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Pleasing Fungus Beetle

These large beetles do their best work at night: feeding on wood-destroying fungi.

Here's a bug that's definitely not a garden pest. As its name suggests, the pleasing fungus beetle (Megalodacne heros) feeds on wood-destroying fungus. These large beetles can be found near trees, decaying stumps and fallen logs where they eat the fruiting bodies of bracket fungi.

There are some 1,800 species of pleasing fungus beetles throughout the world, and each species tends to eat a specific type of fungus. Megalodacne heros is found in the eastern U.S. west to Texas. Megalodacne fasciata, which is smaller and has slightly different markings on its back, has been seen throughout most of the East and Midwest, plus California.

A daytime sighting of this beetle is fairly unusual. The pleasing fungus beetle is nocturnal; during the day it's typically out of sight, hiding under bark or logs.

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