Explanation of Names
Heterelmis comalensis Bosse, Tuff, and Brown, 1988
Male-Length 1.7 to 2.1 mm;
Female averaging slightly larger. (Bosse et al., 1988).
H. comalensis is the smallest of the Heterelmis species (n = 5) in the US, is the only species of Heterelmis with vestigial hind wings, and is flightless (Bosse et al., 1988).
endemic to two spring complexes in the Texas Hill Country, Comal Springs [Comal Co.] and San Marcos Springs [Hays Co.] (Gonzales 2008)
Usual water depth in occupied habitat is 2 to 10 centimeters (cm)(1 to 4 in) although the beetle may also occur in slightly deeper areas within the spring runs. (Gonzales 2008)
Type Locality: Texas, Comal County, Comal River, Landa Park Springs, 9 April 1976, L. S. Bosse, collector.
Texas Parks & Wildlife considers this to be a "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" (SGCN) (2)
Bosse, L.S., D.W. Tuff, and H.P. Brown. 1988. A new species of Heterelmis
from Texas (Coleoptera: Elmidae). Southwestern Naturalist 33: 199-203. Full Text
Bowles, D.E., Barr, C.B., and Stanford, R. 2003. Habitat and phenology of the endangered riffle beetle Heterelmis comalensis
and a coexisting species, Microcylloepus pusillus
, (Coleoptera: Elmidae) at Comal Springs, Texas, USA. Arch. Hydrobiol. 156(3): 361-383. Abstract
Fries, J.N. 2004. Possible reproduction of the Comal Springs riffle beetle, Heterelmis comalensis
(Coleoptera: Elmidae), in captivity. Entomological News 114(1): 7-9. Abstract
Gibson, J.R., S.J. Harden, and J.N. Fries. 2008. Survey and distribution of invertebrates from selected springs of the Edwards Aquifer in Comal and Hays Counties, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 53: 74-84. Abstract
Gonzales, T.K. 2008. Conservation Genetics of the Comal Springs Riffle Beetle (Heterelmis comalensis) Populations in Central Texas, with Examination of Molecular and Morphological Variation in Heterelmis
Sp. Throughout Texas. Texas State University-San Marcos, Theses and Dissertations-Biology. 67 pp. Full PDF