The clown beetles (Histeridae) comprises very small (1 mm), but also medium-sized (20 mm) species. Worldwide, about 4000 species have been described, 85 are known to occur in Germany. Most of them are carnivorous und actively hunt other insects and their larvae. They are often found on carrion, dung, under bark, in nests of mammals and birds. Some species are associated with ants (myrmecophilic) and can be found in ant nests. The shortened elytra leave the last two tergites uncovered. When threatened many clown beetles play dead (thanathosis). In doing so, the legs and antennae are retracted in special hollows on the lower side of the body.