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Dentate Stink Beetle (Eleodes dentipes)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Dentate Stink Beetle.

 Updated: 9/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Dentate Stink Beetles thrive in the arid conditions of the Sonoran desert in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.



Most Darkling Beetles like this one are completely black. Their smooth elytra (wing coverings) have a satiny sheen. Their heads are round and wide, and their antennae resemble a string of black pearls. There are a variety of species in the Eleodes genus, and many of them are found in Mexico. They are members of the Stink Beetle, or Pinacate Beetle Family, meaning they are capable of spraying pungent, malodorous chemicals from the tip of the abdomen in self-defense. To prepare for discharge, they lift the abdomen into the air, almost as if they are doing a headstand.

Adults are wingless and cannot fly. The elytra are fused at the midline to prevent desiccation in such arid environments. This species lives and thrives in a desert habitat, so water preservation seems worth the sacrifice in mobility. This insect is a scavenger of plant debris and can be found walking on the ground looking for bits of plant matter to eat. Its thin, wormy larvae are called false wireworms and can be found just below the surface, nibbling on decaying plant matter. Adults are active from spring through autumn. During the day, they can be found hiding under rocks, wood or in abandoned rodent holes. At dusk, they start scrounging the area for food.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Tenebrionidae
          Genus: Eleodes
            Species: dentipes
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Eleodes dentipes
Other Name(s): Skunk Beetle, Pinacate Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 28mm (0.62in to 1.09in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black
Descriptors: smell, odor, fluid, fast, headstand, butt
Territorial Map
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
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. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
3
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
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Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.