What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Enicocephalids, or unique headed bugs, are a poorly studied group in Australia, with only 5 of the 180 recorded species occuring here. Their distinctive pronotum shape distinguishes them readily from most other Heteroptera.

The Enicocepahlids are generally cryptic, being collected from soil, debris and leaf litter. However, mating swarms containing thousands of individuals are known to occur at or after dusk. After mating females have been recorded as shedding their wings, possibly to improve mobility in the cramped confines of the soil and litter.

A range of prey items have been recorded for the Enicocephalidae. Flies, springtails, spiders, millipedes and the pupae and larvae of ants have all been successfully fed to Enicocephalidae in captivity.


Of the 5 subfamilies currently recognised only the Enicocephalinae occur in Australia. Within this subfamily the tribe Enicocphalini encompasses the Australian genera Oncylocotis (3 spp.) and the monotypic genera Henschiella and Usingeriella . There are, however, many undescribed species.

  • Enicocephalidae (Heteroptera)