In the desert areas of southwestern United States the Coleoptera, family Tenebrionidae, constitute a conspicuous part of the ground-dwelling insects. Most species are black or dull chestnut-brown. They are primarily nocturnal and during the day can be found under rocks, debris, loose bark, or in rodent burrows. On cloudy days they may be seen lumbering along the desert floor. Most tenebrionids feed on plant materials of various sorts. In August, 1959, Brigham Young University initiated an ecological study at the Nevada Test Site near Mercury in Nye County, Nevada. As part of that study, emphasis was given to the ground-dwelling arthropods. One of the largest resulting collections was of tenebrionids. The purpose of this study is to provide descriptions of and keys to the beetles of this family found at the Nevada Test Site with notes on their relative abundance, seasonal occurrence, and plant community relationships. The results reported here deal with the tenebrionids collected between August, 1959 and July, 1962.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Packham, Willis A., "The darkling beetles of the Nevada test site (Coleoptera - tenebrionidae)" (1963). Theses and Dissertations. 7843.