What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Picture from Microsoft Picture It!
We live in Mission Viejo, Ca. Our 3 yer old found this beetle and has been living in his bug house for over 2 weeks. Do you know what it is and what it eats? He just found another so now it has company. Our son LOVES insects. His favorite thing to watch is our 4 tape series called Insectia with George Brossard. Thanks for any information you have to offer.

Hi Janet,
This is an Ironclad Beetle. Hogue identifies a species that looks very much like this as Phloeodes pustulosus. They are thought to eat fungus laden wood.

(04/29/2007) Ironclad Beetle of 4-28-07
In regards to the Ironclad Beetle photo and response of 4-28-07…. I’m surprised you didn’t tell the woman not to let her three year old son live in a bug house. First, how did he fit in it? Second, couldn’t the child catch some horrible disease or something? After all, bugs don’t shower and they have a lot of anonymous sex…. I fell in love with your website last summer when after a partial hysterectomy (“kept the girls, got rid of the junk” I like to say) I could not sleep and spent my evenings in the front yard with a LED flashlight and my trusty camera. Wow! Talk about screwed up sleep cycles! But I digress…. I sure hope to get some good photos for you this year and God! Am I looking forward to the cyclical cicadas this year. (I live near Chicago.) I’m sure you will get a ton of “What the hell is this?” emails so I’ll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Pure hell I imagine, to open your inbox and see 45,763 emails with the subject “What IS this???” and crappy photos. I’ll try to send you a few awesome pix. I’m a professional drinker…er, I mean /photographer,/ and because of your web site I have fallen in love with photographing bugs ‘n’ stuff. I have a lovely tree cricket photo I’ll send in soon. My Canon camera (my “peashooter” as I lovingly call it) has a super-macro setting which focuses from 0 to 1.5 inches so all I have to do to get a good close up is remind myself that the chances of this bug actually killing me is slim to none. Warmest regards,
Joanne M. Pleskovich
Darien, IL
ps….I mention your website to my patients when they start freaking out about bugs or spiders etc. I’ll link to you when I get my site up and running, too. You guys (and/or gals) rock my world!

Hi Joanne,
We try not to give too much parenting advice on our website. In the past, we have raised the hackles on our readership several times due to our wry senses of humor. We look forward to any submissions you send our way in the future, though sadly, our image receiving ability is currently severely impacted.
Daniel and Lisa Anne

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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