Long, narrow bodies are hallmarks of this type of Rove Beetle, an often unnoticed soil-dwelling predator of smaller insects.
Rove Beetles are usually found in moist soil or compost where they forage for insects like mites and maggots as well as other kinds of soft-bodied larvae. The elongated body of this genus has what appear to be four segments: a head, a thorax, shortened elytra, and a long, slender abdomen. Their body shape is similar to that of an Earwig, but Rove Beetles lack the pincers. Many species are black with light, almost translucent legs. Some are two-toned: one species is bright yellow and black, another is brown and black. Others may be pale with brown coloring on them. Short elytra and wings mean the plated abdomen is exposed. Exposure means the abdomen is free to bend and curve, allowing it to fit through crevices. It also means the insect loses moisture through evaporation more easily, so arid regions are difficult to live in. Most Rove Beetles reside in moist, humid environments. This can include caves, coastal shores, inside nests of insects, and even inside mushrooms.
Found near carrion and other decaying organic matter, one type of Rove Beetle is helpful in forensics. Thanks to their diet of immature crop insects, many types of Rove Beetle play a valuable role in controlling pests. Though they are not bright or flashy, this understated group of beetles fills a niche in the ecosystem that often gets overlooked.
Scientific Name: Pinophilus spp.
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 26mm (0.51in to 1.01in)
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.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
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.