At home in the Southwest, this Darkling Beetle is tiny and fuzzy. The hairs may help deter predators from eating it, and its size makes it a smaller target. The beetle feeds on Russian thistle, wild onions, and salt grass growing in the arid environment. They are most active in spring, coming out of overwintering, and then again in late autumn as they prepare for the next winter. Occasionally on warm winter days, they may venture out from their shelter.
Look for this species walking along the ground, keeping in mind that the beetle never gets much bigger than a pinky fingernail. The spray of hairs on its back may give it a bit more presence, but a keen eye may be needed to see one, especially if it isn’t moving.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.