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Family Hydrophilidae - Water Scavenger Beetles

2.6mm blackie - Cercyon Water Scavenger Beetle - Tropisternus Cercyon? - Cercyon praetextatus What are these creatures in my pool?? - Hydrophilus small aquatic insect larva Hydrochara #1 - Hydrochara soror - male Water scavenger beetle - Tropisternus ellipticus water beetle - Hydrochus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Hydrophiloidea (Water Scavenger and Clown Beetles)
Family Hydrophilidae (Water Scavenger Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
incl. Georyssidae, Helophoridae, Hydrochidae, Spercheidae, Sphaeridiidae
Explanation of Names
Hydrophilidae Latreille 1802
ca. 2500 spp. worldwide; ca. 260 spp. in 35 genera north of Mexico(1)
Adapted from(2); taxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
Family Hydrophilidae
Subfamily Helophorinae
Helophorus Fabricius 1775
Subfamily Epimetopinae
Epimetopus Lacordaire 1854
Subfamily Georissinae
Georissus Laporte 1840
Subfamily Hydrochinae
Hydrochus Leach 1817
Tribe Sperchopsini Ametor Semenow 1900, Sperchopsis LeConte 1862
Tribe Berosini *Hemiosus Sharp 1882, Berosus Leach 1817, Derallus Sharp 1882
Tribe Chaetarthriini Chaetarthria Stephens 1833
Tribe Anacaenini Anacaena Thomson 1859, Crenitis Bedel 1881, Paracymus Thomson 1867
Tribe Laccobiini Laccobius Erichson 1837
Tribe Hydrophilini Cymbiodyta Bedel 1881, Enochrus Thomson 1859, Helobata Bergroth 1888, Helochares Mulsant 1844, Helocombus Horn 1890, Hydrobiomorpha Blackburn 1888, Hydrobius Leach 1815, Hydrochara Berthold 1827, Hydrophilus Geoffroy 1762, Tropisternus Solier 1834
Subfamily Sphaeridiinae
Tribe Coelostomatini Phaenonotum Sharp 1882, Dactylosternum Wollaston 1854
Tribe *Omicrini *Omicrus Sharp 1879
Tribe Megasternini *Agna Smetana 1978, Cercyon Leach 1817, Cryptopleurum Mulsant 1844, *Cycrillum Knisch 1921, Deltostethus Sharp 1882, Megasternum Mulsant 1844, Oosternum Sharp 1882, *Paraoosternum Scott 1913, Pelosoma Mulsant 1844, Tectosternum Balfour-Browne 1958
Tribe Sphaeridiini Sphaeridium Fabricius 1775
1-40 mm(1) (exotic spp. up to 50 mm)
Aquatic forms may superficially resemble Dysticidae but can be easily distinguished by antennae. Many have keeled sterna. The adults come up for air head first, and move hind legs alternately (Dysticidae come up for air tail first and move hind legs together, like oars)
keys in(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)
Mostly aquatic; Sphaeridiinae are terrestrial (in dung, compost, carrion, and other decaying organic matter). Habitats discussed in detail in(9)
Some adults are scavengers and feed on dead plant and animal material, others are predatory. Larvae often predatory. Some terrestrial species feed on various decaying matter and associated maggots.
See Also
Internet References
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume I: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia
Arnett, R.H., Jr., and M. C. Thomas. (eds.). 2000. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.World Catalogue of Insects, Vol. 2: Hydrophiloidea (Coleoptera).
Hansen, M. 1999. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, Denmark. 416 pp.
3.Review of the Family Hydrophilidae of Canada and Alaska
Ales Smetana. 1988. Entomological Society of Canada.
4.Clifford H.F. (1991) Aquatic invertebrates of Alberta
5.Water Beetles of South Carolina
Janet Ciegler. 2003. Clemson University.
6.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
7.The Water Beetles of Florida
Epler J.H. 2010. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee. 414 pp.
8.Florida Association of Benthologists website
9.Short A.E.Z. (2007)
10.MacGown J.A. (2010) Aquatic Hydrophilidae of Mississippi