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

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Adult lycids are usually found on plant surfaces or in blossoms, where they probably feed on nectar or not at all. They are distasteful to birds and form part of mimicry complexes which also include beetles in the families Buprestidae, Meloidae, Pythidae, Oedemeridae, Cerambycidae and Belidae, as well as moths, flies and wasps. Lycid larvae occur beneath bark or in leaf litter and soil, and they are thought to feed on soft, decaying plant material or possibly slime mould plasmodia or yeasts.


Elongate beetles with soft integument, flattened form, narrow, dehiscent elytra, which usually have longitudinal ridges or rows of window punctures, and aposematic colouration involving various combinations of reddish yellow and black. Head triangular or rostrate and partly covered by pronotum; antennae long, thick and approximate or contiguous; eyes well separated; maxillary palps expanded apically; pronotum usually with surface divided by ridges into cell-like compartments; femora and tibiae flattened; tarsal segments, especially 3 and 4, lobed beneath.

Larvae elongate and somewhat flattened, usually heavily sclerotised and sometimes tuberculate. Head small with non-opposable, blade-like mandibles, which are longitudinally divided into 2 parts; segment 10 small and ventrally situated.


The commonest Australian genera are Metriorrhynchus , Trichalus and Xylobanus . [Crowson 1972b; Lea 1909.]

  • Metriorrhynchus sp.

  • small lycid beetle