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Drilidae - Drilus flavescens-1.JPG
Drilus flavescens - Male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Drilidae
Blanchard, 1845

Drilidae is a family of beetles. The females are wingless, while the males are winged. In the Palearctic ecozone there are about 230 species. The biology of Drilidae is poorly known.

Description and behaviour[edit]

They are small to medium-sized beetles; the size varies depending on the species from 3 up to 30 millimeters in length. These beetles exhibit a very pronounced sexual dimorphism in shape and size. Females of the African Selasia unicolor are ten times bigger than males. The males look like normal bugs, with elytra, compound eyes, and long comb-shaped antennae, but the females are wingless and resemble caterpillars.

Males can often be found on flowering herbs or other vegetation, while the females feed on the ground; they may be found under rocks or in empty shells. Probably they use pheromones to attract the flying males.

The larvae, at least in species in the genus Drilus and Selasia, are specialized predators that hunt, bite and eat land snails. The beetle larvae use special enzymes to partially dissolve the prey before devouring it.

List of genera[edit]


  • A.G. Kirejtshuk and A. Herrmann Atlas of beetles (Drilidae) of Russia
  • Imms' General Textbook of Entomology: Volume 1: Structure, Physiology and Development Volume 2: Classification and Biology. Springer, s. 870