Water Scavenger Beetles

Only 3 species occur in this country, 2 in the East and 1 in California. They are found in roots of grasses growing near water. They are very rare and their habits are not well known.

FEATHER-WINGED BEETLES Family Ptiliidae Not illus. Identification: Antennae clubbed, each segment with a whorl of long hair. HW with a fringe of long hair. Oval, often pubescent. 0.25-1.0 mm.

Certain members of this group are not only the smallest beetles known but are among the smallest insects; some species are smaller than many Protozoa. Ptiliids occur in rotten wood, fungus-covered logs, vegetable detritus, and dung. They feed chiefly on fungus spores.

MAMMAL-NEST BEETLES Family Leptinidae Not illus. Identification: Brownish, oval, flattened. Eyes reduced or absent. Antennae clubbed. FW with dense golden pubescence. 2.0-2.5 mm.

The few members of this group occurring in the U.S. are found in nests and fur of mice, shrews, moles, and beavers; 1 species has also been found in nests of social Hymenoptera. They probably feed on the eggs and young of mites and other small arthropods.


Identification: Shape distinctive: oval to nearly spherical, strongly convex, often capable of rolling into a ball. Black or brown, shiny. Antennae clubbed. 1.5-6.5 mm.

Leiodids occur under the bark of dead trees, in rotten wood, decaying vegetable matter, and rotting fungi. Many species roll into a ball and play dead when disturbed.

SMALL CARRION BEETLES Family Leptodiridae Identification: Shape distinctive: elongate-oval, head partly visible dorsally. Antennae clubbed, 8th segment much smaller than 7th or 9th. Body with rather dense flattened pubescence. Thorax and FW usually with cross ridges. 2-5 mm.

The more common members of this small family feed on carrion. Others are found in fungi, ant nests, or are associated with mammals, and apparently are scavengers.

CARRION BEETLES Family Silphidae See also PL 5

Identification: FW broad posteriorly, loosely covering abdomen, or short, truncate, and exposing 1-3 segments. Black, often with yellow, orange, or red markings. Body usually soft, flattened. Antennae clubbed, last 2 or 3 segments pubescent. 1.5-35.0 (usually over 10.0) mm.

These beetles are commonly found on carrion and decaying

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