This is the largest order of insects. Beetles are found almost everywhere, in all sorts of environments. Some dig tunnels under tree bark and bore their way into wood. Others live in the water and prey upon other water creatures. Some live in fungi. Others feed on carrion. Some beetles are parasitic. Some of the plant-eating beetles are considered to be serious pests to crops. Other beetles are beneficial to mankind because they feed on insects that damage crops. Beetles can live on or in the ground, on vegetation, or in water.
Beetles tracks can be found in just about as many environments as the beetles themselves. However, some of these environments are not the type that tracks show up in well. The best places Iíve found to look for beetle tracks are near the waterís edge, or in fine silty soil near water. Their tracks are also easy to find in dry, sandy environments. I have often found the tracks of the "stinkbug" in desert environments. Since most beetles donít weigh much, their tracks can be hard to see. Start out by looking for them in these easy soils, then try to find them in the more difficult soils. Soon, youíll be able to see them even in difficult soil conditions.
|A beetle trail in dust under a building.|
|This appears to be a darkling beetle trail. Part of the tracks are obscured by the dragging abdomen.|
|Another beetle trail in dust.|
|Silty dust shows beetle tracks well!|
|A beetle trail meandering across dust.|
|Another beetle trail found under a building.|
|This massive hatch of beetles happened on a single day in July 2012 along the Eel River. It seemed that every alder tree I saw that day was covered with metallic beetles that were just hatching.|
|A "stink beetle"
|Pinacate beetle (AKA stink beetle) tracks
from Utah. Donated photo. Thanks Robert Krampf!
Got a beetle story? E-mail me and tell me about it.
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Copyright © 1997, 2018. Text and drawings by Kim A. Cabrera
Page updated: March17, 2018.
Copyright © 1997, 2018. Text, drawings, and photos by Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design
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