A shiny pronotum looks as slick as patent leather, inspiring one of many common names for this beetle. Both larvae and adults make a kissing sound when handled, but it is naturally employed to communicate with each other. This species is also known as a Bess Beetle because of this noise ('bes-' is the root sound for the word kiss in many languages).
Adults and larvae may be seen together as adults care for the young, something not commonly done among beetles. Adults may appear black or dark brown, and some even have hues of maroon or orange. Legs are dark as well, though short orange hairs may cover part of them and also extend out from under the pronotum. Larvae are white and worm-like with a dark line along the 'spine'. Their heads are orange, and only four legs are visible as the other two are quite short in this early life stage. Adults eat decaying wood and possibly fungi. They pre-chew this material before feeding it to hungry larvae. An injured larva is likely to be consumed by either adults or other larvae, making cannibalism a part of this insect's story. Look for this beetle in areas with rotting wood, and if one is found, look around for more. They are able to fly, but rarely choose to do so, meaning others are probably not far away.
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.