When walking on a trail, in gravel, or along a wash in Red Rock Canyon, keep your eyes out for darkling beetles (family Tenebrionidae, genus Eleodes). You’ll often find these small one to two inch insects walking around looking for decaying material to eat. If you get too close, darkling beetles will stick their heads in the ground and aim their rears towards you; they release a nasty smell from their hinds that scares away many predators (similar to a skunk) when threatened. You’ve probably heard these beetles referred to as “stink bugs.”

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