Rove Beetles
(Common Name)
(General Category)
Coleoptera: Staphylinidae
(Taxonomic Classification)
Many species
(Scientific Name)

rove beetle adult with ID charactersrove beetle larva with ID characters

Description: Rove beetles are commonly found on the soil surface in a variety of habitats. Their very short wing covers combined with a habit of raising their 'tails' when running or disturbed has left some people confusing them with small scorpions. They also have a similar appearance to earwigs, but lack the large 'pincers' that earwigs have on their rear ends. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and are primarily predatory, but a few ae parasitic on insects such as onion maggot.

Identification:  Rollover or tap pictures for tips on how to identify these predators. Adults: Usually narrow bodies with very short wings covers, exposing 6 to 7 segments of the abdomen; Look like earwigs, lack the 'pincers' that earwigs have at the tips of their abdomens (click here to see the difference); often move in a snake-like manner, and may lift their abdomen tips when alarmed or running, giving the superficial appearance of a scorpion. Larvae: Typical larval beetle appearance but often with sharp mandibles; can be mistaken for ground beetle larvae.

Value in Pest Management: Rove betles likely provide natural control for some pest species. They are not sold for biological control of insect pests in North America.

Origin and Distribution:  Native, throughout North America (

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