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Diabolical Ironclad Beetle (Nosoderma diabolicum)

Diabolical ironclad beetle of the Zopheridae family is indigenous to the deserts region of Western America. It lives up to its name, being as durable as iron, sustaining even if run down by a car, or squashed by foot. It owes its hardy nature to the arrangement of its wing covers or elytra that contribute towards their increased lifespan.

Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Zopheridae
  • Genus: Nosoderma
  • Scientific name: Nosoderma diabolicum

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 25.4 mm (1 inch)

Color: It has a grayish-brown body, with a black armor-like structure enveloping its body, making it resemble a rock.

Other Characteristic Features: These flat-bodied beetles are nearly indestructible because of their thick and hard elytra, interlocked or fused.

Nosoderma diabolicum

Larva

Though not much detail is available about the larva’s identification, it is known to inhabit the dead woods of trees like pecan and oak.

Pupa

Like the larva, no information is found about the pupa, but the pupation phase occurs in the deadwood.

Egg

The female lays eggs near the bark of the trees.

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The larvae and adults mostly live and feed on the fungi growing in the barks. However, there has been no report of any damage caused by these beetles to the threes where they dwell.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespanAbout two years
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionDesert regions in the western parts of North America
HabitatMostly woodlands and deserts
Common PredatorsBirds, bugs
Seasons active from 
Host PlantsOak, pecan
Diet of larvae and adultsFungi  growing in the bark of the trees
Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

Did You Know

  • The toughening mechanism of these beetles has been explained through several studies by scientists and entomologists like this one. Their tough body makes them withstand forces that could be as much as 39,000 times their body weight.
Diabolical Ironclad Beetle Picture

Image Source: media.nature.com, bugguide.net, i.pinimg.com, elharo.com

Diabolical ironclad beetle of the Zopheridae family is indigenous to the deserts region of Western America. It lives up to its name, being as durable as iron, sustaining even if run down by a car, or squashed by foot. It owes its hardy nature to the arrangement of its wing covers or elytra that contribute towards their increased lifespan.

Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 25.4 mm (1 inch)

Color: It has a grayish-brown body, with a black armor-like structure enveloping its body, making it resemble a rock.

Other Characteristic Features: These flat-bodied beetles are nearly indestructible because of their thick and hard elytra, interlocked or fused.

Nosoderma diabolicum

Larva

Though not much detail is available about the larva’s identification, it is known to inhabit the dead woods of trees like pecan and oak.

Pupa

Like the larva, no information is found about the pupa, but the pupation phase occurs in the deadwood.

Egg

The female lays eggs near the bark of the trees.

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The larvae and adults mostly live and feed on the fungi growing in the barks. However, there has been no report of any damage caused by these beetles to the threes where they dwell.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespanAbout two years
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionDesert regions in the western parts of North America
HabitatMostly woodlands and deserts
Common PredatorsBirds, bugs
Seasons active from 
Host PlantsOak, pecan
Diet of larvae and adultsFungi  growing in the bark of the trees
Diabolical Ironclad Beetle

Did You Know

  • The toughening mechanism of these beetles has been explained through several studies by scientists and entomologists like this one. Their tough body makes them withstand forces that could be as much as 39,000 times their body weight.
Diabolical Ironclad Beetle Picture

Image Source: media.nature.com, bugguide.net, i.pinimg.com, elharo.com

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