Family Passalidae (Bess Beetles)

The Passalids are shiny black beetles that have a curved antenna. They live in rotten logs, leaving only to form new colonies and show a level of social structure.  Adults can make a sound by rubbing their hind wing against the end of their abdomen.  The larvae can also make a sound by rubbing their modified and stumpy back leg against their middle leg.  These beetles also support a wide diversity of other organisms such as mites, fungi and nematodes.  Only one species, Pharochilus rugiceps (once P. politus),  is known from Tasmania.  

Unidentified species
Late October 2010
Images by Elizabeth Daley, used with permission.

Buckland3Nov 045 ColeopX Passalid 2  Buckland3Nov 045 ColeopX Passalid 

CSIRO, 1990. Insects of Australia, Volume  2: A Textbook for Students and Research Workers. 2nd Edition. Melbourne University Publishing.

Grove S.J., Forster  L. G. ,Porch, N. (2021) An illustrated checklist of the insects of Tasmania. Part 1 – Coleoptera (beetles). The Royal Society of Tasmania. Hobart

Seeman, O. 1999 The hidden world of passalid beetles.  Invertebrata 15: November 1999: p7