Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Ant scarab beetle

Eastern Washington


Wildlife viewing and recreation areas of Eastern Washington State

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Related information
Species Cremastocheilus crinitus - BugGuide
Cremastochelilus Type Database - Harvard University

Related books
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America

Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Picture of a ant scarab beetle or Cremastocheilus crinitus
Ant scarab beetle or Cremastocheilus crinitus

The ant scarab beetle or Cremastocheilus has a mysterious association with ants. Maybe their larva infest ant nests to gorge on ant larvae or maybe they offer some service that the ants reciprocate with safe living space, like cleaning ant excrement lining tunnels and chambers. What is known is that ant scarabs overwinter in ant nests and emerge in spring to mate, will play dead and let ants carry the rigid beetle into their nests. Ant scarabs are also built like armored tanks and are perfectly shaped for quick digging.

The species Cremastocheilus crinitus reportedly inhabits deserty areas from Arizona to Eastern Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.


The myrmecophile (ant-loving) Cremastocheilus crinitus
The myrmecophile (ant-loving) Cremastocheilus crinitus

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