Fiery Searcher

Calosoma scrutator

Drees, Texas A&M University Department of Entomology

The Fiery Searcher is one of the largest ground beetles. It can grow to almost to one and a half inches long. The head and thorax (front two body sections) are bluish. The abdomen (large back section) is black, but you can't see it, because it is covered by large, metallic green wings. These wings are called elytra. The elytra often have red or gold on the edges. There are also grooves running lengthwise down the elytra.

If you look at the head of this beetle, you will see sharp, curved jaws, used for grabbing prey.

University of Arkansas

Fiery Searchers live in open woods, fields, and gardens. They are often under rocks, logs, leaves, bark, or decomposing wood. They are active from May to November.

After mating, female Fiery Searchers lay eggs in the soil. Larvae hatch from the eggs and look for prey. Both larvae and adults eat caterpillars. This beetle's nickname is "Caterpillar Hunter." Larvae and beetles will both climb trees to look for food.

When larvae are old enough, they will return to the soil and become pupae (resting stage). Pupae will hatch into adult Fiery Searchers. These beetles can hibernate and survive the Winter. They can live up to three years.

Fiery Searchers eat all kinds of moth and butterfly caterpillars, but they eat more Eastern Tent Caterpillars and European Gypsy Moth caterpillars than any other. Adult beetles hunt during the day, and larvae hunt at night.

Adult beetles can fly, but rarely do so. They prefer to crawl and climb. If attacked by a predator, Fiery Searchers can let out a bad odor to try to keep from being eaten.

Predators of Fiery Searchers include birds and other beetle-eaters, such as Raccoons, frogs, Least Shrews, squirrels, Red Fox, snakes, lizards, centipedes, ants, bats, and salamanders.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Fiery Searcher's Head Under a Microscope
Link to Image
Uglybug.org

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Five-lined Skink

Bracken Fern

European Gypsy Moth

Wood Frog

Virginia Creeper

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Northern Ringneck Snake

Poison Ivy

Eastern Black Swallowtail

Big Brown Bat

Evergreen Blackberry

Luna Moth

Brown-headed Cowbird

Switchgrass

Mourning Cloak

American Robin

Tussock Sedge

Painted Lady

Blue Jay

White Cushion Moss

Clouded Sulphur

Common Crow

Cinnamon Fern

Hummingbird Moth

Red Fox

Greenbrier

Polyphemus Moth

Least Shrew

Wild Grape

Raccoon

Dodder

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Japanese Honeysuckle

Garden Centipede

Running Cedar

Black Carpenter Ant

Common Greenshield

White-breasted Nuthatch

Striped Skunk

Eastern Mole

Spotted Salamander

Tufted Titmouse

Eastern Worm Snake

Relationship to Humans:

Fiery Searchers are very helpful, because they eat pesky caterpillars, especially tent caterpillars and gypsy moths which do a lot of damage on trees. Fiery Searchers will bite if handled, but will not do any real damage.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Insect
ORDER
Coleoptera
FAMILY
Carabidae
GENUS
Calosoma
SPECIES
Calosoma scrutator

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