pilose checkered beetle

(Chariessa pilosa)

Conservation Status
pilose checkered beetle
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Pilose checkered beetle is a small to medium-sized predaceous beetle. It occurs in North America east of the Great Plains. It may be the most widely distributed checkered beetle (Family Cleridae) in North America. It is one of the most common checkered beetles in the eastern United States, but is uncommon in Minnesota, where it is at the western extent of its range. It is found from May to July in deciduous forests and woodlands. The larvae prey on a variety of wood-boring beetles. The feed on the eggs, larvae, and adults found in beetle galleries in the bark of hardwoods. They are considered beneficial because they may prevent or mitigate an outbreak of wood-boring beetles. Adults feed on many adult insects.

Pilose checkered beetle looks like a hairy firefly. It is mostly dark brown and is covered with bristly hairs. The body is elongate, narrow, somewhat cylindrical, ¼ to (7 to 15 mm) long, and 116 to ¼ (2.5 to 5.7 mm) wide.

The head and mouthparts are directed downward. The head is as wide as the exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum). The compound eyes are bulging and finely granular. The antennae have 11 segments. The last 3 segments are expanded and form a loose club. The club is noticeably larger on males than on females. On the male, the lobe on the ninth and tenth segments is an elongated, finger-like branch. On the female they are shorter and sharply triangular.

The pronotum is slightly wider than long and is narrower than the base of the wing covers (elytra). It is densely covered with fine pits (punctures). The margins are reddish-yellow, the interior reddish. There are two thick, black, somewhat parallel stripes in the middle, separated by a thin reddish line. There is no tuft of hairs between the lines.

The elytra are dark brown and soft. The outer (lateral) and inner (sutural) margins are pale.

The legs are dark brown. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has 5 segments. At the end of each tarsus there is a pair of claws and a hairy pad between the claws. The claws are of equal size. Each claw has a single tooth.




Total Length: ¼ to (7 to 15 mm)


Similar Species


Deciduous forests and woodlands




May to July




Adults are active during the day but will come to lights at night.


Life Cycle




Larva Food




Adult Food




Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30, 82

Opitz, Weston, "Classification, natural history, and evolution of the subfamily Peloniinae Opitz (Coleoptera: Cleroidea: Cleridae). Part VIII. Systematics of the checkered beetle genus Chariessa Perty" (2017). Insecta Mundi. 1063. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/insectamundi/1063.




Uncommon in Minnesota



Coleoptera (beetles)  


Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, long-horned, leaf, and snout beetles)  




Cleroidea (bark-gnawing, checkered and soft-winged flower beetles)  


Cleridae (checkered beetles)  









Common Names


pilose checkered beetle









The hardened or leathery forewings of beetles used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying. Singular: elytron.



The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.



On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.






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Alfredo Colon

    pilose checkered beetle      
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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

pilose checkered beetle  
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Created: 11/22/2020

Last Updated:

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