ALLECULINAE Laporte, 1840

Less synanthropic than other Tenebrionidae subfamilies, adults generally occur either on wood or on flowers.

POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONIDAE Latreille, 1802

7

8

4-14mm

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Introduction

Alleculinae Laporte, 1840. Formerly considered as a distinct family this large group includes about 3000 species in 2 tribes and 170 genera. The Alleculini Laporte, 1840 is cosmopolitan and species occur on many oceanic islands e.g. Labetis Waterhouse, 1879 is the only tenebrionid genus native to Hawaii, and the greatest diversity is in tropical regions. The tribe includes about 2500 species in 3 sub-tribes; Mycetocharina Gistel, 1848 and Gonoderina Seidlitz, 1896 are absent from the Australian region while Mycetocharina is also absent from the Neotropical region, The Alleculina Laporte, 1840 includes almost 2000 species and is cosmopolitan, 225 species have been recorded from the Palaearctic, of which 8 species in 4 genera occur in central Europe. The Gonoderina includes more than 300 species; about 100 are Palaearctic and 13 of these occur in central Europe. Mycetocharina includes 13 genera and about 280 species, about 52 are Palaearctic and 12 species of the single genus Mytcetochara Berthold, 1827 occur in central Europe. Cteniopodini Solier, 1835 includes 26 genera and more than 400 species and is Holarctic, Oriental and Afrotropical in distribution. About 300 species in 23 genera are Palaearctic and 8 species in 3 genera occur in central Europe. Compared to most tenebrionids members of this subfamily are relatively soft-bodied, they are elongate to elongate-oval, rather flattened and continuous or discontinuous in outline. The antennae are long and filiform or only weakly serrate, and the insertions are not completely concealed by the genae. The eyes are generally obviously entire or partially divided by the backwardly produced genae, and there is a distinct frontoclypeal membrane. The group is distinct among the family in having the claws pectinate and the penultimate tarsomere lobed, and there is a transverse membrane visible between the basal abdominal ventrites. The species are generally herbivores, feeding as adults on leaves, flowers and fruits, and some species of Omophlus Dejean, 1834 and Podonta Mulsant, 1856 are known to be injurious to various agricultural crops. Many are diurnal and may be found on flowers in warm weather, they are generally very active and fly readily; in the U.K. an exception is the nocturnal saproxylic genus Prionychus Solier, 1835. Larvae develop in decaying wood or in the soil where they feed upon organic matter and roots. Both adults and larvae of many species have been found in accumulated wood and debris, especially where wood mould is present, in hollow trunks of standing and fallen timber.

Alleculinae Mulsant, 1854 includes 8 species of 7 genera and 2 tribes. Alleculini includes 5 genera and 5 species. Our 2 species of Prionychus Solier, 1835 are nocturnally active saproxylic beetles occurring on a range of broad-leaved trees. P. ater (Fabricius, 1775) is widespread though local throughout the south while P. melanarius (Germar, 1813) is very local and rare. Gonodera luperus (Herbst, 1783) is locally common throughout the south; it is diurnal and may be swept from flowers and vegetation generally. Pseudocistella ceramboides (Linnaeus, 1758) is a southern English species associated with wooded areas, adults are diurnal and nocturnal and may be found on blossom and other flowers and foliage or decaying wood in which the larvae develop. Isomira murina (Linnaeus, 1758) is widespread and locally common throughout England and Scotland; adults are diurnal and occur on flowers or among vegetation generally. Mycetochara humeralis (Fabricius, 1787) is a southern English species associated with woodland habitats, adults are usually found under bark. Cteniopodini Solier, 1835 includes 2 diurnal species. Omophlus pubescens (Linnaeus, 1758) (formerly included in the tribe Omophlini Mulsant, 1856) is a very local and rare species with several records from the Weymouth area on sea thrift (Armeria maritima). Cteniopus sulphureus (Linnaeus, 1758), commonly called the sulphur beetle due to its bright yellow colour, is a local, generally maritime, species of southern England.

UK Species

Prionychus ater

Prionychus melanarius

Gonodera luperus

Isomira murina

Mycetochara humeralis

Cteniopus sulphureus

Omophlus pubescens

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