Ant-mimic rove beetles?

Scythemantis

Arachnobaron
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Joined
Feb 27, 2005
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So my bosses today sent me to retrieve some dead files that they keep in the basement of a neighboring bank, and I had to use the restroom. An old, creepy restroom that almost never gets used. Toilet worked fine, but when I go to wash my hands, the sink is lined with algae and crawling with what appear to be a couple of ants...but on closer inspection they were/are definitely a type of rove beetle.

I put four of them in a paper cup, but two of them disappeared on me (I think they were blown out of it on the way back to the car). I can't get a photo to come out at all, but they look almost exactly like black ants with a flat, upturned abdomen.

Very cute little guys; they crawl in tight chains head-to-tail. First they vibrate when they meet one another, then they act like a bunch of dogs sniffing one another's butts until they work out who will lead.

Would that be mating behavior or ant-mimic behavior?
 

nepenthes

Arachnobaron
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Dec 16, 2006
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561
Its hard for me to say, what part of the country are you in?


I know that their is a species off ant that doesn't use pheromones for finding food and things (mainly for identification) and will trail along each other constantly touching.

BUT it sounds like a Creamatogaster species if it was an ant.. Hard to tell.

Im sure you probably already know, but if the Antenna form an L on each side and their is a waist segment separating the Thorax and Abdomen.

Other wise i dont know any thing about Any Rove Beatles. Ive never heard of ants shaking like how you described though.
 

Scythemantis

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Feb 27, 2005
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489
Thanks but I already knew they were rove beetles :) Antenna are curved and the body is a straight, flattened cylinder. They also curl their tails up when threatened, which is the most immediate identifier for the family.

Many species are adapted to live in the nests of ants, termites or bees either as beneficial partners or parasitic moochers. Some are even found in the fur of mammals where they prey upon ticks.

I live in Maryland, the East Coast.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Jul 4, 2005
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Sounds similar to the Rove Beetles I found in one of my cages. I put them in my other cages because I noticed they ate the white mites that were getting on the veggies and fruits in some cages. After I noticed the Roves, I did a little reading about them and read they are considered beneficial insects in gardens since they eat red spider mites and other pests. I haven't seen these follow each other though. A good chance they are a diff species than the ones I have since there are so many species. Interesting the ones you saw were following each other. I wonder if they are nesting all together somewhere, but I've never heard of that. A lot of things I haven't heard of though:D . If it gets too dry, the ones I have just fly to a different cage. Hard to imagine they could fly when I first saw them. The wings must fold up really small. They kind of hover when they fly... like a helicopter. The ones in my cages are only around 1.5 mm and black.
 
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