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

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Oedemeridae Latreille, 1810


Oedemerid larvae feed in dead wood, and they are most common in that which has undergone white rot. Adults occur in flowers or on foliage and may be beaten from vegetation by day or collected at lights at night; at least some species feed on pollen, which may be stored in the large crop, but fungal spores and even pieces of cuticle are sometimes found in the gut. Some oedemerids are known to contain cantharidin, and several are aposematically coloured and form part of mimicry complexes (Moore and Brown 1989).


Elongate, parallel-sided and soft-bodied beetles, often bicoloured and clothed with short, decumbent hairs. Head usually somewhat produced anteriorly; antennal insertions located dorsally in front of eyes; lateral pronotal carinae absent; apical segment of the maxillary palp more or less expanded and truncate (excavate in some males); penultimate tarsal segment lobed beneath.

Larvae elongate, subcylindrical and very lightly sclerotised, with large, often slightly asymmetrical head and asperity-bearing ampullae on T1--T2 or T1--T3 and S2--S4 or S3--S4. Antennae well developed; epicranial stem long and frontal arms V-shaped; mandibles large and asymmetrical, with transversely ridged molae; ligula well-developed with prehypopharyngeal lobe between it and hypopharynx.


The subfamily Nacerdinae is represented in Australia by the cosmopolitan Nacerdes melanura , whose larvae damage wharves and other marine structures, and by Agasma semicrudum , whose nearest relatives are species of the Holarctic genus Ditylus . The remaining species belong to the Asclerini (Oedemerinae). Pseudolycus are black and orange and mimic Metriorrhynchus and certain other Lycidae. [L. Hudson 1975; Lea 1917a, b; S vihla 1986.]

  • Cpidita pachymera