T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Darkling beetle larva , Mimopeus sp. probably M. opaculus

Darkling beetle larva , Mimopeus sp. probably M. opaculus

The darkling beetles are a large and diverse group, one of the largest beetle families. These beetles are dark in colour, and somewhat resemble ground beetles. There are 139 endemic and 10 introduced species in New Zealand (Ward et al., 1999). The larvae of darkling beetles are known as "mealworms" or "false wireworms", Both adult beetles and larvae occur in dead logs, in litter, and in piles of plant debris. They feed on plant material.

The New Zealand native beetle Mimpoeus opaculus (fam. Tenebrionidae) is a large (~2 cm), dull-brown, flat oval beetle, commonly found in groups in dry well-decayed wood debris.

These large (5-6 cm long), shiny yellow-brown larvae occur in the same habitats as adults.