False wireworms are larvae of the darkling beetle genus Eleodes Eschscholtz, some of which are agricultural pests of dryland wheat. Because of the large number of species in the genus (approximately 235), identifications can be problematic. Hence, regional keys are of great utility. Within the state of Texas a total of 31 species are known to occur: E. acutus, E. arcuatus, E. carbonarius, E. caudiferus, E. debilis, E. delicatus, E. dissimilis, E. easterlai, E. extricatus, E. fusiformis, E. goryi, E. gracilis, E. hispilabris, E. knullorum, E. labialis, E. longicollis, E. mirabilis, E. neomexicanus, E. nigrinus, E. obscurus, E. opacus, E. pedinoides, E. spiculiferus, E. spinipes, E. sponsus, E. striolatus, E. suturalis, E. tenuipes, E. tricostatus, E. veterator, and E. wenzeli. Herein we provide a key with illustrations and a brief diagnosis for the adult of each Texas species, along with notes on ecology, distribution, and pest status.
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