Pronunciation:  [Hiss⋅TARE·i⋅dae]

Common Name:  Clown Beetles;  Hister Beetles

Description:  Most hister beetles are oval in shape and shiny black, dark brown, or metallic green in color.   Their shortened elytra are squared off at the tips and usually expose two abdominal tergites.   They have clubbed antennae that fold into cavities on the underside of the pronotum.   They are commonly found near dung or carrion where most species probably feed on the eggs and larvae of other insects (e.g. Diptera).   A few species may be scavengers or inquilines in ant nests.


Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Short elytra — usually with two abdominal tergites exposed
  2. Antenna short with an abrupt 3-segmented club
  3. Shiny black or metallic green in color

Return To:

Order:  Coleoptera