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Family Lymexylidae

not a darkling beetle beetle - Hylecoetus lugubris - male beetle - Hylecoetus lugubris - female Long, brown beetle - Melittomma sericeum Lymexylidae, Chestnut timberworm - Melittomma sericeum stash - Melittomma sericeum stash - Melittomma sericeum Melittomma sericeum
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Lymexyloidea
Family Lymexylidae
Explanation of Names
Lymexylidae Fleming 1821
2 spp. in 2 genera of 2 subfamilies in our area (+one questionable)(1), 70 spp. in 10 genera of 4 subfamilies total(2)
worldwide, more diverse in the southern hemisphere; in our area, e. US (+a questionable CA record)(1)
Wood borers: in NA, hardwoods(1), in Eurasia also common on conifers
Hosts in NA: poplar, oak, and chestnut(1)
Life Cycle
As the female lays eggs, each are coated with Endomyces, a fungal partner that helps digest the wood.(3)
To keep optimal fungal growth conditions within the chambers, the larvae clean the debris with sweeps of their long, spiny tails.(3)
An example of this tail
Works Cited
1.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.
2.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.
3.Hidden Company that Trees Keep: Life from Treetops to Root Tips
James B. Nardi. 2023. Princeton University Press.