Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify Big Beetle


Found a big beetle climbing up my house yesterday & was wondering what kind of beetle it was.  The 3 pictures I took I posted to my Facebook account.  I live in Fairfield, Ohio if that helps for location.


Dear Andrew - This is a scarab beetle in the genus Osmoderma, likely Osmoderma subplanata - see http://tinyurl.com/lz7o9dc. Beetles in this genus sometimes are known as leather beetles because of their characteristic odor. Their larvae are found in punky/decomposing wood, most often decaying heartwood of hollow trees; they are not pests. I first encountered these on our farm in North Dakota in 1957.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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