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Family Tenebrionidae - Darkling Beetles

Another Eleodes - Eleodes hispilabris Darkling beetle - Xylopinus aenescens Tenebrionid? - Eusattus Tenebrionid, I presume - Tenebrio molitor Merinus laevis (Olivier) - Merinus laevis Platydema erythrocerum? - Platydema erythrocerum Erotylidae?  - Platydema ruficornis Asbolus sp. - Schizillus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea
Family Tenebrionidae (Darkling Beetles)
Other Common Names
Larvae are called false wireworms.(1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Includes Alleculidae (Comb-clawed Beetles) and Lagriidae (Long-jointed Beetles)
NA fauna catalogued in(2); taxonomic changes proposed there are not yet fully implemented in the Guide
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(3)(4)(5); ca. 225 spp. east of the Mississippi River(6) and almost 5 times as many in the West(2) [~450 in CA alone(7)]
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
Family Tenebrionidae
Tribe Pedinini • Subtribe Platynotina Asiopus • Subtribe Leichenina Leichenum
1-80 mm(3)
One of the most diverse animal families. Usually dark, a few colored and/or patterned, sometimes with red. Body shape variable. Many large species are flightless and have fused elytra. 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 have chemical defenses
See Also
Key to subfamilies (13)
Works Cited
1.Hidden Company that Trees Keep: Life from Treetops to Root Tips
James B. Nardi. 2023. Princeton University Press.
2.Catalogue of Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera) of North America
Yves Bousquet, Donald B. Thomas, Patrice Bouchard, Aaron D. Smith, Rolf L. Aalbu, M. Andrew Johnston, Warren E. Steiner Jr. 2018. ZooKeys 728: 1-455.
3.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.
4.Smith A.D. tenebrioniDBase
5.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.
6.The Darkling Beetles of Florida and Eastern United States
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
13.A revised subfamily classification of Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera)
J. C. Watt. 1974. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 1:4, 381-452.