Bug from a pig barn
Hi Mr. Bugman,
Can you help us? Our pig barn in east-central Alberta is experiencing an increase of these black and white striped critters. They prefer dry areas with dry maure and seem to live where there are many small black beetles (coincidence?). They have short, stubby wings and can fly short distances – about 6 to 8 inches, though they much prefer walking. They are soft bodied, so don’t appear to be a beetle. These bugs have nasy little pinchers and don’t hesitate to use them! We were wondering if they were a stage of a swine parasite(?) like the bot fly is to a horse; we do de-worm regularly. Are they a predator, or nuisance? Please help because the poor thing are usually squashed on sight!
We couldn’t wait to find out what you found in the pig barn. This is a Rove Beetle. Rove Beetles are a large family, Staphylinidae, that has over 2900 species in North America. Most are predators so you can stop squishing. They might be feeding on insects and worms attracted to the manure. Eric Eaton has this to add: “The rove beetle is a specimen of the hairy rove beetle, Staphylinus maxillosus. They are most commonly found on carrion (dead animals), where they feed on fly maggots. They are strictly predatory, as you mentioned. Eric”