Giant Darklings

Tenebrionidae, Tenebrioninae, Coelometopini, Mylaris (formerly Nyctobates).

Mylaris (fig. 9.2c) are among the giants of the darkling beetle family, some spectacular species being nearly 5 centimeters long. They are elongate with a semispherical prothorax that is decidedly narrower than the elytra. The latter are parallel sided anteriorly, tapering posteriorly in a gradual arc, and are strongly ridged or punctate longitudinally. The legs are long and slender, and the antennae are beadlike.

Members of this genus dwell in humid lowland forests, seeking out drier micro-habitats, such as clearings, dry logs, and the like, where the adults are usually seen perambulating during the daytime. Near Iquitos, Peru, I have observed the latter feeding on bracket fungi.

Tauroceras, with diverging horns on the head of the males (fig. 9.2b), are related to Mylaris and are also very large tenebrio-nids, ranging over most of Latin America. Larvae, probably belonging to this genus, were described by Spilman (1963). They are also very large, straight, cylindrical, and heavily sclerotized, especially the ninth abdominal segment. His specimens from Jamaica were found in rotting wood. Ohaus (1900: 227) records larvae and pupae of both genera from rotten wood in Brazil.


Ohaus, F. 1900. Bericht ├╝ber eine entomologische Reise nach Central Brasilien. Stettinger Entomol. Zeit. 61: 164-273. Spilman, T. J. 1963. On larvae, probably Tauroceras, from the Neotropics (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Coleop. Bull. 17: 58-64.

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