Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 26 - Tenebrionidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) - Biology

Watt, JC 1992. Tenebrionidae (Insecta: Coleoptera): catalogue of types and keys to taxa. Fauna of New Zealand 26, 70 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 26. ISBN 0-477-02639-7 (print), ). Published 13 Jul 1992


Most adult and 1arval tenebrionids feed on dead and decaying vegetable matter. Many - e.g., the Adeliini and Archeoglenes species - inhabit leaf litter, and may frequently be found under logs. Others, such as Menimus, inhabit the dead fruiting bodies of large woody fungi. Some (Actizeta and Chaerodes) live in sandy beaches, others (Mimopeus) inhabit dry friable soil. Several genera (Artystona, Pseudhelops, Partystona, Cerodolus) feed on lichens at night. Rotten wood is an important habitat for much of the New Zealand tenebrionid fauna (Uloma, Aphtora, Ulomotypus, Zolodinus, Menimus), and Mimopeus opaculus lives in powdery, dry rotten wood. Introduced cosmopolitan species of the genera Tenebrio, Tribolium, Gnatocerus, and Alphilobius infest stored food products. Lorelus lives in dead tissue of tree ferns and dead flower stalks of speargrass (Aciphylla). Several genera occur under loose bark of standing dead trees, e.g., Demtrius, Amarygmus, Chrysopeplus (the latter also on tree trunks at night).

Other genera occur under stones, e.g., Gonocephalum, Mimopeus, Omedes, Zomedes, and tribe Adeliini. Tanychilus and Xylochus occur on flowers in hot sunshine. During dry weather, adults and larvae of soil-inhabiting forms such as Mimopeus will feed on living plant tissue, but their normal food is dead plant tissue.

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