Fiery Searcher Beetle A.K.A. Caterpillar Hunter Beetle (Calosoma scrutator)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $25
Geographic Range: North America
View: Top View
Size: Length: 2.5-3.5 cm

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Calosoma scrutator is one of the largest and most attractive beetles in North America. Like many other ground beetles it prefers to hunt at night and by day can be found hidden away under rocks, logs and other debris. However, unlike most ground beetles, Calosoma scrutator often climbs trees in search of it's favorite prey item, caterpillars. This habit has earned it the common name "Caterpillar Hunter". Although they will consume other prey items, soft-bodied larvae are a favorite. In captivity, they can be fed waxworms. The name "Fiery Searcher" has also been given to these beetles, a reference to the red margins on their metallic green elytra. In contrast, the sides of the head and thorax are marked with a rich violet/blue color. Calosoma scrutator begins life as an egg laid singly in soil. Larvae are predatory as well and are active hunters. The larvae eventually burrow back into soil to pupate. Adults may then live for as long as two to three years.