Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Sandalus

BG3030 E8684 - Sandalus - male Rhipicerid - Sandalus - male Beetle with antlers - Sandalus niger - male Beetle with antlers - Sandalus niger - male Porch floor beetle - Sandalus petrophya Sandalus niger - female Sandalus petrophya - female beetle - Sandalus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Dascilloidea (Soft-bodied Plant and Cicada Parasite Beetles)
Family Rhipiceridae (Cicada Parasite Beetles)
Genus Sandalus
Other Common Names
Cedar Beetles, Cicada Parasite Beetles(1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
our fauna needs revision(1)
Explanation of Names
Sandalus Knoch 1801
5 spp. in our area, 25 total(1)
males 17-20 mm, females 22-25 mm(1)
antennae flabellate in males, serrate in females(1)

Click on photo to see discussion of identification of the two common eastern species, S. niger and S. petrophya.
New World, E & S Asia, Africa; our spp. (distribution poorly known)(1):
S. californicus LeConte 1861 - CA-NV-ID Type
S. cribricollis Van Dyke 1923 - CA
S. niger Knoch 1801 - ne. & midw. US south to TX + so. ON
S. petrophya Knoch 1801 - e. US to FL
S. porosus LeConte 1868 - AZ-TX-CO, FL Type
usually later in the season
Adults reportedly do not feed, though a recent captive report would suggest they may feed on certain plant leaves... Larvae are ectoparasitoids of nymphal cicadas(1)
Life Cycle
hypermetamorphosis(1); ~17,000 eggs has been recorded from a single female S. niger (Rings 1942)
come to lights; infrequently found but may be seen in large numbers during the day, indicating pheromone involvement(1)
One day in late September near Bloomington, IN, 12 specimens were collected on hickory trunks or in flight in 1 hour, where none were during previous years: the beetles likely parasitized the brood of periodical cicadas which had emerged the previous year.(2)
Print References
Craighead F.C. (1921) Larva of the North American beetle Sandalus niger Knoch. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 23: 44-48.
Rings R.W. (1942) The external anatomy of Sandalus niger Knoch (Coleoptera: Rhipiceridae). Ann. Ent. Soc. America. 35: 411-425.
Young F.N. (1956) Unusual abundance of Sandalus in southern Indiana. Col. Bull. 9: 74.
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.