Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Cercyon praetextatus

Small black with tan posterior - Cercyon praetextatus yellow-tush hydrophilid - Cercyon praetextatus Compost hydrophilid - Cercyon praetextatus Water scavenger beetle - Cercyon praetextatus Water Scavenger Beetle - Cercyon praetextatus Water Scavenger Beetle - Cercyon praetextatus  Sphaeridium lunatum - Cercyon praetextatus Beetle - Cercyon praetextatus
Classification
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)
No Taxon (Series Staphyliniformia)
Superfamily Hydrophiloidea (Water Scavenger and Clown Beetles)
Family Hydrophilidae (Water Scavenger Beetles)
Subfamily Sphaeridiinae
Tribe Megasternini
Genus Cercyon
No Taxon (Subgenus Cercyon)
Species praetextatus (Cercyon praetextatus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cercyon praetextatus (Say)
Orig. Comb: Sphaeridium praetextatum Say, 1825
Syn: Cercyon testaceum Blatchley, 1923
Size
2.4 to 3.5 mm (1)
Identification
Shining black Cercyon with distinctly delimited pale apex of the elytra.

Key Characters: (1)
> 2 mm
Mesosternum narrow, finely punctured.
Metasternum without femoral lines.
Prosternum with simple longitudinal carina.
Pronotum and elytra shining, no microsculpture.
Elytra black with distinctly delimited pale apex.
Stria impressed to apex of elytra.
Vertex of head with pair of small reddish spots, often very obscure and difficult to see.
Range
Widely distributed across USA and into southern parts of Canada. Range extends south to Mexico, Guatemala, and Jamaica. (1)
State/Province Records: (1)(2)
CAN: MB, ON, NS, QC
USA: AL, AR, CA, CT, CO, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WV, WY
Habitat
Often in wet/damp habitats in various debris, leaf-litter, and decomposing plant matter. Also found on fungi, carrion and dung. (1)
Adults are attracted to lights and malt traps. (1)
Remarks
A very common species. (1)
An adult from Florida was found to carry mite deutonymphs (Parasitus sp.) under its elytra. (1)
Works Cited
1.Revision of the subfamily Sphaeridiinae of America north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)
Smetana A. 1978. Mem. Ent. Soc. Canada 105: 1–292.
2.Checklist of beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Second edition
Bousquet Y., Bouchard P., Davies A.E., Sikes D.S. 2013. ZooKeys 360: 1–402.