• HOME
  • Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Bees & Ants
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • True Bugs
  • Insects By State
  • Blue Death-Feigning Beetle - (Asbolus verrucosus)

    Blue Death-Feigning Beetle - (Asbolus verrucosus)

    The Blue Death-Feigning Beetle is excellent at playing dead for as long as it takes for a predator to lose interest.


    Staff Writer (1/6/2016): Blue Death-Feigning Beetles are native to the Mojave and Sonoran Desert regions in the Southwest U.S., but their range extends to surrounding states and Mexico. Unlike other Darkling Beetles, they are unable to secrete a noxious chemical to deter would-be predators. Instead, they have a remarkable ability to appear dead, often tricking humans as well as natural predators. A frightened beetle will quickly roll onto its back and bend all of its legs in order to appear dried out and dead to an approaching threat. The hope is that the predator will pass by, preferring fresh and juicy prey. The beetle will hold its pose for minutes into hours if it deems it necessary. They do not react to touching, pushing or probing while faking death. Once the perceived threat is long gone, the beetle uprights itself and walks on, foraging for food.

    Blue Death-Feigning Beetles are also called Desert Ironclad Beetles. They are built to avoid desiccation in arid regions. They feed on plant and animal debris, scouring the landscape for bits and pieces all day. Some people keep them as 'pets'. One beetle kept in captivity lived over 15 years. Those in nature tend to be most active in spring and early autumn.

    ©2005-2017 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.


    Details of the:
    Blue Death-Feigning Beetle


    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Blue Death-Feigning Beetle
    Scientific Name: Asbolus verrucosus
    Other Names: Desert Ironclad Beetle, Ghost Beetle

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Tenebrionidae
           Genus: Asbolus
            Species: verrucosus





    Size (Adult, Length): 18mm to 21mm (0.71in to 0.83in)

    Identifying Colors: blue, black

    Additional Descriptors: bumpy, dead


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona; California; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Texas; Utah; Wyoming; Mexico


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





    BUGFINDER: What Kind of Bug is This...
    BUGFINDER allows for a quick search of the Insect Identification database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory / state in question. If only one color is present on your insect, select it again as its SECONDARY color. Remember that the more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a match. As a rule of thumb, six legs are typical for most insects whereas spiders generally have eight legs.
    Primary Color:
    Secondary Color:
    Number of Legs:
    State / Province:
    General Category: