Darkling Beetles

As their common name might suggest, these are generally quite dark beetles...although you might not guess it from the first species illustrated below. Obviously there are exceptions to the general rule!

Cteniopus sulphureus - Anglesey, Wales - July 2008

Cteniopus sulphureus - Anglesey, Wales - July 2008

There are about 20000 species worldwide, but only 35 of these occur in Britain. One of these species may be partricularly familiar to fishermen or anyone who keeps an insectivorous pets. The mealworms commonly raised for sale as bait or live food in pet shops is the larvae of Tenebrio molitor.

Common Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) - Swansea University, Wales

When rearing mealworms, if there is insufficient moisture in the vivarium the normally vegetarian adults will attack larvae and drink any haemolymph (the insect equivalent of blood) that is spilled from the larvae's wounds.

Phylan gibbus - Anglesey, Wales - July 2008