Rove Beetles

Bug Index           


Rove Beetle

Rove beetles are beneficial because they clean up the ashes, bones and carcasses of dead and decaying animals. They also eat dung and feed on other insects that are found in decaying matter - such as maggots. Rove Beetles are ugly to look at but the are completely harmless - though their habits make them unappealing. They are found inside or near decaying organic matter, especially dead animals. If you disturb a Rove Beetle while it is eating, it will raise the tip of its abdomen and squirt a foul-smelling mist. That foul smell it squirts at its enemies helps to protect it from being attacked by other insects and even keeps people away.

Rove beetles are very common insects, but they usually go unnoticed. They are slender, elongated beetles with the distinctive characteristic of having wing covers (elytra) that are much shorter than the abdomen. The result is that over half of the top surface of the abdomen can be easily seen because there are no wings on top of the body.

Most rove beetles are black or brown. One common species has grayish markings on the wings and abdomen. Most rove beetles are slender and small (usually less than 3 mm, or 1/8 inch). However, there are a few species of Rove Beetle that grow to be up to 1 inch long. Rove beetles are very active fliers or runners. When they run they often raise the tip of the abdomen.


Rove beetle