Location: Fresno, California
August 15, 2010 6:03 pm
I have been finding damaged leaves on the ornamental plants around my home recently. Last night I found this beetle on the wall and thought maybe he could be the culprit? But when I tried to squish the bugger, I found it was like trying to squish a piece of concrete! The beetle shrugged it off, unharmed. I was impressed. Now I am curious to know what this very cool little juggernaut is. Thanks.
Let’s start by setting the record straight. This Diabolical Ironclad Beetle, Phloeodes diabolicus (see BugGuide), was not damaging the leaves on your ornamental plants. They feed on fungus riddled wood, not leaves. Thankfully, as its name implies, the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle has an exoskeleton that is very hard and difficult to penetrate or it may have become unnecessary carnage when you tried to squish it. Collectors are unable to push pins through the exoskeleton for mounting purposes without first drilling a hole. We hope that in the future you will refrain from squishing creatures that you don’t understand.