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

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Known larvae occur under the bark of rotten logs.


Elongate, moderately convex to somewhat flattened beetles, black, dark brown, or bicoloured with various combinations of red and black, and usually clothed with decumbent and erect hairs (subglabrous in Synercticus ). Eyes prominent and not emarginate; head gradually narrowed behind eyes (not abruptly constricted); maxillary palps relatively small, usually expanded and truncate apically; lateral pronotal carinae absent or indistinct; tarsal segments either simple or with penultimate and antepenultimate segments lobed beneath.

Larvae elongate, parallel-sided, and more or less uniformly yellow ( Synercticus ) or with head and T9 darker in colour. Head broad; antennae relatively long; legs widely separated; T9 with pair of complex urogomphi (forked or with accessory processes) and usually additional armature; S9 with basal row of asperities, either slightly curved (Pilipalpinae) or strongly, doubly curved ( Synercticus ).


As presently defined, the Pythidae in Australia include three distinct groups: Synercticus , which appears to be most closely related to the Holarctic Pythinae, Anaplopus tuberculatus (Anaplopinae), which is tentatively placed in this family, and the Pilipalpinae, primarily a Southern Hemisphere group with several genera in Chile, Madagascar and New Zealand and one in Japan. Australian pilipalpines are placed in Morpholycus , Paromarteon , Temnopalpus , and Techmessa . [Lawrence 1987b; Watt 1987.]