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

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Melandryid larvae occur in dead wood or in the more durable fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycetes. Adults are often active on surfaces at night, and those of the Orchesiini are capable of jumping.


Elongate beetles, usually more or less wedge-shaped (tapering posteriorly and more convex ventrally than dorsally), with vestiture of fine, decumbent hairs. Head deflexed, not abruptly constricted behind eyes and deeply inserted into prothorax; eyes vertical and at least slightly emarginate; antennal insertions exposed; maxillary palps variously modified, often with apical segment strongly expanded and securiform or cultriform; lateral pronotal carinae incomplete anteriorly; mid and hind tibiae often with a number of short combs, which may also be present at the apices of the tibiae and tarsal segments.

Larvae elongate, usually subcylindrical and lightly sclerotised except for urogomphi, which may be minute. Head with long epicranial stem and coincident endocarina; antennae very short; stemmata never well developed; mandibles stout and symmetrical; malae simple and obtuse.


All Australian species belong to the Melandryinae and most are currently placed in the genus Orchesia , which is probably a composite of several genera. Other common genera are Callidircaea and Talayra . The most unusual species is Mystes planatus , which has strongly flattened adults and very long, slender larvae which resemble those of Lymexylidae. [Champion 1916a, b; Crowson 1966b.]