|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Family:||Darkling Beetle (Tenebrionidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Confusing Beetle (Salax sp)|
Thank you Mark Hura for identifying this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
~8.5mm long. The thick legs are reminiscent of a Scarab beetle, but the antennae are wrong for those.
We thought it might be a Dusty Surface Beetle (Gonocephalum sp), but what's going on with it's face! A double face shield? No, on analysing the photo's we then realised the lower shields (looking similar to the upper ones) are the upper edges of the mandibles.
Mark said "These guys are interesting - they are listed as Salax Guerin-Meneville, 1834, in the Trilobocarini tribe (Pimeliinae subfamily). They are believed to have been introduced here from Argentina or Chile. The species found here is listed as not described.
Doesn't seem to be many official records of them, and of those they are mostly from coastal habitats. I have found them reasonably common out our way in disturbed farmland areas."
As there is so little information on them, we haven't marked them as introduced. It's possible they are native, but no work has been done to be sure either way.