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

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The family includes one genus, Phycosecis , with species occurring among sand dunes along the coastlines of New Zealand and Australia.

Larvae and adults are scavengers and have been found on dead birds and fishes. Crowson (1964b) found insect parts in the larval gut of the New Zealand P. limbata , but P. litoralis has been reared through an entire generation in a closed container with fish, lettuce and bran, and larvae were usually clustered beneath pieces of rotting fish.


Ovate, convex beetles, with prognathous head, partly covered by semicircular projection of anterior edge of pronotum, and dorsal vestiture of flattened, whitish scales. Anterior pronotal angles strongly produced forward; metasternum very short; hind wings absent.

Larvae very similar to those of Melyridae, except for short epicranial stem and presence of 6 stemmata.


In Australia, P. hilli occurs in North Qld, P. ammophila is known from W.A., and P. litoralis is distributed from Dongara, W.A., along the coast of S.A. and Vic., north at least to Sydney, N.S.W. [Crowson 1964b.]