Location: Pasadena, California
June 20, 2011 11:24 am
Found this crawling across the floor of my kitchen this morning, sort of trundling along dragging its long rear end behind it. About 3” long. Photos taken after it was thoroughly drowned in RAID….
Signature: Creeped Out
Dear Creeped Out,
While we are not certain of the exact identity of this unfortunate creature, we are relatively certain of two things. First, it appears to be a beetle in the order Coleoptera, and second, it is probably predatory and drowning it with Raid constitutes Unnecessary Carnage. We are not certain if this is a larva. We feel more confident that it is a larviform adult. Females of some beetles resemble larvae. This might be a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, or perhaps it is a female Glowworm in the family Phengodidae, or perhaps it is something we are not considering. We are going to try to get a second opinion on this creature.
Several of my friends suggested termite queen… so, glad it’s not that, at least. 🙂
Sorry about the unnecessary carnage. I’ll try to have my husband take some better pictures when he gets home tonight (I left the bug under a plastic cup in case the RAID didn’t actally kill it. Yes, I’m that squeamish about bugs.) ;P
Hmmm. Termite Queen might actually be correct in which case we would retract the Unnecessary Carnage tag. The antennae don’t seem correct for a Termite. Again, we are waiting for a second opinion.
Yeah, the head seems kinda pointy. I’ll get Jeff to photo it with a real camera/lens tonight, that should help.
Eric Eaton Responds
Ah, that is that wingless female click beetle! Wait a sec….Euthysanius lautus is the species, looking at Art Evans’ book, A Field Guide to Beetles of California. Here’s a link:
Ok, so I am not sure if E. lautus is the only species with a wingless female….
Interestingly, we have posted images of the male of the species both in our archives and on BugGuide.
Yup! Here’s one that looks very similar:
Thank you! Relieved it’s not the world’s largest termite. And they’re slow-moving enough that if I see another one I will hopefully have the guts to trap and release rather than nuking from a safe distance.
However, I’m kind of hoping they stay outside to start with…
Please don’t post this link directly on the website, since it isn’t permanent, but we took some better photos last night in case you or the bugguide could use them at all:
Thanks again for your help!
(I don’t suppose you know what the juveniles look like? I woke up this morning with a tiny beetle on my pillow. Probably unrelated, but then again perhaps the invasion has begun!)
Thanks for the additional photos. Immature Click Beetles are known as Wireworms, and they do not resemble beetles.