Location: Wheeling, West Virginia
May 14, 2011 5:28 pm
I trapped this guy at the end of my driveway after coming home.
I did some research, and it looks like a Devil’s Coach-horse Beetle, but has a blue tint to its wings. When it walked around under the glass, the thorax was lifted in the air, which reminds me of a scorpion. The face looks like an ant, but the rest looks like a giant bee. It was about 1.5 inches long too!
Is it dangerous? Is it common to this area?
Your observations that this is similar to the Devil’s Coach Horse are quite astute, because it is in the same family, Staphylinidae, the Rove Beetles. Furthermore, we believe it belongs in the subfamily Staphylininae, the Large Rove Beetles, but we are not certain of the exact species. Platydracus maculosus, which we found on BugGuide, looks quite similar. The blue wings are most likely the result of the reflection of the sky in the membranous hindwings, the true flying wings for beetles which generally have forewings that are hardened and called elytra. Rove Beetles are distinguished by short elytra that generally don’t completely cover the hindwings, revealing much of the abdomen. Perhaps someone with more experience will be able to provide us with the correct species name.