Bess beetle

Bess beetle

Overview
Passalidae is a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 of beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

s known variously as "bessbugs", "bess beetles", "betsy beetles" or "horned passalus beetles". Nearly all of the 500-odd species are tropical; species found in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 are notable for their size, ranging from 20–43 mm, for having a single "horn" on the head, and for a form of social behavior
Social behavior
In physics, physiology and sociology, social behavior is behavior directed towards society, or taking place between, members of the same species. Behavior such as predation which involves members of different species is not social...

 unusual among beetles.

Bodies elongate-cylindrical and black overall; ventral surfaces may be covered with yellow setae.
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Encyclopedia
Passalidae is a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 of beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

s known variously as "bessbugs", "bess beetles", "betsy beetles" or "horned passalus beetles". Nearly all of the 500-odd species are tropical; species found in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 are notable for their size, ranging from 20–43 mm, for having a single "horn" on the head, and for a form of social behavior
Social behavior
In physics, physiology and sociology, social behavior is behavior directed towards society, or taking place between, members of the same species. Behavior such as predation which involves members of different species is not social...

 unusual among beetles.

Bodies elongate-cylindrical and black overall; ventral surfaces may be covered with yellow setae. The head is narrower than the thorax, with antennae
Antenna (biology)
Antennae in biology have historically been paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods. More recently, the term has also been applied to cilium structures present in most cell types of eukaryotes....

 consisting of 10 antennomeres with a three-segment club. The elytra are elongate with parallel sides, and heavily striated.

They are subsocial
Eusociality
Eusociality is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification....

 (brood caring) beetles living in groups in rotting logs. They care for their young by preparing food for them and helping the larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e construct the pupal case
Pupa
A pupa is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through four life stages; embryo, larva, pupa and imago...

. Both adults and larvae must consume adult feces which have been further digested by microflora
Flora (microbiology)
In microbiology, flora refers to the collective bacteria and other microorganisms in an ecosystem . While the term microflora is widely used, it is technically a misnomer since the word root flora pertains to the kingdom plantae...

 for a time; an arrangement that might be described as a sort of external rumen
Rumen
The rumen, also known as a paunch, forms the larger part of the reticulorumen, which is the first chamber in the alimentary canal of ruminant animals. It serves as the primary site for microbial fermentation of ingested feed...

.

In addition, they are also able to produce fourteen acoustical signals
Animal communication
Animal communication is any behavior on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal. The study of animal communication, is sometimes called Zoosemiotics has played an important part in the...

, more than many vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s. Adults produce the sounds by rubbing the upper surface of the abdomen
Abdomen
In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

 against the hind wings
Insect wing
Insects are the only group of invertebrates known to have evolved flight. Insects possess some remarkable flight characteristics and abilities, still far superior to attempts by humans to replicate their capabilities. Even our understanding of the aerodynamics of flexible, flapping wings and how...

. The larvae produce the sounds by rubbing the third leg against a striated area on the coxa
Coxa
Coxa may refer to:* Theta Leonis, a star* Nickname of Brazilian soccer team Coritiba Foot Ball Club* Hip, below the lateral side of the abdomen* The short most-proximal base jointed segment of the arthropod leg...

 of the second leg.

While the taxonomy
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 of Nearctic
Nearctic
The Nearctic is one of the eight terrestrial ecozones dividing the Earth's land surface.The Nearctic ecozone covers most of North America, including Greenland and the highlands of Mexico...

 species is well-known (four species in the US, and 90 in Mexico), bess beetles in other parts of the world need further study.

Of North American species, Odontotaenius disjunctus (synonym: Popilius disjunctus) is the familiar bessbug found throughout the eastern US and Canada, while O. floridanus has only been found in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 on sand hills that used to be islands when Florida was flooded thousands of years ago. Ptichopus angulatus was recently discovered near the border of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 in Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

. Its habitat is south to Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and it is commonly associated with the detritus chambers of leafcutter ant
Leafcutter ant
Leafcutter ants, a non-generic name, are any of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants belonging to the two genera Atta and Acromyrmex.These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all endemic to South, Central America, Mexico and parts of the southern United States.The Acromyrmex and Atta ants have...

 nests (Atta spp.). Two other species were reported from Arizona at the beginning of the 20th century, but have not been seen there since that time; they may have been brought from Mexico by a train hauling firewood.

Selected species

  • Genus Aceraius
Aceraius grandis
Aceraius grandis
Aceraius grandis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Ceracupes
Ceracupes arrowi
Ceracupes arrowi
Ceracupes arrowi is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Chondrocephalus
Chondrocephalus debilis
Chondrocephalus debilis
Chondrocephalus debilis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Chondrocephalus granulifrons
Chondrocephalus granulifrons
Chondrocephalus granulifrons is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Cylindrocaulus
Cylindrocaulus patalis
Cylindrocaulus patalis
Cylindrocaulus patalis is a Betsy beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Heliscus
Heliscus tropicus
Heliscus tropicus
Heliscus tropicus is a Betsy beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Leptaulax
Leptaulax bicolor
Leptaulax bicolor
Leptaulax bicolor is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Odontotaenius
Odontotaenius disjunctus (patent-leather beetle)
Odontotaenius floridanus
Odontotaenius floridanus
Odontotaenius floridanus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Odontotaenius striatopunctatus
Odontotaenius striatopunctatus
Odontotaenius striatopunctatus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Ogyges
Ogyges laevior
Ogyges laevior
Ogyges championi is a beetle of the Family Passalidae known from the cloud forests of the mountains of Sierra de las Minas and Sierra de los Cuchumatanes in Guatemala....

  • Genus Oileus
Oileus rimator
Oileus rimator
Oileus rimator is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Passalus
Passalus affinis
Passalus affinis
Passalus affinis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus caelatus
Passalus caelatus
Passalus caelatus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus elfriedae
Passalus elfriedae
Passalus elfriedae is a South American Betsy beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus inops
Passalus inops
Passalus inops is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus interruptus
Passalus interruptus
Passalus interruptus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus interstitialis
Passalus interstitialis
Passalus interstitialis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus jansoni
Passalus jansoni
Passalus jansoni is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus latifrons
Passalus latifrons
Passalus latifrons is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus pugionifer
Passalus pugionifer
Passalus pugionifer is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus punctatostriatus
Passalus punctatostriatus
Passalus punctatostriatus is a Betsy beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus punctiger
Passalus punctiger
Passalus punctiger is a Betsy beetle of the family Passalidae....

Passalus spiniger
Passalus spiniger
Passalus spiniger is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Passalus unicornis
Passalus unicornis
Passalus unicornis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Paxillus
    Paxillus
    Paxillus is a genus of mushrooms of which most are known to be poisonous or inedible. The widespread genus contains 15 species. Species include Paxillus involutus and Paxillus vernalis...

Paxillus leachi
Paxillus leachi
Paxillus leachi is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Paxillus pentataphylloides
Paxillus pentataphylloides
Paxillus pentataphylloides is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Pentalobus
Pentalobus barbatus
Pentalobus barbatus
Pentalobus barbatus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Petrejoides
Petrejoides orizabae
Petrejoides orizabae
Petrejoides orizabae is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Popilius
    Popilius
    Popilius may refer to:*Gaius Popillius Laenas*Publius Popilius Laenas, builder of the Via Popilia*Popilius a genus of beetles in the Family Passalidae...

Popilius eclipticus
Popilius eclipticus
Popilius eclipticus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Proculus
Proculus burmeisteri
Proculus burmeisteri
Proculus burmeisteri is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Proculus mniszechi
Proculus mniszechi
Proculus mniszechi is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Ptichopus
Ptichopus angulatus
Ptichopus angulatus
Ptichopus angulatus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Publius
Publius agassizi
Publius agassizi
Publius agassizi is a beetle of the Family Passalidae, named in honor of Louis Agassiz....

  • Genus Spasalus
Spasalus crenatus
Spasalus crenatus
Spasalus crenatus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Spurius
    Spurius
    Spurius is a small genus of passalid beetles from Mesoamerica....

Spurius bicornis
Spurius bicornis
Spurius bicornis is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Verres
Verres corticicola
Verres corticicola
Verres corticicola is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

Verres hageni
Verres hageni
Verres hageni is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....

  • Genus Veturius
Veturius transversus
Veturius transversus
Veturius transversus is a beetle of the Family Passalidae....


External links

  • Odontotaenius disjunctus on the UF
    University of Florida
    The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

     / IFAS
    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

    Featured Creatures Web site