Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Bad Thing or a Good Thing?

Yesterday while working at constructing nesting cavities at the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve, Ken a fellow volunteer, spotted this bight colored beetle when he split apart a section of the oak log he was working on.  I got my camera and took a photo, hoping it would enable me to make an identification, as none of us had any idea what kind of beetle it was. Luckily, Lee Slattum who is the driving force to the volunteer work being done at the Reserve knew an entomologist that would probably know. I sent Lee a photo and he reported back to me: 

“It is a clerid beetle.  He said they can also be blue and yellow.  They eat other species of beetles in wood by crawling down their bore holes to get at them.  They are considered good to have around.”.

This gave me a starting point and sent me on a search for more information which led me to narrowing it down to the common name of Checkered Beetle.  It was also a relief, as my guess was that it was probably a beetle having a bad effect on our oak trees, similar to all the destruction the Pine Beetle has had on the Lodge Pole Pine forests of Oregon. So here is a beetle that goes after the bad guys!


  1. And informative! Thanks, Jim!! Good to see you're keeping busy while the lil Wifey is away.