By Arthur V. Evans

This bumble flower scarab, Euphoria inda (12-16 mm), resembles a bee in flight, right down to the buzzing sound as it flies low over the ground.

The bumble flower scarab, Euphoria inda (Linnaeus), is the most widely distributed species of Euphoria in North America, ranging from Quebec south to Florida, west to British Columbia, Oregon, Colorado, and southeastern Arizona. The head and pronotum are mostly black, while the elytra are yellowish-brown with variable black spots. The dorsal surface is shiny or dull.

The larvae develop in various accumulations of plant materials, rotten wood, and within the thatched nests of ants in the genus Formica. Adults emerge from their earthen pupal cases in late summer, overwinter, and become active again the following spring. They are often found flying close to the ground in the morning until midday, especially over piles of grass, edges of haystacks, compost piles, manure, and other plant debris. They are sometimes found in numbers drinking sap from wounds on tree trunks and exposed roots, or feeding on various flowers and ripe fruits.

© 2010, A.V. Evans

Note: The “Beetles of Eastern North America” series features descriptions that will appear in a slightly abbreviated form in my upcoming field guide to be published by Princeton University Press.



  1. I just saw the first one of these for the year 2 days (on my annual birthday season-opening bug-collecting trip). It’s amazing how much they look like a bumble bee – until they land.

  2. Just saw my first one ever this spring.

  3. […] beetles…  They drop to the ground and dig in as soon as it gets cloudy…“  The Beetles of Eastern North America website also has some good information.  Your second image of the underside has what appears to be a […]

  4. Paul Meyer Says:

    I have found these beetles in Arizona primarily deep inside thistle blossoms. Their presence is signalled by the tuft of flower material above the level of the main blossom–usually looking like a white flag. The beetles are then frequently found by digging them out of the bowl of the blossom. When I was in high school I also collected with Col. Lester Lampert in central Florida where we found Euphoria sepulchralis inthe same fashion.

    • Arthur Evans Says:

      I just returned from AZ, but did not find any of these beetles in the thistles. One year they were fairly common on thistles in Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas. I also met Lester Lampert there at the Southwest Research Station back when I was a teenager back in the mid 1970’s.

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