darkling beetle


: any of a family (Tenebrionidae) of firm-bodied, mostly dark-colored, nocturnal beetles that feed on vegetation and often have vestigial and functionless wings and whose larvae are usually hard, cylindrical worms (such as a mealworm)

called also tenebrionid

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Dew Bank, which collects and stores condensation, was inspired by the darkling beetle. Jay Harman, Discover Magazine, 29 Apr. 2013 Pelagic fish with ultra-black skin can hide in plain sight, and darkling beetle larvae can digest polystyrene. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 The scientists found, for example, that darkling beetle larvae, commonly reported to be 58 to 65 percent protein, are only 49 percent. Marta Zaraska, Discover Magazine, 13 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'darkling beetle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of darkling beetle was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near darkling beetle

Cite this Entry

“Darkling beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darkling%20beetle. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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