register help
Get your photos on this page
Ornate Checkered Beetle1 locationInsect/Spider
.: fricknaley :.
Apr 22 2007
Sendero Esperanza
.: Hippy :.
Jun 29 2013
Woods Wanderings
FamilyCleridae - Checkered Beetles
Images Bing, Google

Trichodes ornatus

Habitat:Cleridae can be found in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and even in Australia. There are approximately 3,500 species in the world and about 500 species in North America.[3] Due to this wide distribution there are many different habitats in which the checkered beetles can be found.

Many of the species are known as "flower visitors", that prey on other flower visiting insects and also feed on pollen. These species are found in moist, sunny environments where flowering plants are found in abundance.

Another habitat commonly inhabited by beetles in the Cleridae family is trees. These "tree living species" are found in forests across the world with various climates and an array of easily preyed upon insects. They seek protection under the bark and hunt for other insects above and below the bark. The primary source of prey for these bark living hunters is bark beetles.

The third type of clerid beetles is the "nest robbing species" which live in shrubbery and in trees. Unlike the tree living species these species do not actually burrow into the bark. Nest robbing species typically hunt termite, bee, and wasp larvae, and one particular species has been noted to prey primarily on grasshopper egg masses.[4] Not all nest robbing species actively hunt live prey, some species for example prefer to feed only on dead honey bee larvae and adults.

Description:Clerids have elongated bodies with bristly hairs, are usually bright colored, and have variable antennae. Checkered beetles range in length between 3 millimeters and 24 millimeters. Cleridae can be identified based on their 5–5–5 tarsal formula, division of sternites, and the absence of a special type of vesicle. Female Cleridae lay between 28–42 eggs at a time predominately under the bark of trees. Larvae are predaceous and feed vigorously before pupation and subsequently emergence as adults. Generally, checkered beetles are elongated and oval in shape and range from 3–24 millimeters (.1–1 in). Their entire bodies are covered with bristly hairs, and many display an ornate body color pattern. These often brightly color patterns can be red, yellow, orange, or blue. The antennae are clubbed at the tip for most species, but others can be “clubbed, saw-tooth, or thread-like.” The pronotum region is nearly cylindrical and characteristically narrower than the elytra (special hardened front wings), while the head is as wide or wider than the pronotum. Their elytra have tiny pits or depressions, and never expose more than two tergites (dorsal plates).[1]Clerid beetles have unique legs that help to distinguish them from other families. Their tarsal formula is 5–5–5, meaning that on each of the front, middle and hind legs there are 5 tarsomeres (individual subsegments of the feet/tarsi). One or more of these subsegments on each leg is typically lobed, and the 4th tarsi is normally difficult to distinguigh. Furthermore, an important feature that eliminates many other families of beetles is that Clerids' front coxae (base of the leg) expose the second segment of the legs known as the trochanter.

The second defining characteristic of the Cleridae family is that Clerids never have eversible vesicles (small usually hidden balloon-like structures thought to be scent glands) on their abdomen and pronotum. This characteristic distinguishes them from a similar family Melyridae which sometimes has these glands. This trait is very important in correctly differentiating checkered beetles from Melyridae.

Comments: The Cleridae family contains many species of predaceous beetles that feed on other beetles and beetle larvae in their natural habitat. The most common prey item for checkered beetles are the bark beetles and wood boring beetles.

In general, the bulk of adult Cleridae feed mainly on other adult beetles while the larvae stage feed on other beetle larvae. Some checkered beetles are known to have an extremely voracious appetite with some larvae able to consume "several times their own body weight” in a day.

Although most species of checkered beetles are predaceous in nature, some are scavengers and others have been found feeding on flower pollen. Because of the checkered beetles predaceous nature and insatiable appetite, they are often key players in the biological control of other insects. The checkered beetles have also developed a unique adaptation to aid in their quest for prey. The beetles use pheromones to help them locate, kill, and consume their prey.

Necrobia rufipes (Korynetinae)The diversity of checkered beetle's feeding habits is quite evident when different species are examined. The Necrobia spp. are attracted to dry carrion and other decomposing animal matter such as bones and skin as well as various meat products. Thanasimus spp. are found in woodland areas where bark beetle species constitute their main source of prey. The primary source of prey for the Phyllobaenus spp. are wood borers, immature weevils, and hymenoptera larvae. One of the more diverse genera is Trichodes, the larvae feed on the pollen of flowering plants and adults prey upon grasshoppers and wasps. There is ongoing research with some of the members of the Cleridae family. Forensic research is limited because of their late arrival on carrion, but members such as Thanasimus undatulus have been researched as a possible role in integrated pest management or IPM. Thanasimus undatulus is a predator of bark beetles. Some species of bark beetles such as the southern pine beetle and the mountain pine beetle can become pests to the lumber industry because in large numbers they can cause damage and kill live trees. Thanasimus undatulus has been researched as a possible biological control agent for these pests. Researchers and forestry officials have used bark beetle aggreagation pheromones to attract the checkered beetle to specific trees. This causes the bark beetles to be overwhelmed, extensively preyed upon by the Clerid beetles, and typically eliminated. There is also additional research being done pertaining to the impact of Cleridae beetles on pollination in flowers.

Source: Wikipedia

  All Months
2 Photos

© 2016 HAZ

Information on this page has been gathered from member submissions. Effort has been made to avoid any infringement of copyright. Additionally, any use is anticipated to be within the "fair use" doctrine. If any copyright has been infringed, please notify the webmaster. The disputed information will be removed and your issue will be resolved. If you are a submitting member, please inform and discuss with HAZ if you think you are submitting any copyright issue. Please help us stay with the law.