rove beetle


: any of a family (Staphylinidae) of often predatory active beetles having a long body and very short elytra beneath which the wings are folded transversely

called also staphylinid

Illustration of rove beetle

Illustration of rove beetle

Examples of rove beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In appearance, rove beetles are small and drab insects that eat critters in leaf litter. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, 27 Sep. 2023 But the rove beetles are much, much more diverse than the ants. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, 27 Sep. 2023 The tiny rove beetle, no bigger than a grain of rice, looked dangerously exposed on the bottom of the glass dish in Joe Parker’s laboratory — and that was even before its fellow prisoner, an ant three times as big, advanced on it. Quanta Magazine, 16 Aug. 2021 When the rove beetle lifts its abdomen and bends apart the segments, the reservoir opens and squirts the mixture at ants or other predators. Quanta Magazine, 16 Aug. 2021 For protection, many rove beetle lineages independently evolved diverse defense glands that spray noxious chemicals from different points on their abdomen. Quanta Magazine, 16 Aug. 2021 One of Andrew’s colleagues estimates that over 3 trillion insects from one family alone, the rove beetles, may have perished so far. Matt Simon, Wired, 8 Jan. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rove beetle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from rove entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rove beetle was circa 1771

Dictionary Entries Near rove beetle

Cite this Entry

“Rove beetle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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