Cleridae
6-16mm. Of characteristic form with thorax narrower than elytra. Elytra broadest behind middle and with prominent shoulders, punctato-striate and without sculpture (cf.Lycidae). Brightly coloured and/or patterned, pubescent, this conspicuously outstanding on the thorax. Pronotum without side borders. Antennae gradually expanded apically or clubbed (Korynetes and Necrobia spp.)(cf.Cantharidae, Dascillidae). Tarsi 5-5-5 or 4-4-4 with some segments (usually 2-4) bilobed (Heteromerous families) and without appendages below claws (Trogositidae)

A small family of 10 genera and 14 spp. recorded from the British Isles although this includes 3 extinct species, 1 possibly resident introduction (Thaneroclerus buquet (Lefebvre)), and two resident introductions, (Paratillus carus (Newman) from Australia and Tarostenus univittatus (Rossi), a metropolitan species.) Attractive species associated with tree trunks, carcasses (Necrobia spp. scavenge dead diptera larvae and adults) and stored products; Necrobia rufipes De Geer has been found feeding on stored ham. Species associated with wood parasitize wood boring beetle larvae e.g Korynetes caeruleus (De G.), a rare and local southern english species, preys on Anobium punctatum and Xestobium rufovillosum (Anobiidae) its adult emergence being timed to coincide with that of its prey. Opilo mollis (L.) larvae are solitary and crawl around tunnels excavated by Anobium consuming larvae they come across, they are also capable of boring through softwood to find prey. Adults consume adult Anobium and eggs are not laid until this is done which may account for how adult Clerids emerge at the same time as their prey.

Joy's keys work well but several species are omitted. Lohse, G.A. deals with the British species with the exception of Paratillus carus (Newman) in Vol 6 of Die Kafer Mitteleuropas (1979). P.carus is described by Fisher(1944). Several species have occasionally occured with imports (Hinton, 1948. Morrison, 1966).

In Britain they are either rare or local in distribution but when found may be abundant. The Ant beetle, Thanasimus spp. are found under decaying resinous Fir or Pine bark, usually alone or rarely in pairs and in our experience in any given area many trees need to be examined before finding them.

Fisher, R.C. 1944. Ent.Mon.Mag. 80:132-134.
Hinton, H.E. 1948. Ent.Mon.Mag. 84:287
Morrison, B. 1966. Proc. Trans.S.Lon.Ent.Nat.Hist.Soc. 1966:85-86.


Thanasimus
formicarius

Thanasimus
formicarius

Tillus
elongatus

Tillus
elongatus

Tillus
elongatus

Tillus
elongatus

Tillus
elongatus

Korynetes

Necrobia
violacea

Opilo

Trichodes
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