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

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Zopheridae Solier, 1834


Adults and larvae of Ulodinae are known to feed on the soft fruiting bodies of certain Basidiomycetes, such as Piptoporus (Polyporaceae) and Pleurotus (Tricholomataceae). Adult Zopherosis may feed externally on fungi, and those of Cotulades and Latometus may feed on lichens at night; larvae of the last two have been collected in white, rotten wood. Adults and larvae of Meryx rugosa have been collected under the bark of fungus-infested logs. [Doyen and Lawrence 1979.]


Elongate and parallel-sided, or more oblong with elytra much broader at base than prothorax, and usually clothed with decumbent and/or erect setae, bristles or scales (rarely subglabrous). Upper surfaces often tuberculate or ridged; vestiture may form a pattern; antennal insertions usually exposed; antennal club usually weak and sometimes not clearly visible because of bristles or scales clothing most antennal segments; prosternal process  more or less abruptly expanded apically, closing or almost closing coxal cavities from behind; elytral epipleura complete; tarsi not lobed. Meryx differ from other zopherids in having only 4 segments in the fore and mid tarsi, and Zopherosis georgei is much larger (more than 25 mm) than the remainder of the group.

Larvae elongate, subcylindrical to slightly flattened, and usually lightly sclerotised except for head and abdominal apex (in Meryx there are pigmented plates on all thoracic and visible abdominal segments); T9 and occasionally other terga may bear tubercles of various sizes or sclerotised ridges. Epicranial stem short to moderately long; mandibles more or less symmetrical with reduced mola; cardines are usually divided internally; mala obtuse and cleft; frontoclypeal suture absent, except in Dipsaconia , which has short, diverging hypostomal rods.


The family is represented in Australia by the Zopherinae ( Zopherosis ), Ulodinae ( Ulodes , Dipsaconia , Ganyme , Phaennis , Notocerastes ), Parahelopinae ( Melytra ) and Merycinae ( Meryx ), and also by by the genera Latometus , Docalis and Cotulades , which are tentatively placed in this family but appear to have more in common with some Colydiidae (Sarrotriini).

  • Zopherosis georgei

  • Pseudentestes sp.