Monday, May 4, 2009


Until recently, these beetles were members of the family Tenebrionidae. Now, they are classified as Zopheridae, Ironclad Beetles, which includes approximately 30 species in the United States. They are extremely difficult to pin because they have a very hard, thick exoskeleton, hence their name. The antennae are short and stout, and nearly all in North America are found in the western states.

Coleoptera; Polyphaga; Tenebrionoidea; Zopheridae; Zopherinae; Nosoderma diabolicum
Common Name: Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

This species ranges in length from 15mm-25mm, and color can vary from pale brown to dark gray. It is commonly found on oak and cottonwood plants, consuming fungus-ridden wood. When disturbed, they tuck in their legs and fall to the ground, playing dead.


  1. Does Borror and DeLong list them as a separate family? I always thought they were Tenebrionids.

  2. It's such a lovely beetle!

  3. Thanks, and yes, Borror and DeLong list them as a separate family.