Friday, December 11, 2009


Staphylinidae are rove beetles, which are slender, elongate beetles with very short elytra. The elytra give the insect almost a four-body-segment look, and resemble pincer-less earwigs. The hinds wings are well developed and at rest are folded under the short elytra. They are active insects that run or fly rapidly. They often raise the tip of the abdomen like a scorpion if they feel threatened and their mandibles are large enough that they can inflict a bite if handled. The largest reach 25mm in length, and most are black or brown. It is one of the two largest families of beetles - there are 4,153 species in North America. I would key it to genus, but the closest I can get is tribe - my volume of beetles unfortunately does not cover polyphaga...perhaps I will get the next volume for Christmas...

Coleoptera; Polyphaga; Staphylinoidea; Staphylinidae; Staphylininae; Staphylini; Ocypus sp.
Common Name: Large Rove Beetles

They were found at night, I only collected one. The other two I happened across during a night survey. The first one I ever found was by the beach, a lot of rove beetles can be found close to the shore. At any rate, there it is. Also, in one of the pictures, you can pretty clearly see the large mandibles. Three species of the genus include O. olens, O. nitens, and O. aeneocephalus, and the range of O. olens matches the location in which this specimen was found - so O. olens is the most likely candidate.


  1. Dear Eventual Doctor;
    I suppose They are Ocypus sp.
    With kind regards;

  2. Thank you! You look like quite an expert - based on the range of Ocypus sp in the US, I would guess it would be Ocypus olens, but I'll stick with Ocypus