Discover 10 Types of Tan Beetles

The Five-horned rhinoceros beetle
Mark Brandon/

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: March 24, 2023

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Beetles are very a very diverse type of insect. Some of them act as a plague for plants while others protect home gardens against pests like aphids. One of the ways that people organize the 350,000 species of these critters is by color. While black and white beetles are the most common ones, other colors exist. Take a look at 10 types of tan beetles that can be found throughout the world!

Find out how big they get, what they look like, and where they live! Keep in mind that tan is not a very common color on beetles, so some of the critters listed here will have a tan color as part of a larger color pattern.

1. Eastern Hercules Beetle

eastern hercules beetle

The eastern Hercules beetle grows over two inches long!

The eastern Hercules beetle is a very large creature found in South America, Central America, and parts of North America. Dynastes tityus measures between 1.5 and 2.3 inches long, making it one of the largest types of tan beetles on this list. They often have large horns on their head that can measure upwards of 1/3 of their total body length.

These insects can appear in tan, black, brown, green, and many other colors. The adult eastern Hercules beetle consumes fruit and tree sap.

2. Red Oak Borer

red oak borer

The red oak borer is found throughout parts of Canada, most of the United States, and parts of Mexico.

The red oak borer is a medium-sized beetle that has a body measurement between 0.3 and 1 inch long. Yet, Enaphalodes rufulus is a type of longhorn beetle, so its antennae are about as long as the beetle’s body in some cases. As a result, this beetle can measure about 2 inches in total length.

The critter is named for the type of wood that its larvae bore into and not for its color. Then again, the beetle bores into several kinds of oak trees and not just the red oak. These beetles appear tan, red, orange, white, and brown. They’re found throughout parts of Canada, most of the United States, and parts of Mexico.

3. Cigarette Beetle

Macro of Lasioderma serricorne, the cigarette beetle. Its back is facing the camera and it has its hindwo=ings extended. Its elite (forewing covers) are splayed and visible. The beetle is reddish. Its hindwing are transparent.


cigarette beetle

will feed on tobacco and tobacco products.

Cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) are insects with a cosmopolitan distribution. That means they’re found all over the world. These hump-shaped beetles are tan, brown, and caramel. They’re known for feeding on stored products like flour and tobacco. These critters are rather small, growing about an eighth of an inch long.

4. Clay-Colored Billbug

The clay-colored billbug (Sphenophorus dicolor) lives throughout North America. These insects are small, only growing about half an inch at their largest. They’re known for their unique coloration and long snout.

When viewed from above, this beetle has red elytra with tan stripes running down the length of it. Their abdomen is also red, but it’s outlined with tan and has tan markings within the red portion. These beetles are considered a pest on corn farms where they will feed on young plants. Their feeding can halt the growth of the plant.  

5. Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Asian Ladybug)

asian lady beetle on a leaf

Ladybugs are also known as ladybeetles and ladybird beetles.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle is mostly orange and black. However, it qualifies as one of the types of tan beetle because several parts of its thorax are tan. They can also appear orange and yellow with black dots. This small critter is often confused for the convergent ladybug and several others.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle is found throughout North America. They’re tiny animals that only measure about 0.3 inches long at their largest size. They have a dome-shaped body that makes them easy to identify. Also, these beetles can deliver a small bite to humans.  

6. Spotted Grapevine Beetle

Grapevine Beetle

Grapevine beetles have three dots on each side of their elytra.

The spotted grapevine beetle range in colors from light yellow to tan or even brown. Although their elytra are mostly solid colors, an identifying characteristic of these critters is the three black dots on each side of their body.

They are a member of the June bug family. As their name suggests, they enjoy eating the foliage of grape plants. However, they’re not significant pests that will destroy the plant. Oftentimes, they’ll grow upwards of an inch long.

7. Western Hercules Beetle

western hercules beetle

Males of this species can grow a large horn to fight for territory or mating rights.

The western Hercules beetle (Dynastes granti) is a large beetle species. They can grow between 1.5 and 2.3 inches long, making them one of the largest types of tan beetles. Although their name suggests they might have a wide distribution, they do not. Instead, they’re mostly found in three states: Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Males of this species can grow a large horn to fight for territory or mating rights. These creatures appear in colors like tan, brown, white, or black. They’re not overly harmful to humans.

8. Notch-Tipped Flower Longhorn Beetle

Typocerus sinuatus is another longhorn that grows about half an inch long and has antennae that grow almost as long as the insect’s body. This species has a thick abdomen near the thorax that gets thinner toward the end of its body.

These beetles have yellow, brown, or tan elytra with black markings on them. Their thoraxes and heads are black. Their legs can include a reddish-orange color. While they can resemble a bee at first glance, these beetles are harmless.

9. Carpet Beetle

carpet beetle

Carpet beetles will eat carpets, clothes, and other fibrous items in one’s home.

The carpet beetle is a small pest that can appear inside human residences. They enjoy eating the fibers in many different items like carpets, blankets, and clothes.

Carpet beetles are small, measuring a little over an eighth of an inch at their greatest length. They’re multicolored creatures that have black, tan, orange, white, and yellow in their coloration. They’re certainly one of the smallest types of tan beetles, and they’re also a somewhat significant pest.

10. American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila americana)

The American carrion


consumes carrion and rotting plants.

The American carrion beetle (Necrophila americana) are medium-sized beetles that consume the flesh of dead creatures and plants. This species has wide black elytra with a bumpy texture. The creature’s pronotum is mostly tan or light yellow with a large marking centered behind the head.

These beetles are found throughout the vast majority of North America, except for California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in the U.S.

All in all, many types of tan beetles exist in the world today. However, that color is not the most prominent on most beetles. Instead, you’re far more likely to see less colorful variants like black and brown. Still, many other bright-colored beetles exist, like jewel beetles. With hundreds of thousands of species, many exceptionally beautiful beetles live around the world.  

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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