Checkered Beetles-Cleridae

The Cleridae are nimble, elongate beetles covered with long thin bristles. Most species are predaceous as both adults and larvae, and most species are brightly colored. The elytra are usually banded or checkered in pastel colors and are especially attractive because of their thick pubescence, or short body hairs. These beetles are found in most parts of the world, although the majority of them occur in the tropics.

Necrobfa. Members of the genus Necrobia are usually seen on carrion. They do not feed on the decaying animal, but find it an excellent site from which to prey on insects that do. They also feed on the larvae of skin beetles (Dermestes) and sometimes attack preserved meats.

Thanasimus formharus is perhaps the best known and most beneficial member of this family. An extremely active, cylindrical beetle, T. formicarus feeds on wood-boring insects, especially the destructive bark beetles of the family Scolytidae, and can be credited with saving many endangered forests. T. formicarus follows its prey into their tunnels, attacking what it finds. It then deposits its eggs in the tunnels; the emerging pink larvae, also voracious predators, finish the job.

Trichodes.  Beetles of the genus Trichodes are notable in that their larvae develop in the hives of bees. The eggs are somehow attached to bees who carry them into the hive. The adults are predaceous, feeding on insects found in flowers. In some species, both the adults and larvae frequently feed on pollen.

Trichodes homi, a species found in Arizona and southern California, is unusual for its tricolored elytra; most other members of this genus display only two colors.


INDEX : Insects   January 11, 2016 02:26:16 PM