Length: 11-21 mm
These beetles boast an golden pubescence. Adults overwinter under the bark of dead trees or logs, typically with others of their species.
Studies of the antennae of Melanotus beetles using a scanning electron microscope have shown some key differences between the antennae of males and females. The males have a large area specialized in odor detection which the females lack. Males use this part of their antennae to home in on females pheromones, and they can locate the female at a distance of up to 200 meters. Once the female scent is detected, the male takes to the air to locate the potential mate.
Below: overwintering Melanotus sp. under the bark of a fallen tree.
Insects of West Virginia