Currently viewing the category: "Darkling and Ironclad Beetles"
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Mojave Desert Beetle
Hi there. I just wanted to say that I love your site, its provided many hours of fun browsing and reading. 🙂 I thought I’d contribute some pictures I took while on a motorcycle trip through the Mojave last weekend. While walking off the beaten trail (my bike having gotten stuck in some sand), I saw this guy scurry across the path I was walking on. He was kind of a pain to get a picture of, but was kind enough to let me pick him up and set him down a few times so I could get a good picture. I found the texture on his abdomen to be quite facinating. I’ve never seen a beetle quite like it. An hour or so of searching online helped me ID the beetle as *Cryptoglossa verrucosa, *commonly called either the Grey Death Feigner, Mojave Desert Beetle, or (confusingly) the Ironclad Beetle. I’ve ID’d him succesfully, but still thought you might appreciate some pictures, as I didnt see any *Cryptoglossa verrucosa* in your beetle pages. I found it interesting that he didn’t display his death feigning behaviour when I handled him. He was quite active, running around in circles while I tried to get a decent photograph. Thanks for maintaining your site, I look forward to learning more from it. Sincerely,
Patrick Moore

Hi Patrick,
Earlier this year we did post another photo of a Death Feigning Beetle, but we are also thrilled to post your colorful letter and wonderful photo.

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Big Black Beetle
As a young boy I was quite the bug collector: everything I ever caught I would study religiously until I knew the creature inside and out. At the tender age of 10, I considered myself an expert in the field of Centipedes and Earwigs. One insect I occasionally came across in my little bug hunting adventures as a kid was what I labeled the ”Big Black Beetle”. I become quite fascinated with the beetle and wanted to know more, but my search to find more answers about the bug proved to be unsuccessful. And as time went on I, unfortunately, stopped looking for bugs all together as other hobbies and interests beckoned, and the mystery of the ”Big Black Beetle” seemed to be forgotten. Then last week at work (I work at a log home construction site) I found it! I was lifting up some boards and spotted the little guy. Maybe you guys can help me solve this mystery once and for all!

Hi Braden,
We are fairly certain this is a Darkling Beetle, possibly in the genus Eleodes, but we want to check with Eric Eaton for substantiation and perhaps a species identification. A location would be a tremendous help. Eric wrote: ” LOOKS like an Eleodes, but not knowing where exactly it was collected, I won’t say for certain. Other genera of Tenebrionidae can look nearly identical. Eleodes are typical of true deserts. Coelocnemis and Iphtheminus (spelling?) tend to replace Eleodes at higher elevations, like in Ponderosa pine forest habitats.”

Thanks for your help guys! I live in British Columbia, Canada. For some reason I thought I included my location in my initial e-mail, sorry about that!

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Colorado Springs Beetle
This came crawling along the floor in the basement of our Colorado Springs, CO home. We brought it outside, but it promtply died on our icy deck. While collecting it for transport, it emitted a chemical smell. The smell is quite potent. Is it of the genus Eloedes? Darkling beetle? Thanks for the info.

Hi Ryan,
You are correct. Darkling Beetles in the genus Eleodes are sometimes known as Stink Beetles.

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black beetles? possible stink beetle?
anyhoo! I’d love to know whats up!
Rebecca Brown Long Beach, Ca

Hi Rebecca,
What a wonderful Bug’s Eye View of these Stink Beetles mating. You must have been crawling on your belly to get that angle. Stink Beetles in the genus Eleodes are found throughout the arid West. They have fused wings which makes flight impossible. They amble along the ground in hilly areas and deserts, and if disturbed, they stick their rear ends up and emit a foul smelling odor.

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Three Bugs from near Sedona, AZ
I was trying to find out what type of beetle we came across on our last trip to the Oak Creek area of Sedona in June of 2003, when I found your way cool site. This photo was taken near the part of Oak Creek where so many of the pretty pictures of Cathedral Rock are taken. I think this might be a type of ground beetle. It was about two inches long — when threatened, it put its head down while tipping its rear end up. If you can identify any of these, I’d be grateful.
Su — Mesa, AZ

Hi Su,
Let’s start with the Beetle. This is a member of the Family of Darkling Beetles, Tenebrionidae, genus Eleodes which are known as Stink Beetles. According to Hogue they are “smooth shiny black beetles. … They are medium to large (1 to 1 1/4 in.) and their wing covers are fused along the midline making it impossible for them to fly. These conspicuous beetles are usually encountered as they amble along the ground. Individuals may also be found under stones and loose tree bark, where the long cylindrical larvae also live. … When a Stink Beetle is disturbed or its wandering is interrupted, it stand on its head and points it rear end into the air. For thi headstanding habit, these insects are sometimes called ‘Acrobat Beetles.’ Adults may emit a disagreeable though weak odor when handled.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination