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

Temporal range: Middle Jurassic–Recent
Anthocomus rufus side.jpg
Anthocomus rufus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Cleroidea
Family: Melyridae
Leach, 1815


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(Malachiinae) have peculiar orange structures along the sides of the abdomen, which may be everted and saclike or withdrawn into the body and inconspicuous.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 and hooded pitohui 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]

The oldest fossil of the family are Sinomelyris and Juraniscus from the late Middle Jurassic (Callovian) Daohugou bed in Inner Mongolia, China.[3] The oldest member of Dasytinae is Protodasytes from the early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) aged Charentese amber of France.[4]


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.


Dasytes plumbeus (Dasytinae)


These genera belong to the family Melyridae:


  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
  3. ^ Kolibac, Jiri; Huang, Diying (2019). "New cleroid beetles from the Middle-Late Jurassic of China". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 64. doi:10.4202/app.00550.2018. ISSN 0567-7920.
  4. ^ Tihelka, Erik; Huang, Diying; Perrichot, Vincent; Cai, Chenyang (2021-04-11). Labandeira, Conrad (ed.). "A previously missing link in the evolution of dasytine soft‐winged flower beetles from Cretaceous Charentese amber (Coleoptera, Melyridae)". Papers in Palaeontology: spp2.1360. doi:10.1002/spp2.1360. ISSN 2056-2799.