My son keeps finding these beetles in the woods under trees or under hay. I’m curious to know what do they eat? How long do they live? Do they carry germs? And What’s this beetle called? We love to look and play with them. They even have horns and fight each other.
This is a Patent Leather Beetle, Odontotaenius disjunctus. It is from the Bessbug Family Passalidae. They are related to Stag Beetles and the most fascinating thing about them is that they live in colonies. Adults and larvae live together in galleries inside tree stumps and rotting logs. Adults chew decaying wood and feed the larvae. They make a squeeking sound when disturbed by rubbing their wings against their backs. The larvae can also make sounds by scraping their legs against their bodies. This beetle was formerly known as Popilius disjunctus. They do not carry germs that can be passed to people.