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Common name

false blister beetles

General distribution


Component taxa

~115 genera with ~1500 species


Adults: Overall, soft-bodied with little to moderate sclerotization; moderately convex to somewhat flattened; length ranging from 5-20mm. Head somewhat hypognathous but typically prognathous; frontoclypeal suture absent or vaguely impressed; mandibles mostly short and broad but sometimes more elongate. Antennae 11-segmented, sometimes appearing 12-segmented in some males; typically filiform or slightly to moderately serrate. Pronotum broader in anterior or medial region, narrowed posteriorly; lateral margin absent, evenly rounded. Procoxal cavities open. Legs slender, tarsi 5-5-4. Abdomen with 5 visible sternites with sutures complete and visible.

Larva: Overall, body elongate, convex to subcylindrical, lightly sclerotized, length variable from 10-40mm. Vestiture mainly of simple scattered setae. Head protracted and prognathous, frontal arms V-shaped, stemmata usually absent or 2 or 5 located on each side of head. Frontoclypeal suture almost always absent, labrum free, mandibles asymmetrical, mola large and transversely ridged. Legs moderately well-developed, short, tarsungulus with two setae. Spiracles annular or annular-multiforous. Thoracic terga with asperities present. Abdominal terga bearing raised ampullae with asperities. Urogomphi typically absent.

Pest information

Only a single oedemerid species is known to be a problematic wood boring beetle, i.e., the wharf borer Nacerdes melanura (L.). This species has been associated with ports and harbors for greater than a century. Larvae are typically found boring into wood and wood products such as pilings, piers, and other structural lumber associated with wooden shipyards and facilities. Larvae typically create extensive galleries in the wood.


Key player modified February 2018
Content last modified: February 4, 2011