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

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Anthicids are usually found in decaying vegetation and leaf litter, and some may be common in beach drift or on sand dunes in arid regions. They are thought to be general scavengers, and some exotic forms have been reported to feed on egg masses or fly puparia.


Elongate beetles, which are black, brown, yellow or red, sometimes bicoloured, and almost always clothed with decumbent and/or erect hairs. Antennal club, if present, very weak; except in Lagrioida , head abruptly constricted behind eyes to form neck and antennal insertions exposed; eyes not or only slightly emarginate; apical segment of maxillary palp slightly to strongly expanded apically and often securiform or cultriform; pronotum without lateral carinae, almost always constricted at middle, near base, or at base and apex; mesepisterna meet or almost meet at midline; penultimate tarsal segment lobed beneath; and first 2 ventrites free, except in Lagrioida .

Larvae elongate, parallel-sided, and lightly sclerotised or, in Lemodes , with dark and light pattern dorsally. Antennal sensorium usually broad and dome-like; with single pair of well-developed stemmata, except in Lagrioida (which has 5); with median endocarina in Anthicinae; mandibular mola usually reduced and sub-basal; mala usually simple (cleft in Lagrioida ); S9 usually simple (with 2 basal teeth in Lagrioida ); urogomphi, if present, often with accessory mesal processes near base; segment 10 more or less transverse and posteroventrally oriented.


Lagrioida australis (Lagrioidinae) is widely distributed on beaches along the east coast, and related species occur in New Zealand and Chile. The genus differs from all other anthicids in a number of adult and larval features, and it may be misplaced in this family. Macratria (Macratriinae) is a worldwide genus with several species extending into Australia. Eurygeniinae are well represented with 6 genera, 2 of which ( Ictistygna and Egestriomima ) differ from other members of the family in having closed fore coxal cavities. Little is known of eurygeniine biology, and the only known larva is of a Nearctic species. Lemodinae are an endemic group which may be related to the Holarctic Ischaliinae (often placed in Pyrochroidae). Lemodes and the related Lagriomorpha from Papua New Guinea are noted for their spectacular red or red and blue colour. Lemodes larvae were found in cells in wood, where they had been deposited by a predatory wasp; the bicoloured pattern on the dorsal surface of the larva suggests that it feeds on surfaces. The related Trichananca are common in leaf litter, and their larvae are distinguished by lacking urogomphi. The largest group is the Anthicinae, which also includes the smallest species. Among these are species of Mecynotarsus , which have the pronotum produced into a horn-like process over the head. Other genera include Anthicus , Formicomus and Tomoderus . Anthicus floralis is a cosmopolitan species which occurs in foodstuffs. [Abdullah 1969; Armstrong 1948; Lawrence 1977, 1982; Lea 1922a; D. K. Young 1978, 1985a.]

  • Anthicus sp.