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Family Tenebrionidae - Darkling Beetles

Eleodes sp. (mating) - Stenomorpha convexicollis - male - female Beetle - Tenebrio molitor Mating Eleodes - Eleodes Melansatus - Melanastus Tenebrionidae - ? - Stenomorpha small beetle - Paratenetus exutus punctuated blackish Beetle with long slender antennae, bulging eyes, rounded pronotum edges, and striated elytra - Helops Tenebrionid - Centronopus calcaratus
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 Tenebrionidae (Darkling Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Includes Alleculidae (Comb-clawed Beetles) and Lagriidae (Long-jointed Beetles)
This site follows the classification of Bouchard et al. (2005)(1)
Please do not reorder subfamilies and tribes!
Explanation of Names
Tenebrionidae Latreille 1802
one of the largest insect families, with ~1200 spp. in ~190 genera of 7 subfamilies in our area and almost 20,000 spp. in ~2300 genera of 9 subfam. worldwide(2)(3)(4); ca. 225 spp. east of the Mississippi River(5) and almost 5 times as many in the West(6) [~450 in CA alone(7)]
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
Family Tenebrionidae
Tribe Pedinini Subtribe Platynotina Alaetrinus • Subtribe Leichenina Leichenum
1-80 mm(2); in our area, usually 2.5-20 mm(5)
One of the most diverse animal families.
Usually dark, a few colored and/or patterned, sometimes with red. Body shape variable--elongated to more oval, usually flattened. Many large species are flightless and have fused elytra. Characteristics of Tenebrionidae:
first abdominal sternite entire, not divided by hind coxae (unlike Carabidae)
eyes usually notched
antennae variable [thread-like (filiform), bead-like (moniliform), or clubbed], typically 11-segmented, with insertion concealed from above
tarsal formula 5-5-4:

Larvae are cylindrical and hard-bodied, called "false wireworms" because they resemble click beetle larvae
worldwide and throughout NA, much more diverse in the west
Checklists: Maritime Canada(9); MD(10), OH(11), WI(12)
Typically found under stones, decaying logs, bark, on bracket fungi, or on the ground. A few species diurnal, found in open. Many species are adapted to desert conditions.
Many are scavengers of plant material as both adults and larvae. Some attracted to carrion, dead insects, dung. Some feed on fungus, often found under bark. Some are pests of stored grain and of insect collections.
Many species have chemical defenses
Works Cited
1.Synoptic classification of the World Tenebrionidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) with a review of family group names
Bouchard, P., J. F. Lawrence, A. E. Davies, & A. F. Newton. 2005. Annales Zoologici 55(4): 499–530.
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.Smith A.D. tenebrioniDBase
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.
5.The Darkling Beetles of Florida and Eastern United States
6.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
7.The Tenebrionidae of California: a time sensitive snapshot assessment
Aalbu R.L., Smith A.D. 2014. ZooKeys 415: 9-22.
8.Phylogenetic revision of the North American Asidini (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
Smith A.D. 2013. Systematic Entomology 38: 585–614.
9.The Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada
Majka C.G., Bouchard P., Bousquet Y. 2008. The Canadian Entomologist 140: 690-713.
10.A checklist of the darkling beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) of Maryland...
W.E. Steiner, Jr. 2008. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington 15: 133-140.
11.Ohio's tenebrionid fauna
Triplehorn C. 1993. The Ohio Coleopterist 2(2).
12.Tenebrionidae of Wisconsin