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Darkling Beetle

Eleodes spp


About the Darkling Beetle


Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionidae

Darkling beetles are not one specific species of beetle, but rather a whole family of beetles comprising over 20,000 known species. Their family name, tenebrionidae, comes from the Latin word “tenebrio,” which roughly translates to “seeker of dark places.” Though most species of darkling beetles do prefer dark places, some species are more active during the day.

Darkling Beetle Facts


Darkling beetles’ antennae have 11 segments. They're smooth and black, with chewing mouth parts. They have fused wings, so they cannot fly.


Darkling beetles are scavengers that mostly feed on decaying leaves, seeds and fungi.


Female lay eggs in soil. The larvae are small and worm-like, with six legs each. The larvae pupate, which means they undergo a transformation from the larval form to the adult form.


Darkling beetles dwell on the ground and under the soil. Like other species of beetles, darkling beetles clean up the environment by consuming decaying organic matter. Their burrowing aerates and enriches the soil, which can help plants grow.


There are species of darkling beetles all over the world. More than 1,400 different species can be found in North America.

Median Life Expectancy:

3-15 years