August 30, 2009
This beetle was crossing my living room carpet about 7 pm on 29 August in NE Tucson, AZ. I searched my guides to no avail, but a reference on your site to BugGuide helped me match the shapes and textures of the thorax and abdomen to two Zopherus images, but no exact match. Is it a Zopherus, and if so, which species?
I took the pictures through a ‘bug buddy’ no-harm insect relocator, but after 10-15 minutes (no heat, no flash) it stopped moving and didn’t respond when I set it outside. Was it playing possum?
Thanks for a great site. I’ve enjoyed the pics and the exchanges.
Northeast Tucson, Arizona
We agree with you that this appears to be an Ironclad Beetle in the genus Zopherus, and that it does not exactly match the specimens posted on BugGuide, though it seems closest to Zopherus tristis. We will contact Eric Eaton to try to get some assistance with this positive identification. In our experience, members of this genus are known to feign death.
Correction by Eric Eaton
August 31, 2009
“Ironclad beetle” is actually a “death-feigning beetle,” Cryptoglossa variolosa.
… Hope that helps.
What’s That Bug? and BugGuide query Update:
Good morning Daniel,
Thanks for your reply! I really enjoyed my hours looking through your site and reading the comments, and the BugGuide site. I’m glad to hear that I probably didn’t witness or cause its demise. The beetle was gone in the morning, but I have a robust little ecosystem here, and anything that doesn’t skeedaddle gets eaten; nothing goes to waste. I look forward to hearing what Eric has to say.
Is your site related to the BugGuide site? I mean administered by the same people? Since they don’t seem to have an exact match, I’d gladly contribute my photo to expand the library once the little critter is identified.
The biggest connection between BugGuide and What’s That Bug? is the fact that the awesome Eric Eaton contributes considerably to both sites. BugGuide also provided a valuable resource for insect identification and What’s That Bug? frequently links to BugGuide to provide our own readership with additional information. What’s That Bug? has also submitted some images to BugGuide, but now we as that our readership posts the images without our intervention. The greatest difference between the two sites (which truly are unrelated) is that the readership posts items to BugGuide and our limited editorial staff posts items to What’s That Bug?. We hope that answers your questions.