their purpose as a mating ritual and aphrodisiac.
Longer antennae are also useful for warding off predators like birds looking to feed on them. They are equally on our role of the different types of beetles in Virginia!
13. Big Dipper Firefly
Big Dipper fireflies aren’t left out of our list of several types of beetles in Virginia. Firefly larvae like damp, dark places, so they’re often found under stones or logs. They’re brightly colored to warn predators not to mess with them.
Also, adults are diurnal, which means they’re out during the day—unlike most fireflies that come out at night.
And instead of flashing when disturbed as some other firefly species do, Big Dipper fireflies flash their abdomens up and down when looking for a mate. They can be seen around May through September.
14. Big-headed Ground Beetle
This insect can be found beneath rocks, logs, and other debris of the types of beetles in Virginia. It has a brown-to-black color with prominent orange markings on its back.
Its body is one inch long, and as a ground beetle, it eats snails and slugs. Some parts of its range may bite if touched or handled.
However, it does not pose any major risk to humans because its mouth parts are too small to pierce human skin.
For similar reasons, even though they can be large enough to cause damage when crushed against our skin, they do not bite or sting people either.
Despite their seemingly menacing appearance, they are also clumsy jumpers and will rarely leap into attack unless provoked or suddenly alarmed by movement.
15. Black Blister Beetle
Whenever you see or hear Black Blister beetle, just know it’s not good. This is one of the most destructive types of beetle in Virginia.
This beetle is distinguished by its glossy black body with yellow legs, a redhead and prothorax, and a black spot on each elytron.
This species is found on deciduous trees in eastern North America. It feeds primarily on ash trees (Fraxinus spp.), causing cankers to develop on branches or trunks.
16. Black Carpet Beetle
Black Carpet Beetles are one of more than 400 species of carpet beetles that can be found throughout North America.
These are small, oval-shaped beetles with black bodies and long legs. They make their homes among wool and other soft materials in attics, rooms, and walls.
While they are not aggressive or known to bite people, they can damage fabrics and cause allergic reactions.
You’ll know you have Black Carpet Beetles if you find little piles of grayish or reddish-brown dust where they have been feeding.
It could be behind baseboards, window sills, and curtains; under loose wallpaper; around window sills, heating vents, or wherever dead insects accumulate.
These are good signs that you may have these insects on your property, which are beetle types in Virginia.
17. Black Caterpillar Hunter
These insects are also beaded beetles and beetles in Virginia that can be found across the state. Adult Black Caterpillar Hunters are about 1 inch long and possess metallic black bodies.
Also, they have cream-colored elytra (the hard forewings that cover and protect the abdomen) and bright red antennae. They feed on caterpillars, so they’re commonly seen around grubs or larvae.
18. Black Firefly
Talking about the types of beetles in Virginia, the black firefly is a solitary, non-biting species. It is named for its tendency to emit light from its underside when flying during twilight hours.
However, it can also be found on tree trunks at night; adult fireflies don’t eat and exist solely to mate.
In spring and early summer, they feed upon nectar from flowers such as Queen Anne’s lace, thistles, and wild carrot plants.
Their larvae live on decaying vegetation in damp soil near ponds or other water sources with some degree of moisture. The larvae are typical white grubs with brown heads with three pairs of long legs on their thoraxes.
19. Black Vine Weevil
The black vine weevil is a pest of vegetable crops and nursery stock. These are one of the types of beetles in Virginia that attack plants, especially young seedlings, and transplants. The adults are black beetles about 1⁄2 inch long with yellowish legs.
They lay brown eggs on plant stems, which hatch into legless white grubs that feed on roots. Injured plants have reddish brown or purple spots on their leaves; severely damaged ones die.
20. Boll Weevil
An estimated 100 million boll weevils live in central and southern Virginia, though you might only see a few hundred at any given time.
This species is very picky about its food; it will only eat cotton plants. It is generally not considered to be a threat to other crops because of its diet.
But it can still cause serious damage when populations become large. In addition, adult boll weevils chew on cotton plants, causing small injuries that allow bacteria and fungi to infect their prey. This causes defoliation (loss of leaves) and blights that stunt plant growth and reduce yields by up to 70 percent.
21. Broad-necked Root Borer
Commonly known as long-horned beetles, these insects get their name from their shiny black bodies. Although they are not beetles, they are still classified as types of beetles in Virginia.
These creatures are more closely related to long-horned grasshoppers than any kind of beetle. They have a flattened, ribbon-like body and antennae that can be longer than their body length.
Furthermore, Broad-necked root borers will slowly excavate underground tunnels to lay their eggs, eventually, hatch into white larvae that feed on root material.
As the larvae burrow through soil and roots, they continue to grow and develop. They continue until they reach full size and create an exit hole through which they leave to pupate above ground.
22. Bumblebee Scarab Beetle
The Bumblebee Scarab Beetle, which is also known as Goliathus magnipennis, is found in central and western Africa.
This particular insect, also one of the beetles in Virginia, has a black body and yellow spots on its back and legs.
Additionally, it has an exceptional sense of smell; it can locate flowers from up to three miles away. The Bumblebee Scarab Beetle lays its eggs near dead animals or carrion, but it can find its own food when they hatch.
23. Burying Beetle
Burying beetles, sometimes called sexton beetles or coffin flies, are usually black with orange or red markings. These are types of beetles in Virginia, and they are about 1/8- to 1/4-inch long.
Burying beetles search for dead small animals that they can bury and feed on later. Then lay their eggs inside so that when their larvae hatch, food is available for them.
Proceeding these insects have been spotted in parts of Northern Virginia near Washington D.C. But it is unclear whether they breed there or have just migrated from other areas.
One species of burying beetle has been declared endangered by federal regulators; a second species is listed as threatened on state and federal lists.
24. Carolina Pine Sawyer
The Carolina Pine Sawyer is a beetle that can be found from as far north as Canada down to Florida and Texas.
The beetles are often mistaken for wood borers, but in reality, their mouthparts are not strong enough to eat through wood. Instead, they feed on dead insects, especially dead carpenter ants.
Moreso, females lay about 400 eggs during their lifetime, and the larvae take about two years to mature before becoming adults.
Though rare across most of its range, it is common in sections of South Carolina, where it is known to be a major pest to pine forests.
The Carolina Pine Sawyer grows between five-sixteen millimeters. And it varies from dark brown to reddish-brown or black with light-brown legs and antennae. They are vital beetles on the list of the different types of beetles in Virginia.
25. Case-bearing Leaf Beetle
The case-bearing leaf beetle is a fascinating insect of the types of beetles in Virginia that belongs to a family that makes cases for their young.
They carry around their babies, protecting them until they’re old enough to survive on their own. The species native to Virginia range from one-eighth inch to three-quarters of an inch long.
Further, they vary in color; some are green with orange or brown spots, while others are black. Some people have mistaken them for ticks because their bodies have hair and they move slowly.
However, these beetles don’t bite or cause any harm when they’re left alone. Like other beetles, members of these families eat plants but do so in different ways.
26. Cedar Beetle
The Cedar beetle is a member of the longhorn beetle family, making them slightly smaller than other beetles at about half an inch long.
The larvae feed on trees and produce distinctive frass: small pellets that look like sawdust and can be seen sticking out from exit holes. The beetles look similar to a box elder bug but with much longer antennae.
Moving on, adult cedar beetles are not destructive types of beetles in Virginia, but their larvae bore through cedar trees and weakened them.
If you find frass near your home’s foundation, it might be a sign that you have cedar beetle activity nearby.
When that happens, homeowners usually choose to replace rather than repair damaged parts of their homes. This is because cedar does not typically grow back after being damaged by insects or disease.
27. Click Beetle
Click beetles are the types of beetles in Virginia that are found throughout but are usually only noticed when they fly.
These flightless beetles get their name from their ability to make an audible clicking sound by clapping their hind legs together.
This sound is intended to scare away predators but can also be startling to those who encounter these tiny bugs at night.
Click beetles range in size from 3-10mm and come in many different colors. They are nocturnal, so you won’t usually find them during the day.
They are also attracted to light at night and can often be seen congregating on streetlights or porch lights at dusk.
You may have trouble spotting these quiet beetles as they tend to remain hidden on tree bark or underneath leaves all day until nightfall comes around again!
28. Cocklebur Weevil
Over 20 species of weevils live in Virginia, but most people only know about one: the cocklebur weevil. This beetle has gained a reputation as a crop pest (it bores into soybeans and peanut plants) but is actually not an agricultural pest at all. People just tend to confuse them with other types of beetles in Virginia.
Cocklebur weevil prefers grasses to crops, meaning it will eat other invasive plant species rather than damaging food crops.
It’s a good thing it stays away from crops too. Cocklebur weevils are among some of the largest beetles found in North America, with some topping 2 inches! Their name comes from their habit of feeding on cockleburs, also known as woody nightshade or jimsonweed.
29. Convergent Lady Beetle
Convergent lady beetles are one of the most common types of beetles in Virginia. Convergent lady beetles, like other members of their family, feed on aphids.
They spend much of their time laying their eggs directly onto aphid colonies, ensuring their offspring have a food source upon hatching.
Adult convergent lady beetles are slightly oval and brownish-orange with a black spot on each wing cover (elytron). Orange or yellow markings often border the spotted pattern.
30. Dark Brown Click Beetle
The Dark Brown Click Beetle is one of several similar species of click beetles. Click beetles are named for their startling ability to click when threatened or handled.
They can do so by snapping off their antennae and flipping them towards a predator, who is then doused with toxic chemicals from glands just below the beetle’s eyes.
As an adult, these brown-colored beetles lay eggs on dead tree trunks, often damaging them with their sharp mandibles as they gnaw at them.
These insects prefer hardwood trees such as oak and walnut but are also found on fruit trees. The larvae are called wireworms and live within fallen logs, feeding on rotting wood. Read further to find out about other types of beetles in Virginia!
31. Dung Beetle
Dung beetles are a natural part of healthy, balanced ecosystems. There are many species across North America, and they each fulfill an important role. —Helping to decompose animal waste while keeping it away from water sources helps prevent contamination.
Also, they help create humus in the soil, improving nutrient availability. If you live near pastures or grasslands, you might notice dung beetles crawling around in cow patties during warm months.
This can be a great opportunity to observe these fascinating insects up close! With these, we can say they are one of Virginia’s beneficial types of beetles.
32. Earth-boring Scarab Beetle
Boring beetles are pretty much what they sound like. They’re long, cylindrical insects whose mouths are designed for digging into the soil and other ground materials to feast on insect larvae and pupae.
Sometimes referred to as dung beetles, these insects enjoy dining on feces. What’s more? Earth-boring scarab beetles have a reddish-brown color with distinctive black markings.—Though sometimes their coloring varies slightly depending on where they live.
These beetles can range from five to 12 millimeters in length.
They are one of the types of beetles in Virginia and can also be found throughout North America, Central America, South America, and Europe.
The adult beetle will burrow under tree bark or other tree surfaces when it’s time to lay eggs—the offspring emerge as adult beetles after winter ends.
33. Eastern Eyed Click Beetle
The eastern-eyed click beetle is a large, black insect that grows up to two inches long. A member of the family Elateridae (click beetles), it makes its home under logs or loose bark.
It’s common to see these beetles perched on trees and logs during daylight hours, as they are mostly active at dawn and dusk.
While they are known for clicking their pincers, it isn’t very loud—and most other insects produce louder clicks.
This beetle isn’t aggressive, but if it senses danger, it raises its abdomen and points its rear end toward the threat.
In addition to warning off predators, some believe it also attracts mates by mimicking a female butterfly’s sex pheromone.
34. Eggplant Flea Beetle
The Eggplant Flea Beetle is one of North America’s largest flea beetles. The adults, which grow up to 12 millimeters (1/2 inch), are dark brown with a grayish head and look similar to lice or ticks.
Also, these types of beetles in Virginia have tiny black spots on their backs. Adults feed on young leaves and occasionally new seedlings. Their larva feeds underneath soil on roots and causes plants to wilt and die back.
35. Elderberry Borer Beetle
Don’t let its small size fool you—this beetle will kick your ass if you get too close to it. Native to eastern North America, it likes elderberry bushes and will attack humans if they get too close.
Its bite is poisonous, and it can be lethal to small animals. With these, steering clear of these irritable types of beetles in Virginia is the best option! If you see one, stay away!
36. Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer is a small (1/2-inch long) metallic green beetle that arrived in North America from Asia and has devastated ash forests since 2002. The adult EAB bores under the bark to deposit eggs, which hatch into larvae that tunnel through tree tissue and feed on the inner bark.
This action disrupts the vascular flow, thereby leading to dieback.
As it is, this insect threatens tens of millions of urban ash trees, particularly in high-value areas such as parks, cemeteries, and on boulevards.
To date, it has not been detected outside coastal cities within 100 miles of New York City and Washington D.C. But surveys are ongoing to determine if it is established beyond these localities. With these destructive potentials, they can be scary types of beetles in Virginia.
37. Emerald Euphoria Beetle
This beautiful iridescent green beetle can grow up to one inch long, making it one of Virginia’s largest types of beetle. Its elongated body tapers at both ends, and its wings are almost always tucked away when not flying.
It is most often seen sunning itself on dead branches or leaves around mid-August, but otherwise, it can be difficult to spot.
Some farmers have begun to use Euphoria fulgida as a natural pesticide. Placing E. fulgida onto plants, they would like to keep bug-free gives those plants a chance to ward off hungry herbivores naturally, even before they’ve made their way into farmers’ crops.
38. False Bombardier Beetle
This beetle has a shiny, copper color with black spots and measures 1/2 to 5/8 inches long. It lives on sandy soil or among leaf litter.
Its grub-like larvae are legless and colored yellow to light brown or black. Moreso, False bombardier beetles are very similar in appearance to ladybugs, but they have a different number of spots. – 4 for false bombardier beetles and 7 for ladybugs.
They produce an unpleasant-smelling chemical that deters predators from eating them.
However, their thick exoskeleton is highly resistant to most predators, so it’s not necessary for them to secrete chemicals. They also aren’t left out of our role of the numerous types of beetles in Virginia.
39. False Potato Beetle
The False Potato Beetle is easy to recognize because it has a brightly-colored orange wing case that covers most of its thorax. It has three black stripes, one on each side of its body and one down its back.
The False Potato Beetle is often seen in clusters on vegetables like potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes. Adults feed by nibbling on roots, tubers, and foliage but are rarely noticed due to their small size (around 3/16th inch long). They lay bright yellow eggs that hatch into black larvae with orange spots.
40. Festive Tiger Beetle
The aptly named Festive Tiger Beetle, which is found throughout Virginia, has bright orange wing covers and legs.
What sets them apart from other species of tiger beetles is that females can be seen carrying their eggs on their backs until they hatch.
Tiger beetle larvae do not have a larval form; instead, they are grubs that look similar to mealworms. These larvae live underground and eat roots before becoming pupae.
When these pupae emerge as adults, they can be seen crawling around during night hours since they lack wings. The adults feed on ants and flies, particularly those that are attracted to lights at night.
Let it be known that our list of the different types of beetles in Virginia isn’t complete without the Festive Tiger beetle!
41. Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunter
Did you know that the Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunters are likewise types of beetles in Virginia? This reddish-orange beetle is native to North America and typically found throughout Canada and southward through most of New England.
It can also be found throughout Europe, where it feeds on various plants, including oak, elm, and pine trees.
The Fiery Searcher is a fierce predator that feeds upon snails and other soft-bodied insects, including caterpillars (hence its name). The adult has large pincers that are used for capturing its prey.
42. Flat-faced Longhorn Beetle
The flat-faced longhorn beetle has a very colorful appearance, making it a popular species for collectors. Adults can grow to be about 1/3 long and can fly.
These are types of beetles in Virginia that are found throughout except in areas along the coast.
Although they’re most often seen from May through June, flat-faced longhorn beetles have been known to appear from March all through October.
These beetles eat plants like tomatoes and ornamental trees and shrubs, so homeowners should watch them on their property!
43. Fire-colored Beetle
If you’ve ever looked at a brownish-black bug and thought it looked kind of pretty, then you’ve probably seen one of these beetles.
These beetles often appear to have a red or orange glow to them (hence their name), but that effect is created by light reflecting off of their elytra. That is the thick, hard wings located on either side of their bodies.
Despite its beauty, however, fire-colored beetles aren’t really very good at flying; they typically glide instead.
In fact, fire-colored beetles are entirely wingless as larvae! Fire-colored beetles are found throughout much of Virginia and most commonly eat leaves and other plant matter. And they wind up our list of Virginia’s various types of beetles!
It may seem strange that there are more than 300,000 beetle species worldwide. Yet only some types of beetles live in Virginia, but the truth is that most beetles don’t thrive in our climate.
Beetles are the largest order of insects, making up more than one-quarter of all insect species and nearly 10% of all known life forms on earth.
The beetle order contains various families and subfamilies based on their lifestyles, habitats, and anatomical features.
We hope this article sure did help you in identifying and discovering other types of beetles in Virginia that you never knew of!