Mordella aculeata, copyright Didier Descouens.

Belongs within: Tenebrionoidea.

The Mordellidae, tumbling flower beetles, are a group of humped, wedge-shaped beetles characterised in living forms by the production of the last sclerotised tergite into a spine extending past the elytral apices. Late Jurassic forms such as Praemordella martynovi that have been assigned to this family lack the elongated pygidium, as well as other derived features such as the enlargement of the hind legs; crown group mordellids are first known from the Cretaceous (Peris & Ruzzier 2013).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Strongly wedge-shaped, characteristically humped, laterally compressed and posteriorly tapered, with last sclerotised tergite produced, forming acute process extending well beyond elytral apices. Body clothed with fine, decumbent hairs; head strongly deflexed, concealing prostemum, fore and mid coxae, abruptly constricted behind eyes to form narrow neck which is concealed by abutment of head against pronotum; antenna 11-segmented, filiform or serrate; lateral pronotal carinae complete; fore coxae projecting, trochantins concealed, fore coxal cavities externally open, internally closed; mesocoxal cavities widely separated, laterally open; hind coxae very large; tibiae and tarsal segments often bearing combs of spines; tarsal formula 5-5-4, tarsal claws serrate or pectinate, each with bristle-like appendage beneath; abdomen with five ventrites, none connate. Larvae elongate, subcylindrical and very lightly sclerotised, with globular head, long epicranial stem and coincident endocarina, robust mandibles, short legs which are indistinctly 3- or 4-segmented, without claws, T9 often with pair of minute urogomphi or median terminal spine.

Mordellidae [Mordelloidea]
    |--Ctenidia [Ctenidiinae] PR13
    |    `--C. mordelloides Laporte de Castelnau 1840 PR13
    |--Praemordella [Praemordellidae, Praemordellinae] PR13
    |    `--P. martynovi Scegoleva-Barovskaja 1929 PR13
    `--Mordellinae PR13
         |--Raynoldsiellini PR13
         |--Conaliini PR13
         |--Stenaliini PR13
         |--Mediumiuga Peris & Ruzzier 2013 [Mediumiugamiini] PR13
         |    `--*M. sinespinis Peris & Ruzzier 2013 PR13
         |--Mordellistena LB91 [Mordellistenini PR13]
         |    |--M. parvula [incl. M. parvula var. picipes] C01
         |    `--M. pumila C01
         `--Mordellini B14
              |--Hoshihananomia B14
              |    |--H. inflammata (LeConte 1862) B14
              |    |--H. leucosticta LB91
              |    |--H. octopunctata B14
              |    `--H. perlineata B14
              `--Mordella Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--M. abdominalis Blessig 1861 M86
                   |--M. aculeata Linnaeus 1758 L58 [incl. M. aculeata var. leucaspis C01]
                   |--M. albosparsa Gemming 1870 [incl. M. albosignata Bohem. 1858] M86
                   |--M. antarctica T27
                   |--M. aterrima Macleay 1872 M86
                   |--M. australis Boisduval 1835 M86
                   |--M. bella Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. bruneipennis Macleay 1872 M86
                   |--M. communis Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. cuspidata Macleay 1872 M86
                   |--M. decemguttata B35
                   |--M. durvillei Boisduval 1835 B35
                   |--M. elegans Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. exilis Germ. 1848 M86
                   |--M. fasciata C01
                   |--M. felix Waterh. 1877 M86
                   |--M. flava Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--M. frontalis Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--M. holomelaena Apfelbeck 1914 B14
                   |    |--M. h. holomelaena B14
                   |    `--M. h. sibirica B14
                   |--M. humeralis Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--M. insidiosa Lucas 1847 E12
                   |--M. jucunda (Broun 1880) E02
                   |--M. lepida Redtenb. 1868 M86
                   |--M. leucosticta Germ. 1848 M86
                   |--M. limbata Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. lottinii Dupont in Boisduval 1835 B35
                   |--M. mixta B35
                   |--M. multiguttata Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. obliqua Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. octomaculata Macleay 1872 M86
                   |--M. ornata Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. promiscua Erichs. 1842 M86
                   |--M. quattuordecimmaculata Macleay 1872 M86
                   |--M. ruficollis Waterh. 1878 M86
                   |--M. thoracica Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--M. tomentosa Dejean in Boisduval 1835 B35
                   `--M. trivialis Waterh. 1878 M86

Mordellidae incertae sedis:
  Zeamordella monacha WFS04
  Austromordella LB91
  Tomoxia C01
    |--T. biguttata C01
    |--T. bucephala V09
    `--T. flavicans Waterh. 1878 M86
  Glipostena ponomarenkoi Odnosum & Perkovsky 2009 PR13
  Tomoxioda LB91
  Glipostenoda LB91
  Liaoximordella [Liaoximordellidae] PR13
    `--*L. hongi Wang 1993 PR13
  Cretanaspis Huang & Yan 1999 PR13
  Mordellaria friedrichi Perkovsky & Odnosum 2013 PR13
  Bellimordella Liu, Zhao & Ren 2008 PR13
  Mirimordella gracilicruralis Liu, Lu & Ren 2007 PR13
  Asiamordella Hong 2002 H02
    `--*A. furvis Hong 2002 H02

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B35] Boisduval, J. B. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l’Astrolabe. Exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune entomologique de l'océan Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage vol. 2. Coléoptères et autres ordres. J. Tastu: Paris.

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

[C01] Csiki, E. 1901. Bogarak [Coleopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 75–120. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[E02] Emberson, R. M. 2002. The beetle (Coleoptera) fauna of the Chatham Islands: additions and corrections. New Zealand Entomologist 25: 69–77.

[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.

[H02] Hong Y. 2002. Amber Insect of China. Beijing Scientific and Technological Publishing House.

[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).

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[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.

[PR13] Peris, D., & E. Ruzzier. 2013. A new tribe, new genus, and new species of Mordellidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea) from the Early Cretaceous amber of Spain. Cretaceous Research 45: 1–6.

[T27] Thomson, G. M. 1927. The pollination of New Zealand flowers by birds and insects. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 106–125.

[V09] Verdcourt, B. (ed.) 2009. Additions to the wild fauna and flora of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. XXVI. Miscellaneous records. Kew Bulletin 64 (1): 183–194.

[WFS04] Winks, C. J., S. V. Fowler & L. A. Smith. 2004. Invertebrate fauna of boneseed, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera (L.) T. Norl. (Asteraceae: Calenduleae), an invasive weed in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 27: 61–72.

Last updated: 12 November 2020.

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