Fun Hister Beetle Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Hister Beetle Facts For Kids

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Look closely around your house and you might spot a beetle, but did you know that these beetles can fake death if they feel threatened? This explains its name 'Hister beetle' as 'hister' means 'actor' in Latin. This bug is also known as the clown beetle as its legs look a little like a clown's flat shoes.

Hister beetles are found worldwide. Interestingly, from what we know from fossil studies, these insects or their clan crawled on the earth over 99 million years ago! They are found in different shapes and sizes and exhibit different characteristics depending on their habitat, which can be carrion, dung, fungi, or grass. The Hister beetle is a predator and an insect with biological importance in pest control as it infests livestock and controls the troublesome housefly population. As these insects are scavengers, they are also helpful for forensic studies.

If you like this article, find out about other beetles such as the longhorn beetle and the dung beetle here on Kidadl.

Fun Hister Beetle Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fly eggs, anthropods, and insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Just a few ounces

How long are they?

0.02 - 0.4 in (0.05-1 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black or greenish-black

Skin Type

Hard exoskeleton

What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Grass, And Fungi, Carrion


North America, And Australia, Asia









Hister Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Hister beetle?

Hister beetles are predacious insects that occupy various niches. They have a distinguishing feature of a hard front pair of wings that act as wing cases.

What class of animal does an Hister beetle belong to?

Hister beetles (Carcinops pumilio) belong to the Insecta class of the Histeridae family. They are of the Coleoptera order and have a distinguishing feature called elytra, which are commonly known as beetle wing cases.

How many Hister beetles are there in the world?

Though an exact count of the number of Hister beetles is currently unknown, Hister beetles are found in abundance in the world.

Where does a Hister beetle live?

The Hister beetle is found in various habitats throughout the world as they occupy different niches. They are found in almost every continent globally, including North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe, and not native to any particular place.

What is a Hister beetle's habitat?

Hister beetles live in sandy areas, under tree barks, in burrows, and among ant or termite colonies. They also live in dead vegetation and carrion. They change their location depending on the availability of the prey and are typically also found among poultry and near livestock feeding on pests.

Who do Hister beetles live with?

Hister beetles live together and can live in harmony with certain ants and termites' in their nests. These tiny predators are also an essential part of poultry habitats and have biological importance here as they naturally help to keep a check on tiny insects and flies in the habitat.

How long does a Hister beetle live?

The lifespan of Hister beetles is between two and three years. The egg stage takes around 40 days before they finish the development cycle and reach the adult stage.

How do they reproduce?

Hister beetles reproduce by sexual reproduction. A female lays oval-shaped elongated eggs and then each beetle egg goes through biological holometabolous development, in which the egg develops into larvae and pupal stages before becoming an adult. The egg stage lasts for around 10 days, the larval stage for around 15 days, and the pupal stage around 18 days. They are sexually mature after about 10 days, and a female lays around 40 eggs almost every day throughout her life.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Hister beetles is Least Concern since they a species that can be seen in abundance, particularly wherever there is livestock as they feed on their dung.

Hister Beetle Fun Facts

What do Hister beetles look like?

Hister beetles are round insects with bright black elytra. Though some variations in size, shape, and color are observed, Hister beetles are mostly a round or oval-shaped black, shiny species. They are also sometimes found in a greenish-black color. With legs like those of a fly and a tiny head with comparatively large eyes and antennae, they are always on the move for food.

The Hister beetle is a real scavenger.

* Please note that this is an image of a green beetle, not a Hister beetle specifically. If you have an image of a Hister beetle, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

They are shiny black insects that are fun to watch when they play dead. They do this when touched as they feel threatened.

How do they communicate?

Hister beetles communicate using chemical cues and body vibrations. They also make sounds by rubbing their legs or scratching their mouths on their bodies or other surfaces.

How big is a Hister beetle?

Hister beetles are tiny insects, and the average size of this minuscule species is between 0.02 - 0.4 in (0.05-1 cm) in length. They are even smaller than litter beetles.

How fast can Hister beetles move?

The fastest recorded speed is 3.4 mph (5.5 kph). They are faster when traveling on their hind legs.

How much does a Hister beetle weigh?

Hister beetles are tiny insects and weigh just a few ounces.

What are their male and female names of the species?

They do not have a specific name based on their gender. A male is simply called a male Hister beetle, and a female is called a female Hister beetle.

What would you call a baby Hister beetle?

Females lay eggs that develop into larvae. Larvae then turn into pupae before an adult beetle emerges.

What do they eat?

Hister beetles are known for eating fly eggs. They are a predatory species and survive on the larvae of other insects and can exhibit cannibalism too. Hister beetles also feed on carrion, dung, and fungi. They stay under carcasses during the day and emerge during the night to eat maggots and other carcass-eating insects.

Are they harmful?

A Hister beetle is a small harmless insect and it doesn't bite. However, some people can be squeamish about them still! They play a vital role in poultry farming as they naturally keep fly and other small insect populations under check.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are not kept as pets. Instead, they are accepted and used in poultry farms as a form of pest control. In this way, they are helpful and positively affect humans.

Did you know...

A single Hister beetle can consume over 100 fly eggs and maggots per day!

They play a vital role in forensics. Lots of Hister beetles are reared for forensic entomologists who study these species and other insects to look at their predacious nature of feeding.

What attracts Hister beetles?

They are carnivorous, and we can also say that they are scavengers. Because of this scavenging nature, they are most often found under the dead bodies of animals and other creatures. These beetles are very adaptive and united and they will follow their prey wherever they are found in large numbers to satisfy their hunger. It is the presence of prey that attracts these insects. They can eat almost equal to their own body weight within few hours! They are particularly commonly found among poultry and other livestock and are incredible pest controllers, especially of flies.

Having your own Hister beetle

It is not common to keep a Hister beetle as a pet. In fact, most people try to remove Hister beetles if they appear in their homes. The best way to get rid of a Hister beetle infestation is by deep cleaning the area and spraying it with beetle spray. This will hopefully take care of the Hister beetle infestation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects, including the giant African millipede, or the atlas beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our hister beetle coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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