Subject: What is this beetle
Geographic location of the bug: Graaf Reniet, South Africa
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
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.