Currently viewing the category: "Rove Beetles"
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Earwig tail, bluish wings, and attack stance
September 7, 2009
My daughter found an interesting bug. It is as big as a yellow jacket, has an ear wig tail, and has wings. Although didn’t fly away from us. As we were taking pictures the insect went into several attack stances by holding its front and middle legs at us in a curious karate kid type attack stance. I originally thought it to be some type of wasp but the pincher type tail has intrigued me.
The Freeman’s
Central Virginia

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Dear Freemans,
This is a Rove Beetle.  Though we cannot say conclusively that it is a certain species, in our opinion it greatly resembles Platydracus maculosus which is pictured on BugGuide.

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Golden stripes and patch, looks like a nymph
August 8, 2009
I was working at the local paintball field when I saw this little guy flying around. Being a bug nut I had to catch it to take pictures. I put him in the freezer to cool down as he was capable of flight and was quite energetic. Unfortunately for the little fellow, I left him in to long and he passed away. I’ve seen other insects like him at the field but with much longer abdomens and overall larger bodies that pulsated very noticeably as they breathed.
Christopher Kukowski
Rushford, MN

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Hi Christoper,
You only need to keep an insect in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to slow its metabolism enough to get a good photograph.  This is a Gold and Brown Rove Beetle, Ontholestes cingulatus
According to BugGuide, it is:  “Large for a rove beetle. Dark brown and hairy. Clumps of hair forms dark spots on much of body. Yellow hair forms “belt” under thorax, covers parts of last abdominal segments. Head wider than pronotum. Eyes large, prominently placed on sides of head. Found on carrion and fungi. Often turns yellow tip of abdomen upward when walking.

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

Wow, thank you very much!  I looked up rove beetles online and that is what I now believe the other larger insect are that I’ve seen flying around there.  I think it was hard for me to find what insect this was because I would have never guessed they were beetles, then again they did have hard shells covering their wings.  I was curious to see if these guys could sting me so I dissected the little guy and found no stinger 🙂  Also not only was it very pretty with the very reflective gold striped and patch on its bum but under its shell was a very brilliant green/blue iridescent color.
Thank you again Dan!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My alien superbug?
July 21, 2009
I am wondering if you can help me identify an insect?
A few years ago while I was living in Pacifica, CA (near San Francisco), I noticed this strange and aggressive insect. I cannot figure out what it is and have described it to many people, none of whom know what it is either. I have attached a drawing of what I remember it looked like.
I saw it on two occasions, both times on the sidewalk on sunny days, a few months apart. One was about 2 inches in length, the other about an inch and a half. They had black, unsegmented, hard looking body with a satiny sheen. It had no wings, but the back of the abdomen which came to a pointed tip could be curled and raised threateningly like a scorpion’s tail.
Both behaved in the same way. Upon seeing them I stood over them to get a closer look. The insect quickly noticed me and stopped walking. It turned towards me, curled it’s tail over its back so point faced me. As I walked around it, the insect whirled on its feet keeping its face and stinging tail aimed at me. It could move quite quickly. It stayed there for a few minutes until I left.
Thanks for your help! I hope you can help me figure out what it is.
Roni
Pacifica, CA

Drawing of a Devil's Coach Horse
Drawing of a Devil’s Coach Horse

Hi Roni,
We are guessing you saw a Devil’s Coach Horse, a type of Rove Beetle based on both your drawing and your excellent account of the observations.  They eat snails, so we love them in our garden.  We haven’t any files on our current computer, but we will attempt to search our archives so we can post a photo from a March 16, 2006 letter with your letter.

Devil's Coach Horse
Devil’s Coach Horse

Confirmation
That looks close enough to my bug- so I think you got it.  Thanks very much!  
Sincerely,
Roni

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black & Orange Insect
Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 7:07 PM
Dear WTB, I received an email from my husband, saying that this insect is dangerous. I’ve always been fascinated by different types of insects, so I believe he may have sent it to me to warn me not to touch it. But he only gave me the photo and nothing else. I want to find proof and more info that this insect is dangerous, instead of being misinformed. Hence, I hope you can help me. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Stephanie Hong
Singapore

Paederus Rove Beetle

Paederus Rove Beetle

Dear Stephanie,
Your photos represent some species of Rove Beetle in the genus Paederus.  We first became aware of these insects when we received a submission from Africa that called them Creechies.  Paederus Rove Beetles can cause serious contact dermatitus, so in that sense they are dangerous.  Thanks for sending us photos of representatives of the genus from Singapore.  The Dermatology Online Journal has an excellent article on dermatitus caused by Paederus Rove Beetles in Sierra Leone.

Paederus Rove Beetles

Paederus Rove Beetles

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Critter by the River
Tue, May 19, 2009 at 2:46 AM
Hey I sent this in earlier this month and realized it may not have gone through as I didn’t receive an email confirmation. I found this critter by a stagnant pond near the bank of the Verde River in Cottonwood, Arizona at 5/5. I was taking photos of tadpoles when it wandered into my view. This is the only clear photo I got of him, sadly; the rest came out blurry. I haven’t seen another like it before or since, and I’ve been back out there twice since that date.
It is less than a centimeter long, with an up-curved abdomen that ends in a point. It otherwise resembled an ant. If the photo is not good enough shoot me an email and I will attempt to sketch it for you as accurately as I can remember. Curiosity is burning me up, let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help!
Justen, Cottonwood, Arizona
Cottonwood, Arizona

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Hi Justen,
This is a Rove Beetle in the genus Paederus.  We first got letters regarding this genus from Cameroon and other parts of Africa where it is known as a Creechie Bug.  The Paederus Rove Beetles, according to BugGuide:  “contain a toxic chemical (pederin) in their hemolymph which causes contact dermatitis in humans, usually as a result of slapping the beetle and crushing it against exposed skin. The affected area becomes red, swollen, and itchy, causing the skin to peel when scratched. Outbreaks of Paederus dermatitis have occurred in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Historically, extracts of Paederus beetles have been used by the Chinese since at least the year 739 in the medicinal treatment of boils, nasal polyps, and ringworm.”  They are found throughout North America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange Black Bug
Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 4:59 PM
Dear Bugman,
We saw this bug on our front porch and wasn’t able to identify it. Any help you could give us would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Kristina
Maysville, WV

Paederus Rove Beetle

Paederus Rove Beetle

Hi Kristina,
This is a Rove Beetle. It is in the genus Paederus. Interestingly, the only letters we have received regarding this genus in the past have been from Sub-Saharan Africa where they are well known and avoided by the locals. We have gotten reports that a local name there is Creechie Bug. This genus of Rove Beetle is also found in North America. According to BugGuide: “Paederus species contain a toxic chemical (pederin) in their hemolymph which causes contact dermatitis in humans, usually as a result of slapping the beetle and crushing it against exposed skin. The affected area becomes red, swollen, and itchy, causing the skin to peel when scratched. Outbreaks of Paederus dermatitis have occurred in Africa, Asia, and South America.” The adults are attracted to artificial lights.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination