Common Name: “Ironclad” beetle
Scientific Name: Zopherus nodulosus haldemani Horn
Description: The striking adult beetle is 5/8 to 1 3/16 inch long and the body is adorned by a black and creamy white blotchy color pattern. Its exoskeleton (integument) is extremely hard. Other species of the genus Zopherus, which contains 19 species, are known from western Texas. This beetle family (Zopheridae) is closely related to Tenebrionidae.
Life Cycle: Development progresses through egg, larvae, pupal and adult stages. Little is known about the biology of this species.
Habitat and Food Source(s): Mouthparts are for chewing. Larval and pupal stage of this insect have been collected from the dead wood of pecan, which apparently serves as the developmental site for this species. Adult beetles have been collected from trunks of oak trees in the College Station, Texas area. Adult beetles are thought to feed on lichens growing on trunks of these trees. This beetle can be found clinging onto the trunks of trees or outer walls of homes in wooded areas. They are extremely difficult to kill in a killing jar and several hours may be needed for success.
Pest Status: Found in the central portion of Texas and south into Mexico; not known to damage live plants and is medically harmless. True ironclad beetle species occur in California.