Common Name: Violin Beetle

Scientific Name: Mormolyce phyllodes

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Coleoptera

Family: Carabidae

Genus: Mormolyce

Species: M. phyllodes



This species of beetle is indigenous to the Malayan Archipelago, Malaysia. The violin beetle has a flat body, because they live between soil cracks, under bark, and between layers of bracket fungi. Their common name comes from the fact that their body resembles the musical instrument know as the violin. They can reach lengths of up to 4 inches long. They are carnivorous and feed on insect larvae. For defense purposes, they eject butyric acid that is capable of paralyzing fingers for 24 hours. Collectors pay high prices for these specimens. If found with a live specimen in Malaysia, the collector may be fined or placed in custody.

Author: Luke T

Published: 2/2005