Stink Bug ( Darkling Beetle )

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Billy B
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:14 am
Location: California

Stink Bug ( Darkling Beetle )

Post by Billy B »

This is a follow up to Rik Littlefields excellent posting on Feb 28, regarding the Darkling Beetle. I discoverd this one under a rotting log while searching
Note small, light brown insects attached to beetle.
Note small, light brown insects attached to beetle.
for jumping spiders. I believe it is what we use to call a stink beetle. When disturbed, they lift thier rear-end and emit a very unpleasant odor and burrow into soft soil or sand.
After getting this one home and taking a few photos, I noticed what looked like small ticks attached to it's body. Fearing for my dogs, I quickly euthanized it and cleaned the beetle in soap and water, then dried it. After taking more photos, it occurred to me that it may have been carrying young beetles on it's body , much the same way spiders do. Perhaps someone can chime in with information regarding this subject.
Bill
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rjlittlefield
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Re: Stink Bug ( Darkling Beetle )

Post by rjlittlefield »

Very nice images! Yes, that looks like one of the darkling beetles. The things that were on it were surely not its own young. Beetles have complete metamorphosis, with four distinctly different life stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult. There's nothing in the life cycle that looks like a beetle except for the adult, which emerges from the pupa at full size. Given your description and what I can see in the image, my best guess is phoretic mites, something like what is shown at viewtopic.php?t=16698 . The term "phoretic" means that the mites are using the beetle for transport, so your image of "carrying" is pretty accurate!

--Rik

MarkSturtevant
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Re: Stink Bug ( Darkling Beetle )

Post by MarkSturtevant »

Yes! Very nice pictures! I agree that the other critters will be mites. I have not seen them on darkling beetles, but these things are widely occurring.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

Billy B
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:14 am
Location: California

Re: Stink Bug ( Darkling Beetle )

Post by Billy B »

So, I assume nature has provided them with transportation in the form of a beetle, or perhaps they are feeding on microscopic organisms on the beetle. The mites get fed and the beetle gets cleaned . Very interesting, thank you for your input........Bill

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