Ground Beetles

by Jacki
(Grand Forks, B.C.)

Darkling Beetle

Darkling Beetle

There are many kinds of beetles that you have in your garden, even though you probably won't see them much; many are nocturnal, trundling about all night, and creeping under a board or rock when daylight arrives.

They can predate many other insects, even earthworms, other beetles as well as slugs and snails. Depending on the type, some eat live prey while others, such as the Cadaver Beetle or Undertaker Beetle will clean up carrion.

Some, like the Bombardier Beetle have a tactic to ward off attackers; they stop dead in their tracks, crouch down with their front end, and stick their hind end up in the air. They have the ability to shoot out a chemical that is apparently quite repulsive, and gives them time to get away, while the attacker is getting their breath back.

Most beetles are beneficial, spending their lives tracking down prey, cleaning up after after other animals, and general doing good deeds.

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