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Brief Summary

    Cleridae: Brief Summary
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    Checkered beetles

    Cleridae are a family of beetles of the superfamily Cleroidea. They are commonly known as checkered beetles. The family Cleridae has a worldwide distribution, and a variety of habitats and feeding preferences.

    Cleridae have a large number of niches and feeding habits. Most genera are predaceous and feed on other beetles and larvae; however other genera are scavengers or pollen feeders. Clerids have elongated bodies with bristly hairs, are usually bright colored, and have variable antennae. Checkered beetles range in length between 3 millimeters and 24 millimeters. Cleridae can be identified based on their 5–5–5 tarsal formula, division of sternites, and the absence of a special type of vesicle. Female Cleridae lay between 28–42 eggs at a time predominately under the bark of trees. Larvae are predaceous and feed vigorously before pupation and subsequently emergence as adults.

    Clerids have a minor significance in forensic entomology. Some species are occasionally found on carrion in the later dry stages of decay. Also, some species are pests (stored product entomology) and are found infesting various food products. Research efforts related to Cleridae have focused primarily on using certain species as biological controls. This is a very effective technique for controlling bark beetles due to the voracious appetite of many clerid species.

Comprehensive Description