Beetles

These incredibly diverse insects come in all shapes and sizes!
Find out why and how you can be a hero
to protect ecosystems out of balance!

Did You Know?

One out of every four animals is a beetle.

Did you know?

Beetles are found in all habitats, except for the frozen North and South Poles.

Did you know?

Beetles serve key ecosystem roles—from janitors to gardeners, and predators to pollinators.
Image
Heroes running Frankie in front
Image

These beetles are causing problems
through no fault of their own.
Click a beetle below to learn about them!

Meet the "Starry Sky" Beetle

This beetle hitch-hiked from China in wood packing materials and is now eating hardwood trees without a natural predator to check its numbers!

Image
ALB face
Asian Longhorned Beetle

Shot-hole borers: Polyphagous and Kuroshio

These beetles bore into trees, creating small galleries. Inside these galleries, they lay eggs and “farm” a fungus (Fusarium spp.), which is their main food source. The fungus colonizes the trees' vascular systems, blocking transport of water and nutrients.

Image
ISHB_adult
Invasive Shot-Hole Borers

Small but Mighty!

This beetle is native to pine forests in the southern U.S., but outbreaks can cause a lot of damage to those forests. Learn more about them below!

Image
SPB adult
Southern Pine Beetle

Small Beetle, Big Impact

Ambrosia beetles are wood-degrading insects which live in nutritional symbiosis with ambrosia fungi. Typically, ambrosia beetles are considered beneficial because they accelerate the decay of dead trees, which is important for nutrient cycling in healthy forests. This particularly beetle comes from a different place in the world and native trees in North America do not have the defenses to keep it at bay.

Image
RAB
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle

This Beetle Loves Palm Trees!

This strong beetle got carried to Hawai'i and started chewing the tops of palm trees without a natural predator to check its numbers!

Image
CRB adult
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

This Beetle Loves Ash Trees!

They are fine within their northeastern Asia ecosystems. When they arrived to the U.S., the borers put our ash trees in great danger.

 

Image
Emerald Ash Borer

Learn and Read

Stay and Play

Coconut rhinoceros beetle: Len Worthington, Flickr.com; Asian longhorned beetle:  Karen Snover-Clift, Cornell University, Bugwood.org.; Southern pine beetle: Matt Berone, Flickr.com.Coconut rhinoceros beetle: Aubrey Moore, Flickr.com.Emerald ash borer: USGS Bee Inventory, Flickr.com.Asian longhorned beetle: Robert Mitchell, University of Wisconsin.; Asian longhorned beetle emerging: USDA, R. Anson Eaglin, Flickr.com.Asian longhorned beetle holes: USDA, Flickr.com.Coconut rhinoceros beetle: Len Worthington, Flickr.com.Coconut rhinoceros beetle, above and below:  Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org.; Southern pine beetle, beetle galleries: Matt Bertone, Flickr.com.Southern pine beetle larva :  Erich G. Vallery, USDA Forest Service - SRS-4552, Bugwood.org.; Emerald ash borer: David Cappaert, Bugwood.org.; Emerald ash borer, open wings: Benjamin Smith, Flickr.com.Emerald ash borer, closed wings: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Flickr.com.

 

Sign up for
our newsletter

Sign me up!
The Plant Heroes Team will send you important and helpful newsletters to your email