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the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Anthicidae (ant beetles)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles) > Polyphaga > Cucujoidea

These beetles are called ant beetles as they look like ants. They are small (2-10mm) and look like diminutive Carabidae. The larvae are scavengers and also eat insect eggs. Anthicus feed on larvae of Meloidae (blister beetles) that contain a poisonous substance called cantharidin, a type of terpenoid.


  • van Hille, J. C. 1984. Monograph of Aulacoderus La Ferté, subgenus of Anthicus Paykul, Anthicidae - Coleoptera. Annals of the Cape Provincial Museum 15(1):1-171.