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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
Series (6): BostrichiformiaCucujiformia – Derodontiformia – ElateriformiaScarabaeiformiaStaphyliniformia

Familiae incertae sedis: †Peltosynidae
Overview of superfamiliae (18)

BostrichoideaBuprestoideaByrrhoideaChrysomeloideaCleroidea – Coccinelloidea – CucujoideaCurculionoideaDascilloideaDerodontoideaElateroideaHisteroideaHydrophiloideaLymexyloideaScarabaeoideaScirtoideaStaphylinoideaTenebrionoidea

Overview of familiae

Extant (157): AcanthocnemidaeAderidaeAgapythidaeAgyrtidaeAkalyptoischiidaeAlexiidae – Anamorphidae – Anthicidae – Anthribidae – Archeocrypticidae – Artematopodidae – Attelabidae – Belidae – Biphyllidae – Boganiidae – Boridae – Bostrichidae – Bothrideridae – Brachyceridae – Brachypsectridae – Brentidae – Buprestidae – Byrrhidae – Byturidae – Callirhipidae – CantharidaeCaridae – Cavognathidae – CerambycidaeCerophytidae – Cerylonidae – Chaetosomatidae – Chalcodryidae – Chelonariidae – Chrysomelidae – Ciidae – Clambidae – Cleridae – CneoglossidaeCoccinellidae – Corylophidae – Cryptophagidae – CucujidaeCurculionidae – Cybocephalidae – Cyclaxyridae – Dascillidae – Decliniidae – Dermestidae – Derodontidae – DiscolomatidaeDisteniidae – Dryophthoridae – DryopidaeElateridaeElmidaeEndecatomidae – Endomychidae – EpimetopidaeErotylidae – Eucinetidae – Eucnemidae – Eulichadidae – Eupsilobiidae – Euxestidae – Georissidae – Helophoridae – Helotidae – HeteroceridaeHisteridae – Hobartiidae – Hydraenidae – Hydrochidae – Hydrophilidae – Ischaliidae – Jacobsoniidae – Kateretidae – Laemophloeidae – Lamingtoniidae – Lampyridae – Latridiidae – Leiodidae – Limnichidae – Lophocateridae – Lutrochidae – Lycidae – Lymexylidae – Mauroniscidae – Megalopodidae – Melandryidae – Meloidae – Melyridae – Monotomidae – Mordellidae – Murmidiidae – Mycetaeidae – Mycetophagidae – Mycteridae – Myraboliidae – Nemonychidae – Nitidulidae – Nosodendridae – OedemeridaeOmalisidae – Omethidae – Orsodacnidae – Oxypeltidae – Passandridae – Peltidae – Phalacridae – Phengodidae – Phloeostichidae – Phloiophilidae – Phycosecidae – Plastoceridae – Priasilphidae – Prionoceridae – Promecheilidae – Prostomidae – Protocucujidae – Protopeltidae – Psephenidae – Pterogeniidae – Ptiliidae – Ptilodactylidae – Ptinidae – Pyrochroidae – Pythidae – Rentoniidae – Rhadalidae – Rhagophthalmidae – Rhinorhipidae – Rhipiceridae – Ripiphoridae – Salpingidae – Schizopodidae – Scirtidae – Scraptiidae – SilphidaeSilvanidaeSmicripidae – Spercheidae – Sphaeritidae – Sphindidae – Staphylinidae – Stenotrachelidae – Synchroidae – Synteliidae – Tasmosalpingidae – Telegeusidae – Tenebrionidae – Teredidae – Tetratomidae – Thanerocleridae – Throscidae – Thymalidae – Trachelostenidae – Trictenotomidae – Trogossitidae – Ulodidae – VesperidaeZopheridae

Fossil: †Boleopsidae – †Peltosynidae – †Tetrameropseidae – †Ulyanidae


Polyphaga Emery, 1886

Bird, M.S., Bilton, D.T. & Perissinotto, R. 2017. Diversity and distribution of polyphagan water beetles (Coleoptera) in the Lake St Lucia system, South Africa. ZooKeys 656: 51-84. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.656.11622. Reference page.
Caterino, M.S.; Hunt, T.; Vogler, A.P. 2005: On the constitution and phylogeny of Staphyliniformia (Insecta: Coleoptera). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 34: 655–672. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2004.11.012 PDF
Hunt, T.; Bergsten, J.; Levkanicova, Z.; Papadopoulou, A.; St. John, O.; Wild, R.; Hammond, P.M.; Ahrens, D.; Balke, M.; Caterino, M.S.; Gomez-Zurita, J.; Ribera, I.; Barraclough, T.G.; Bocakova, M.; Bocak, L.; Vogler, A.P. 2007: A comprehensive phylogeny of beetles reveals the evolutionary origins of a superradiation. Science, 318: 1913–1916. [1]
Maddison, D.R.; Moore, W.; Baker, M.D.; Ellis, T.M.; Ober, K.A.; Cannone, J.J.; Gutell, R.R. 2009: Monophyly of terrestrial adephagan beetles as indicated by three nuclear genes (Coleoptera: Carabidae and Trachypachidae). Zoologica scripta, 38: 43–62. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00359.x
McElrath, T.C., Robertson, J.A., Thomas, M.C., Osborne, J., Miller, K.B., McHugh, J.V. & Whiting, M.F. 2015. A molecular phylogenetic study of Cucujidae s.l. (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea). Systematic Entomology 40(4): 705–718. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12133 Paywall. ResearchGate Open access. Reference page.
Robertson, J.A., Ślipiński, A., Moulton, M., Shockley, F.W., Giorgi, J.A., Lord, N.P., McKenna, D.D., Tomaszewska, W., Forrester, J., Miller, K.B., Whiting, M.F. & McHugh, J.V. 2015. Phylogeny and classification of Cucujoidea and the recognition of a new superfamily Coccinelloidea (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia). Systematic Entomology 40(4): 745–778. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12138 Paywall. ResearchGate Open access. Reference page.
Yan, E.V., Beutel, R.G. & Ponomarenko, A.G. 2017 (online) [2018 (print)]. †Peltosynidae, a new beetle family from the Middle–Late Triassic of Kyrgyzstan: its affinities with Polyphaga (Insecta, Coleoptera) and the groundplan of this megadiverse suborder. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 16(6): 515–530. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1313789 Paywall. ResearchGate Open access. Reference page.


Australian Faunal Directory
Tree of Life Web Project. 1995. Polyphaga. Version 01 January 1995 (temporary) in The Tree of Life Web Project

Vernacular names
беларуская: Рознаедныя жукі
български: Всеядни
čeština: Všežraví
English: polyphagans
magyar: Mindenevő bogarak
日本語: カブトムシ亜目 (多食亜目)
한국어: 풍뎅이아목
lietuvių: Įvairiaėdžiai vabalai
polski: chrząszcze wielożerne
русский: Разноядные жуки
svenska: Allätarbaggar

Polyphaga is the largest and most diverse suborder of beetles. It comprises 144 families in 16 superfamilies, and displays an enormous variety of specialization and adaptation, with over 350,000 described species, or approximately 90% of the beetle species so far discovered.

Key characteristics of Polyphaga are that the hind coxa (base of the leg), does not divide the first and second abdominal/ventral plates which are known as sternites. Also, the notopleural suture (found under the pronotal shield) is not present.[1] Polyphaga are also essential secondary decomposers of their soil and natural aquatic environments. They digest harmful toxins and release useful nutrients into their surroundings, cultivating healthy bodies of water and soil. [2]


The name of polyphaga is derived from two Greek words: poly-, meaning 'many', and phagein, meaning 'to eat', so the suborder is called the “eaters of many things”.

The five infraorders are:

Bostrichiformia — including furniture beetles and skin beetles
Cucujiformia — includes lady beetles, longhorn beetles, weevils, checkered beetles and leaf beetles
Elateriformia — includes click beetles and fireflies
Scarabaeiformia — includes scarab beetles, stag beetles, and dung beetles
Staphyliniformia — includes rove beetles and water scavenger beetles

The internal classification of Polyphaga involves several superfamilies or series, whose constituents are relatively stable, although some smaller families (whose rank even is disputed) are allocated to different clades by different authors. Large superfamilies include Hydrophiloidea, Staphylinoidea, Scarabaeoidea, Buprestoidea, Byrrhoidea, Elateroidea, and Bostrichoidea.

The infraorder Cucujiformia includes the vast majority of phytophagous (plant-eating) beetles, united by cryptonephric Malpighian tubules of the normal type, a cone ommatidium with open rhabdom, and lack of functional spiracles on the eighth abdominal segment. Constituent superfamilies of Cucujiformia are Cleroidea, Cucujoidea, Tenebrionoidea, Chrysomeloidea, and Curculionoidea. Evidently adoption of a phytophagous lifestyle correlates with taxon diversity in beetles, with Cucujiformia, especially weevils (Curculionoidea), forming a major radiation.
See also

List of subgroups of the order Coleoptera


Johnson, Norman F.; Triplehorn, Charles A. (2004). Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects (7th ed.). Belmont: Brooks/Cole. pp. 365–400, 428–429. ISBN 0-03-096835-6.

Sandström, Saeed, A., & Abd, H. (2010). Acanthamoeba polyphaga is a possible host for Vibrio cholerae in aquatic environments. Experimental Parasitology., 126(1), 65–68.

Cranston, Peter S.; Gullan, Penny J. (2009). "Phylogeny of Insects". In Resh, Vincent H.; Cardé, Ring T. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Insects (Second ed.). Academic Press. pp. 780–793. ISBN 978-0-12-374144-8.

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