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Staphylinidae

Rove Beetles

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Staphylinidae is the largest family of beetles with over 63,000 described species. Estimates suggest over 75% of tropical species have yet be discovered!

Who

Rove Beetles (Family: Staphylinidae). These predacious beetles are often confused with earwigs (Order: Dermaptera). The distinguishing feature is that earwigs have pincer like cerci at the tip of their abdomens while rove beetles do not. Rove beetles have short elytra (hard outer wing covering) that only covers less than half of their abdomen. Size ranges from less than 1 mm to over 35 mm, but most are between 2 and 8 mm.

What

Many are scavengers and/or feed on carrion while others may feed on fungi and plant matter. That said, many species are active predators and a few are successfully being used as beneficial insects.

When

Staphylinids can be active year round, but are more likely to be seen during warmer months.

Where

As long as their habitat is suitable, they can be found worldwide.

Why

Warm and moist conditions in conjunction with plenty of ground cover and hidey holes can attract rove beetles, whether you want them or not.

How

I would not do anything to necessarily attract or repel rove beetles. Those species that are blamed for causing plant damage do so minimally and those that are predacious are probably not going to do a bang up job. There are a couple of minute species of rove beetles that can be purchased as beneficial controls so if purchased, make sure to not use pesticides.

Lauren’s Notes

Staphylinidae is the largest family of beetles with over 63,000 described species. Estimates suggest over 75% of tropical species have yet to be discovered!

Back to Entomology

Phylum
Arthropoda
Class
Insecta
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Staphylinidae

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