Family: Staphylinidae (rove 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: Staphylinoidea

Elongate beetles (usually) ranging widely in size (1.0 - 20.0 mm long) and with distinctive abbreviated elytra that expose most of the abdominal segments. Adults are mainly predators and are often seen running with their abdomens upturned, rather like earwigs. Some species feed on dead animals (saprophages), fungi or algae. Larvae are also mainly predators  Larvae of Aleochora species are parasitoids of fly pupae. Staphylinids live in a wide range of habitats but are particularly abundant in decaying matter on the ground (e.g. leaf litter). Some specialised species live in ant and termite nests. There are about 150 genera and 750 species of Staphylinidae known from southern Africa.   

Cyparium so.

Dolicaon sp.

Cyparium sp., 5mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Dolicaon sp., 18mm. [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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