They are nature's low-profile garbagemen and live secret lives.
After mating, the male injects the female with a chemical that smells so badly no other male beetles will come anywhere near the female beetle.
This Rove beetle, named for its constant movement, is always found near large numbers of flies, fruit trees, decaying fruit, plants, compost and seaweed. They are also found under stones, bark and leaves in freshwater and saltwater.
After mating, the male injects the female with a chemical that smells so badly no other male beetles will come anywhere near the female beetle
These common insects usually go unnoticed. They can be found near lights at night and most often are found resting in beds of leaves or under rocks during the day.
Most Rove beetles are insect predators.
They are slender with wing cover much shorter than the abdomen. Most Rove beetles are black or brown. They range from 1 to 1 inches long.
When Rove beetles are disturbed they skedaddle. Active fliers and skittish runners, Rove beetles are harmless albeit unappealing.
Rove beetles resemble a scorpion when they hold their abdomens up off the ground. Rove beetles curl up their bodies when threatened to make themselves appear bigger than they are.
Also known as the Devil's Coach Horse, they do not sting but can give a painful bite that can cause skin irritation. You will feel a burning sensation followed by severe itching.
Powerful jaws allow Rove beetles to devour a variety of insects and ground-dwelling caterpillars. Rove beetles are protected by their hind wings and are able to get into small spaces to hide from predators.
They prefer to scurry along the ground, which makes them vulnerable to sticky tape traps.
Rove beetles struggle to survive in urban areas and are most comfortable in rural habitats. Rove beetles do eat garden pests and recycle nutrients.
An old wives tail suggests a Rove is cursing you when it raises its tail. If that were true I am not so certain I would still be here today. I grew up on a farm in upstate New York and saw these beetles daily.
I recently was on vacation in my hometown of Fulton, N.Y., and went apple picking - a family tradition growing up. Rove beetles were always seen near the apple orchards yet they never spoiled the fun of picking.