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

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Adults are often found on flowers and foliage, and when disturbed they usually tumble about by rapidly moving the hind legs. Larvae usually bore through rotten wood or mine the stems of various herbs, but a few occur in fungus fruiting bodies.


Strongly wedge-shaped beetles, characteristically humped, laterally compressed and posteriorly tapered, with the last sclerotised tergite (7) produced, forming acute process extending well beyond elytral apices. Body clothed with fine, decumbent hairs; head strongly deflexed, concealing prosternum, fore and mid coxae, and abruptly constricted behind eyes to form narrow neck, which is concealed by abutment of head against pronotum; lateral pronotal carinae are complete; hind coxae very large; tibiae and tarsal segments often bear combs of spines; tarsal claws serrate or pectinate, each with bristle-like appendage beneath.

Larvae elongate, subcylindrical and very lightly sclerotised, with globular head, long epicranial stem and coincident endocarina, robust mandibles, short legs, which are indistinctly 3- or 4-segmented, without claws, and T9 often with pair of minute urogomphi or median terminal spine.


Australian species belong to several genera, including Tomoxoida , Mordella , Austromordella , Hoshihananomia , Glipostenoda and Mordellistena . [Ermisch 1962; Lea 1917b.]

  • Mordellidae (fish beetle)