Subject: SW Utah Bug
Location: Southwestern Utah
September 29, 2013 8:10 pm
I ran across two bugs today while hiking in Southwestern Utah. One light blue one and one green one. I have never seen these before and would like to know what they are.
Signature: Linda H.

Desert Ironclad Beetle

Desert Ironclad Beetle

Hi Linda,
Your blue beetle is a Desert Ironclad Beetle,
Asbolus verrucosusand since it is the end of the month and time for us to feature a new Bug of the Month for October, we have selected your submission.  The color of the beetle is nicely contrasted by the red color of the rocks and substrate depicted in your photograph.  There is a comment posted to BugGuide from a person who has raised Desert Ironclad Beetles in captivity and claims to have several individuals that lived more than ten years.  The BirdAndHike Wildlife Around Las Vegas website states:  “Desert Ironclad Beetles (Asbolus verrucosus) are medium-sized, fast moving beetles of the desert. These beetles eat plant debris on the desert floor, and apparently make good pets that live more than 10 years.”  Another common name is Blue Death Feigning Beetle, and  according to Bugs in Cyberspace, that name refers to:  “their tendency to play dead when bothered, combined with a powder blue colored coating they excrete on themselves to protect them from the sun.”  Your green insect is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae.  

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Location: Utah

6 Responses to Bug of the Month October 2013: Desert Ironclad Beetle

  1. Sara Manney says:

    I noticed that you say the Desert Ironclad Beetles are found in Arizona & Utah, so I wanted to let you know I found one where I live in Apple Valley, CA. He was hanging out with my niece & I this morning while we were taking pictures of the sunrise. We found him to be more interesting & I’m glad I was able to find out what kind of beetle he is through your website!

  2. Jeno says:

    I had a question, my son found one of the Desert Ironclad Beetles today, and I absolutely love it. Could you/anyone possibly tell me how to tell the difference between male and females? Thank you in advance.

    • bugman says:

      We do not have the necessary skills to answer your question, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to respond.

  3. Jeno says:

    Okay thank you for your response 😀 If anyone knows anything that might help me, I’d appreciate it….I can’t find anything online to help. Thanks!

  4. Erin says:

    My 4yr old found a dead ironclad beetle the other day and she insisted we keep the dead beetle so who am I to say no right? Well this beautiful blue beetle isn’t dead anymore! I woke up to scratching sounds in the middle of the night and it lead me to the container we had put the beetle in. They really do fake death! I was convinced and brought it into my house.

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