Currently viewing the category: "Darkling and Ironclad Beetles"
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

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  NM
Date: 09/26/2017
Time: 04:08 PM EDT
3 y/o wants to know what we were looking at today at the playground.
How you want your letter signed:  Doesn’t matter

Darkling Beetle

This is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, and it reminds us of the Acrobat Beetles in the genus Eleodes.  It might be a member of the genus Stenomorpha that is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What kind of beetle is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Spring, Texas
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 08:29 AM EDT
Found this guy upstairs in our house. Wondering what it is? Want to release him back into the wild. Should I be worried there are more in my house?
How you want your letter signed:  Krissi

Darkling Beetle is adult Superworm

Dear Krissi,
We are pretty confident telling you this Beetle will not harm your home nor its occupants, though we are having a difficult time identifying it.  Though it resembles a beneficial, predatory Ground Beetle, the antennae seem entirely too serrated to be a member of that family.  The antennae remind us most of a Longhorn Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, but we don’t believe that is correct either.  We suspect this is a Darkling Beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, but we have not been able to identify the genus nor species.  We are going to contact Arthur Evans and Eric Eaton to seek assistance.

Hi again Krissi,
Does anyone in your home have a pet that requires worms from the pet store?  See Arthur Evans identification below.

Arthur Evans identifies the Superworm Beetle
It looks like this to me:

Eric Eaton Concurs
I would agree with Art.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

According to BugGuide:  “Other Common Names Superworm (larva)” and “The larvae (superworms) are often sold as pet food.”


We have a bearded dragon. She eats superworms. But we don’t buy them At the pet store, we have a lady that sells just worms and roaches.
I just saw the below about superworms. So one got out and hatched?!? Ack. Ok thank you!!!
That explains it.  A Superworm that did not get eaten must have pupated and emerged.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: unidentified bug
Location: Near Winslow, AZ
June 28, 2017 8:00 am
I can’t figure out what this is.
Your assistance is appreciated.
We photoed this guy at Homolovi State Park, Arizona.
It was October.
Signature: Dale from Olathe, Kansas

Darkling Beetle

Dear Dale,
This is a Darkling Beetle, and we believe it is in the genus
Philolithus, and we found an image on BugGuide of Philolithus sordidus that looks similar and an image on BugGuide of Philolithus morbillosus that also looks similar.  The former species has a greater range, and Philolithus morbillosus is only reported from Arizona on BugGuide.  In the past two days, Tenebboy has been identifying many unidentified Darkling Beetles in our archive, and we will see if he can provide an accurate identification on your Darkling Beetle.

You are very generous with your time and expertise. Thank you. If you further refine your identification I am eager to hear!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black and White Beetle
Location: Austin, TX
April 15, 2017 8:31 am
Hi – I found this guy on my porch and thought he was beautiful. Can you tell me what he is? We live in Austin Texas in a relatively rural area of the hill country. Found him in March. He is a little over an inch long.
Thank you,
Signature: Curious in Austin

Ironclad Beetle

Dear Curious in Austin,
This Ironclad Beetle,
Zopherus nodulosus, is one of two large black and white beetles found in Texas.  The other is the unrelated Cottonwood Borer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this beetle
Location: North East Los Angeles
February 15, 2017 11:21 pm
Found this beetle on the floor of our house in the Montecito Heights area of Los Angeles. Can you let us know what it is?
Signature: Thanks,

Woolly Darkling Beetle

Greetings from Mount Washington, right across the Arroyo Parkway from you.  We recognized your beetle as a member of the Darkling Beetle family Tenebrionidae, so we turned to Charles Hogue’s “Insects of the Los Angeles Basin” and we located your Woolly Darkling Beetle, Cratidus osculans, on page 299 where it states:  “It is often seen in vacant lots and along paths through brushy or wooded areas.”  Based on BugGuide, the genus has been reclassified as Eleodes osculans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination