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

Family Scirtidae - Marsh Beetles

Is this a leaf beetle? - Contacyphon hairy little beetle - Sarabandus robustus Prionocyphon discoideus Fuzzy black beetle - Unnamed-near-cyphon obscurus Beetle - Contacyphon Beautiful Marsh beetle - Sacodes pulchella Marsh beetle - Contacyphon Scirtes? - Scirtes
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 Elateriformia)
Superfamily Scirtoidea (Plate-thigh and Marsh Beetles)
Family Scirtidae (Marsh Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Helodidae, Cyphonidae
family in great need of revision(1)
Explanation of Names
Scirtidae Fleming 1821
50 spp. in 12 genera in our area + numerous undescribed species(1)(2)(3); ~800 spp. in 35 genera worldwide(4)
1.5-12 mm(1)
The multisegmented larval antennae separate this group from all other holometabolous insects(1)
images of 12 eastern spp. in(5)
worldwide; most diverse in temperate regions; in our area, more diverse in the east(1)
Larvae in stagnant and flowing water (mostly rich in decomposing plant material); adults on vegetation, in rotting plant material on shorelines, etc.; may be abundant in light traps run near water bodies(6)
Life Cycle
Larvae may go through as many as 11 instars(6)
One of the most poorly known of the subaquatic beetle families; all the genera are in great need of revision. --J.H. Epler, 11.iv.2009
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.Monophyletische Artengruppen der ehemaligen Gattung Cyphon Paykull, 1799 und Beschreibung von neuen Gattungen (Col., Scirtidae)
Klausnitzer B. 2013. Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte 57: 255-262.
3.Species of genus Cyphon Paykull, 1799 with developed sternite 8, and description of a new genus (Col., Scirtidae)
Klausnitzer B. 2006. Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte 50: 71-77.
4.Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Ślipiński S.A., Leschen R.A.B., Lawrence J.F. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 203–208.
5.Scirtids of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Coleoptera: Scirtidae), by M. Gimmel, C. Carlton, & A.J. Mayor
6.The Water Beetles of Florida
Epler J.H. 2010. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee. 414 pp.