Currently viewing the category: "Rove Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: South East, England
April 1, 2014 7:29 am
Hi,
Found this bug in my house.. just wondering what it is! It moves it’s bum a lot and uses it to push back it’s wings (which were hidden for a long time)
Signature: Thanks, Cassia

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Hi Cassia,
This is a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae.  We will attempt a species identification when we have more time.

Update:  We believe we have identified this Rove Beetle as Staphylinus erythropterus thanks to Wikimedia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: No Idea
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
April 1, 2014 6:22 pm
What is this bug?
Signature: Bradley

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Dear Bradley,
Your image is blurry, but the contours and coloration of this Gold and Brown Rove Beetle,
Ontholestes cingulatus, are unmistakeable.  Like other Rove Beetles, Gold and Brown Rove Beetles are beneficial predators.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what bug is this?
Location: Oregon
January 2, 2014 12:33 am
Saw this thing flying around my house. It landed on my couch. I trapped it in a zip lock bag. Seems aggressive…
Signature: Joel

Zip Locked Rove Beetle

Zip Locked Rove Beetle

Dear Joel,
We hope you let this Rove Beetle free after taking the digital image.  You would most likely be angry if you found yourself in a Zip Lock Bag, and you might even act out aggressively.  That said, this is a Rove Beetle, and they are truly fascinating beetles.  Their flight wings are folded and hidden beneath the small elytra, which means the Rove Beetles are softer bodied than most beetles that have elytra or wing covers which are hard and which cover the entirety of the abdomen.  Rove Beetles might be a threat to small arthropods and land molluscs, however, they pose no danger to humans as they do not possess any venom.  They do have scent glands in the abdomen and they often posture with the tail bent over the head in a position reminiscent  of the threat pose of a stinging Scorpion.  The Devil’s Coach Horse is one especially daunting looking Rove Beetle.  Your individual is not a Devil’s Coach Horse and we do not recognize your species and this is a very, very large family.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Does this bug sting?
Location: east central PA
October 3, 2013 7:48 pm
My friend saw this bug crawling in the grass around her home in central PA. She’s never seen this before and neither have I.
Signature: Denise

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Dear Denise,
This is a Rove Beetle, but we are uncertain of the species.  We love the aggression of Rove Beetles, but except for the Creechies, Rove Beetles are harmless and do not sting.  Our favorite Rove Beetle is probably the Devil’s Coach Horse.  Your Rove Beetle somewhat resembles
 Platydracus maculosus which is pictured on BugGuide.

Thank you very much.  I’m glad it’s not the Creechie species!  One question though: The thorax on the bug she saw was not smooth and seemed to have a blackish/blue something on it.  Does this beetle molt?   Or perhaps it was injured and the exoskeleton is ripped partly away?

Adult beetles do not molt.  Perhaps you are seeing the flight wings which are hidden beneath the short elytra.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help! Totally stumped with this insect!
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
September 16, 2013 5:37 pm
Hi there! I’m writing from Newfoundland, Canada. Today, sept 16, 2013 I came across an insect I have never seen before. I’m usually good with bugs – but this one has me stumped!
While walking through an alder bed with goldenrod I first observed the insect flying around and then landing on goldenrod. It looked a d behaved wasp like, pumping up and down. I never seen anything like it. Then I found a group of them ! They were attracted to a group of flies that had landed on something small and deceased. The flies were landing and walking on the carcass and the insects in question were skulking around – and then I watched one sneak up and grab a fly! Then I realized they were all doing this.
I had considered Robber Fly – but the antenna look totally wrong, so does everything else! But the behaviour is very similar! It’s predatory. I’d estimate the insect to be almost an inch in length.
Sorry for the long letter but I hope the details will help! Thank you so very much!!!
Signature: Jenny in Newfoundland

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle eats Blow Fly

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle eats Blow Fly

Dear Jenny,
This is one of the most exciting letters we have received in a very long time, and we are featuring it because of your thrilling personal observations and the gorgeous photos you have taken as proof of your observations.  In our untrained minds, you have made a significant scientific observation.  This is a Gold and Brown Rove Beetle,
Ontholestes cingulatus, and it appears to be preying on a Blow Fly.  According to BugGuide, the Gold and Brown Rove Beetle can be identified because it is “Large for a rove beetle. Dark brown and hairy. Clumps of hair forms dark spots on much of body. Yellow hair forms “belt” under thorax, covers parts of last abdominal segments. Head wider than pronotum. Eyes large, prominently placed on sides of head. Found on carrion and fungi. Often turns yellow tip of abdomen upward when walking.”  BugGuide also states its habitat is:  “on carrion wherever found” and “Eggs are laid near carrion or fungi,” but this is a rare BugGuide Information Page that does not discuss what the adult Gold and Brown Rove Beetle eats.  The large eyes are mentioned, and large eyes placed on the sides of the head would make a good hunter.  We suspect that the reason the Gold and Brown Rove Beetles are attracted to the Carrion is to prey upon flies as well as to lay eggs.  The developing Fly Maggots would compete with the larval Gold and Brown Rove Beetles’ food source, so eating the flies before they can breed on the carrion probably helps more Rove Beetles to survive to the adult stage.  Thanks again for your exciting submission.  We are going to feature it on our scrolling header as well.

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle preys upon Blow Fly

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle preys upon Blow Fly

Oh that’s so fascinating! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!
It was just the most incredible thing watching those beetles hunt the flies. It took me by surprise at first! So I grabbed my camera and decided to photograph them grabbing and eating the flies. They moved so swiftly. They actually snuck up on the fly and then just grabbed them! There were about 7 of them around the carcass, and each one had a fly in it’s legs! So interesting! Especially since I never seen one before! I could have watched them for hours. Thank you so much for identifying this insect for me! I couldn’t figure out what it was and was going crazy! I’m so happy!
Many thanks!
Jennifer

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect ID please
Location: Easy Bay, Bay Area California USA
May 26, 2013 2:56 pm
Hi,
In the last few weeks (mid May 2013 on) we have had 10-12 of these insects coming up from holes in our lawn. The majority seem to be without wings and also seem sickly, as they have trouble moving around. When they first appear from under the grass they are wingless. The attached photos show one of the less common (for us) winged forms. All of them we have seen have places for wings, but I can’t tell if the wings haven’t erupted yet, or if they have been broken off. We live in the East Bay of the Bay Area in California. Our yard has many trees and bushes as well as many older partially rotten hedges. The attached images also gives an idea of the size, as the individual shown is next to typical sunflower seeds. Sorry if it is hard to see, but these guys do not like being messed with and thrash around and place their legs above their bodies when I try to move them.
Thanks for any help you can give!
Signature: Becca

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Dear Becca,
You have submitted a photo of a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, and we believe it is one of the Large Rove Beetles in the subfamily Staphylininae (see BugGuide).  Rove Beetles are soft bodied beetles without the hard elytra or wing covers that typify most beetles.  The flight wings are normally hidden which is why you have observed both winged and unwinged individuals.  Rove Beetles are harmless predators that help to control populations of other insects.  Your submission will not go live until early June.  We will be away from the office and we are postdating some submissions so our site will have daily updates during our absence.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination