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

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Scydmaenids occur in a variety of habitats, such as leaf litter, rotten wood, moss, tree holes, sawdust piles and ant nests. They are considered to be predators, and at least one cephenniine larva was observed feeding on oribatid mites, which it captured with the aid of an adhesive device (Schuster 1966) probably consisting of labial discs, such as those described by Newton (1989).


Small to minute beetles usually distinguished by their 'waisted' body form, with distinct constriction at junction of prothorax and elytra and usually another at base of head, so that neck is formed. Most species reddish and pubescent, with coarsely facetted eyes, large maxillary palps with reduced apical segment, approximate fore coxae and distant hind coxae, no lateral pronotal carinae and clavate femora. Species of Cephenniini are exceptional in lacking the neck and waist, but in most respects they are typical scydmaenids.

Larvae elongate to ovate and setose, with large, club-like antennae and usually without or with very small urogomphi.


The family is represented in Australia by four tribes of the subfamily Scydmaeninae: Cephenniini ( Coatesia , Neseuthia ), Syndicini ( Syndicus ), Scydmaenini ( Scydmaenus , Palaeoscydmaenus ), and Euconnini (several genera including Euconnus , Horaeomorphus and Stenichnus ). [Franz 1975.]

  • Scymaenid beetle 2mm