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COLEOPTERA, Melyridae (= Malachiidae) (Leach 1817) -- <Images> & <Juveniles>


Please refer also to the following links for details on this group:


Melyridae (= Malachiidae) = Link 1




There were more than 4,000 species known as of 2000. These "soft-wing flower beetles. Diagnostic characters include antennae that are 11- (rarely 10) segmented and serrated or pectinate; the clypeus is prominent and trapezoidal; the maxillary palpi have 4 segments; the pronotum is usually wider than the head and oval. Tarsal segments are lobed beneath; claws with a fleshy a appendage beneath. The scutellum is small, oval or triangular; the elytra are rounded and the abdomen has 6 visible sternites. The fore- and mid-coxae are very noticeable and conical; the hind coxae are transverse. Protrusible vesicles are present at the side of the prothorax and basal abdominal segments.


Most species are predators as larvae and adults, but some adults feed also on pollen and fungi. The larvae of many species hide under bark where they feed on wood-boring insects, and in the galleries of scolytid beetles. Some adults of the genus Collops have been found feeding on the larvae of alfalfa weevils and on the larvae and pupae of the alfalfa caterpillar. Some species are scavengers on dried carrion. No attempts have been made to deploy malachiids in biological control.


There many species of Collops that prey on other insects. Collops quadrimaculatus F. feeds on leafhoppers the eggs of the chinch bug, but it does not attack nymphs or adults. Collops bipunctatus Say preys on alfalfa weevil larvae, Hypera postica Gyll., and on the eggs of the grain bug, Chlorochroa sayi Stal. Collops vittatus Say feeds on larvae and pupae of the alfalfa caterpillar, Eurymus eurytheme Boisd. Collops bipunctatus is an effective natural enemy of the grain bug.


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References: Please refer to <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library]


Balduf, W. V. 1935. The Bionomics of Entomophagous Insects, p. 161-62. John S. Swift Co., Inc., St. Louis. 220 p.


Greiner, J. 1937. Col. Cat. Pars. 159: 1-199.


Lawrence, J. F. & A. F. Newton, Jr. Pakaluk, J. & S. A. Slipinski (eds.) 1995. Families and subfamilies of Coleoptera (with selected genera, notes, references and data on family-group names).


Marshall, M. Y. 1946. Canad. Ent. 78: 183-95.


Marshall, M. Y. 1948. Ent. Americana 28: 113-44.


Marshall, M. Y. 1951. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 27: 77-131.


Marshall, M. Y. 1954. Col. Bull. 8: 69-82.