Melyridae

Melyridae (common name: soft-wing flower beetles) are a family of beetles of the superfamily Cleroidea.

Melyridae
Anthocomus rufus side
Anthocomus rufus
Scientific classification
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Melyridae

Leach, 1815
Synonyms

Description

Most are elongate-oval, soft-bodied beetles 10 mm long or less. Many are brightly patterned in black and brown, yellow, or red. Some melyrids (Malachiinae) have peculiar orange structures along the sides of the abdomen, which may be everted and saclike or withdrawn into the body and inconspicuous. Some melyrids have the two basal antennomeres greatly enlarged. Most adults and larvae are predaceous, but many are common on flowers. The most common North American species belong to the genus Collops (Malachiinae); C. quadrimaculatus is reddish, with two bluish black spots on each elytron.[1]

Four New Guinean species of Choresine (the more abundant C. pulchra, the less abundant C. semiopaca and the two infrequent C. rugiceps and C. sp. A, the latter as yet unnamed) have been found to contain batrachotoxins, which may account for the toxicity of some birds such as the Blue-capped ifrit which eat them. The hypothesis that Phyllobates frogs in South America obtain batrachotoxins from related genera of the Melyridae (Choresine does not occur there) has not been tested due to the difficulty of field-work in Colombia.[2]

Distribution

The family Melyridae contains 520 species in 58 genera in North America. In Europe 16 genera are present; however, the largest diversity is in tropical rainforests.

Subfamilies

Dasytes plumbeus (Dasytinae)

List of selected genera

Notes

  1. ^ Triplehorn, C. and Johnson, N.: "Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects, 7th Ed.", page 429. Brooks/Cole, 2005.
  2. ^ John P. Dumbacher, Avit Wako, Scott R. Derrickson, Allan Samuelson, Thomas F. Spande, John W. Daly (2004): Melyrid beetles (Choresine): A putative source for the batrachotoxin alkaloids found in poison-dart frogs and toxic passerine birds. The National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 101 no. 45, 15857-15860
Aplocnemus

Aplocnemus is an uncommon genus of beetles native to Europe and the British isles belonging to the family Melyridae.

Axinotarsus

Axinotarsus is a genus of beetles of the subfamily Malachiinae.

Carphurini

Carphurini is a tribe of soft-wing flower beetles (beetles of the family Melyridae) in the subfamily Malachiinae.

Choresine

Choresine is a genus of beetles that belong to the Melyridae family. This genus of beetle is known to have high levels of batrachotoxins and is believed to be a possible toxin source for Pitohui and Blue-capped ifrit birds in New Guinea. Collections from Herowana in the Eastern Highlands Province that tested positive for batrachotoxins included the more abundant C. pulchra, the less abundant C. semiopaca and the two infrequent C. rugiceps and C. sp. A, the latter as yet unnamed. The locals advise against allowing these beetles to touch the eyes or sweaty face as a severe burning sensation can result. These species are all described as having metallic blue-violaceous elytra and a yellow and blackish pronotum. The name "nanisani" is used by villagers in Herowana equally for this group of insects, the numbing, tingling, burning sensation they cause and the Blue-capped ifrit.

The hypothesis that Phyllobates frogs in South America obtain batrachotoxins from related genera of the Melyridae (Choresine does not occur there) has not been tested due to the difficulty of field-work in Colombia.

Clanoptilus elegans

Clanoptilus elegans is a species of beetles belonging to the family Melyridae, the soft-winged flower beetles. It is found in Europe.

Cleroidea

Cleroidea is a small superfamily of beetles. Most of the members of the group are somewhat slender, often with fairly soft, flexible elytra, and typically hairy or scaly.

It contains about 10,000 species in the families:

Acanthocnemidae Crowson 1964

†Boleopsidae Kirejtshuk & Nel, 2013

Chaetosomatidae Crowson 1952

Cleridae Latreille 1802 (checkered beetles)

Mauroniscidae Majer, 1995

Melyridae Leach 1815 (soft-winged flower beetles) (includes Malachiidae and Dasytidae)

Metaxinidae Kolibáč, 2004

Phloiophilidae Kiesenwetter 1863

Phycosecidae Crowson 1952

Prionoceridae Lacordaire 1857

Thanerocleridae Chapin, 1924

Trogossitidae Latreille 1802 (bark-gnawing beetles)Most species belong to the families Cleridae and Melyridae, followed by Trogossitidae.

Collops (beetle)

Collops is a genus of soft-winged flower beetles in the family Melyridae. There are at least 20 described species in Collops.

Dasytes

Dasytes is a genus of beetles. It is sometimes placed in the Melyridae family, subfamily Dasytinae, while others place it in family Dasytidae.

D. plumbeus is a very common beetle on flowers in Germany, where it feeds on pollen. It is about 3 to 5 mm long.

Dasytinae

Dasytinae is a subfamily of soft-wing flower beetles, beetles of the family Melyridae.

Endeodes

Endeodes is a genus of soft-winged flower beetles in the family Melyridae. There are about six described species in Endeodes.

Malachiinae

Malachiinae is a subfamily of soft-wing flower beetles, beetles of the family Melyridae and having a global distribution.

Malachiini

Malachiini is a tribe of soft-winged flower beetles in the family Melyridae. There are about 15 genera and at least 70 described species in Malachiini.

Malachius

Malachius is a genus of soft-winged flower beetles belonging to the family Melyridae subfamily Malachiinae. Malachius species have been reported from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and in former Yugoslavia.

Malachius aeneus

Malachius aeneus, the scarlet malachite beetle, is a species of soft-winged flower beetle in the family Melyridae.

Malachius bipustulatus

Malachius bipustulatus, the malachite beetle, is a species of soft-winged flower beetles belonging to the family Melyridae, subfamily Malachiinae.

The body is 5–7 millimetres (0.20–0.28 in) long, the head and pronotum are brownish, while elytrae are shining metallic green with a bright red spot at the end. Along the sides of the abdomen this species has a peculiar structure with orange poaches.

These beetles mainly inhabit meadows at low altitudes. During the day they stay on herbs and flowers, including flowers of garden plants, mainly on Apiaceae, Asteraceae and Rosaceae species, where they feed on pollen, nectar and small insects.

In case of necessity, this beetle can release a smell that deters predators. The males attract females producing special secretions from its antennae.

Malachius bipustulatus is an insect with a complete metamorphism, (or holometabolism), with four life stages (egg, larva, pupa and imago or adult). The pupal stage is a period of rest, when inner and outer bodies change.

The larvae and the adults largely differ in physique and lifestyle. The larvae usually live under bark, in old wood or on the ground in grass roots, hunting small insects, larvae and slugs.

Mauroniscidae

Mauroniscidae is a family of bark-gnawing, checkered and soft-winged flower beetles in the order Coleoptera. There are at least four genera and about six described species in Mauroniscidae.

Pollen beetle

Pollen beetle is an informal term for any species of beetle associated intimately with suitably pollen-rich species of flowers. Typically such a beetle is adapted to the pollen as a major part of its diet. Species in at least sixteen families of the order Coleoptera could be counted as pollen beetles, and "pollen beetle" also is a common name for some such species.

Prionoceridae

Prionoceridae is a small family of beetles, in the suborder Polyphaga. The form a group within the cleroid beetles and were formerly treated as a subfamily Prionocerinae within the family Melyridae. Very little is known of their life history but most species are pollen feeders as adults and occur in large numbers during spring or the host flowering season. Larvae are predatory or feed on decomposing wood.

Psilothrix

Psilothrix is a genus of soft-winged flower beetles belonging to the family Melyridae, subfamily Dasytinae.

Extant Coleoptera families

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