Common Name:  Bess Beetles

Description:  The passalids are a distinctive family of beetles that are found feeding and burrowing in dead wood.   They are sometimes called “patent leather beetles” due to their shiny black appearance.    Their sturdy, prognathous mandibles are strong enough to excavate large tunnels in dead wood.   They are easily recognized by the narrow “waist” just behind the prothorax and the longitudinal striations on the elytra.

Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Shiny black body
  2. Longitudinal ridges on elytra
  3. Narrow “waist” behind prothorax
  4. Antennae curved but not elbowed; terminal segments with enlarged lobes

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Order:  Coleoptera