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False Blister Beetles

Lat. “Oedemeridae“
family of infraorder “Beetles“
1 family, 8 species

The Oedemeridae family consists of slender, soft-bodied beetles that are medium-sized and mostly found on flowers and foliage. The larvae of most genera are xylophagous, boring tunnels in decaying wood. One species, the “wharf borer,” can cause damage to wet wood in coastal areas. Oedemeridae beetles have a defensive mechanism of containing the toxic cantharidin in their fluids and have vibrant and metallic colorations. The oldest known member of the family was found in Alava amber, suggesting that the family was associated with gymnosperms before switching to flowering plants.

Hierarchy

Characteristics
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Oedemeridae may be defined as slender, soft-bodied beetles of medium size found mostly on flowers and foliage. The head lacks a narrow neck, the antennae are long and filiform, the pronotum lacks lateral edges and is much narrower than elytra, the tarsi are heteromerous with bilobed penultimate segment, the procoxal cavities are open behind and the procoxae are conical and contiguous.

Natural history
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The larvae of most genera are xylophagous, boring tunnels in spongy, damp wood in an advanced state of decomposition; thus they have little economic importance, with the exception of one species, the “wharf borer” (Nacerdes melanura), that is ever known to attain pest status, as its larvae bore into wet wood in coastal areas; larvae can also bore into wood located in the tidal zone so at times are submerged by seawater, and can damage docks, wharves, and pilings. Larvae of the genera Oedemera and Stenostoma develop in dead stems of herbaceous plants. Adults contain the toxic cantharidin in their corporal fluids as a defensive mechanism; several species show brilliant and metallic blue, green, gold or coppery, often combined with yellow, orange or red, aposematic colourations. In temperate regions, adults are mainly polyphagous pollen and nectar-feeding, and diurnal in activity. In tropical areas, most are nocturnal and are attracted to light.

Evolutionary history
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The oldest known member of the family is Darwinylus from the Albian aged Alava amber from the Escucha Formation, Spain, a basal member of the subfamily Oedemerinae. Unlike living species of the family, the specimen was found with gymnosperm (suspected to be cycad) pollen on its body, suggesting that the family had a gymnosperm associated prior to switching to flowering plants. Species of the extinct genus Ditysparedrus and extant genus Sparedrus belonging to the subfamily Calopodinae, are known from the Cenomanian aged Burmese amber of Myanmar.

See also
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Blister beetle dermatitis List of Oedemeridae genera

External links#

false blister beetles on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site

The Oedemeridae family consists of slender, soft-bodied beetles that are medium-sized and mostly found on flowers and foliage. The larvae of most genera are xylophagous, boring tunnels in decaying wood. One species, the “wharf borer,” can cause damage to wet wood in coastal areas. Oedemeridae beetles have a defensive mechanism of containing the toxic cantharidin in their fluids and have vibrant and metallic colorations. The oldest known member of the family was found in Alava amber, suggesting that the family was associated with gymnosperms before switching to flowering plants.

Ancestry Graph

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Further Information

Copyright

Wikipedia
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Oedemeridae the free encyclopedia Wikipedia which is released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License). On Wikipedia a list of authors is available.