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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Coleopterida
Ordo: Coleoptera
Subordo: Polyphaga
Infraordo: Staphyliniformia
Superfamilia: Staphylinoidea

Familia: Silphidae
Subfamilia: Silphinae
Genus: Phosphuga
Species: P. atrata

Phosphuga Leach, 1817


Nomenclator Zoologicus

Phosphuga is a European genus of carrion beetle, whose sole member is the species Phosphuga atrata. The beetle is up to 15mm long and has an elongated neck that it uses to reach into snail shells, which it sprays with a digestive fluid. The beetle feeds on live snails, insects and earthworms, as well as on carrion. Newly moulted beetles are brownish in color, older ones are black. The larvae are black and flattened and feed on snails as well. They pupate in the ground. Adults are flightless, lacking flight muscles.[1]

Although they are widely distributed, they are seldom found, because they hunt at night and hide during the day, often under bark. When disturbed, they excrete a yellow fluid and retract their head under the shield.

Range: Europe (including UK), Russia (European, Siberia, Far East, Kuriles), Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Korea (N,S), Japan, India (Kashmir), China (Heilongjiang+); intro Iceland

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