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

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Cerylonids are commonly found under bark of rotten logs and in decaying leaf litter, where they probably feed on fungal hyphae and spores, and possibly slime mould plasmodium. M. ovalis occurs in stored food which has been contaminated with moulds or yeasts; it is not considered to be a pest. [Halstead 1968; Pal and Lawrence 1986; Sen Gupta and Crowson 1973; Slipinski 1988.]


Broadly ovate to narrowly elongate, slightly to strongly flattened beetles, red to brown to black in colour (occasionally bicoloured) and subglabrous or sparsely clothed with erect hairs. Antennal club almost always 1- or 2-segmented and compact (3-segmented in Protoxestus australicus ); hind coxae almost always widely separated; femoral lines often present on metasternum and/or ventrite 1. In Ceryloninae, maxillary palps aciculate, with reduced, narrow and acute apical segment and inflated penultimate one; frontoclypeal suture absent; mandibles and maxillae narrow and often styliform; and 5th ventrite with finely crenulate edge. In some cerylonines (e.g. Cautomus mirabilis ) the labrum is acute and forms part of a sucking tube (Besuchet 1972).

Larvae elongate to broadly ovate and disc-like ( Murmidius ) with lateral tergal processes on all thoracic and most abdominal segments and usually with granulate or tuberculate dorsal surface clothed with variously modified setae. The mouth-parts may be mandibulate, but in Ceryloninae they are styliform and either endognathous or enclosed within a sucking tube.


The Australian species belong to four subfamilies: Euxestinae ( Protoxestus , Euxestus and Hypodacnella ), Metaceryloninae ( Micruloma ), Murmidiinae (the introduced Murmidius ovalis ), and Ceryloninae ( Australiorylon , Cautomus , Cerylonopsis , Lawrencella , Mychocerus , Philothermus ).