Animal Species:Darkling Beetle

The darkling beetles (family Tenebrionidae) are very diverse in Australia, with over 1,500 recorded species.

Darkling Beetle sitting on leaf

Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies © Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies

Standard Common Name

Darkling Beetle

Number of species

over 1,500

Identification

Darkling beetles are often confused with other groups of beetles, and can usually only be identified with the aid of a hand lens or microscope.

Size range

1-1.5 cm

Similar Species

Ground beetles (family Carabidae)

Distribution

Darkling beetles are found throughout south-eastern Australia.

Habitat

Darkling beetles are found in a wide range of habitats from woodlands to coasts.

Feeding and Diet

Most darkling beetle species are scavengers and feed on dead plant or fungal material.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Many darkling beetle species are flightless, but Ecnolagria tomentosa is commonly seen flying around in gardens and woodland areas and can be recognised in the air by its particularly slow flight. It has little need for speed as it is toxic to most animals that might eat it. The larvae are very hairy and live in leaf litter.

Classification

Species:
tomentosa
Genus:
Ecnolagria
Subfamily:
Lagriinae
Family:
Tenebrionidae
Superfamily:
Tenebrionoidea
Order:
Coleoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags beetles, insects, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,