False Darkling Beetle
Head: Face entirely reddish-orange on male and with a black mouth on female. From eyes to back of head it is entirely black with some gray pile. Last segment of whiskers (palpi) long, wide and bent at base.
Antenna: Slender, long, not serrated. Dark except first 2 segments have some yellowish streaks.
Thorax (Pronotum): Gradually widens to lower margin, corners rounded. Reddish-orange with two large, oblong black marks each side of center; sometimes marks are connected or reduced to spots, or entirely absent.
Wings (Elytra): Black with some gray pile; sides straight and long. Pale pile down middle (wing suture).
Legs: Female legs mostly black. Male legs have more colour, base of thighs (femora) reddish, rest black. Shins (tibiae) base yellow, middle reddish, tips black. Hind shins curved and wider than female’s with a lobe or hook near the tip. Feet brown.
Abdomen: Black, lower margin of segments have a yellowish-brown stripe.
Similar Species: The Two-lined Leatherwing Beetle Atalantycha bilineata has thicker, serrated antenna, lacks the white pile down center of wings (suture) and back of head has some red.
Size: 5 to 8 mm.
Food: Adults feed on flowers, especially Dogwood and Hawthorne.
Flight Time: June to July
Life Cycle: False Darkling Beetles generally live under bark or in fungi. Larvae use elm, oak, hawthorn and tuliptree. Adults come to lights.
Comments: Listed for Ontario but without locations. Found in Essex County – Point Pelee National Park per photos and in Niagara per BugGuide July 11, 2009.
Synonyms: LeConte 1866
Nothus (Nothi) varians
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1861-62, Vol. 3: Classification of the Coleoptera of North America, Pt. 1, by LeConte, pg. 252 (pg. 486 in volume).
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1867, Vol. 6, #4: List of Coleoptera of N.A. by Leconte, pg. 145.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1881-82, Vol. 9: Index to the Coleoptera described by LeConte by Henshaw.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1889, Vol. 21: Additions List of Canadian Coleoptera by Kilman, Ridgeway, Ontario, pg. 136.
Beetles of Indiana, 1910 by Blatchley, pg. 1302.
Beetles of Eastern North America, 2014 by Evans, pg. 332.