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11 Common Types of Beetles in Michigan

Beetles are a diverse group of insects found all over the world. There are nearly 30,000 different species of beetles in the United States, with 100 of them located in the state of Michigan. Some of these beetles are native to Michigan, while others have been introduced from other countries. In this article, we’ll learn about 11 of the most common beetle species found in this state, as well as some interesting facts about them.

11 Beetles in Michigan

1. Japanese beetle

Japanese beetle
Japanese beelte | Image by Richard Malo from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Popillia japonica

One of the beetles found in Michigan is the Japanese beetle. These beetles range in size from 10 to 12 mm and are metallic green or copper in color. Japanese beetles eat almost all plants in your yard, including trees and shrubs.

They travel in groups and are particularly fond of roses, grapes, fruit trees, and other plants that produce edible seeds or fruit. The creatures are a common problem in the state due to the damage they cause to many different plants.

2. Banded net-winged beetle

Banded net-winged beetle on a leaf
Banded net-winged beetle on a leaf | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McC via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Calopteron discrepans

The banded net-winged beetle is a brightly colored beetle found in the eastern United States. It has black antennae on its head and orange and black bands on its wings. It’s typically found in tropical rainforests, where the larvae feed on molds, fungi, and other plant juices.

It also frequently inhabits decaying woods in the forest because of this. As a form of self-defense, this species displays bright colors and releases chemicals that alert predators to the fact that they have an unpleasant taste.

3. Goldenrod soldier beetle

Goldenrod soldier beetle on a flower
Goldenrod soldier beetle on a flower | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Chauliognathus pensylvanicus

The goldenrod soldier beetle is a colorful bug found in Michigan. It’s small compared to other beetles, with a body length of about 1/2 inch. The beetle is typically yellow or orange in color with two black spots.

This species spends most of its time on flowers, feeding on pollen and nectar. They’re most commonly seen on goldenrod flowers, but they can also be found on Queen Anne’s lace, milkweed, and other flowering plants.

The beetles are considered beneficial insects because they pollinate a wide range of plants while feeding on their nectar. Soldier beetles also eat small caterpillars and insect eggs found in their habitat.

4. Eastern firefly

Eastern firefly on a leaf
An eastern firefly on a leaf | image by Katja Schulz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Photinus pyralis

Eastern fireflies are beetle species found in Michigan that can grow to be 14 mm long. They thrive in moist environments like forests near streams and wet ground. These flies are most active in the late spring, when they emerge to feed and mate.

These creatures are distinguished by their luminous bioluminescence, used by them to find each other for mating rituals as well as to deter predators in the dark. Their light signal contains a poisonous steroid that scares off their potential predators, such as birds and frogs.

5. Michigan dune beetle

Scientific Name: Meracantha contracta

The Michigan dune beetle is a beetle that’s native to Michigan. They’re reddish brown in color and grow to only 13 mm in length. These beetles are common near bodies of water and can be found in oak and maple trees.

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As bark-eating beetles, they eat mostly tree and plant parts. During the cold season, their larva overwinters in decomposing logs by producing antifreeze proteins that help them survive the snowy season.

6. Margined blister beetle

Margined blister beetle on a leaf
Margined blister beetle on a leaf | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Epicauta funebris

One of the blister beetles common in North America is the margined blister. They’re widespread in the eastern great plains and feed on soybeans, asters, and plants in the pea and potato families. These insects can be seen feeding on the flowers and the plant’s leaves.

The Margined Blister Beetle is a small, black insect with gray bands on its wings. Their larvae are laid on the ground, hatch, and feed on the eggs of other insects until they pupate and become adults after 10 – 20 days.

7. Reddish-brown Stag Beetle

Reddish-brown stag beetle on a wood
Reddish-brown stag beetle on wood | image by Marvin Smith via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Lucanus capreolus

This reddish brown beetle is a stag beetle found in Michigan that can grow to be 1.4 inches long. Since they use their pincers when threatened, this beetle is also known as the pinching beetle.

The beetle has a brown head and body, as well as large mandibles that resemble deer antlers. They’re found in forests with decaying logs, feeding on the inner woods of old tree trunks.

This is also where they lay their eggs, allowing the larva to live inside for two years before maturing. These species will then pupate on the ground until they mature into adult beetles.

8. Green June beetle

Green june beetle
Green june beetle

Scientific Name: Cotinis nitida

The Green June beetle is a small, bright green insect found throughout North America. They‘re most active during the day, eating a variety of fruits such as blackberries, apples, plums, apricots, grapes, and peaches. Their larvae, on the other hand, prefer to feed on decaying substances in the soil.

Adults can grow to be an inch long and can be identified by their green metallic wings with gold accents on the sides. This species has a one-year life cycle, with adults appearing around June after pupating.

9. Black carpet beetle

Black carpet beetle on a red foam
Black carpet beetle on a red foam | image by Ryan Hodnett via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Attagenus unicolor

The black carpet beetle is a small black beetle that lives in homes and other structures. The beetle can be found in Michigan, but it’s also common throughout the United States. They can grow up to 5 mm in length and are known to feed on different types of fabric.

Since it can damage fabrics and carpets, the black carpet beetle is a nuisance for some homeowners. This insect frequently feeds on clothing that has been stored or displayed, as well as home furniture.

The larvae have also been observed eating wool, fur, feathers, straw, and paper products such as books. Females typically lay their eggs near food sources, and they will also lay them near dog food.

10. Asian longhorned beetle

Asian long-horned beetles
Asian long-horned beetles | image by Craig Nagy via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Anoplophora glabripennis

The Asian longhorned beetle is a beetle native to Asia that can also be found in some parts of the United States, including Michigan. They prefer areas with a high concentration of hardwood trees and will also inhabit warehouses.

This beetle is distinguished by its long antennae with black and white bands. The beetle is about 1.3 inches long and has black wings with white spots. Their breeding season occurs in the late summer, and the eggs take 1 to 2 years to mature.

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11. Eastern Hercules beetle

Eastern hercules beetle on a log
Eastern hercules beetle on a log | image by Greg Gilbert via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Dynastes tityus

Because of its enormous size and strength, the Eastern Hercules beetle was named after the Greek hero Hercules. In fact, this beetle has the ability to carry up to 850 times its own weight. The males have horns on their heads, whereas the females do not.

They have green, gray, or tan fur and black spots on their backs. These insects live in forests with a lot of rotting wood, where they lay their eggs and feed their larvae. Adults eat rotting fruits and tree saps found in their environment.