Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Tenebrionidae: Carabidae, Meloidae


(invertebrate zoology)
The darkling beetles, a large cosmopolitan family of coleopteran insects in the superfamily Tenebrionoidea; members are common pests of grains, dried fruits, beans, and other food products.



a family of beetles of the suborder Polyphaga. Members of the family may be tiny (body length, 2 mm) or quite large (50 mm). They are usually black, sometimes brown or brightly striped or spotted; in rare cases they may be white or have a metallic sheen. The body may be spherical or rod-shaped. The feet of the anterior and median legs are five-segmented, and those of the posterior legs are four-segmented. The beetles do not fly, and most species lack a posterior pair of wings. Because the larvae are cylindrical, hard, and usually yellow, resembling wireworms, they are referred to as false wire worms. They feed on the rootlets of plants. The adult beetles are polyphagous. Many species of Tenebrionidae excrete pungent defensive fluids. They are usually nocturnal or crepuscular.

The family consists of approximately 17,000 species, which are distributed over the entire globe except the polar regions. They are especially numerous in steppes and deserts, as well as in forests. The USSR has more than 1,000 species, which are mainly encountered in Middle Asia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus. Larval and adult representatives of some species damage crops and pasture plants. Others damage food stores, developing in grain, flour, and flour products; these include the darkling beetles Tenebrio molitor and T. confusum.


Medvedev, G. S. Zhuki-chernotelki (Tenebrionidae). Podsemeistvo Opatrinae. Leningrad, 1968 (Fauna SSSR. Zhestkokrylye, vol. 19, no. 2.)


References in periodicals archive ?
The use of pit-fall traps for estimating the abundance of arthropods with special reference to the Tenebrionidae.
Gram Silvanidae Oryzaephilus surinamensis Rice Rice flor Tenebrionidae Tribolium confusum Rice Wleat floor Palorus sp.
There were only 13 species of Carabidae and 15 species of Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera) and only a single land molluscan (Succineidae: Catinella cf.
1 Dermestes ater (DeGeer) 2 50 DErmestes caninus (Gremar) 2 Ischnopyllidae Myodopsylla collinsi (Kohls) 34 [greater than] 200 Tenebrionidae Tencbrio molitor L.