Beach rove beetle Click to enlarge image
Beach rove beetle, genus Cafius Image: Andrew Donnelly
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Genus
    Cafius
    Family
    Staphylinidae
    Super Family
    Staphylinoidea
    Suborder
    Polyphaga
    Order
    Coleoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Number of Species
    2,500
  • Size Range
    1 cm

Introduction

Over 2,500 species of rove beetle live in Australia.

Identification

Rove beetles are recognised by their short wing cases, allowing them to curl their abdomen up in order to project poisons from their tail end.

Habitat

Rove beetles are often found in intertidal areas.

Distribution

Rove beetles are found in coastal areas of Australia.

Feeding and diet

Beach rove beetles are specialised predators of fly maggots in rotting sea urchins, muttonbirds and seaweed. Other rove beetles also feed on small invertebrates and fungi.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Larger rove beetles are aggressive when handled and repeatedly try to bite the handler. However, most are small and live their lives hidden in leaf litter or under bark