Hard black bug – SoCal
Location: southern California (greater L.A. area)
March 17, 2011 6:59 pm
What’s that bug? It’s an all black beetle of some kind, with an extremely hard shell. Seen mostly at night here in southern California, but not exclusively. When disturbed it retracts its legs and sits like a motionless bark flake or pebble for long periods – hard as a rock.
Signature: bugging me
This appears to be a Diabolical Ironclad Beetle, Phloeodes diabolicus, or a closely related species. Ironclad Beetles are so named because they have extremely hard exoskeletons, as your email indicates. We are not certain why this species has earned the modifier “Diabolical” though. That might take a bit of research when we have more time. You can read more about the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle on BugGuide.