Subject: Strange Flyer Dances into my Curiosity
Geographic location of the bug: Gloucester, Va
Time: 07:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This odd creature flew into my phone, bounced off & landed in front of me. It then proceeds to waggle it’s purplish wings & tasseled abdomen at me before retracting it’s wings (somewhere!) Only to produce them once again & promptly take off. It’s a hot and steamy August here in Virginia. I’ve been a keen observer of nature all of my life & can honestly say, this one has stumped me completely. Hope you guys can help me out!
How you want your letter signed: Thanks a bunch! Holly G
You have good reason for being stumped. This is a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, and many members of the family look very different from the “typical” beetle. Unfortunately, BugGuide is currently experiencing technical difficulty and we cannot search for the species, but luckily, we were able to identify it as Platydracus maculosus in Beetles of Eastern North America by Arthur V. Evans where it states it is: “the largest rove beetle in North America.” The image with its abdomen curled up is a typical threat posture for many Rove Beetles.