Animal Species:Bess Beetle

There are around 30 different species of bess beetles in Australia, and about five occur in the Sydney area.

Bess Beetle

David Gray © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Bess Beetle

Alternative Name/s

Peg Beetles, Betsy Beetles, Patent Leather Beetles, Horn Beetles

Number of species

30

Size range

2 cm - 4 cm

Distribution

Bess beetles are found in eastern Australia.

Habitat

Bess beetles are commonly found in rotting logs, usually in a small colony made up of a number of adults and larvae.

Feeding and Diet

The adult bess beetles prepare the food for the larvae by chewing the wood into a soft pulp, which the larvae can eat.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Adults are commonly attracted to lights. When handled or threatened, bess beetles rub parts of their body together to produce a rasping sound. Most bess beetle species have tiny mites attached to them that are probably parasitic.

Classification

Family:
Passalidae
Order:
Coleoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags beetles, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,