Location: So California , LA County
April 10, 2011 8:28 pm
We were on a hiking trail and we saw a black bug.
This Darkling Beetle is in the large genus Eleodes, a group commonly called the Desert Stink Beetles because they are capable of producing a foul odor to deter predators. BugGuide indicates the common name Circus Beetle, which is a new name for us, though we have heard a common name Acrobat Beetle and we suppose the origin of those two names is a reference to the posture the beetle strikes when it is disturbed. If the beetle senses danger, it stops walking and stands on its head, pointing the tip of the abdomen in the air while it expels the odor. Desert Spider Beetles have fused elytra or wing covers and they are incapable of flight. This large genus has many species, and we do not have the necessary skills to differentiate between the species. BugGuide indicates that the genus is: “Divided into 14 subgenera based primarily on female genitalia.” Desert Stink Beetles are often encountered on hiking trails in the Los Angeles area.
Thank you. I used your site to identify another one we saw….it was the potatoe bug or Nina De La Tierra.