common name: Rove Beetle
scientific name: Order Coleoptera, family Staphylinidae, several species
size: Adult--1/8" to 1"
identification: Fast-moving brownish or black beetles with very short front wings that leave much of the abdomen uncovered. Full-length hind wings are folded and concealed beneath the stubby front wings. When disturbed, they turn up the tip of their abdomen and assume a stinging pose. Larvae look like adults without wings.
biology and life cycle: Rove beetles are scavengers or predators on insects found in decaying organic materials. They are often seen around dung, carrion, and compost piles. Most species over-winter as adults, laying eggs in the soil in the spring. Larvae have three molts, and then pupate in the soil.
habitat: Decaying animal and vegetable matter in the soil. They can be found in corn tassels, root and cabbage crops, compost, and other organic matter.
feeding habits: Active at night. Predators of aphids, springtails, mites, nematodes, slugs, fly eggs, and maggots. They are scavengers and predators.
economic importance: Control of several troublesome insects.
natural control: None needed--beneficial.
organic control: None needed.
insight: We haven't seen many of these insects, but we know they're around.