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

Examples of darkling beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This particular beetle is a type of darkling beetle. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Nov. 2017 In a paper released last week in the journal of Microbial Genomics, scientists from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, showed that the larvae of a darkling beetle, called zophobas morio, can survive solely on polystyrene, commonly called Styrofoam. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 17 June 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'darkling beetle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Darkling beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/darkling%20beetle. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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