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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Ptiliidae

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 > Superfamily: Staphylinoidea

Tiny beetles, 0.4 - 2.0 mm long. Adults and larvae live in decaying organic matter (e.g. leaf litter) and feed on fungal spores. Members of the tribe Nanosellini live in the spore tubes of bracket fungi, and members of the subfamily Cephaloplectinae live in ant nests (i.e. they are myrmecophiles). There is only one named species of ptiliid in southern Africa but there are probably other species still to be given names.