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White Sands National Park Insects

The darkling beetle is the most visible insect on the monument, leaving distinct tracks as it scurries about the dunes. This species has the habit of elevating its abdomen about 45 degrees and can emit a fine spray of foul-smelling liquid when threatened. Most predators leave it alone after the first encounter.

One species of grasshopper has developed a very light colored exoskeleton and blends in with the white of the sands. This insect is usually not seen until it is disturbed enough to fly.

The scorpions that are found here can inflict a painful sting, but are not deadly. They are nocturnal and are seldom encountered by visitors. Because they are florescent, they may be seen by using a portable blacklight around plant litter, especially in the marginal dunes.


: 94+ species, 91+ families, 12 orders. Includes beetles, white grasshoppers and crickets and other interesting species


Spiders, mites, and ticks.

Scorpions, three species (none deadly)

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