Where Do Rove Beetles Live? Uncovering Their Natural Habitats and Behavior

Rove beetles are fascinating insects that play a crucial role in our ecosystem. You might be curious about where these tiny creatures reside and how they contribute to their surroundings.

These insects are commonly found on the soil surface in a variety of habitats such as decaying fruit, compost, and near bodies of freshwater. Known for their dark, shiny brown or black appearance and elongated bodies, they can often be spotted under rocks or logs especially near compost piles. Predatory in nature, rove beetles feed on a range of targets including maggots, mites, nematodes, and shoreflies, helping to maintain ecological balance by preying on these organisms.

General Overview of Rove Beetles

Rove beetles, belonging to the Staphylinidae family, are a diverse group of insects classified under the Coleoptera order. With over 4,000 species in North America alone, they are the largest family of beetles in the continent.

These beetles are known for their slender and segmented bodies, which make them highly flexible. They come in varying sizes, but most are small and cryptic. Predatory in nature, they play an important role in controlling the population of other pests. This makes them beneficial insects for maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

A few characteristics of rove beetles include:

  • Slender and elongated bodies
  • Shortened elytra (wing covers) exposing abdominal segments
  • Fast and agile movement
  • Flexible abdomen that can be raised like a scorpion’s tail when disturbed

Some examples of beneficial rove beetles:

As predatory insects, rove beetles help maintain a balance in the ecosystem. They can be found in various habitats, often foraging on the soil surface near compost piles or under rocks and logs. Overall, the Staphylinidae family plays a crucial role in preserving biodiversity and maintaining ecological balance.

Historical Background

The rove beetles have a fascinating history that dates back to around 200 million years ago during the Triassic period. This was a time when the earth underwent significant changes, and many new species emerged. One of the earliest known rove beetles, discovered in China, is Leehermania. This ancient ancestor can teach us a lot about the evolution of rove beetles.

Throughout history, rove beetles have adapted to various environments. They have diversified, resulting in over 1500 species in North America alone. They inhabit different habitats, from forests to compost piles and even golf courses.

Some interesting characteristics of rove beetles include:

  • Elongated bodies
  • Short wing covers (elytra)
  • Scorpions-like raised tails
  • Predatory nature

Rove beetles primarily live in soil, under rocks, or logs, where they hunt for their prey. They are nocturnal hunters and contribute to natural pest control by preying on small insects and insect larvae. In greenhouses, for example, Dalotia coriara is used as part of an integrated pest management strategy.

In summary, rove beetles have a rich history dating back to the Triassic period. The discovery of early species like Leehermania sheds light on their evolutionary journey. As diverse predators in various habitats, rove beetles have successfully adapted and continue to play an essential role in maintaining ecological balance today.

Geographical Distribution

Rove beetles are found in various habitats across the globe. Their extensive range includes countries such as North America, Canada, and Australia. These adaptable creatures can thrive in a multitude of terrestrial ecosystems.

For example, you can find them inhabiting forest floors, fields, and even some urban landscapes. Rove beetles are particularly common in areas where there’s plenty of decaying organic matter, as they feed on other insects and larval stages of various species.

In North America, they are prevalent in different ecosystems such as:

  • Woodlands
  • Meadows
  • gardens

In Australia, they have been recorded in habitats like:

  • Coastal regions
  • Forests
  • Wetlands

As you explore these various environments, keep an eye out for these slender, black beetles scurrying across the soil surface. Remember their unique tail-raising habit, making them easy to identify and an interesting inhabitant of many diverse habitats across the globe.

Rove Beetles and the Ecosystem

Rove beetles are incredible creatures that can be found in various environments. They play a vital role in the ecosystem by performing tasks like decomposition and controlling pest populations. Let’s explore some of the habitats where you can find these incredible insects:

  • Soil and leaf litter: Rove beetles are commonly found in the soil and leaf litter, especially in forest leaf litter. Here, they thrive on decaying organic matter, which helps to recycle nutrients back into the ecosystem. The damp, dark, and nutrient-rich environment found in leaf litter is ideal for these creatures.

  • Freshwater margins: Some species of rove beetles are also found near water sources like freshwater margins. They like these areas because they provide a moist environment with plenty of insects and other small prey to feed on.

  • Gardens: Rove beetles can be beneficial to gardeners as they prey on destructive insects, such as aphids and mites. If you’re looking for a natural way to control pests in your garden, these beetles can be your allies.

  • Rocks and debris: You might find rove beetles hiding under rocks or amongst debris, as they seek shelter from predators and weather. These insects can be quite helpful in breaking down debris and aiding the decomposition process.

To sum it up, rove beetles are versatile insects that can adapt to a wide range of environments. Their presence helps maintain a healthy ecosystem by breaking down decaying organic matter and keeping harmful pests in check. So, next time you spot a rove beetle in your garden or near a freshwater margin, don’t be surprised – they’re just going about their daily tasks, helping out the ecosystem.

Physical Characteristics

Rove beetles have some distinct features that make them easily recognizable. Their color is usually black or brown, and they have a slender body shape1.

The abdomen of a rove beetle is quite noticeable, as it has multiple abdominal segments2. One interesting detail about their abdomen is their tendency to curl the tip upwards when disturbed or running1.

As for their wings, rove beetles possess shortened front wings, also known as elytra1. These wings may appear like pads on the abdomen, giving them a unique appearance1.

To make it easier to understand, here are the key physical characteristics of rove beetles in bullet points:

  • Slender body shape
  • Black or brown color
  • Multiple abdominal segments
  • Curl the tip of the abdomen upwards when disturbed or running
  • Shortened front wings (elytra)

Remember, being familiar with the physical characteristics of rove beetles can help you better identify and appreciate these fascinating insects.

Behavior and Habits

Rove beetles are fascinating creatures with unique habits. They are mostly nocturnal, meaning they are active during the night. You may find them foraging for food and going after prey in the dark hours.

Their behavior is characterized by a strong sense of predation, as many of them feed on other small arthropods. Some specific species prey on ants, aphids, and bark beetles, while others feast on decaying organic matter or fungi. Did you know that there are over 1,200 species of rove beetles in California alone? Quite an impressive variety!

These beetles are also known for adjusting their activities based on the season. In warmer months, they can be more active in search of food, while in colder months, they tend to lay low or find shelter. Remember, you will mostly find them near organic debris and topsoil.

Here are some key features of rove beetles to keep in mind:

  • Nocturnal behavior
  • Predatory habits
  • Seasonal activity changes
  • Wide range of species

Keep an eye out for these little critters while exploring nature, especially at night. Simply remember to respect their habitats and enjoy observing their fascinating behavior!

Life Cycle of Rove Beetles

Rove beetles undergo a complete metamorphosis in their life cycle, which includes the stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Let’s understand each stage briefly:

Eggs: Female rove beetles lay their eggs in various habitats. Most species are found living on the soil surface, making it a favorable place to lay eggs.

Larvae: Once the eggs hatch, the emerging larvae are also predatory. They actively feed on tiny arthropods, decaying organic matter, fungi, or pollen, depending on the species.

Pupae: After growing through several molts, the larvae transform into pupae. They become immobile during this stage, developing their adult features while they’re encased in a protective cocoon.

Adults: Finally, the adult rove beetles emerge. They continue their predatory lives, feeding on a wide variety of prey like ants, aphids, bark beetles, and immature arthropods.

In general, the life cycle of a rove beetle species depends on its habitat and environmental conditions. Some key features of rove beetles include:

  • Over 1,200 species in California alone
  • Largest family of beetles in the state
  • Predatory or parasitic habits in organic debris and topsoil
  • Shortened elytra, which exposes abdominal segments

Rove beetles play a critical role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. Their predatory nature makes them an essential part of integrated pest management strategies since they help control populations of harmful pests. So, when you come across a rove beetle, remember that they’re an essential part of our environment.

Rove Beetles Diet

Rove beetles are versatile creatures when it comes to their diet. They are both predators and scavengers, feeding on a wide range of insects, pests, and even carrion. Here are some of their typical food sources:

  • Predators: Rove beetles primarily prey on small insects and pests that inhabit the soil, such as springtails, fungus gnats, root aphids, thrips, flies, maggots, and mites.
  • Scavengers: Occasionally, they may also consume dead or decaying plants and carrion, showing their adaptability when it comes to finding food.

In their role as predators, rove beetles can have a beneficial impact on your garden by feeding on pests like fungus gnats and root aphids. For example, these beetles can help counter pest infestations and protect your plants from damage. At the same time, as scavengers, they help recycle nutrients by consuming dead organic matter.

Rove beetles have a diverse diet, which makes them successful in various environments. In some cases, they will even feed on parasitoids, such as certain wasp species that can harm other beneficial insects.

To summarize, rove beetles are resourceful creatures. They have a broad diet, making them valuable allies in keeping your garden healthy and pest-free.

Rove Beetles and Pest Control

Rove beetles are beneficial insects in many environments, including greenhouses and gardens. They’re known as predatory beetles that feed on various harmful insect larvae and pupae such as root maggots, earwigs, and more.

Integrating rove beetles into your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy can help control infestations without relying solely on chemical pesticides. To attract rove beetles to your garden or greenhouse, consider using alternative control measures. Here are some options:

  • Habitat creation: Provide damp and shaded areas with decaying organic matter to encourage rove beetle populations.
  • Avoid overuse of pesticides: The indiscriminate use of pesticides may harm rove beetles and other beneficial insects. Reserve chemical treatments for severe infestations.
  • Companion planting: Cultivate plant species that attract rove beetles and other beneficial insects.

Biological control, such as the release of rove beetles, is an effective means to manage pests in greenhouses. As rove beetles are known to be voracious predators, they can help to keep the population of harmful insects under control.

Keep in mind that while rove beetles are mostly beneficial, there may be instances where they can cause damage. For example, in golf courses, they can create small holes and mounds on putting surfaces. In such cases, alternative control measures may need to be explored.

By implementing rove beetles into your pest control strategy, you can promote a healthier, balanced ecosystem while reducing the need for harsh chemical treatments.

Specific Genera Overview

Rove beetles are fascinating creatures that can be found in various habitats. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at two specific genera of rove beetles: Paederus and Stenus.

Paederus
The Paederus beetles are an intriguing group. They are known for their slender body and unique color patterns. Here are some interesting facts about these beetles:

  • They can be found in decaying vegetation and sometimes in carrion
  • Some species of Paederus are also known for causing dermatitis in humans

Stenus
The Stenus beetles are another interesting group within the rove beetle family. They possess some unique features and preferences. Let’s explore some facts:

  • Stenus beetles are known for their fast movements
  • They are often found along the edges of water bodies or in damp habitats

Comparing these two genera:

Paederus Stenus
Found in decaying vegetation and carrion Prefers damp habitats, often near water
Can cause dermatitis in humans No known skin irritations caused by Stenus

Now that you’re familiar with these two genera of rove beetles, you can better appreciate the diversity that exists within this family of insects. So next time you come across a rove beetle in your garden or on a nature walk, remember the unique characteristics of the Paederus and Stenus beetles.

Human Interaction with Rove Beetles

Rove beetles are fascinating creatures that play an essential role in the ecosystem. These beetles are often observed in various environments, such as leaf litter, under logs, and occasionally in your garden. They are characterized by their elongated bodies, short wing covers, and sharp mandibles.

These beetles have a diverse classification, with over 1,200 species known from California alone. Rove beetles can be predators or parasites of tiny arthropods, feeding on decaying organic matter, fungi, or pollen. Some prey on specific species like ants, aphids, bark beetles, and immature insects.

In agriculture, rove beetles can be beneficial, as they sometimes feed on shore flies, moth flies, and other pests found in corn tassels or other crops. This makes them a natural pest control. However, they can also cause damage by burrowing into the turf on golf courses, creating poor putting surfaces due to the small holes they leave behind.

Also, you might have heard about beneficial nematodes as a popular method of organic pest control. These microscopic worms attack various pests from within, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. While they’re not directly related to rove beetles, both beneficial nematodes and rove beetles are useful allies in maintaining the balance of your garden ecosystem.

In summary, it’s essential to be aware of human interaction with rove beetles since they can be both helpful and harmful. By understanding their role in the ecosystem and agriculture, you can appreciate their presence and utilize their benefits while mitigating their potential problems in specific situations.

Footnotes

  1. Wisconsin Horticulture 2 3 4

  2. NC State Extension

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Snakefly Larva

 

long beetle bug
Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 9:04 PM
I found this in my kitchen, only one of them in with the pans. It’s only about 1 inch long and it’s head is round and flat – disk shaped.
Julie
Newcastle, CA (Foothills, No. Cal)

Possibly Rove Beetle Larva
Possibly Rove Beetle Larva

Hi Julie,
There is no need for concern. This is a predatory larva and it will not harm you, your home, or your pets, unless you have some insect pets. We believe this is one of the Rove Beetles. We will check with Eric Eaton to get a confirmation.

Hi, Daniel:
Never got a note about the “rove beetle larva,” which is actually the larva of a snakefly!  Neat find.  They are predatory, often found under bark on trees.
Eric

Letter 2 – Soft Winged Flower Beetle from Australia

 

Subject: aussietrev possibly Criocerinae?
Location: Queensland, Australia
March 19, 2014 2:40 pm
Hi guys,
Watering the garden late yesterday and spotted this tiny guy foraging on my Kalamata Olive tree. About 8mm long and only managed this one shot before it dropped off into the grass and was gone. I’ve never seen one before and the only thing I can think of is a Narrow Necked Leaf Beetle but I cannot find any matching photos for ID. What do you think?
Signature: aussietrev

Rove Beetle, we believe
Rove Beetle, we believe

Hi Trevor,
Our first impression is that this looks like it must be a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, a very underrepresented family on the Brisbane Insect Website.
  According to BugGuide, the members of the family are:  “Thin, active beetles with shortened elytra that do not, at first glance, resemble beetles.”

Correction:  Soft Winged Flower Beetle.

Letter 3 – Rove Beetle: Genus Paederus

 

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.

Letter 4 – Rove Beetle, we believe

 

Subject:  Bug identity
Geographic location of the bug:  West Tennessee
Date: 06/26/2018
Time: 03:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We are finding many of these bugs in cat litter boxes at the cat rescue center where I volunteer.  They are small,  skinny and maybe 1/4 inch long.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Christine Morrison

Rove Beetle, we believe

Dear Christine,
We wish the quality of your image was better.  Though it somewhat resembles an Earwig, we believe, based on this BugGuide image, that this is a Rove Beetle, but the species is not identified.  Regarding finding them in proximity of litter boxes, BugGuide indicates:  “Often found under rocks, logs, etc. Some found on edges of bodies of water, others on carrion, decaying fungi, etc” and “Most adults and larvae are predatory on other invertebrates. Some larvae feed on decaying vegetation.”

Letter 5 – Transvestite Rove Beetle

 

Strange Costa Rican Bug
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
July 31, 2011 5:00 pm
Hi, would you please identify this bug for me. Seen at night in Costa Rica. I’ve never seen anything like it. Cheers
Signature: Laurence

Transvestite Rove Beetle

Hi Laurence,
We are positively thrilled to have received your photo of a Transvestite Rove Beetle,
Leistotrophus versicolor.  We originally received a similar identification request from Costa Rica last September, and you can read that entertaining posting here.   Here is what Scrubmuncher’s Blog has to say about the Transvestite Rove Beetle:  “Interestingly, there are even transvestite insects and the males of one of these species, a rove beetle from Central America, subtly imitate females as a means of getting access to and reproducing with bone-fide females. The transvestite rove beetle (Leistotrophus versicolor) is a denizen of the rain-forests of Costa Rica, where, like lots of other rove beetles, it makes a living by seeking out decaying plant and animal matter to feed on the adult insects and larvae that make use of these ephemeral resources. These honey-pots don’t last long in the super-charged biological activity of the hot and humid tropical forests, so when normal male rove beetles find them they guard them because they also attract females, allowing a male to assemble a harem.  Males of this rove beetle are divided into two types, normal butch specimens and small, effeminate ones. The small, effeminate males can find honey-pots, but they have little hope of defending them against the bigger males, so their chances of building a harem are next to nothing. These males have evolved another means of making sure they pass their genes onto the next generation. They sneak past the normal males using their effeminate appearance as a disguise and under the harem owner’s nose they have it away with the females he has been so carefully guarding. This strategy is almost flawless, but now and again the transvestite male is caught prancing around in the harem by the owner male and the only way he can avoid being torn limb from limb is by assuring the aggressor of his femininity and giving in to a ‘mating’.  One sore behind later, the transvestite male carries on sneakily copulating with the females in the harem, only slightly more nervous for his unpleasant experience.  The duplicity of these beetles is not just limited to transvestism, as they can also produce odours that mimic the smell the rotting matter in order to attract prey, namely flies. The rotting matter these beetles depend on can often be hard to come by, so they need an alternative means of finding suitable prey. Within the tip of their abdomen these beetles have a pair of pygidial glands that can be popped out to smear an odorous secretion on a suitable platform, such as a leaf. Flies are drawn to this odour in the hope of finding some filth to feed on to lay their eggs on, so all the beetle has to do is to wait until a suitable victim scuttles within pouncing distance.”  There are some nice matching photos on the American Insects website.  Should you desire additional information, you can read about the “Post-copulatory aggression toward their mates by males of the rove beetle Leistotrophus versicolor (Coleoptera:  Staphylinidae)” in the online version of the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Update:  August 20, 2011
Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for your response. I didn’t expect anything so detailed or interesting!
I don’t suppose you can say whether it’s a butch male or effeminate male / female?
Cheers
Laurence

We aren’t sure about the sexual traits of the Rove Beetle.  Sorry.

 

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Snakefly Larva

 

long beetle bug
Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 9:04 PM
I found this in my kitchen, only one of them in with the pans. It’s only about 1 inch long and it’s head is round and flat – disk shaped.
Julie
Newcastle, CA (Foothills, No. Cal)

Possibly Rove Beetle Larva
Possibly Rove Beetle Larva

Hi Julie,
There is no need for concern. This is a predatory larva and it will not harm you, your home, or your pets, unless you have some insect pets. We believe this is one of the Rove Beetles. We will check with Eric Eaton to get a confirmation.

Hi, Daniel:
Never got a note about the “rove beetle larva,” which is actually the larva of a snakefly!  Neat find.  They are predatory, often found under bark on trees.
Eric

Letter 2 – Soft Winged Flower Beetle from Australia

 

Subject: aussietrev possibly Criocerinae?
Location: Queensland, Australia
March 19, 2014 2:40 pm
Hi guys,
Watering the garden late yesterday and spotted this tiny guy foraging on my Kalamata Olive tree. About 8mm long and only managed this one shot before it dropped off into the grass and was gone. I’ve never seen one before and the only thing I can think of is a Narrow Necked Leaf Beetle but I cannot find any matching photos for ID. What do you think?
Signature: aussietrev

Rove Beetle, we believe
Rove Beetle, we believe

Hi Trevor,
Our first impression is that this looks like it must be a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, a very underrepresented family on the Brisbane Insect Website.
  According to BugGuide, the members of the family are:  “Thin, active beetles with shortened elytra that do not, at first glance, resemble beetles.”

Correction:  Soft Winged Flower Beetle.

Letter 3 – Rove Beetle: Genus Paederus

 

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.

Letter 4 – Rove Beetle, we believe

 

Subject:  Bug identity
Geographic location of the bug:  West Tennessee
Date: 06/26/2018
Time: 03:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We are finding many of these bugs in cat litter boxes at the cat rescue center where I volunteer.  They are small,  skinny and maybe 1/4 inch long.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Christine Morrison

Rove Beetle, we believe

Dear Christine,
We wish the quality of your image was better.  Though it somewhat resembles an Earwig, we believe, based on this BugGuide image, that this is a Rove Beetle, but the species is not identified.  Regarding finding them in proximity of litter boxes, BugGuide indicates:  “Often found under rocks, logs, etc. Some found on edges of bodies of water, others on carrion, decaying fungi, etc” and “Most adults and larvae are predatory on other invertebrates. Some larvae feed on decaying vegetation.”

Letter 5 – Transvestite Rove Beetle

 

Strange Costa Rican Bug
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
July 31, 2011 5:00 pm
Hi, would you please identify this bug for me. Seen at night in Costa Rica. I’ve never seen anything like it. Cheers
Signature: Laurence

Transvestite Rove Beetle

Hi Laurence,
We are positively thrilled to have received your photo of a Transvestite Rove Beetle,
Leistotrophus versicolor.  We originally received a similar identification request from Costa Rica last September, and you can read that entertaining posting here.   Here is what Scrubmuncher’s Blog has to say about the Transvestite Rove Beetle:  “Interestingly, there are even transvestite insects and the males of one of these species, a rove beetle from Central America, subtly imitate females as a means of getting access to and reproducing with bone-fide females. The transvestite rove beetle (Leistotrophus versicolor) is a denizen of the rain-forests of Costa Rica, where, like lots of other rove beetles, it makes a living by seeking out decaying plant and animal matter to feed on the adult insects and larvae that make use of these ephemeral resources. These honey-pots don’t last long in the super-charged biological activity of the hot and humid tropical forests, so when normal male rove beetles find them they guard them because they also attract females, allowing a male to assemble a harem.  Males of this rove beetle are divided into two types, normal butch specimens and small, effeminate ones. The small, effeminate males can find honey-pots, but they have little hope of defending them against the bigger males, so their chances of building a harem are next to nothing. These males have evolved another means of making sure they pass their genes onto the next generation. They sneak past the normal males using their effeminate appearance as a disguise and under the harem owner’s nose they have it away with the females he has been so carefully guarding. This strategy is almost flawless, but now and again the transvestite male is caught prancing around in the harem by the owner male and the only way he can avoid being torn limb from limb is by assuring the aggressor of his femininity and giving in to a ‘mating’.  One sore behind later, the transvestite male carries on sneakily copulating with the females in the harem, only slightly more nervous for his unpleasant experience.  The duplicity of these beetles is not just limited to transvestism, as they can also produce odours that mimic the smell the rotting matter in order to attract prey, namely flies. The rotting matter these beetles depend on can often be hard to come by, so they need an alternative means of finding suitable prey. Within the tip of their abdomen these beetles have a pair of pygidial glands that can be popped out to smear an odorous secretion on a suitable platform, such as a leaf. Flies are drawn to this odour in the hope of finding some filth to feed on to lay their eggs on, so all the beetle has to do is to wait until a suitable victim scuttles within pouncing distance.”  There are some nice matching photos on the American Insects website.  Should you desire additional information, you can read about the “Post-copulatory aggression toward their mates by males of the rove beetle Leistotrophus versicolor (Coleoptera:  Staphylinidae)” in the online version of the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Update:  August 20, 2011
Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for your response. I didn’t expect anything so detailed or interesting!
I don’t suppose you can say whether it’s a butch male or effeminate male / female?
Cheers
Laurence

We aren’t sure about the sexual traits of the Rove Beetle.  Sorry.

 

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts

7 thoughts on “Where Do Rove Beetles Live? Uncovering Their Natural Habitats and Behavior”

  1. Dear Bugman,
    i just chased down this bug which suddenly landed on my arm.
    it looks just like the picture above except that it has wings, is it the same type?
    I’m currently residing in Malaysia and any information would be appreciated.
    just trying to calm down the curiosity:P
    thanks for ur time.

    Reply

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