Scarlet Malachite Beetle

2016 October 5

Sam and Rosie spotted this beetle on the wall of our front hallway on May 7, 2016. It’s a Scarlet Malachite Beetle, Malachius aeneus.


I didn’t originally plan to post this species again, seeing as how I have shown it on this site three times before, but come on, it was right there, practically posing for me.


And they really are very attractive beetles. Given that this was found in early May, it either overwintered as an adult, or just came out of its pupa. It may even have pupated somewhere indoors – possibly in one of our numerous potted plants, where the larvae would have been able to feed on any small critters living in the potting soil.


While these beetles clearly come indoors quite a bit, and in fact one of the earlier postings was about a larva that we found in the house, I really can’t regard them as being a household pest. Mainly because they are supposed to be predatory (or, at least, the larvae are). Which means that when they are in the house, they are most likely eating other things that are pests, like dust mites, carpet beetles, clothes moths, and the like.

Although, I did say “supposed to be predatory”. BugGuide has a link to a document (the “Checklist of Beetles of Canada and Alaska”) that one moment says they are predatory, and the next moment says that they are a pest of wheat. Adrian Thysse says that the reported damage is due to the adults clipping the anthers off of the tiny wheat flowers before they can be pollinated, but also says that this hasn’t been confirmed and may be an error.

Given how many times we’ve found them in the house, I’m surprised that very few other people seem to be reporting them as being common house insects. Most of the other images that I see online were found outside. Maybe the weather around here is just so miserable that they can’t resist coming indoors.

One Response
  1. Mark Sturtevant permalink
    October 7, 2016

    What a beautiful beetle! I have never seen one. They resemble tiger beetles to me, but they belong in a different family.

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