Taxonomic placing: Holometabola, Coleoptera.

Geographical distribution: Widely distributed in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world. About 150 species have been described in this family, most in the genus Cybocephalus Erichson.

Morphology: The adults are are small (1-2 mm in length), body shily, convex and rounded, with a large head reflexed downwards and concealed by the pronotum. Their identification is based mainly on the shape of the male genitalia, front legs and antennae.

Biology: Generation time, progeny production (>300/female) and adult longevity are best at 28°C. In the Middle East adults occur the year round. They may undergo a facultative diapause during autumn and winter, induced mainly by short-day conditions; its termination is affected by long-day conditions and by rising temperatures 29-34°C). Both larvae and adults (which are predators, mostly on scale insects) require relatively small amounts of prey in order to complete their development.

Economic importance: These beetles include natural enemies of certain scale insects (Coccoidea), especially Diaspididae) which are major pests of commercial crops.


Alvarez, J. M. and Van Driesche, R. 1998. Biology of Cybocephalus sp. nr. nipponicus (Coleoptera: Cybocephalidae), a natural enemy of Euonymus scale (Homoptera: Diaspididae). Biological Control 27: 131-136.

Blumberg, D. 1973. Survey and distribuition of Cybocephalidae (Coleoptera) in Israel. Entomophaga 18: 125-131.

Blumberg, D. 1973. Field studies of Cybocephalus nigriceps nigriceps (J. Sahlberg) (Coleoptera: Cybocephalidae) in Israel. Journal of Natural History 7: 567-571.

Blumberg, D. 1976. Adult diapause of Cybocephalus nigriceps nigriceps (Col., Cybocephalidae). Entomophaga 21: 131-139.

Blumberg, D. and Swirski, E. 1982. Comparative biological studies on two species of predatory beetles of the genus Cybocephalus (Col.: Cybocephalidae). Entomophaga 27: 67-76.

Cline, A.R., Smith, T.R., Miller, K., Moulton, M., Whiting, M. and Audisio, P. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of Nitidulidae: assesssment of subfamilial and tribal classification and formalization of the family Cybocephalidae (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea). Systematic Entomology 39: 758-772.

Endrody-Younga, S. 1968. Monographie der palaarktichen Arten der Familie Cybocephalidae (Coleoptera: Clavicornia). Acta Zoologica Scientiarum Hungaricae 14: 27-115.

Dr. Daniel Blumberg, Department of Entomology, The Volcani Institute, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.

Websites: https://www.google.co.il/search?q=Cybocephalidae+pictures&biw=1280&bih=687&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5o5Gy4aPJAhXMmBoKHeYTCuYQsAQIGg