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Family Hydrophilidae - Water Scavenger Beetles

underwater beetle - Helophorus Beetle - Hydrochara Helocombus bifidus Beetle Pupae? - Tropisternus Aquatic beetle? - Megasternum posticatum Very small Hydrophilid? - Paracymus Hydrophilus? - Hydrophilus ovatus Another Enochrus?  - Enochrus
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)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
incl. Georyssidae, Helophoridae, Hydrochidae, Spercheidae, Sphaeridiidae
Explanation of Names
Hydrophilidae Latreille 1802
~260 spp. in 35 genera in our area(1), ~3400 spp. in ~200 genera worldwide(2)
Overview of our faunaadapted from(3); taxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
Family Hydrophilidae
Subfamily Hydrophilinae
Tribe Chaetarthriini Chaetarthria
Tribe Laccobiini Laccobius
Subfamily Sphaeridiinae
Tribe *Omicrini *Omicrus
Tribe Sphaeridiini Sphaeridium
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(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)
Mostly aquatic; Sphaeridiinae are terrestrial (in dung, compost, carrion, and other decaying organic matter). Habitats discussed in detail in(10)
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.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.
3.World Catalogue of Insects, Vol. 2: Hydrophiloidea (Coleoptera).
Hansen, M. 1999. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, Denmark. 416 pp.
4.Review of the Family Hydrophilidae of Canada and Alaska
Ales Smetana. 1988. Entomological Society of Canada.
5.Clifford H.F. (1991) Aquatic invertebrates of Alberta
6.Water Beetles of South Carolina
Janet Ciegler. 2003. Clemson University.
7.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
8.The Water Beetles of Florida
Epler J.H. 2010. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee. 414 pp.
9.Florida Association of Benthologists website
10.Short A.E.Z. (2007)
11.MacGown J.A. (2010) Aquatic Hydrophilidae of Mississippi