Tiny black beetle

2021 October 10

I found this one tangled in my arm hairs after I got back from a walk in the woods on August 16, 2021. It was extremely tiny, small enough that to the naked eye it was little more than a black dot – maybe 2 millimeters long.


It had antennae with clubbed tips, and broad front legs with spikes, both of which are normally characteristics of scarab beetles.


However, most of the scarab beetles that one sees around are good-sized, chunky things, not something that is small enough to be mistaken for a small seed or a piece of dirt.



This particular one is very good at pretending to have no appendages. The legs nestle down pretty snugly to the underside. And yes, it was really that black, which is why I couldn’t get any better contrast than this.


So, beyond “scarab beetle”, I think this might be one of the Aphodiine Dung Beetles, which tend to be fairly small and dark-to-black. There are a lot of species of these, which vary quite a bit in size and color, but are broadly similar to this one.

The closest match appears to be the “Underfoot Tiny Sand-Loving Scarab”, Geopsammodius subpedalis, except that (a) they are almost 4 mm long, and this one is more like half that and much blacker, and (b) that species apparently only lives in Florida, which is emphatically Not Here. There is a very good chance that nobody has yet bothered to photograph this beetle and put it online before.

One Response
  1. Kathleen Bradley permalink
    October 10, 2021

    Pretty beetle!

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