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Genus Hydrophilus - Giant Water Scavenger Beetles

Hydrophilus Hydrophilus ovatus big Hydrophilid - Hydrophilus triangularis Hydrophilus - Hydrophilus ovatus Hydrophilus ovatus Hydrophilus - Giant Water Scavenger Beetle? - Hydrophilus ovatus Hydrophilus ovatus Hydrophilus ovatus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Staphyliniformia)
Superfamily Hydrophiloidea
Family Hydrophilidae (Water Scavenger Beetles)
Subfamily Hydrophilinae
Tribe Hydrophilini
Genus Hydrophilus (Giant Water Scavenger Beetles)
Explanation of Names
Hydrophilus Geoffroy 1762
4 spp. in 2 subgenera in our area(1); 3 subgenera total(2)
H. (H.) ensifer s.FL & the Neotropics
H. (H.) insularis s.AZ, s.TX, FL & Mesoamerica
H. (H.) triangularis: Canada (BC‒QC) to Mexico
H. (D.) ovatus: e.NA (QC‒FL to IA‒TX); Mexico
the largest members of the family, >30 mm (our spp. up to 40 mm, extralimital spp. up to ~50 mm)(2)(3)
keys to spp. in (2)(4)
New World & Eurasia(1)(3)
stagnant/slow waters; prefer deeper water (weedy ponds, deep drainage ditches)(2)
Life Cycle
Female deposits up to 140 eggs in cocoon-like case with a "mast". Pupation in moist soil. 1‒2 generations per year. Some adults overwinter under leaf litter. Others may remain under ice and stay active all winter. Lifespan may exceed one year.
The subgenus Dibolocelus in Mexico was recently revised, with 5 additional spp. (other than H. ovatus) recorded along the Gulf Coast in Mexico and one in Cuba. Some of these species may be eventually discovered in so.TX or FL. (Arce-Pérez et al. 2021)
See Also
Print References
Arce-Pérez R., Arriaga-Varela E., Novelo-Gutiérrez R., Navarrete-Heredia J.L. (2021) Giant water scavenger beetles Hydrophilus subgenus Dibolocelus (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) from Mexico with description of two new species. Zootaxa 5027: 387–407. Full text
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.The Water Beetles of Florida
Epler J.H. 2010. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee. 414 pp.
3.Keys to the insects of the Far East of the USSR, Vol. 3. Coleoptera I
Lehr P.A., ed. 1989. Leningrad, Nauka Publishing House, 572 pp.
4.Review of the Giant Water Scavenger Beetle Genus Hydrophilus Geoffroy (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) of the US and Canada.
A. E. Z. Short and C. E. Mcintosh IV. 2014. The Coleopterists Bulletin 68(2): 187-198.