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Gold-and-brown Rove Beetle (Ontholestes cingulatus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Gold-and-brown Rove Beetle



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Image Credit: Lori M. from OH
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Image Credit: Lori M. from OH
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Image Credit: Mel B. from ON
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Image Credit: Mel B. from ON
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Image Credit: Mel B. from ON
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Gold-and-brown Rove Beetles spend all their time in places of rot and decay, but they must go where their food grows.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Gold-and-brown Rove Beetles eat flies, maggots and other living insects that use carrion, fungi, dung and rotting plants as their habitat. Slender and long, Gold-and-brown Rove Beetles look somewhat similar to Earwigs, a root eating insect found in container and flower gardens. The Gold-and-brown Rove Beetle's wings are short, and part of their abdomen is exposed for viewing. This gives them the appearance of having half of a wing, almost as if the rest were broken or eaten off. The tip of the abdomen has golden yellow hairs on it, giving it a bright and shiny metallic gleam. When walking, the body of this insect tends to curve upward.

Rove Beetles prefer to stay unseen and are likely to take cover when approached. They can fly and may be glimpsed leaving a feeding site after detecting movement. Most disappear from view before observers begin taking notice of them, so spotting one is a treat.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Shiny insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Staphylinidae
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          Genus: Ontholestes
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            Species: cingulatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Ontholestes cingulatus
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 18mm (0.51" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, yellow, gold
Descriptors: wingless, missing, half-wing, exposed, metallic, shiny, flying, gold butt
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 13mm and 18mm
Lo: 13mm
Md: 15.5mm
Hi: 18mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Gold-and-brown Rove 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 Gold-and-brown Rove Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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