Banded Net-Winged Beetle

What is C. reticulatum's boday structure and how does it defend itself?

General Form
All Banded Net-Winged Beetles’s have a common, general form that is consistent throughout all members of the species. All adult Calopteron reticulatum are elongated with wings that become wider at the posterior end. The segment behind the head of this beetle is black with yellow to orange sides.  Of these consistencies one that differentiates males from females is their size. The adult males are approximately half the size of the adult females (White1983).

Transportation Mechanisms
Organisms have various mechanisms for transportation on land that are specialized for their environment. Throughout some organism’s life stages, they will have different transportation mechanisms that better suit their body form and function.

In the case of Calopteron reticulatum, transportation in the early life stage of larvae was on six short jointed legs. The larvae would scurry around on the forest floor looking for food.       

The adult C. reticulatum moves around on its six jointed legs.Banded Net-Winged Beetles However, the legs of a beetle that are only ten to fifteen millimeters do not allow the beetle to move very quickly in the presence of danger. In order to get from place to place more rapidly, C. reticulatum has adapted wings that allow the beetle to fly. There are three pairs of wings with the outermost pair of wings having a unique pattern that resembles a network by having raised ridges running both length and width of the wing (White 186-187).

Defense Mechanisms
 Not only does the (bug) have various transportation methods, but it also has defense mechanisms to protect itself in each of its life stages. At ten to fifteen millimeters, these larvae look fairly appetizing to some birds or other predators; however, these beetles belong to the Lycidae family have been found to contain chemicals that are toxic to predators. To warn these predators that they are toxic without the need for a taste, C. reticulatum larvae also have adapted an orange and black patches in this stage of their lives to warn predators (Bennett et al. 2012). This net pattern as well the banded orange coloration help give C. reticulatum its name. The beetle has adapted bright orange bands to warn predators of their foul taste (Hall and Branham 2008); a taste that is comes from the fatty as well as lycidic acids in the beetle (Bennett et al. 2012). When a predator tastes this beetle, it spits the beetle out and characterizes the taste with the orange color. Some predators may not see the orange coloration of C. reticulatum. For these predators, the beetle has developed pyrazine, a chemical compound that produces undesirable odors. The repugnant scent helps to deter predators. If the scent is not detected, then the bright orange bands will let the predator know that the beetle is not an appetizing meal.


Continue to our Life History/Reproduction page to learn about how the Banded Net-Winged Beetle has evolved and reproduced.