Family: Lycidae (net-winged beetles)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles) > Polyphaga > Superfamily: Cantharoidea

Small to medium sized (6-25mm), orange and black, soft-bodied beetles. The elytra bear intricate network of ridges, hence the name, although the patterning sometimes looks like filigree. The head is almost entirely hidden by the pronotum and the elytra are sometimes broadly expanded and these species look like seeds.

Adults are active by day and occur on various plants and grasses and also feed on nectar. The larvae live in decaying wood and possibly feed on fungi. The orange and black colouration is mimicked by various insects as these animals contain cantharadin and are distasteful to birds and other predators.

Net-winged beetle on Agathosma imbricata. [image H. Robertson, Iziko ]

 

Cladophorus marshalli, Slender Net-winged beetle, 9mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

 

Lycus melanusrus, Hook-winged Net-winged beetle, 11-25mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

 

Page by Margie Cochrane


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