Darkling Beetle (Various spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Darkling Beetle.
Updated: 9/18/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A general and well-populated group, Darkling Beetles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and eat a myriad of things.
Darkling Beetles can be found under stones, inside hollowed logs, and roaming sandy dunes and deserts. Many are completely black, but some are auburn or brown. Some species eat fungi, others feed on living crops or decaying plant matter. Some are attracted to carrion, others dung. Many are overlooked and insignificant, but some are grain and produce pests.
The spectrum of behavior and life history among Darkling Beetles is vast. Larvae are yellow-tan worm-like grubs. The commercially available mealworm is the larva of one particular genus in the Darkling Beetle family. Many species have chemical defenses as adults, spraying or secreting noxious solutions from their bodies. Some beetles are long and slender. Others have tapered abdomen or are round, like lady beetles. While all have wings, species in arid regions do not fly because their wings are fused shut, allowing them to prevent moisture from evaporating. The diversity of this family makes them fascinating to study.