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Cucujus coccinatus.JPG
Cucujus cocccinatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Cucujoidea
Family: Cucujidae
Genus: Cucujus
Fabricius, 1775

Cucujus is a genus of beetles in the family Cucujidae, the flat bark beetles. It contains 14 currently recognized species and subspecies.[1][2][3] Species of Cucujus are of moderate size (6-25mm), greatly dorso-ventrally compressed, and brightly colored, often red or red and black. Additionally, they can distinguished from other members of the family by the head being generally wider than the pronotum with prominent temples, and the elongate, inverted male genitalia with a flagellum.[4] The genus occurs throughout the Holarctic region, with indigenous species in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is most diverse in Asia.[3]

Species include:

The biology of most species in the genus is poorly known. All life stages live under dead bark, where they apparently are predacious.[5] Larvae also are dorso-ventrally compressed. Cucujus clavipes puniceus, which occurs in western North America, has been the subject of considerable research interest due to its ability to produce natural antifreeze compounds.[6][7]


  1. ^ Lee, C. and A. Pütz. (2008). A new species of Cucujus Fabricius, 1775 from China and key to the east–Palaearctic species of the genus (Coleoptera: Cucujidae). Entomologische Zeitschrift 118(5) 211-13.
  2. ^ Lee, C. and M. Satô. (2007). A review of the genus Cucujus Fabricius (Insecta: Cucujoidea: Cucujidae) from Taiwan, Japan, and China, with descriptions of two new species and the larvae of Cucujus mniszechi Grouvelle. Zoological Studies 46: 311-21.
  3. ^ a b Bonacci, T., Mazzei, A., Horák, J., & Brandmayr, P. (2011). Cucujus tulliae sp. n. – an endemic Mediterranean saproxylic beetle from genus Cucujus Fabricius, 1775 (Coleoptera, Cucujidae), and keys for identification of adults and larvae native to Europe. ZooKeys (212) 63-79.
  4. ^ Thomas, M. C., and R. A. B. Leschen. 2010. Cucujidae Latreille, 1802. p. 350-354. In: Leschen, R. A. B., R. G. Beutel, and J. F. Lawrence. Coleoptera, Beetles. Vol. 2: Morphology and Systematics (Elateroidea, Bostrichiformia, Cucujiformia partim). Handbook of Zoology. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
  5. ^ Smith, D. B. and M. K. Sears. 1982. Mandibular structure and feeding habits of three morphologically similar coleopterous larvae: Cucujus clavipes (Cucujidae), Dendroides canadensis (Pyrochroidae), and Pytho depressus (Salpingidae). Canadian Entomologist 114: 173-75.
  6. ^ Carrasco, M. A.; et al. "Investigating the deep supercooling ability of an Alaskan beetle, Cucujus clavipes puniceus, via high throughput proteomics". J Proteomics. 75 (4): 1220–34. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2011.10.034. PMID 22094879. 
  7. ^ Sformo, T.; et al. (Feb 1, 2010). "Deep supercooling, vitrification and limited survival to -100{degrees}C in the Alaskan beetle Cucujus clavipes puniceus (Coleoptera: Cucujidae) larvae". J Exp Biol. 213 (3): 502–9. doi:10.1242/jeb.035758. PMID 20086136.