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Blue Death-Feigning Beetle

The Blue Death-Feigning Beetle gets its name from its inherent ability to play death when threatened by predators.


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Image Credit: Julie W. of Tennessee.
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Image Credit: Julie W. of Tennessee.
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionidae
Genus: Asbolus
Species: verrucosus

Blue Death-feigning Beetles are sizeable, stout beetles with a steely-blue color. They are quick to play dead as a precaution to almost anything that approaches it. The beetle flips itself upside down and bends its legs in a very convincing death posture. The hope is that a predator dismisses the beetle as a dried out, bad meal, and continues on its way. The beetle will remain in that death-like position until the perceived threat is long gone.

A type of Ironclad beetle, the powdery blue beetle is covered in small black bumps, giving it an armored appearance. It is a resident of the desert, so it is able to reduce evaporation and conserve water thanks to the blue waxy coating it secretes onto itself. It is often found wandering the ground, looking for plant and animal debris to eat.©BeetleIdentification.org

The Blue Death-Feigning Beetle is also known by the name(s) of: Ghost Beetle; Desert Ironclad Beetle. The Blue Death-Feigning Beetle is typically 0.7 inches to 0.8 inches (18mm to 21mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: blue; gray; gray; ash; small; possum; fake; bumps; ribbed; .

Color Identification Guide

Various colors commonly associated with this beetle.


Beetle Anatomy

Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)

The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Blue Death-Feigning Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Prince Edward Is.  
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