Insect identification > Coleoptera > True Coleoptera > Rove beetles

Rove beetles

Family Staphylinidae (rove beetles). - This large family in some regards is suggestive of the fireflies as the body of the insect in this group is not so hard and firm as in most beetles and seven or eight abdominal segments are present.

In other ways, however, it differs greatly from the lampyrids, the body being slender for its length, and the elytra short, not nearly covering the top of the abdomen, the segments of which are very movable. The insects run rapidly, often lifting up the end of the abdomen in a menacing way.

Most of the thousand or more species found in the U.S. are small, the larger kinds seldom being more than an inch long. They are land forms, feeding on decaying vegetable and animal materials near which - or under stones and wood they are found.

They must be considered as beneficial insects, acting as scavengers.