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

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Erotylidae are mycophagous and most of their larvae feed within the larger fruiting bodies of mushrooms and bracket fungi (Hymenomycetes: Agaricales and Aphyllophorales); adults often feed on the surfaces of fruiting bodies, but some may also feed internally.


Ovate to elongate, slightly flattened beetles, glabrous, except for Cnecosa and some Thallis species, and brightly patterned with red or yellow and black or occasionally metallic blue. Antennal club flattened in some larger species; apical palp segments often strongly expanded and securiform; lateral pronotal margins well developed simple (or rarely undulate); prosternal process broad; femoral lines often on prosternum, metasternum or first ventrite; epipleura complete; tarsi lobed and setose beneath; ventrite 1 only slightly longer than 2.

Larvae elongate and subcylindrical to slightly flattened, almost always with granulate upper surface and usually with last several tergites or at least T8 and T9 complexly tuberculate. Head more or less declined, sometimes with long median endocarina; large mandibles sometimes with basal mola replaced by setose, membranous lobe; mala truncate. The larva of Microsternus is unusual in having a median spine on T9.


Most Australian erotylids belong to the Dacninae and are placed in the genera Thallis , Dacne (introduced with dried mushrooms), Episcaphula , Microsternus , Cnecosa and Hoplepiscapha ; there is some doubt, however, about the placement of the last 2 genera (Lawrence 1988a). In addition, Hedista (Triplacinae) and Encaustes and Micrencaustes (Encaustinae) occur in North Qld. Encaustes hercules is the largest of our species. [Lea 1922b; Sen Gupta 1969.]

  • Cathartocryptus sp.