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Melyridae
Anthocomus rufus side.jpg
Anthocomus rufus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Cleroidea
Family: Melyridae
Leach, 1815
Synonyms

Melyridae (common name: soft-wing flower beetles) are a family of beetles of the superfamily Cleroidea.

Contents

DescriptionEdit

Most are elongate-oval, soft-bodied beetles 10 mm long or less. Many are brightly patterned in black and brown, yellow, or red. Some melyrids (Malachiinae) have peculiar orange structures along the sides of the abdomen, which may be everted and saclike or withdrawn into the body and inconspicuous. Some melyrids have the two basal antennomeres greatly enlarged. Most adults and larvae are predaceous, but many are common on flowers. The most common North American species belong to the genus Collops (Malachiinae); C. quadrimaculatus is reddish, with two bluish black spots on each elytron.[1]

Four New Guinean species of Choresine (the more abundant C. pulchra, the less abundant C. semiopaca and the two infrequent C. rugiceps and C. sp. A, the latter as yet unnamed) have been found to contain batrachotoxins, which may account for the toxicity of some birds such as the Blue-capped ifrit which eat them. The hypothesis that Phyllobates frogs in South America obtain batrachotoxins from related genera of the Melyridae (Choresine does not occur there) has not been tested due to the difficulty of field-work in Colombia.[2]

DistributionEdit

The family Melyridae contains 520 species in 58 genera in North America. In Europe 16 genera are present; however, the largest diversity is in tropical rainforests.

SubfamiliesEdit

Dasytes plumbeus (Dasytinae)

List of selected generaEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Triplehorn, C. and Johnson, N.: "Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects, 7th Ed.", page 429. Brooks/Cole, 2005.
  2. ^ John P. Dumbacher, Avit Wako, Scott R. Derrickson, Allan Samuelson, Thomas F. Spande, John W. Daly (2004): Melyrid beetles (Choresine): A putative source for the batrachotoxin alkaloids found in poison-dart frogs and toxic passerine birds. The National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 101 no. 45, 15857-15860