This week, the question was: These beetles were found under a decaying log in the woods. What are they
These are bess beetles, also called horned passalus beetles (Odontotaenius disjunctus). These are beneficial beetles that feed on decaying wood, helping it to break down further, which explains why they were found under a decaying log. When disturbed, bess beetles make a low squeaking sound through a process known as stridulation. This is the same process that crickets and katydids use to chirp, in which two body parts are rubbed together. To learn more, keep reading here.
This week’s question is from Justin Ballew, Extension Fruit and Vegetable Research Associate.