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

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Ptiliidae

Overview

Ptiliidae are relatively abundant in decaying organic matter, including leaf litter, compost heaps, rotten logs, tree holes and dung, where their major food source appears to be fungal spores and hyphae. Some species live within the pore tubes of bracket fungi (Polyporaceae), where they feed on developing spores.

Description

Minute beetles with filamentous antennae clothed with whorls of long hairs and narrow hind wings fringed with very long hairs. Body usually somewhat flattened and pubescent; elytra entire or truncate, exposing 1--3 abdominal tergites; tarsi almost always 2-segmented and may appear to be 1-segmented. Hind coxae transverse and contiguous to oval and widely separated, and coxal plates strongly developed to absent. Species of Cochliarion and Rodwayia differ from other Australian ptiliids in having the body more convex and compact, the hind wings and eyes absent, the head more deflexed and the antennae shorter. Larvae elongate and lightly sclerotised, with short, articulated urogomphi (rarely absent); pupa obtect.

Distribution

Actinopteryx fucicola occurs in decaying seaweed on sea coasts throughout the world. Rodwayia occur in the nests of ants; they are largely ignored by their hosts and appear to feed on larval exudations. [Dybas 1976; Seevers and Dybas 1943.]

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