Overview

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Mordellidae (Tumbling Flower Beetles)
Tumbling Flower Beetles are often found on flowers. With even slight disturbance, they are likely to jump or tumble to the ground, thereby making their escape. They range in size from small to medium. The wing-covers are oval-shaped, broader in front than behind, with a pointed abdomen protruding from the posterior. These beetles are usually black. The hind legs are rather long, which probably facilitates the capacity to jump and escape. Adults feed on pollen, if not the flowers themselves, while the larvae feed on rotting wood, fungi, or the pith of stems.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 1610
Specimens with Sequences: 948
Specimens with Barcodes: 882
Species: 88
Species With Barcodes: 70
Public Records: 128
Public Species: 17
Public BINs: 39
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Wikipedia

Mordellidae

The Mordellidae are a family of beetles commonly known as tumbling flower beetles for the typical irregular movements they make when escaping predators, or as pintail beetles due to their abdominal tip which aids them in performing these tumbling movements. Worldwide, there are about 1500 species.[1]

The apparently tumbling movements are composed of a series of very rapid separate jumps (each jump of a duration of approximately 80 ms). They result from the beetle's efforts to get itself back into take-off position for flight when it has been in either lateral or dorsal position. Each individual jump should be considered as an extended rotation, performed by one leg of the third leg pair (metapodium). Depending on whether the left or the right metapodium is used as the leg that provides the leverage for take-off, change occurs in the direction of the jump. The energy for propulsion varies with the beetle's immediate muscle work, so that jump lengths and heights vary, with rotation frequencies recorded up to 48 per second (Mordellochroa abdominalis) around the gravitation centre of the body's longitudinal axis. Additional revolving around the transverse axis (at lower frequency) effects spiralling summersaults that are perceived as tumbling. The pintail (pygidium) is of no significance for the jump. Technically similar jumps, though less powerful, can be observed in family Melandryidae (=Serropalpidae) (genus Orchesia) and family Scraptiidae (genus Anaspis). As both these groups of beetles are closely related to family Mordellidae, it may be assumed that it is due to their common phylogenetic roots that they have the same capacity of this tumbling form of locomotion. It can, therefore, not be ascribed specifically to Mordellidae.[2]

Systematics[edit]

This family has two living subfamiliesMordellinae and Ctenidiinae – and a prehistoric one known only from fossils (Praemordellinae).[3] Another fossil genus, Liaoximordella, was previously treated as distinct monotypic family Liaoximordellidae, but is now regarded as very primitive and probably basal member of the Mordellidae.

FAMILY Mordellidae Latreille, 1802

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael A. Ivie (2002). "Mordellidae". In Ross H. Arnett & Michael Charles Thomas. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. American Beetles 2. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-0954-0. 
  2. ^ Michael Reuter (1995). "Studies on the functional morphology of the jump in tumbling-flower beetles (Mordellidae, Coleoptera)". Acta Biologica Benrodis 7: 99–133(1995). 
  3. ^ Mordellidae Species List at Joel Hallan’s Biology Catalog. Texas A&M University. Retrieved on 17 May 2012.
  4. ^ Horák, Jan; Farkac, Jan; Nakládal, Oto (2012). "Mordellidae (Coleoptera) from Socotra Island". Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae (Musei Nationalis Pragae) 52 ((supplementum 2)): 253–268. ISSN 0374-1036. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
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