Beetles might look more like adorable bugs than tasty snacks, but a lot of different creatures use them to make up a significant part of their daily diet. Despite having a hard exoskeleton and awesome camouflage capabilities, beetles fall prey to mammals, amphibians, birds, fish and reptiles. Today I’ll share the top eaters of beetles, and where you might find them.
What Eats Beetles?
Beetles belong to the Coleoptera family and are diverse animals. There exist over 350,00 species of beetles in almost all earth’s habitats. However, a vast number of beetle species thrive within rainforests. The tropical habitats allow beetles to thrive in their millions and serve as a food source for many predators.
An astonishing number of predators eat beetles. They’re diverse and come in a variety of sizes and species. From mammals to birds, fish and amphibians, here are a selection of their biggest fans.
What Mammals Eat Beetles?
Many mammals love snacking on beetles. Mammals that primarily feed on these insects include:
Some species are insectivores and love feasting on small insects. Carabids, also knowns as ground beetles, are some of their favorite snacks. Other omnivorous hedgehogs also include beetles in their diet and feast on various beetle species.
Almost all carnivorous and omnivorous bat species eat beetles. Bats thriving in temperate climates mainly feed on insects, beetles being one of their go-to foods. They use various hunting methods to catch beetles, especially those that burrow deep.
Most bat species catch beetles mid-flight and proceed to snack or swallow their meals still in-flight. Some bat species use their wings to grab giant beetles and fly off.
Skunks feed on insects such as beetles and bees, mostly during summer and when insects come on the ground to forage for food. They hoover around farms and wild vegetation digging up beetles.
Foxes, to some extent, are opportunistic; they’re omnivorous and feed on beetles, among other insects. Foxes and beetles thrive in the grasslands and dig burrows for their homes. They cross paths where one becomes a predator and the other prey.
Other than foraging in your dumpster, Raccoons also favor eating Japanese beetles. They love eating them so much that they can wipe out an entire colony if there is nothing else to supplement their diet.
What Amphibians Eat Beetles?
Most Amphibians snack on beetles that lurk around water bodies such as ponds, rivers, and swamps that are home to all kinds of amphibians.
However, water beetles have devised a notorious plan where they duck out the backdoor after being consumed by some amphibians! These are some of the amphibians that eat beetles:
Just like foxes, frogs are opportunistic eaters. They love munching on beetles and prey mostly on beetle species that thrive in high-humid environments.
They swallow beetles whole! They rely on their digestive juices to kill and digest their meal. Only one beetle species has evolved to withstand this digestive system by releasing a chemical that makes toads vomit them out even after four hours while still alive!
What Birds Eat Beetles?
Not all birds eat seeds. Some birds thrive primarily on a bug diet, and beetles are the main delicacy in their diet. Some bird species that fancy eating beetles include:
These are excellent bug hunters and thrive in all 50 states. They love eating beetles and prefer sitting in a brush pile, hiding from predators and prey.
During summer, these red birds love feeding on insects such as beetles. They nest in shrub thickets to prey on insects. They provide their chicks mainly on an insect diet to hasten their growth.
In spring, Orioles switch from a pure fruit diet in winter to an insect diet in summer. Beetles are some of their favorite snack, followed by grasshoppers and other insect larvae.
Orioles prefer sitting on tall open trees and having a bird’s eye view of the creatures rummaging on the ground.
These are some of the most formidable insect hunters in the wild. Depending on the region, Bluebirds are all-year-round insect hunters with a voracious appetite. They feed on various insects, such as beetles, moths, and crickets.
Bluebirds hang out in open fields with large trees and perch on them while surveying the ground for prey.
Found all over the US, these red or white-breasted birds eat insects such as beetles and grasshoppers. They feed the insects to their young during spring and use resin harvested from trees to glue their cavity nests.
The numerous Titmice species thrive in North America and feed primarily on insects such as beetles and seeds. They rely on their sharp eyesight to catch insects scuttering through the ground.
Despite their illustrious wood pecking career, peckers need to ea,t and they feast on beetles and other wigglers. They stick to one place all year round and decimate insect numbers before moving!
These birds rise early to catch the proverbial worm and also time insects during the evenings when they have lowered their guard. They grab beetles, moths, larvae, and other insects and feed them to their young.
The ideal garden hunter, Purple Martins feed primarily on flying pests such as beetles, dragonflies, moths and grasshoppers. They thrive in colonies hence the phrase “Martin apartment complex”.
What Fish Eat Beetles?
Fish regularly feed on water beetles. Fish have a voracious appetite for bugs and swim around shallow waters to eat unsuspecting insects. Some fish that eat beetles include
Fish which thrives in tropical South America and freshwater rivers/lakes. It’s fond of preying on insects such as water beetles nesting on lilies and other plants that grow in water.
These are omnivorous fish and eat crustaceans, insects such as water beetles, plant matter, and algae. They make an excellent addition to a home aquarium because you can feed them anything, such as dead beetles, and they will thrive.
Do Reptiles Eat Beetles?
Many popular pet reptiles will also eat beetles, like the Bearded Dragon or Blue Tongue Skink. Although they aren’t a main staple of their captive diet, this opportunistic eaters will happily chow down on a beetle from time to time.
What Eats Beetles?
Beetles are a delicacy for many creatures, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and even fish. Terrestrial animals such as Raccoons and Foxes are opportunistic beetle eaters, while various types of birds eat beetles as an energy source.
Freshwater fish species also feed on beetles to supplement their diet. Beetles are an excellent source of energy for predators as most birds feed them to their chicks.
What Else Eats What?
- Who eats hay?
- What eats snakes?
- Which animals will eat a mouse?
- What creatures eat apples?
- Who eats rabbits?
- Insectivorous birds consume an estimated 400-500 million of prey annually. (2018) Pub med Central.
- Izabela et al. Fox and martens – are they really opportunistic feeders? A case of beetles and other arthropods occurrence in carnivores’ diet