Cleridae - Distribution and Ecology

Distribution and Ecology

Cleridae can be found in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and even in Australia. There are approximately 3,500 species in the world and about 500 species in North America. Due to this wide distribution there are many different habitats in which the checkered beetles can be found.

Many of the species are known as "flower visitors", that prey on other flower visiting insects and also feed on pollen. These species are found in moist, sunny environments where flowering plants are found in abundance.

Another habitat commonly inhabited by beetles in the Cleridae family is trees. These "tree living species" are found in forests across the world with various climates and an array of easily preyed upon insects. They seek protection under the bark and hunt for other insects above and below the bark. The primary source of prey for these bark living hunters is bark beetles.

The third type of clerid beetles is the "nest robbing species" which live in shrubbery and in trees. Unlike the tree living species these species do not actually burrow into the bark. Nest robbing species typically hunt termite, bee, and wasp larvae, and one particular species has been noted to prey primarily on grasshopper egg masses. Not all nest robbing species actively hunt live prey, some species for example prefer to feed only on dead honey bee larvae and adults.

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