Rove beetle, SEM

Rove beetle, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of rove beetle (Creophilus sp.). Rove beetles belong to the large family Staphylinidae. They are very common insects that have slender, elongated bodies with a distinctive characteristic of having wing covers (elytra) that are much shorter than the abdomen thus revealing over half of the dorsal abdomen. They are found in or near decaying organic matter, especially dead animals. Rove beetles use their strong biting mouthparts to tear at the flesh of a decaying carcass. They also eat dung and feed on other insects that are found in decaying matter, such as maggots. When disturbed, the rove beetle raises the tip of its abdomen and may squirt a foul smelling liquid at its enemies. A number of rove beetles have been used in the biological control of other insects. Magnification: x8 when shortest axis printed at 25 milimetres.

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