The rove beetles are a family (Staphylinidae) of beetles, primarily distinguished by their short elytra (wing covers) that typically leave more than half of their abdomens exposed. With roughly 63,000 species in thousands of genera, the group is currently recognized as the largest extant family of beetles. It is an ancient group, with fossilized rove beetles known from the Triassic, 200 million years ago, and possibly even earlier if the genus Leehermania proves to be a member of this family. They are an ecologically and morphologically diverse group of beetles, and commonly encountered in terrestrial ecosystems.
|Rove beetles of western Eurasia|
As might be expected for such a large family, considerable variation exists among the species. Sizes range from <1 to 35 mm (1.4 in), with most in the 2–8 mm range, and the form is generally elongated, with some rove beetles being ovoid in shape. Colors range from yellow and red to reddish-brown to brown to black to iridescent blue and green. The antennae usually have 11 segments and are filiform, with moderate clubbing in some genera. The abdomen may be very long and flexible, and some rove beetles superficially resemble earwigs.
Some members of Paederina (specifically the genus Paederus), a subtribe of Paederinae, contain a potent vesicant in their haemolymph that can produce a skin irritation called dermatitis linearis, which in English has acquired the inaccurate name Paederus dermatitis. The irritant pederin is highly toxic, more potent than cobra venom.
Rove beetles are known from every type of habitat in which beetles occur, and their diets include just about everything except the living tissues of higher plants, but now including higher plants with the discovery of the diet of Himalusa thailandensis. Most rove beetles are predators of insects and other invertebrates, living in forest leaf litter and similar decaying plant matter. They are also commonly found under stones, and around freshwater margins. Almost 400 species are known to live on ocean shores that are submerged at high tide, including the pictured rove beetle, although these are much fewer than 1% of the worldwide total of Staphylinidae. Other species have adapted to live as inquilines in ant and termite colonies, and some live in mutualistic relationships with mammals whereby they eat fleas and other parasites, benefiting the host. A few species, notably those of the genus Aleochara, are scavengers and carrion feeders, or are parasitoids of other insects, particularly of certain fly pupae.
Although rove beetles' appetites for other insects would seem to make them obvious candidates for biological control of pests, and empirically they are believed to be important controls in the wild, experiments using them have not been notably successful. Greater success is seen with those species that are parasitoids (genus Aleochara).
Rove beetles of the genus Stenus are very interesting insects. They are specialist predators of small invertebrates such as collembola. Their labium can shoot out from the head using blood pressure. The thin rod of the labium ends in a pad of bristly hairs and hooks and between these hairs are small pores that exude an adhesive glue-like substance, which sticks to prey.
Classification of the 63,650 (as of 2018) staphylinid species is ongoing and controversial, with some workers proposing an organization of as many as 10 separate families, but the current favored system is one of 32 subfamilies, about 167 tribes (some grouped into supertribes), and about 3,200 genera. About 400 new species are being described each year, and some estimates suggest three-quarters of tropical species are as yet undescribed.
The 28 species thus far shown to produce such a toxin belong to three of the 14 genera of Paederina, namely Paederus, Paederidus, and Megalopaederus
For the Palaearctic fauna, the most up-to-date works are:
Articerodes jariyae is a rove beetle discovered in Thailand in 2008. It was named for Professor Jariya Chanpaisaen, who collaborated on the study that located it. It is closely related to Articerodes ohmomoi and Articerodes thailandicus, discovered during the same study.Articerodes ohmomoi
Articerodes ohmomoi is a rove beetle discovered in Thailand in 2008. It was named for Dr. Sadahiro Ohmomo, who collected the holotype for the species. It is closely related to Articerodes jariyae and Articerodes thailandicus, discovered during the same study.Articerodes thailandicus
Articerodes thailandicus is a rove beetle discovered in Thailand in 2008. It was named for Thailand, where it was first discovered. It is closely related to Articerodes jariyae and Articerodes ohmomoi, discovered during the same study.Bledius annularis
Bledius annularis, or ringed borrow rove beetle, is a species of spiny-legged rove beetle in the family Staphylinidae. It is found in North America.The lectotype for this taxon from a male specimen, collected from Lake Superior, and is housed within the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.Bledius spectabilis
Bledius spectabilis, commonly known as the magnificent salt beetle, is a species of small rove beetle.Creophilus maxillosus
Creophilus maxillosus belongs to the order Coleoptera and is most commonly referred to as the hairy rove beetle. The rove beetles are a large family, having almost 2,900 species in North America. This species can be found in woods and wherever carrion is found, usually from the spring to autumn months. These active beetles fly swiftly or run rapidly over the ground with the tip of the abdomen raised like a scorpion's stinger. Although a few are known to be parasitic, most rove beetles and their larvae prey upon mites, other insects, and small worms.Diochus electrus
Diochus electrus is an extinct species of rove beetle in genus Diochus, the only definitive fossil species in subfamily Staphylininae. The species is known only from the middle Eocene, Lutetian stage Baltic amber found in the Blaue Erde deposits, Baltic region, Northern Europe.Elsworth Wood
Elsworth Wood is a 6.9 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Cambourne and Elsworth in Cambridgeshire.This site has three different uncommon types of woodland. It is mainly coppiced field maple, with a varied shrub layer and the ground flora is mainly dog's mercury and bluebells, together with a considerable population of oxlips. There are several nationally uncommon beetles, such as the rove beetle Stichoglossa semirufa.The site is private land with no public access.List of things named after Charles Darwin
Several places, concepts, institutions, and things are namesakes of the English biologist Charles Darwin:
PlacesCharles Darwin National Park
Charles Darwin Foundation
Charles Darwin Research Station
Charles Darwin University
Darwin College, Cambridge
Darwin, Falkland Islands
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin Glacier (California)
Darwin Guyot, a seamount in the Pacific Ocean
Darwin Island, Galapagos Islands
Darwin Island (Antarctica)
Darwin Sound (Canada)
Mount Darwin (California)
Mount Darwin (Tasmania)Things named after Darwin in relation to his Beagle voyageCordillera Darwin
Mount Darwin (Andes)Scientific names of organismsSome 250 species and several higher groups bear Darwin's name; most are insects.
Darwinilus, a rove beetle
Darwinius, an extinct primate
Darwinopterus, a genus of pterosaur
Darwinula, a genus of seed shrimp
Darwinivelia, a water treader genus
Darwinysius, a seed bug
Darwinomya, a genus of flies
Darwinella, a sponge genus
Darwinsaurus, a dinosaur
Darwinhydrus, a diving beetle
darwini (multiple species)
darwinii (multiple species)
Ingerana charlesdarwini, a frogPhilosophiesDarwinism
Social DarwinismOtherDarwin, a unit of evolutionary change
Darwin, an operating system
Darwin (ESA) (a proposed satellite system)
Division of Darwin, a former electoral division in Australia
1991 Darwin, a stony Florian asteroid
Darwin (lunar crater) a lunar crater
Darwin (Martian crater) a martian craterOcypus
Ocypus is a genus of rove beetle in the subfamily Staphylininae.Ontholestes cingulatus
Ontholestes cingulatus, known generally as the gold-and-brown rove beetle or carrion beetle, is a species of large rove beetle in the family Staphylinidae.Pictured rove beetle
The pictured rove beetle (Thinopinus pictus) is a wingless rove beetle which lives on the sandy beaches of the West Coast of the United States from southern Alaska to Baja California. It is nocturnal, emerging at night from temporary sand burrows to feed on beach hoppers (Orchestoidea).Staphylininae
Staphylininae are a subfamily of rove beetles (family Staphylinidae). They contain the typical rove beetles with their long but fairly robust blunt-headed and -tipped bodies and short elytra, as well as some more unusually-shaped lineages.Tachyporinae
Tachyporinae is a subfamily of rove beetle. Their common name is Crab-like Rove Beetles. They are generally small, roughly 2.4 to 5 millimeters.There are around 60 species in twelve genera of crab-like rove beetles. All species are fusiform.Tachyporus
Tachyporus is a genus of rove beetle in the tribe Tachyporini. It is the type genus of both the tribe Tachyporini and the subfamily Tachyporinae.The Global Biodiversity Information Facility reports 40 species in this genus, with most collection and observation activity from Europe, but also including records from North American, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.Termitopaediini
Termitopaediini is a tribe in the rove beetle subfamily Aleocharinae. Much of it was classified and documented by Kistner in 1977.Below are a list of some of the genera this tribe contains:
Coatonipulex Kistner, 1977
Paratermitopulex Kistner, 1977
Physomilitaris Kistner, 1977
TermozyrasThe Devil's Coach Horses
The Devil's Coach Horses is a 1925 essay by J. R. R. Tolkien ("Devil's coach-horse" is a British expression for a particular kind of rove beetle).Tolkien draws attention to the devil's steeds called eaueres in Hali Meidhad, translated "boar" in the Early English Text Society edition of 1922, but in reference to the jumenta "yoked team, draught horse" of Joel (Joel 1:17), in the Vulgata Clementina computruerunt jumenta in stercore suo (the Nova Vulgata has semina for Hebrew פרדח "grain").Rather than from the Old English word for "boar", eofor (German Eber) Tolkien derives the word from eafor "packhorse", from a verb aferian "transport", related to Middle English aver "draught-horse", a word surviving in northern dialects. The Proto-Germanic root *ab- "energy, vigour, labour" of the word is cognate to Latin opus.Thoracophorus costalis
Thoracophorus costalis, the furrowed rove beetle, is a species of unmargined rove beetle in the family Staphylinidae. It is found in Central America and North America.Tyrini
Tyrini is a tribe of rove beetle.