Watch where you step – glorious bugs abound!
The pinacate beetle, also known as the stink beetle, is a species of darkling beetle in the genus Eleodes endemic to the Sonoran Desert and adjacent regions of the U.S. Southwest and Mexico, usually the species Eleodes obscurus. The name is also loosely applied to a number of closely related species of Eleodes, of Western Mexico and the Western United States (including but not limited to the Great Basin), many of which are not easily distinguished from each other. The name pinacate is Mexican Spanish, derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec) name for the insect, pinacatl, which translates as “black beetle”.
The pinacate beetle is noted for its defensive tactic of standing on its head and squirting a noxious spray. This has earned it the additional names of clown bug and stink bug, names also applied to other unrelated insects.