Caption: Rove beetle (Creophilus sp.). Rove beetles belong to the large family Staphylinidae in the order Coleoptera. Staphylinidae occupy almost all moist environments throughout the world. They are very common insects that have slender, elongated bodies with a distinctive characteristic of having wing covers (elytra) that are much shorter than the abdomen thus revealing over half of the dorsal abdomen. They are found in or near decaying organic matter, especially dead animals. Rove beetles use their strong biting mouthparts to tear at the flesh of a decaying carcass. They are beneficial because they help in clean up carcasses of dead and decaying animals. They also eat dung and feed on other insects that are found in decaying matter - such as maggots. When disturbed, the rove beetle raises the tip of its abdomen and may squirt a foul smelling liquid at its enemies. A number of rove beetles (genus Aleochara) have been used in the biological control of other insects.
Magnification*: x8
Type: SEM
Copyright 2010 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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