Eleodes acuta

Clown Beetle

Eleodes acuta, Darkling Beetle photo from New Mexico


Family: Tenebrionidae

Subfamily: Tenebrioninae

Length: 29.5 - 36.5 mm


Eleodes is the most speciose of the genera in Tenebrionidae, with more than 225 described species in the Nearctic alone.

Eleodes larvae are called False Wireworms and are pests of wheat and other crops. The larvae typically live in the soil and eat roots, seeds, and various decaying matter (Bernett 2008; Triplehorn et al. 2009).

At right: Note the toothed front femora, a male characteristic.

Clown Beetle, Eleodes acuta, two beetles fighting


At left: Two Eleodes acuta fighting.

Bottom of page: The headstand posture common in genus Eleodes. It is a warning, which may be followed by a release of chemicals from the beetle's posterior.

Photo data: 5 and 6 May 2006. Mescalero Sands, Waldrop, Chaves County, New Mexico.

Darkling Beetle at Mescalero Sands, Eleodes acuta

Range map for Eleodes acuta

The map at right shows the states with records of Eleodes acuta in blue-green. The species is endemic to the United States. Note that the map does not include single records from Iowa and Arizona, which Triplehorn and co-authors (2015) regarded as dubious.