Bark Beetle - Cucujidae


Chester, United Kingdom

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FUJI S20 pro

Taken on an Island near Ketchican Alaska

The Cucujidae, “flat bark beetles,” are a family of distinctively flat beetles found worldwide (except Africa and Antarctica) under the bark of dead trees. The family has received considerable taxonomic attention in recent years and now consists of 59 species distributed in four genera.

Dorsal habitus of Palaestes abruptus
Included genera are: Cucujus Fabricius, with 14 species and subspecies distributed throughout the Holarctic; Palaestes Perty, 8 spp., Neotropical; Pediacus Shuckard, 31 spp., mostly Holarctic, but extending south into the Neotropics and to Australia; and Platisus Erichson, 5 spp. in Australia and New Zealand.

Dorsal habitus of Platisus coloniarius.
Cucujidae have elongate parallel-side bodies ranging from 6 to 25 mm in length. Most are brown colored, while others are black, reddish or yellow. Heads are triangular in shape, with filiform to moniliform antennae of 11 antennomeres, and large mandibles. The pronotum is narrower than the head.

Dorsal habitus of Pediacus subglaber
Both larvae and adults live under bark, otherwise little is known of their habits. Larvae appear to be predacious

The family was formerly larger, with subfamilies Laemophloeinae, Silvaninae, and Passandrinae (and some tenebrionoid genera mixed in), but recent revisions have raised the subfamilies to family status.

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Artwork Comments

  • Bunny Clarke
  • Trena S
  • Ann  Warrenton
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