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Insect Identification

Darkling Beetle - (Eleodes spp.)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/7/2014

Darkling Beetles may be slow, but their abdomen can secrete a stink worth avoiding.

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Darkling beetles tend to walk with their heads down, as if they cannot see where they are going. This results in their abdomen being lifted higher than the head. Many stand still if disturbed, but they are capable of emitting a foul-smelling secretion from the tip of the abdomen, similar to skunks. This usually wards off would-be predators.

A species of field mouse that feeds on Darkling Beetles has been seen to counter such an attack by holding the beetle's butt down to the ground and eating it head first.

This type of beetle can be found roaming arid, desert areas. It burrows under the sand when intense daylight heats up the ground. Diets consist of fungi and plant matter.

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Category: Beetle
Common name: Darkling Beetle
Scientific Name: Eleodes spp.
Other Names: Skunk Beetle, Head Stander

Taxonomy:
  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Coleoptera
      Family: Tenebrionidae
       Genus: Eleodes
        Species: spp.

Adult Size (Length): 25mm to 35mm (0.98in to 1.38in) COMPARE

Identifying Colors: black

General Description: slow, tilted, head-down, stink,


North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina;Tennessee; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Ontario; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec


* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.


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