Ecnolagria tomentosa Click to enlarge image
Darkling Beetle, Ecnolagria tomentosa Image: Jiri Lochman
© Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    tomentosa
    Genus
    Ecnolagria
    Subfamily
    Lagriinae
    Family
    Tenebrionidae
    Super Family
    Tenebrionoidea
    Order
    Coleoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Number of Species
    over 1,500
  • Size Range
    1-1.5 cm

Introduction

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

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.

Habitat

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

Distribution

Darkling beetles are found throughout south-eastern Australia.

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.