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common beetle? - Eleodes armata

common beetle? - Eleodes armata
Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, USA
March 4, 2005
There were thousands of these in the park the other day, but no one seemed to know what kind of beetle it was. Anyone?

not armatus
Armatus has femoral spines on all pairs of legs.

Eleodes armatus

Moved from Darkling Beetles.

Darkling beetle.
This is a darkling beetle in the family Tenebrionidae. It is probably a species of Eleodes. They are generally fairly large, and live in very arid habitats. They do a "headstand" if approached, deploying pungent defensive chemicals from their hind end. The odor is strong, and the fluid can stain your fingers, but otherwise they are harmless. They scavenge dried, decaying organic matter.

The spur on the front femur i
The spur on the front femur is interesting--not something I've noticed on the common darkling ground beetles where I am in LA. Is there a more specific location avaliable for this photo than California?

Eleodes armata???
There are very few Eleodes with a profemoral spur, maybe only one (can't remember), and one that does have it is Eleodes armata.

Sorry, missed the question. T
Sorry, missed the question. This was in Costa mesa CA.

The did that headstand thing
The did that headstand thing you mentioned, but maybe in the breeze the odor wasn't noticable.

Just a warning
They don't release their defensive fluid automatically. They warn potential predators by doing their headstand first, and usually won't release unless treated roughly.

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