Subject: Black beetle in Santa Fe does a fearsome handstand
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
May 18, 2013 12:45 pm
I found this beetle, which was about the size of my thumb, outside my dormitory. When I poked it, it did a little handstand and stuck out its hind legs, presumably to dissuade me from eating it. I wasn’t actually hungry, but I was intimidated all the same.
We love your photo of an Acrobat Beetle or Desert Stink Beetle in the genus Eleodes. When disturbed, the Acrobat Beetle sticks its butt up in the air and releases a foul odor to dissuade predators. We often see Desert Stink Beetles in Los Angeles parks and open spaces and at Joshua Tree National Park. You can browse BugGuide to try to identify your Acrobat Beetle to the species level based on the appearance of its fused elytra or wing covers and your location in New Mexico.