While walking briskly throught the canyon today, we noticed this Ironclad Beetle, Phloedes diabolicus, ambling across our path. Our first inclination was to move it out of harm’s way so an oblivious hiker or a malicious entomophobe wouldn’t step on it and crush it, despite its name which alludes to the extremely hard body. On second thought, we turned around, scooped up the beetle and returned home to our digital camera to take some photos. After the photo session, we returned the beetle to the canyon. Adult Phloedes diabolicus beetles grow to about an inch in length. They are found under the bark of dead trees, especially oaks, and are thought to feed on fungus ridden wood. A similar species, Phloedes pustolosus is a dull grayish black with the bases and apices of the elytra whitish. Phloedes diabolicus is entirely black.