Subject: Termite? Mutant earwig? Snakefly larva?
Location: Outside Boston, MA
December 21, 2012 10:56 am
I just found this guy on the ground outside our back door in the western suburbs of Boston. It’s about 1.5cm long, with a fairly flat profile that doesn’t seem as plump or lobular in the abdomen as I imagine a termite would be. But I have some concern that it may, in fact, be a termite alate. Can you weigh in on this?
Thanks for your help!
Signature: Rob

Large Rove Beetle

Dear Rob,
Though it doesn’t resemble the typical beetle, this Large Rove Beetle is a beetle nonetheless.  It appears it may be
Ocypus nitens which, according to BugGuide, is:  “Native to Europe. Seems to be a rather recent introduction in ne. US.”  It has been reported in Massachusetts.  BugGuide does not discuss their eating habits, but Rove Beetles are predators.  A relative in the same genus, the Devil’s Coach Horse, is also native to Europe and has been introduced to the west coast of North America where it is reported to feed on the introduced Brown Snail, according to BugGuide which quotes Dr. Margaret Thayer.

Location: Massachusetts

3 Responses to Large Rove Beetle

  1. Alfred F Newton says:

    Yes, this is Ocypus nitens, a European species first found in Natick MA in 1944, and now more widespread in New England.

  2. Terry B says:

    Found one today in an office cubicle in San Ramon CA. Ours was between 2.5 and 3.0cm, not including the antenna.

  3. Daniel Wendel says:

    Found one today near Boston MA. Only about 1.5cm long, displays threat posture when bothered.

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