Desert Stink Beetles are a type of Darkling Beetle, and tend to walk with their heads down, as if they are looking for lost contact lenses. This results in their abdomen being lifted higher than the head and the moniker 'Headstand Beetle'. Many stand still if disturbed, but eventually raise their back end into the air in preparation for defense. They are capable of discharging a foul-smelling secretion from the tip of the abdomen toward a would-be attacker. This advantage is also seen in skunks, so this type of beetle is also known as a Skunk Beetle. A face-full of this disgusting chemical usually scares off predators. That said, there is a species of field mouse that feeds on Desert Stink Beetles, and learned to counter such chemical attacks by holding the beetle's butt down to the ground while biting its head off.
Desert Stink Beetles are a satiny black color. Many species have completely smooth abdomens, though some have ridges and dimples on the elytra (wing coverings). The wings of this genus are fused shut to retain moisture, so they are not able to fly. This type of beetle can be found roaming the arid Sonoran desert, especially around mesquite and oak trees. It burrows under the sand when intense daylight heats up the ground surface, and comes out at night to look for food in cooler air. Its diet consists of fungi, animal detritus, and plant matter.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Desert Stink Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Desert Stink Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.