Desert Stink Beetle

Subject: Beetle
Location: Sun Valley, CA
May 17, 2016 7:24 pm
Started seeing a lot of these guys walking around.
Signature: Don’t care

Desert Stink Beetle
Desert Stink Beetle

This is a Desert Stink Beetle or Acrobat Beetle, a group of distinctive black Darkling Beetles that often stand still with the tip of the abdomen pointed up while expelling a foul odor, a survival strategy that explains both common names.  BugGuide also indicates Circus Beetle is name that describes the entire genus.  Your individual has a set of characteristics:  smooth elytra, pointed abdomen tip and broad pronotum, that is quite distinctive.  The closest match we could find on BugGuide is  Eleodes acuticaudus.

4 thoughts on “Desert Stink Beetle”

  1. Also known as a Pinacate. There used to be stories about them- Pinacate & Coyote, Pinacate & the Stars, Pinacate & the Flatulent Children. ( sorry the device won’t let me say fart*ng ).
    They are so ubiquitous here in the deserts, I think they must be a “keystone species”. They are never in a hurry, and if something scares them, they usually just stand on their head and smell bad. But I never seem to get away with that haha.

      • A version of Coyote and Pinacate can be found in “Decembers Child” a book by Thomas Blackburn. Chumash stories based on
        information collected by JT Harrington, the person who wanted to save languages.
        The other two stories are just word with no sources.
        Pinacate was given the job to place the stars. Because strong, deliberate,
        not hasty. Slow, kinda.

  2. I forgot to tell you what happened when pinacate climbed up there with that basket full of stars.
    It was an old time, real basket. A serious basket, the kind they used to make, the one that can carry something.
    But this time…


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