Friday, November 21, 2008

Darkling Beetles of Berrien County, Michigan

The darkling beetles (Family Tenebrionidae) are the fifth largest family of beetles (Order Coleoptera), with more than 1,300 species in the U.S. and Canada. They are a rather obscure family of relatively small beetles. Most of them are largely or entirely black or dark brown, and many spend a majority of their time hidden away in dark recesses, such as under the bark of dead and decaying trees, under fallen logs, or under rocks. A few are pests in stored food products, such as processed grains.

Perhaps the best known of the darkling beetles is Tenebrio molitor, the larva of which (the common “mealworm”) is sold in pet stores to feed to tropical fish, lizards, and the like. They are also highly touted as food for wild birds; some people even raise their own mealworms for this purpose! Mealworms are also commonly used in classroom science projects.

A provisional list of the darkling beetles of Berrien County was compiled using James C. Dunford et al.’s The darkling beetles of Florida and eastern United States. The list is restricted to species reported from both Michigan and Indiana. Based on the best distributional information currently available, this provisional list of the darkling beetles of Berrien County includes 57 species representing 9 subfamilies and 34 genera.

The darkling beetle fauna of Berrien County represents something less than two-thirds of the more than 85 species known from Michigan, 44 percent of the 129 species known from the western Great Lakes, 25 percent percent of the 225 species known from eastern North America, 4.1 percent of the 1,400 species known from the U.S. and Canada, and 0.3 percent of the 19,000 species described worldwide.

In the following list, States in the western Great Lakes with confirmed records for each species are identified in brackets by 2-letter postal codes (illustrations of most species are available in Dunford et al.):
Subfamily Alleculinae# (comb-clawed bark beetles):
  • Hymenochara rufipes [IN, MI, OH]
  • Hymenorus melsheimeri [IN, MI]
  • Hymenorus niger, Black Comb-clawed Bark Beetle [IN, MI, WI]
  • Hymenorus obesus [IN, MI, WI]
  • Hymenorus pilosus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Isomira oblongula [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Isomira pulla [IN, IL, MI, OH, WI]
  • Isomira quadristriata [IL,IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Isomira sericea [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Lobopoda nigrans [IL, IN, MI, OH]
  • Mycetochara bicolor [IN, MI, WI]
  • Mycetochara binotata [IN, MI, WI]
  • Mycetochara foveata [IN, MI, WI]
    # Formerly considered a distinct family, Alleculidae.

    Subfamily Bolitophaginae:
  • Bolitophagus corticola [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Bolitotherus cornutus, Horned Fungus Beetle [IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Coelometopinae:
  • Alobates morio [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Alobates pennsylvanicus, False Mealworm Beetle [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Haplandrus fulvipes [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Iphthiminus opacus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Merinus laevis [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Strongylium tenuicolle [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Strongylium terminatum [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Xylopinus aenescens [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Xylopinus saperdioides [IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Diaperinae:
  • Cynaeus angustus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Diaperis maculate [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Neomida bicornis [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Pentaphyllus pallidus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema ellipticum [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema excavatum [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema picilabrum [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema ruficorne, Red-horned Flour/Grain Beetle [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema subcostatum [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Platydema teleops [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Rhipidandrus paradoxus [IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Hypophloeinae:
  • Corticeus parallelus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Lagriinae# (long-jointed bark beetles):
  • Arthromacra aenea [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Paratenetus fuscus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Paratenetus gibbipennis [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Paratenetus punctatus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Statira gagatoma [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
    # Formerly considered a distinct family, the Lagriidae

    Subfamily Opatrinae:
  • Blapstinus metallicus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Blapstinus moestus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Phrenapatinae:
  • Dioedus punctatus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]

    Subfamily Tenebrioninae:
  • Alphitobius diaperinus, Lesser Mealworm Beetle [IN, MI, OH, WI] {Introduced}
  • Centronopus calcaratus [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Idiobates castaneus [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Meracantha contracta [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Neatus tenebroides [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Palorus ratzeburgi, Small-eyed Flour Beetle [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Tenebrio molitor, Yellow Mealworm Beetle [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Tribolium castaneum, Red Flour Beetle [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Tribolium confusum, Confused Flour Beetle [IL, IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Uloma imberbis [IL, IN, MI, OH]
  • Uloma impressa [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Uloma mentalis [IN, MI, OH, WI]
  • Uloma punctulata [IN, MI, OH, WI]
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