This darkling beetle is a true survivor in the harsh deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is most active at dawn and dusk when temperatures are more forgiving. The beetle opportunistically scavenges on any available plant or animal matter. Unlike many of its relatives, it cannot emit a defensive odor against predators. Instead, it flips over and "plays dead," causing predators that hunt live prey, like spiders, to often lose interest.
The female lays eggs in whatever humid substrate she can find. The grubs (larvae) feed on decaying matter, pupate in the soil, and eventually emerge as adults. If they reach adulthood, these hardy insects can live for 8 years or more.
Each June box contains:
- Beetle top view pin
- "Playing dead" side view pin
- Dark & light beetles sticker sheet
- "Playing dead" vinyl sticker
- Top view iron-on patch
- Fact magnet
- "Playing dead" wooden stamp & blue inks set