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Species Tropicus pusillus

Tropicus pusillus Tropicus sp. - Tropicus pusillus Tropicus pusillus (Say) - Tropicus pusillus Tropicus pusillus Heteroceridae - Tropicus pusillus Beetle - Tropicus pusillus Very small Heterocerid? - Tropicus pusillus Short-antennaed beetle - Tropicus pusillus
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 Elateriformia)
Superfamily Byrrhoidea (Pill, Water and Toe-winged Beetles)
Family Heteroceridae (Variegated Mud-loving Beetles)
Genus Tropicus
Species pusillus (Tropicus pusillus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Heterocerus pusillus Say 1823, Heterocerus luteolus LeConte 1863, Heterocerus limbatus Kiesenwetter 1843
Explanation of Names
Tropicus pusillus (Say 1823)
pusillus = 'tiny'
Size
2.3-3.0 mm(1)
Identification
the elytra are orange laterally and share a faint medial brown stripe that covers about one-third of the surface; easily distinguished from other se.US heterocerids by color pattern(1)
Range
e NA to AZ (QC-ON to Panama) and Cuba(1)(2)(BG data)
Habitat
along with Heterocerus mollinus, the only heterocerid in the se. US often collected from non-riverine environments (e.g. roadside ditches)(1)
Life Cycle
Despite its abundance, virtually nothing is known of its biology(1)
Remarks
one of the most common and widespread heterocerids in the Western Hemisphere, the most commonly collected heterocerid in e. US(1), and the most commonly coll'ed beetle sp. (>15K spmns at UV light traps) at Laguna Atascosa NWR, Rio Hondo, Cameron Co., TX (3)
See Also
The orange-brown elytra and indistinct elytral markings make it easy to confuse H. selanderi with T. pusillus without the aid of a microscope. Elytral pattern is different, T. pusillus having one common macula and H. selanderi being trifasciate. H. selanderi primarily occurs in Florida. T. nigrellus (a rare sp., NC-FL-MS) is black, with no dorsal pattern.(1)
Works Cited
1.The variegated mud-loving beetles (Heteroceridae) of Mississippi and Alabama, with discussion and keys to se US spp.
King and Lago. 2012. Insecta Mundi 0275: 1-53.
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.
3.Beetle biodiversity response to vegetation restoration of mid-valley riparian woodland in the LRGV of southern Texas.
King, J.E. 2015. Unpublished master's thesis, Texas A&M University, College Station. viii + 218 pp. .