Stenus sp.

Shore Rove Beetle

Stenus sp. photo, Shore Rove Beetle

Family: Staphylinidae

Subfamily: Steninae

Length: 3-5 mm


Members of this large genus live along stream margins, where they prey upon springtails, midges, and other small creatures.

Stephen Marshall (2006) reports that if one of these beetles ends up in the water, it releases a hydrophobic chemical from the tip of its abdomen, causing it to skate quickly across the water's surface and presumably back to land.

These tiny beetles are formidible hunters of even smaller prey. Their labrum is chemically adhesive, and the beetle can shoot it out using "blood pressure" (haemolymph pressure) to capture fast-fleeing insects.

Insects of West Virginia