Balanophorus sp., from Brisbane Insects.

Belongs within: Cleroidea.
Contains: Dasytes, Laius, Hypattalus, Carphurus, Helcogaster, Malachius.

The Melyridae are a group of relatively soft-bodied beetles that are usually predacious or scavengers as larvae but commonly flower-feeders as adults. Members of the subfamily Malachiinae are strikingly bicoloured in red or yellow and blue or black, and often have the elytra reduced to expose the abdomen (Lawrence & Britton 1991). The elytra are not reduced in members of the subfamilies Melyrinae and Dasytinae; Melyrinae are often brightly coloured (bicoloured as in Malachiinae or metallic blue or green) whereas Dasytinae are usually uniformly black, brown or yellow.

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Oblong to elongate, somewhat flattened, soft-bodied, usually clothed with decumbent hairs and scattered erect setae, either uniformly black or grey or bicoloured with red or yellow and blue or black . Labrum well sclerotised; tarsal claws toothed or provided with a pair of fleshy appendages; elytra sometimes very short, exposing several abdominal tergites; eversible vesicles often on prothorax, mesothorax and abdomen. Larvae elongate, slightly flattened, lightly sclerotised, except for head, T9 and thoracic plates, red or pink in colour; head with long epicranial stem, no median endocarina, and lightly sclerotised gular and para-gular areas, so that head capsule appears to be open behind ventral mouthparts; mesal appendage at base of mandible.

Melyridae [Malachiidae]
    |--Dasytinae [Dasytidae] B14
    |    |--Enicopus (Parahenicopus) lopezcoloni Bahillo de la Puebla 2005 F05
    |    |--Trichochrous BM76
    |    |--Amecocerus cervicalis BM76
    |    `--Dasytes B14
    |--Melyrinae B14
    |    |--Astylus [Astylini] B14
    |    |    `--A. atromaculatus (Blanchard 1843) B14
    |    |--Melyrodes B14
    |    |    |--M. basalis (LeConte 1852) [=Dasytes basalis] B14
    |    |    |--M. cribatus B14
    |    |    `--M. floridiana B14
    |    `--Melyris B14
    |         |--M. bicolor G89
    |         |--M. corrosa G01
    |         |--M. festiva G01
    |         |--M. (Zyga) oblonga G20
    |         |--M. rubripes Lucas 1846 E12
    |         |--M. rufiventris G01
    |         `--M. (Melyris) viridis G20
    `--Malachiinae [Malachiides] B14
         |--Laius LB91
         |--Hypattalus LB91
         |--Carphurus LB91
         |--Helcogaster LB91
         |--Flabellolaius LB91
         |--Malachius B14
         |--Dicranolaius LB91
         |    |--D. bellulus LB91
         |    `--D. villosus LB91
         |--Collops B14
         |    |--C. balteatus LeConte 1852 B14
         |    |--C. punctulatus B14
         |    |--C. quadrimaculatus B14
         |    `--C. versatilis B14
         |--Neocarphurus Lea 1898 L09
         |    |--N. basizonis Lea 1901 L09
         |    |--N. chlorops Lea 1898 L09
         |    |--N. coatesi Lea 1909 L09
         |    |--N. impunctatus (Lea 1895) [=Carphurus impunctatus] L09
         |    |--N. sobrinus Lea 1909 L09
         |    `--N. tuberculatus (Lea 1895) [=Helcogaster tuberculatus] L09
         `--Balanophorus LB91
              |--B. ater Lea 1909 L09
              |--B. biplagiatus Fairm. 1879 [=Carphurus biplagiatus] L09
              |--B. brevipennis (Germ. 1848) [=Carphurus brevipennis] L09
              |--B. janthinipennis Fairm. 1879 L09
              |--B. macleayi Lea 1895 L09
              |--B. mastersi Macleay 1872 M86
              |--B. megalops Lea 1901 L09
              |--B. pictus Lea 1909 L09
              |--B. scapulatus (Fairm. 1879) [=Carphurus scapulatus] L09
              `--B. victoriensis Lea 1909 L09

Melyridae incertae sedis:
  Simoderus MC13
  Listrus MW15
  Attalus G01
    |--A. albofasciatus Gorham 1901 G01
    |--A. lugens Gorham 1901 G01
    |--A. ornatipennis G01
    `--A. ridens Gorham 1901 G01
  Anthocomus felix Gorham 1901 G01
  Chalicorus G01
    |--C. collaris G01
    |--C. formicarius Gorham 1901 G01
    `--C. vinulus G01
  Myrmecospecta G01
  Hapalochrus G01
    |--H. aerosus Gorham 1901 G01
    |--H. cinctus M86
    `--H. mashunus Gorham 1901 G01
  Hedybius G01
    |--H. albipennis Gorham 1901 G01
    |--H. anceps G01
    |--H. lividus G01
    |--H. superciliosus G01
    `--H. variicornis G01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature's gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[F05] Fernández, J. 2005. Noticia de nuevos táxones para la ciencia en el ámbito Íbero-Balear y Macaronésico. Nuevos táxones animales descritos en la península Ibérica y Macaronesia desde 1994 (IX). Graellsia 61 (2): 261–282.

[G89] Gestro, R. 1889. Viaggio ab Assab nel Mar Rosso dei signori G. Doria ed O. Beccari con il R. Avviso «Esploratore» dal 16 Novembre 1879 al 26 Febbraio 1880.—IV. Coleotteri. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 5–72.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[G01] Gorham, H. S. 1901. Descriptions of genera and species of Coleoptera from South Africa (continued). Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 7: 349–365.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[L09] Lea, A. M. 1909. Revision of the Australian and Tasmanian Malacodermidae. Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. 1909 (1): 45–251, pls 2–6.

[MC13] Majer, J. D., S. K. Callan, K. Edwards, N. R. Gunawardene & C. K. Taylor. 2013. Baseline survey of the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Barrow Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 13–112.

[M86] Masters, G. 1886. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Part IV. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 259–380.

[MW15] McKenna, D. D., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 40 (4): 835–880.

Last updated: 12 November 2020.

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