Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
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"Red Cross" Beetle
 
A "red cross" beetle, Collops sp., female. Photo by Drees.
Click on image to enlarge
 
A "red cross" beetle,
Collops sp.
(Coleoptera: Melyridae), female.
Photo by Drees.
Common Name: "Red cross" beetle
Scientific Name: Collops sp.
Order: Coleoptera

Description: This soft-bodied beetle is most easily recognized by the red markingson the wing covers (elytra) which are in the form of a cross. The remainder of the elytra has four blue-black spots. The head, abdomen and legs are black to brownish black. The pronotum is red with a one or two bluish-black spots on the center of the pronotum. They are about 1/4-inch long.

Several related species are similar in general appearance but with different markings. Collops quinquemaculatus (Fabricius) is very similar in appearance but is smaller and the pronotum is red.

Life Cycle: Not much is known about the life cycle of this species.

Habitat and Food Source(s): Adults can be found on flowers where they probably feed on pollen. They also feed on insects and insect eggs. It is reported to feed on leafhoppers and eggs of the chinch bug and they are common in cotton and other agricultural commodities.

Pest Status: These beetles are considered beneficial because they are predators.

Management: None, this is a beneficial insect.

For additional information, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent or search for other state Extension offices.

Literature: Ebeling 1978. Metcalf et al. 1962.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999
Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
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