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

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Silvanidae Kirby, 1837


Silvanids are common in leaf litter and under bark, where they feed primarily on dead plant material and fungi. Several species, including Ahasverus advena , Cryptamorpha desjardinsi , Monanus concinnulus , Nausibius clavicornis , Oryzaephilus mercator and O. surinamensis , are cosmopolitan pests of stored foodstuffs.


Elongate, parallel-sided, more or less flattened, pubescent beetles with prognathous head, abruptly constricted posteriorly to form temples behind eyes, and pronotum often with projecting front angles and/or dentate or crenulate lateral margins. Fore coxal cavities visibly closed behind and tarsi with setose lobes below, except in the Uleiotini, which have a very long antennal scape (more than 5 times length of pedicel).

Larvae elongate, parallel-sided and lightly sclerotised, with broad head, long antennae and legs, reduced 9th abdominal segment, bearing a pair of slender urogomphi in most Uleiotinae, and well-developed and terminal 10th segment.


The Australian Uleiotinae include Dendrophagus australis and several species of Uleiota , which occur under bark, a new genus (related to the New Zealand Brontopriscus ) from North Qld, a few Psammoecus mainly from Qld, and a large number of Cryptamorpha (many of them wingless), which are common litter inhabitants, especially in drier areas. The Silvaninae include most of the introduced pests plus an endemic fauna including genera such as Silvanus , Silvanolomus , Monanus , and Austronausibius . The genera Nepharis and Nepharinus include symphiles in the nests of Iridomyrmex and Crematogaster . [Crowson 1973a; Halstead 1973, 1980; Pal et al. 1984; Thomas 1984.]

  • Silvanus sp.