Currently viewing the category: "Darkling and Ironclad Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Help with Bug ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Vila Velha, Brazil
Your letter to the bugman:  I am six years old and living in Brazil for a year.  I rescued this interesting bug from a swimming pool and want to know what it is.  My dad is helping me type this message.  Thank you for your help!
How you want your letter signed:  From Nadia F.

Darkling Beetle

Dear Nadia,
This is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae.  Because of your kind act of rescuing this Darkling Beetle from a swimming pool, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Furry Beetle Australia
Geographic location of the bug:  Bellingen area, NSW
Date: 02/02/2018
Time: 04:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
Thank you for having this amazing website available for us all 🙂
Could you please identify this beetle which was on the move today, it was a rainy day and we were about to have a subtropical afternoon storm (it is summer here) when ‘he’ walked across the ground in front of us. He appears to have hair growing from his back, and fur from the rest of his body. Some of the fur looks like it has been ripped off recently, and also his leg and antenna appear to be missing segments.
I greatly appreciate your help in identifying this little guy, as I’m having no luck in refernece books or on the net.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks again, Jodie

 Darkling Beetle

Dear Jodie,
This is such a distinctive looking beetle, but we are nonetheless having a difficult time verifying its identity.  In shape, it reminds us of some New World Pleasing Fungus Beetles, but we really suspect it is in the Darkling Beetle family Tenebrionidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in an identity.

Darkling Beetle

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for your prompt reply!
I can see how the beetle has characteritics from both of those suggestions. Another natural curiosity.. The enviroment here has sustained the last known populaion of Giant Dragonfly, previously thought to be extinct in Australia since the 80’s…
You just never know which surprise is next when you open your eyes to the undergrowth 🙂
Thank you again,

Darkling Beetle

Update:  March 11, 2018
We just received a comment from Daniel Heald indicating this might be the Darkling Beetle
Cyphaleus childreni, and we located a mounted specimen on Europeana Collections and a different mounted specimen on Atlas of Living Australia

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Teneb captives
Geographic location of the bug:  CA
Date: 01/25/2018
Time: 02:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Ah, the power of food! Insects lose much fear of man in this state.
The shinier teneb is Coniontis, and despite being only 10 mm long it has been alive since summer, when I rescued it. I am currently trying to record its mysterious vibratory song, which has never been done before.
The duller one did not come from the local area, and identity is unknown.
PS: I’ve attached a bonus pic of the pet Cotinis dozing on top of its meal
How you want your letter signed:  AlexW, extreme entomophile


Dear Alex,
Thanks for sending us an image of your captive Darkling Beetles.  Eric Eaton once told us that if we are ever having trouble identifying a Beetle, it is most likely a Darkling Beetle.  Good luck with the sound recording.  The song to which you refer is a result of stridulation, or producing sound by rubbing body parts together, which no doubt you already know, but we write it for the benefit of our readership.

Hello Daniel, I have one more minor nit to pick. I forgot to include that the Coniontis’s song consists of a short spurt of vibrating the body against substrate, and thus “stridulation” may not be the right term. I affectionately call my Coniontis the “tok-tok of Los Angeles” for this reason =)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Graaf Reniet, South Africa
Date: 01/21/2018
Time: 12:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this interesting beetle at the Valley of Desolation outside Graaf Reniet in South Africa. The thorax and abdomen are perfectly round and the legs are grey,  not black. I have not been able to find it on the Internet.
How you want your letter signed:  Andy Smith


Dear Andy,
This is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, and we believe it is one of a group from South Africa known as Tok-Tokkies, and according to Urban Ministry Live and Unplugged:  “It is called a tok-tokkie because it communicates with other beetles through tapping on the ground. It is a harmless, good-natured beetle.”  You can find a similar looking Tok-Tokkie on FlickRiver, and similar looking individuals are pictured on iSpot where it is identified as a member of the genus
Psammodes, and in this iSpot image, the gray legs you observed are quite evident.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Interesting Tenebrionid that needs an ID…
Geographic location of the bug:  Belize, Central America
Date: 12/16/2017
Time: 11:36 PM EDT
Hi bugman! In August 2017, we collected this beautiful Tenebrionid in Central Belize in the Northern Maya Mountains. Elevation at this site is about 700-ft and it is primarily Tropical Broadleaf Forest. I thought I would put it up on your site to see if anyone may have an ID for it or at least some direction we could go for an ID. And yes, we did have a collecting permit from Belize plus a 3-177 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the collections. Thank you very much.
How you want your letter signed:  David Wyatt

Unknown Darkling Beetle

Dear David,
We are posting your Darkling Beetle image as requested.  This is sure a brightly colored Darkling Beetle.  We hope you are able to eventually get a correct identification.

Thank you very much Daniel.
I too hope that someone might have an idea…not too many Tenebrionids have this kind of coloring.  It’s rapidly turned into one of my favorite beetles that we’ve captured in Belize.  We are working on a project to develop a virtual collection of insects of Belize and have so far had four bioblitzes (entomology) down there and brought back to the University of California Davis over 200,000 specimens.  An exciting project.
Thanks again.
Dave Wyatt
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Toktokkie beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pretoria, South Africa
Date: 12/13/2017
Time: 08:49 AM EDT
I spotted this beetle in the bush in Pretoria, South Africa, and would like to identify it.
The only similar ones I could compare it to in my insect book are not from this region.
How you want your letter signed:  Helene Vermeulen

White Legged Tok-Tokkie Beetle

Dear Helene,
We agree with your identification.  This sure looks like a White Legged Tok-Tokkie Beetle,
Dichtha incantatoris.  According to Beetles in the Bush:  ” A number of particularly large species that go by the common name ‘tok-tokkies’ make their homes in the dry Namib desert and surrounding bushveld.”  Pretoria is very close to the sighting posted on iNaturalistCalPhotos has an individual from Botswana pictured.  The species is also pictured on iSpot and Encyclopedia of Life.  We are uncertain why you believe it is not found in your region.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination