The rove beetles are 2-20 mm long, and are characterized by the short elytra. Usually there are 2-6 abdominal segments exposed behind the short wings. Most species are narrow, and parallel-sided, and with the head projecting forward. Most of the common species are found on carrion, butsome are in fungi and a variety of other habitats. In Tomsk Territory, Southwest Siberia, 58 staphylinid species were collected in the suburbs and 35 species from town parks and gardens; the highest diversity of species occurred in the parks and green areas of housing estates. The most common species were Philonthus decorus and P. rotundicollis.

Hairy rove beetle, Creophilus maxillosus Adults are 12-21 mm long and the body is shiny black. Abdominal segments 2,3, and sometimes 4 are densely covered with yellow setae, and there is a similar yellow band across the short elytra. This species occurs on dead animals, and is common on exposed corpses. It feeds on the maggots of carrion flies. It is widely distributed throughout Europe and North America.

Pictured rove beetle, Thinopinuspictus Adults are 15-18 mm long and wingless. The body is brownish yellow, with black curved and spotted markings on the thorax and the short elytra; mandibles are large and toothed. Larvae are marked similar to the adults, butthoracic segments are primarily black. Adults are abundant and very active on sandy ocean beaches at dusk just above the water line. This species is predaceous on insects and other arthropods. It occurs along the Pacific Coast of central and southern California.

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