The Black Caterpillar Hunter hides during the day and comes out at night to find food. It roams the ground and trees looking for caterpillars to eat. It is not partial to what type of caterpillar; butterfly and moth larvae are both food sources. While actively hunting, it may come into contact with something that wants to eat it, and that is when this beetle deploys a stinky chemical to deter a predator.
The black beetle has narrow ridges on its wing coverings, or elytra. Look for lines of small rusty, bronze dots running down the length of elytra. The Caterpillar Hunter moves quickly and can be hard to track at night, but it does seem attracted to lights. It is often found in woodlands, gardens, and areas where caterpillars feed.
The Black Caterpillar Hunter is typically 0.9 inches to 1.1 inches (25mm to 28mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: black; ridged; lined; beetle; red; orange.
Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Black Caterpillar Hunter may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.