The Checkered Beetles Insect checkered Thanasimus formicarius from Europe lives on trees on tree trunks, the larvae feeding on bark beetles. Length up to 0.4 inches (10 mm).
Common name: Checkered beetles
Number of species: About 4,000 (about 260 US.)
Size: From about 0.1 in (3 mm) to about 0.6 in (15 mm)
Key features: Mainly brightly Checkered Beetles , often with checkered elytra; body usually fairly long and narrow, covered with bristly hairs; head prominent, usually as wide or wider than the pronotum, which is much narrower than the elytra; eyes bulging antennae varied, clubbed; also threadlike sawtoothed
Habits: Adults active in daytime, often sitting for long periods on flowers; usually seen singly; larvae mainly live in the galleries of bark beetles or in the nests of bees and wasps
Breeding: Mating probably mainly takes place soon after the female has emerged from her pupa; Checkered Beetles eggs are laid on flowers, in the ground, on trees inhabited by bark beetles, and in plant galls
Diet : Adults often feed on nectar and pollen, but also prey on insects such as caterpillars and adult bark beetles; larvae eat bark beetle larvae, the grubs of bees and wasps, Checkered Beetles or grasshopper egg pods; a handful of species eat stored food products
Habitat: Mainly in woodlands; also in meadows, deserts, mountains, gardens, and houses
Distribution: Worldwide, but prefer warmer regions; most of the u.s. species occur in the southwest.