30 Types of Black Beetles (Pictures and Identification)

Black beetles are known to live indoors or outdoors. There are various types of black beetles, each with its habits and physical traits.

Often referred to as black bugs, black beetles are different as they can chew food. This food is a combination of plant and animal-derived foods.

Black beetles are known to be present across most continents. Here are the most common types of black beetles around the world.

1. Horned Passalus Beetle

These black beetles (Odontotaenius disjunctus) are known to grow to more than 1 inch in adulthood. They are identified by their shiny black body with black legs.

Horned Passalus Beetles are also known for having deep grooves on their bodies.

Horned Passalus Beetle

These bugs are found all around the world, particularly in temperate climates. They eat decaying wood which is why they are seen as beneficial beetles.

Black beetles of this genus are also found in the US, particularly in forests. Oak and hickory forests are the ideal habitat for these black beetles which are always found on decaying wood within the forest.

These bugs are also known for making a squeaking sound when threatened.

2. Common Eastern Firefly

Common Eastern Firefly

This black beetle is one of the few bugs that produce light naturally. As a type of firefly, the Common Eastern Firefly (Photinus pyralis) is known for having a black ventral side.

Most people know this species by its ability to produce light signals with its lower abdomen.

Males and females communicate using light signals in their mating rituals.

It’s believed these beetles can also keep spiders away. Furthermore, this species of black beetle is known for using a bad odor as a defensive mechanism.

3. Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

These black beetles (Alaus oculatus) are known for their unique large eyes and white marks across their dorsal. Beetles of this genus aren’t the most beneficial as they infest crops and eat plants and flowers.

These beetles can be seen as beneficial when they’re only in their larvae stage. The larvae of the Eastern Eyed Click Beetle are known to feed on black beetles that eat decaying wood.

As a result, most Eastern Eyed Click Beetles are found in forests.

Otherwise, these black beetles are known for eating plant pollen and for drinking plant nectar.

4. Oriental Beetle

Oriental Beetle

The Oriental Beetle (Exomala orientalis) is known for being partially black. This invasive species of beetle has been introduced to North America from Asia.

One of the biggest causes of concern with the Oriental beetle is its desire to eat plants and flowers.

The larvae of the Oriental beetle eat grass and the roots of grass on lawns.

Adult beetles of the genus are known for eating all types of plants.

Keeping these beetles away is a complex task. Traps are used to physically remove the beetles in the US.

5. Winter Firefly

Winter Firefly

The Winter Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca) is a unique species of firefly. Insects of the genus are often seen as bugs but they aren’t bugs.

They are an atypical type of firefly that cannot produce light. They can only create light signals as larvae or in the early stages of their adult lives.

The most unique trait of Winter Fireflies is their ability to deal with cold weather. These insects emerge in February and they have no problem dealing with heavy snow.

One of the best places to see a winter Firefly is on tree bark where they bask in the sun even on the coldest winter days.

6. American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle

The American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila americana) is one of the large black insects with a white head. This beetle is known for living in raw decaying meat.

Both American Carrion Beetle larvae and the adult American Carrion Beetle live in decaying meat.

The larvae and the adult eat other types of insects and larvae that grow on rotting meat. These black beetles and their larvae are mostly known for eating flies and fly larvae.

7. White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

The White-spotted Sawyer Beetle (Monochamus scutellatus) is one of the largest black beetles in the world. It’s a recognized species for its very long antennae.

The antennae of the White-spotted Sawyer Beetle can be a few times longer than its body.

This species is known for living in forests. It’s here that these beetles are seen feeding on decaying wood.

White-spotted Sawyer Beetles get their name from their white spots on an all-black body.

8. Punctured Tiger Beetle

Punctured Tiger Beetle

The Punctured Tiger Beetle (Cicindela punctulata) is common in the US. This species is known for having a black body.

Found near bodies of water, the Punctured Tiger Beetle is one of the most common black beetle species.

It feeds on various types of insects using ambush.

Punctured Tiger Beetles wait for small insects to pass near their burrows before quickly jumping on them to catch the insects.

Punctured Tiger Beetles are also common indoors. They fly indoors attracted by light sources.

9. Big-headed Ground Beetle

Big-headed Ground Beetle

This type of beetle (Scarites subterraneus) is found in the Caribbean. Known for its black body, the beetle has a distinguishable size and a large head.

As its name suggests, the beetle spends most of its life on the ground.

These black beetles feed on invertebrates. They’re sometimes seen as beneficial as they eat many pests such as ants.

10. Black Firefly

Black Firefly

The Black Firefly (Lucidota atra) is a species of firefly with a pronounced pronotum. This shoulder area is typically the only colored part on the body of the Black Firefly.

Its orange pronotum expands around the head, acting as a protecting area against potential predators.

The species can be seen near water sources. It’s common in many parts of the world but many people expect it to illuminate as much as other fireflies. This isn’t the case.

11. Broad-necked Root Borer

Broad-necked Root Borer

These black beetles (Prionus laticollis) are known for having very long antennae. They are often seen on trees and at the base of trees as they are the food of the species.

Known for having a black body, these beetles are seen as highly detrimental to trees as they feed on trees and tree roots.

Even the larvae of the species are known to nest in the ground where it slowly feeds on tree roots.

The capacity to burrow or to dig deep in the ground is pronounced in the species. Males, females, and larvae are capable of digging deep in the ground even to the deepest tree roots.

12. Bronzed Tiger Beetle

Bronzed Tiger Beetle

This species (Cicindela repanda) is known to have a partially hairy body which can either be brown or black.

Beetles of this genus are common in Norther US and the area of the Great Lakes.

Bronzed Tiger Beetles live on the ground. They prefer soft sandy soils which they move on all day looking for insects.

This species is also adapted to eating plants and fruits. It can be one of the black beetles that attack fruits in your garden, especially if you live in the Northern states.

13. Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

As a black beetle species found in the US, the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) is among the insects that are difficult to see.

These common black beetles hide under tree bark which makes them a rare sight. Their black textured bodies also act as camouflage when they sit on tree bark.

Diabolical Ironclad Beetles are found in deserts of the Northwest.

It grows on trees and under tree bark, particularly on trees affected by fungi as it feeds on fungi.

This species is also known to live a long life. Diabolical Ironclad Beetles live for a few years and not just weeks like other insects.

14. Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle

Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle

Lady beetles are known to look similar to ladybugs. The Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle (Chilocorus stigma) is a type of black beetle. This species also exhibits 2 red spots.

This species is known to live in forests. Its North American presence is believed to be endangered.

Found in US and Canadian forests, these lady beetles are known to feed on aphids.

Known to overwinter among dry leaves, these black lady beetles only emerge in March. Their flight season lasts until November.

15. Armored Stink Beetle

Armored Stink Beetle

This black beetle (Eleodes armata) is known to grow to a size between 24 and 35mm. It was initially thought to be an endangered species but the Armored Stink Beetle is nocturnal during the summer.

Armored Stink Beetles are only diurnal during the winter months when it seeks out warmth during the day.

This species can be seen in US and Mexico deserts. It has a large black body and thick black legs.

Black beetles of this species are also common for those who like to grow beetles as pets at home. They are typically kept in tanks with a sufficient sand substrate that mimics their natural desert environment.

16. Sculptured Pine Borer

Sculptured Pine Borer

This beetle (Chalcophora virginiensis) is known for its black body with light brown stripes. It lives in conifer forests, particularly in Eastern US.

The Sculptured Pine Borer is a black beetle tied to pine forests. It likes to eat decaying pine and it nests in rotting pine.

Black beetles of the Sculptured Pine Borer genus have also been shown to bore in live pine but to a reduced extent.

One of the main problems with these beetles in live pines is their impact on the tree.

Too many Sculptured Pine Borer larvae can eventually kill a pine tree by stopping the flow of natural nutrients inside the tree.

17. Woolly Darkling Beetle

Woolly Darkling Beetle

This black beetle (Eleodes osculans) is known for having short brown hairs all across its body. It’s one of the few known darkling beetle species found in the US.

The best chances of seeing the Wooly Darkling Beetle in the US are found in California’s chaparral habitats.

Dark beetles of this genus are seen feeding on plants, trees, and roots. They become defensive when seeing people.

Wooly Darkling Beetles are known for raising their front legs to get into a type of defensive position when seeing people.

18. Eleodes acuticauda

Eleodes acuticauda

This species of black beetle is known for its elongated body. It has an all-black physique, similar to Wooly Darkling Beetles but with a more elongated abdomen.

These beetles are only found in California and nearby regions in Baja California.

It may be seen around Los Angeles suburbs but the black beetle prefers the arid climates of Southern California.

19. Eleodes obscura

Eleodes obscura

This species of black beetle is common in North America. It can be found in Oregon and nearby states as well as in Canada’s British Colombia.

Eleodes obscura is a large beetle, like many other black beetles. It can reach a size of up to 1.2 inches.

One of the easiest identification methods is based on analyzing the deep grooves along its body. This species is known for having multiple parallel grooves on its dorsal.

Its diet is more complex than the diet of the average boring black beetle.

Eleodes obscura eats tree roots, plants, nuts, seeds, and other animal products.

20. False Mealworm Beetle

False Mealworm Beetle

The False Mealworm Beetle (Alobates pensylvanicus) is a species of black beetle that grows up to 23mm. It has an elongated body and 3 pairs of thick legs.

Beetles of this genus have a clear separation between the square pronotuma and the elongated oval elytra.

US and Canada forests are among the preferred natural habitats for the False Mealworm Beetle.

This black beetle is known for feeding on decaying wood, particularly on wood found in forests.

The best time to see the beetle is during the summer when it’s most active under logs and fallen trees.

False Mealworm Beetles are also known to feed on insects. Even their larvae are known to feed on insects.

21. Bronze Ground Beetle

Bronze Ground Beetle

This black beetle has been introduced to North America from Europe. Unlike many other black beetles, the Bronze Ground Beetle (Carabus nemoralis) is found in populated areas.

It can be seen in parks and gardens as it prefers to remain in proximity to people.

This species is also known for its black body, as its name implies.

It’s also one of the black beetles that feed on worms and slugs, as well as on various small eggs it can find on the ground.

Centipedes and other insects are also part of the Bronze Ground Beetle’s diet.

When not populating suburban areas, the Bronze Ground Beetle can be found in woodlands in humid areas known to be rich in slugs.

22. Black Blister Beetle

Black Blister Beetle

The Black Blister Beetle (Epicauta pensylvanica) is seen as an invasive species on crops. This beetle has long been known as one of the most prevalent beetles to eat all types of flowers.

Today, the Black Blister Beetle is mostly known for eating goldenrod even if it eats other types of flowering plants, including sunflowers.

The species is found in grassland, prairies, and high elevation.

Black beetles of this genus are known to move a lot during the day. They can be difficult to spot as a result.

23. Strawberry Seed Beetle

Strawberry Seed Beetle

The Strawberry Seed Beetle (Harpalus rufipes) gets its name from its favorite food, strawberry seeds. It’s an invasive species known to cause economic losses to those growing strawberries on a commercial scale.

These beetles are identified by their black bodies with deep grooves and thick orange legs.

Strawberry Seed Beetle is also seen eating pine seeds and the seeds of other conifers when it lives in forests.

The species is mostly nocturnal and it’s rarely seen out during the day. Strawberry Seed Beetles can fly and they can get indoors, mainly attracted to light.

24. Tomentose Burying Beetle

Tomentose Burying Beetle

These black beetles (Nicrophorus tomentosus) have known as burrowers. They burrow animal carcasses they feed on.

They are among the few black beetles with a club, which is a wider antennae segment that helps detect odors.

Beetles of this species rely on this club to find dead animals or carcasses.

Once these are found they are rolled into a ball and covered in a secretion that aims to preserve it further.

An entire family of Tomentose Burying Beetle feeds on the animal carcass. Adults eat it and regurgitate it for the young.

These beetles have also been shown to live socially where both males and females take on parental duties.

The male Tomentose Burying Beetle can even take care of the young whenever the female dies.

25. Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle

Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle

These beetles (Cicindela tranquebarica) are known for having a black body with white markings. The markings resemble stripes which is what these beetles might also be known for.

However, their white marks aren’t used for camouflage as these beetles often choose to burrow in soft sand soil where they stand out.

In some parts of the world, these beetles are known for having a black and red color as opposed to the more common black and white coloring.

They do not bury animal carcasses but they cover them up to preserve them.

Some of these beetles are also known for making small pits where animal carcasses are laid and covered in leaves and sand.

26. Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetle

Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetle

The black beetle is known for having an all-black body with deep grooves on its dorsal. The species (Calosoma sayi) is a ground beetle which means it moves on the surface of the ground to look for moths and caterpillars.

As a nocturnal species, Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetles can fly indoors attracted to artificial light.

In the right circumstances, the Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetle can live as long as 3 years.           

However, this beetle has plenty of predators which means most members of the species don’t reach this long lifespan.

The best time to see these beetles is in the spring when larvae emerge from the ground.

Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetles remain active through the fall.

27. Texas Flower Scarab

Texas Flower Scarab

The Texas Flower Scarab (Trichiotinus texanus) is a species of black beetle common in central parts of Texas.

Texas Flower Scarabs are among the few black beetles that exclusively feed and live on flowers. Some of these scarabs can be seen on colored flowers eating pollen and drinking nectar.

Cactus flowers are said to attract most Texas Flower Scarabs. These beetles are also known for eating the pollen from other flowers when they’re seen outside Texas.

More than 8 species of Texas Flower Scarabs are seen in the US and Canada. While not as common as in Texas, the species can be traced up North and even in Southern Canada.

28. Shiny Flea Beetle

Shiny Flea Beetle

Shiny Flea Beetles (Asphaera lustrans) are known for being partially black. The lower part of their body is black while the upper part is orange.

No color variations are reported in the species from Texas to Florida.

These beetles are small compared to other US species.

Adult Shiny Flea Beetles reach a maximum size of 7mm.

They live in multiple US states, particularly in Texas. Beetles of this genus are known to feed on skullcap flowers.

These flowers are known for causing sleepiness.

29. Willow Leaf Beetle

Willow Leaf Beetle

The Willow Leaf Beetle (Plagiodera versicolora) is mostly tied to willow as its name implies. Beetles of the species might also be seen on poplar and other trees found next to water sources.

Food is one of the main reasons these beetles are seen on willow. The black beetles eat the leaves of willows, potentially affecting tree health.

Common in the summer, these beetles can fly. As a result, they’re often seen very far from willows or popular, but still next to rivers.

30. Sugarcane Beetle

Euetheola humilis
Sugarcane Beetle

Sugarcane Beetles (Euetheola humilis) are seen as an invasive and pest black beetle species in the US. They were initially found in Southeastern US but have since spread to Northern parts.

These beetles can be found in large habitats even in South America.

A negative impact on sugarcane has been the main problem caused by these beetles.

However, their negative impact has since spread to laws, particularly on golf courses around the country.

Sugarcane Beetles are easy to spot on golf courses. They have an all-black body with fine barely-visible grooves along the body.

Further Reading: