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Horned Passalus (Bess Beetle)

Odontotaenius disjunctus


One horn on head. Big mandibles. Last three segments of antennae form a lamellate club. Slow-moving and clumsy (when I put it on its back, it couldn't roll over and get up!), but very strong. Yellow-orange hairs covering middle legs, pronotum, and antennae. It was not happy about being picked up. Made a crazy squeaking sound and thrashed about from side to side while I was holding it. This is stridulation which the beetles make by rubbing their elytra (wings) against the abdomen. Has a reddish-orange mite near its right eye (see fourth photo) Cluster of smaller, paler mites on underside of thorax, near anterior coxae (see second photo).


Rotting wood in log pile. Found walking along in the surrounding leaf litter.


This was an exciting find, even though they're common. Awesome beetle!

No species ID suggestions

Georgia, USA

Lat: 33.97, Long: -83.57

Spotted on Mar 25, 2012
Submitted on Mar 26, 2012

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