Image: Hister Beetle from genus Saprinus

Hister Beetle from genus Saprinus

Hister Beetle from the genus Saprinus.

Richard Major
© Australian Museum


Hister beetles - Family Histeridae

Histerids are usually shiny black or metallic-green beetles with introverted heads. Carrion-feeding forms generally hide under a corpse during the daylight, and only become active at night when they enter the maggot-infested part of the corpse to capture and devour maggots. Like other beetles inhabiting carrion, they have fast larval development with only two larval stages.

Beetles of the genus Saprinus are among the first beetles to arrive at carrion. The adults feed on both the larvae and pupae of all species of blowfly, although they have a preference for fresh pupae. The adults lay their eggs in the corpse, and the larvae feed on blowfly pupae when they emerge.

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Tags death, decomposition, insect, beetle, coleoptera, insects,