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Family Pyrochroidae - Fire-Colored Beetles

508735 - Pedilus lugubris Fire-colored Beetle - larva - Dendroides canadensis Black beetle - Pedilus elegans Black headed, red and bronze fuzzy beetle. - Pedilus inconspicuus Pedilus? - Pedilus joanae - female Larva ? - Dendroides canadensis Pedilus terminalis - male - female   - Schizotus cervicalis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea (Fungus, Bark, Darkling and Blister Beetles)
Family Pyrochroidae (Fire-Colored Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
revision in(1)
Explanation of Names
Pyrochroidae Latreille 1807
from Greek pyros 'fire' + chroma 'color' (reference to the bright color of some species; common name is a verbatim translation)
Numbers
50 described spp. in 7 genera in our area(2)(3) (several undescribed spp. in Pedilus), ~170 spp. in 30 genera worldwide, arranged into 5 subfamilies (4 represented in NA)(4)
Size
adults 4-20 mm; larvae to 25 mm
Identification
Adults often black with some red ("fire color"), head with distinctive neck. Antennae of males often pectinate to flabellate.
Larva (Pyrochroinae): long (to 25 mm) yellow body, reddish-brown at both ends; abdomen seemingly 9-segmented, the first 7 segments lobate and wider than long, the 8th segment longer than wide, the 9th segment bearing two urogomphi (claw-like "spines"); 2 long hairs project laterally from each abdominal segment; body surface covered with small bumps or "warts".
Range
worldwide; the two major subfamilies (Pedilinae & Pyrochroinae) are largely temperate in distribution(2)
Habitat
Larvae of Pyrochroinae under moist bark of dead trees, adults often at lights; Pedilus larvae in soil or decaying plant material, adults may be common of shrubs/flowers; Cononotus in xeric habitats under rocks and dry dead vegetation(2)
Food
Larvae of Pyrochroinae apparently fungivorous rather than predaceous or xylophagous, although may become cannibalistic at high population densities(2)
Remarks
Adults of many genera, notably Pedilus, are attracted to cantharidin(2) (males seek out blister beetles, climb onto them and lick off the cantharidin the blister beetles exude and use the blistering agent to impress a female of their own species who then mates with them, whereupon most of the cantharidin is transfered to the female in the form of a sperm packet. The eggs the female subsequently lays are coated with cantharidin to protect them from being eaten before they hatch. -Jim McClarin, 26.iii.2006)
See Also
larvae of Cucujidae have shorter urogomphi and 8th abdominal segment not longer than wide
Works Cited
1.A revision of the family Pyrochroidae (Coleoptera: Heteromera) for North America based on the larvae, pupae, and adults
Young D.K. 1975. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 11: 1-39.
2.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
3.A catalog of Coleoptera of America north of Mexico. Family: Pyrochroidae
Young D.K. 1983. USDA Agriculture handbook no. 529-120. x + 8 pp.
4.Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Ślipiński S.A., Leschen R.A.B., Lawrence J.F. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 203–208.