Elateriformia (Coleoptera)

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J. F. Lawrence, A. M. Hastings, M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine and E. J. Zurcher

CANTHARIDAE

(= Telephoridae; including Chauliognathidae).

Classification. Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Distribution. Cantharidae are more or less cosmopolitan in distribution. Members of the Cantharinae occur primarily in the Holarctic and Oriental regions, extending to southern Mexico in the New World and North Africa, India and the Sunda Archipelago in the Old World. Dysmorphocerinae occur primarily in the Southern Hemisphere. In the New World they extend from Arizona to Chile, and in the Old World, they are known from southern Africa, Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. Malthininae occur from Canada to Brazil in the New World, throughout the Palaearctic and Oriental regions, and south to central and eastern Africa, India and the East Indies, with Caccodes extending into the Pacific (including Hawaii). No malthinines occur in Australia, and a single species of Malthodes (possibly introduced) is known from New Zealand. Silinae occur mainly in tropical regions. Most Ichthyurini occur throughout the New and Old Worlds, but are absent from Australia and most of Europe. Chauliognathini occur throughout the New World from southern Canada to Chile, and in Australia and New Guinea.

Biogeographic regions: Nearctic, Palearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropical, Oriental, Australian.

Biology. Adult Cantharidae are usually diurnal and occur on foliage and flowers. They are known to be facultative predators but may also feed on plant matter. They are usually brightly colored, and have a well-developed system of defense glands. Larvae are abundant in soil and litter, and are also either predaceous or phytophagous.

Notes. Cantharidae is a well-defined family whose constitution has changed very little; however the subfamily Chauliognathinae was given family rank by Miskimen (1961), and Omethes and their close relatives were transferred to Omethidae by Crowson (1972). The most recent subfamilial classification is that of Brancucci (1980), who proposed a new subfamily Dymorphocerinae, for a group of primarily Gondwanan genera and placed the remaining taxa in Cantharinae, Silinae, Malthininae (including Malthinini, Malthodini and Malchini) and Chauliognathinae (including Chauliognathini and Ichthyurini).

References

Brancucci, M. 1980. Morphologie comparée, évolution et systématique des Cantharidae (Insecta: Coleoptera). Entomologica Basiliensia 5: 215–388.

Brancucci, M. 1981. Révision du genre Maronius et notes sur les genres voisins (Coleoptera: Cantharidae). Entomologica Basiliensia 6: 328–367.

Brancucci, M. 1983. La famille des Cantharidae (Coleoptera) sur l'ile de Taiwan. 4. La sous-famille des Chauliognathinae. Entomologica Basiliensia 8: 256–309.

Crowson, R. A. 1972. A review of the classification of Cantharoidea (Coleoptera), with the definition of two new families, Cneoglossidae and Omethidae. Revista de la Universidad de Madrid 21(82): 35–77.

Dahlgren, G. 1979. 27. Familie: Cantharidae (except Malthinini), pp. 18–39. IN: H. Freude, K. W. Harde and G. A. Lohse (eds.), Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 6. Diversicornia. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld.

Delkeskamp, K. 1939. Pars 165. Cantharidae. IN: S. Schenkling (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 357 pp.

Delkeskamp, K. 1977. Pars 165, Fasc. 1. Editio seconda. Cantharidae. IN: J. A. Wilcox (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa. W. Junk, The Hague, pp. 1–485.

Delkeskamp, K. 1978. Pars 165, Fasc. 2. Editio seconda. Cantharidae. Corrigenda et Addenda. IN: J. A. Wilcox (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa. W. Junk, The Hague, pp. 487–556.

Fender, K. M. 1951. The Malthini of North America (Coleoptera: Cantharidae). American Midland Naturalist 46: 513–629.

Fender, K. M. 1972. Some new and little known species of Malthini from the southwestern United States (Coleoptera: Cantharidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 26: 43–52.

Fitton, M. G. 1975. The larvae of the British genera of Cantharidae (Coleoptera). Journal of Entomology (B) 44: 243–254.

Janssen, W. 1963. Untersuchungen zur Morphologie, Biologie und Ökologie von Cantharis L. und Rhagonycha Eschsch. (Cantharidae, Col.). Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie 169: 115–202.

LeSage, L. 1991. Cantharidae (Cantharoidea), pp. 429–431. IN: F. W. Stehr (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. 2. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa.

Magis, N. and W. Wittmer 1974. Nouvelle répartition des genres de la sous-famille des Chauliognathinae (Coleoptera, Cantharoidea: Cantharidae). Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 43: 78–95.

Miskimen, G. W. 1961. A new family of beetles found in the Cantharoidea. Coleopterists Bulletin 15: 17–26.

Miskimen, G. W. 1961. Zoogeography of the coleopterous family Chauliognathidae. Systematic Zoology 10: 140–153.

Payne, O. G. M. 1916. On the life-history and structure of Telephorus luturatus, Fallen. Journal of Zoological Research 1: 4–35, pls. 1–2.

Ramsdale, A. 2000. 72. Cantharidae. IN: R. H. Arnett, Jr., Jr. and M. C. Thomas (eds.), American Beetles. CRC Press, Gainesville, Florida (in press).

Wittmer, W. 1950. 9. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der neotropischen Malacodermata (Col.). Revista de Entomologia 21: 247–257.

Wittmer, W. 1950. Zehnter Beitrag zur Kenntnis der neotropischen Malacodermata (Col.). Revista de Entomologia 21: 677–688.

Wittmer, W. 1969. Zur Kenntnis der indo-malaiischen Silini unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Fauna von Neuguinea. Pacific Insects 11: 217–454.

Wittmer, W. 1977. Ergebnisse der Bhutan-Expedition 1972 der Naturhistorischen Museums in Basel. Coleoptera: Fam. Cantharidae (3 Teil). Gleichzeitig ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der indo-malaiischen Silini. Entomologica Basiliensia 2: 273–303.

Wittmer, W. 1979. 27. Familie: Cantharidae, Tribus Malthinini, pp. 40–51. IN: H. Freude, K. W. Harde and G. A. Lohse (eds.), Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 6. Diversicornia. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld.

Wittmer, W. 1979. Zur Kentniss der Cantharidae (Col.) Neuseelands. Entomologica Basiliensia 4: 275–325.

General appearance. Total length 1.2–28 mm. Ratio of body length to greatest body width 2.05–6.2. Body strongly flattened, or slightly flattened to moderately convex. Sides of body not evenly curved. Body not capable of conglobation (rolling into a ball). Upper surfaces of body clothed with distinct hairs, setae or scales. Vestiture of upper surfaces not including stiff, erect, dark bristles; not including scales or scale-like setae. Upper surfaces of body without deep foveae. Prothorax, metathorax and-or abdomen without extrusible glands. Underside of body without hydrofuge surface(s).

Head. Ratio of head length to its greatest width (excluding eyes) greater than 1, or 1 or less. Head width just behind eyes not distinctly greater than prothoracic width. Head not or slightly declined, or moderately to strongly declined; not entirely concealed from above by pronotum; without elongate rostrum; not abruptly constricted posteriorly. Temples absent or not closely adpressed to prothorax; absent. Transverse occipital ridge or carina absent. Occiput without stridulatory file. Longitudinal axis of head (from occipital foramen to mouth cavity) inclined at an angle of less than 45 degrees, or inclined at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees, or inclined at an angle of more than 90 degrees. Frontal region not to moderately, gradually declined, or strongly deflexed, vertical or inflexed from behind eyes. Occipital region without median longitudinal groove or line (endocarina). Frontal region without median groove or line (endocarina). Head without ocelli.

Compound eyes present. Eyes not or only slightly protuberant, or strongly protuberant. Vertical diameter of eye less than 2 times horizontal diameter. Eyes finely facetted; without interfacetal setae. Ommatidium of the exocone type. Eye entire. Anterior or mesal edge of eye not or only barely emarginate. Posterior edge of eye not or barely emarginate.

Antennal insertions exposed from above; moderately to widely separated, or narrowly separated, or closely approximate or contiguous. Antennae not borne on raised tubercles. Antennal insertions flush with head capsule or raised, not in fossae. Subantennal groove or cavity on head absent or very weakly developed. Frontoclypeal suture absent or incomplete, or distinctly impressed; straight, slightly curved or angulate. Clypeus not laterally emarginate. Anterior edge of clypeus or clypeolabrum straight to convex, or complexly lobed or dentate. Mouth cavity anteriorly or anteroventrally oriented, or ventrally or posteroventrally oriented. Pregular area without laterally opening cavities. Head ventrally without paired subgenal ridges, or with paired subgenal ridges. Head without anteriorly-projecting genal processes. Gular sutures widely separated or absent, or narrowly separated, or at least partly confluent. Corporotentorium incomplete or absent. Cervical sclerites present.

Antennae. Number of antennomeres 11. Antennae when posteriorly extended reaching beyond middle of prothorax but not middle of elytra, or reaching beyond middle of elytra but not elytral apices, or reaching beyond elytral apices. Antennae filiform, or serrate, or pectinate or bipectinate. Antennomeres 3, 4 or 5 to 10 without or with single rami (uniramose). Antennae at least partly pubescent or with obvious modifications. Antennal modifications beginning on antennomere 3 (rarely 2). First antennomere (scape) less than 3 times as long as 2nd (pedicel), or more than 3 times as long as 2nd (pedicel). Antenna not geniculate; without apical club.

Mouthparts. Labrum at least partly visible, or concealed beneath clypeus or apparently absent; free, membranous or separated by suture, or partly or completely fused to clypeus or frontoclypeus, without or with incomplete suture. Major portion of labrum strongly transverse, or slightly transverse or subquadrate. Apex of labrum subtruncate to slightly convex, or strongly convex, narrowly rounded or acute, or deeply emarginate or bilobed. Labrum mostly membranous or very lightly sclerotized. Mouthparts not forming a piercing or sucking tube. Mandibles present. Mandible moderately elongate, or very narrow and elongate. Mandibular apex not or slightly and gradually curved mesally, or moderately to strongly, gradually curved mesally; unidentate, truncate or rounded, or bidentate or bilobed; subacute, bidentate or multidentate. Dorsal part of mandible without tubercle; without setose cavity. Mandible moderately to strongly, more or less evenly sclerotized or pigmented; visible in lateral view. Incisor edge of mandible simple, or with single tooth, or with 2 or more teeth. Mandible without mola; without prostheca. Prostheca absent or without articulated, sclerotized process. Inner basal angle of mandible without pubescent process. Maxilla with distinct galea and lacinia, or with single apical lobe. Maxillary lobe(s) not stylet-like. Apex of galea or maxillary lobe densely setose or spinose; without heavily sclerotized teeth or hooks. Lacinia without hook(s) or spine(s). Apical maxillary palpomere cylindrical to fusiform, or slightly expanded and truncate to subtriangular, or securiform to cultriform, or aciculate; at least as wide as or longer than preapical one. Maxillary palp without complex palp organ. Apical labial palpomere cylindrical to fusiform, or slightly to strongly expanded apically. Ligula undivided or finely cleft, or deeply emarginate or bilobed.

Prothorax. Ratio of pronotal length to greatest pronotal width 0.46–1.25. Prothorax widest anteriorly, or at middle, or posteriorly. Sides of prothorax more or less straight, or moderately to strongly curved, or straight posteriorly, curved anteriorly, or sinuate, or variously lobed. Prothorax not laterally compressed to form cavities for legs. Sides of prothorax not or slightly explanate, or moderately to strongly, horizontally explanate. Base of prothorax not or slightly narrower than elytral bases, or distinctly narrower than elytral bases. Greatest prothoracic width not or slightly narrower than greatest elytral width, or distinctly narrower than greatest elytral width. Lateral pronotal carinae complete, or absent; simple, or finely crenulate or denticulate; visible for their entire lengths from above, or not visible for their entire length from above; without a raised margin, or with a raised margin or narrow bead. Lateral portion of prothorax without deep pit. Pronotum without anterolateral callosities, or with anterolateral callosities. Anterior angles of pronotum absent or not produced forward; absent, right or rounded, not produced. Posterior angles of pronotum absent or broadly rounded, or obtuse or right, or moderately to strongly acute; not produced and acute, or strongly produced and narrowly acute. Posterior edge of pronotum more or less straight or evenly rounded; simple; not or vaguely margined, or with narrow raised margin or bead. Discal carinae of pronotum absent. Pronotal disc without paired basal impressions, or with paired basal impressions. Pronotum without median longitudinal groove or line, or with median longitudinal groove or line. Anterior edge of pronotum simple, without margin, or with broad collar or flange. Hypomeron without pit.

Lateral portion of prosternum in front of coxae shorter than mid length of procoxal cavity. Anterior edge of prosternum not produced anteriorly. Prosternum in front of coxae flat to moderately convex. Prosternum in front of coxae without paired lines or carinae. Anterior edge of prosternum without margin; without mesal excavation. Anterolateral or ventrolateral portions of prothorax without cavities or grooves. Prothoracic cavities absent. Prothoracic grooves absent. Prosternal process absent. Ventral portion of prothorax on each side with notosternal suture only, or without sutures or with incomplete notosternal suture. Propleuron not extending to anterior edge of prothorax. Propleuron or pleurotrochantin not extending behind coxa. Procoxae projecting well below prosternum. Procoxa without or with short concealed lateral extension. Procoxal cavities absent, procoxae attached externally. Postcoxal projection absent or very short. Prothoracic trochantin or pleurotrochantin at least partly exposed. Promesothoracic clicking mechanism absent.

Elytra. Elytra present. Ratio of elytral length to greatest elytral width 0.95–3.1. Ratio of elytral length to pronotal length 1.4–6.25. Elytra apunctate, irregularly punctate, or with 5 or fewer distinct puncture rows or striae, or with more than 5 distinct puncture rows; without scutellary striole. Number elytral puncture rows or striae 10, or 9. Sutural stria absent or not deeply impressed near apex. Abdominal tergites exposed by elytra none or apex of 1, or most of one, or at least one but less than 2, or at least 2 but less than 3, or 3 or more. Exposed abdominal segments more or less flexible. Elytral apices meeting or almost meeting at the suture, or independently rounded or acute and separated by broad gap. Elytral suture not deflected near apex. Elytral apex without internal interlocking tongue. Epipleuron absent or incomplete, or complete; not or gradually narrowed. Lateral edge of elytron straight or weakly sinuate.

Pterothorax. Scutellum well developed; not abruptly elevated; anteriorly simple; posteriorly narrowly rounded or acute, or broadly rounded or obtusely angulate, or truncate, or emarginate. Mesoscutum without stridulatory file. Mesoventrite without paired procoxal rests. Paired mesoventral procoxal rests absent, horizontal or slightly oblique. Anterior edge of mesoventrite without prosternal rest. Mesoventrite not divided by longitudinal groove or discrimen. Anterior edge of mesoventrite at midline on same plane as metaventrite. Mesoventral cavity absent. Mesocoxa conical and projecting. Mesocoxal cavities present, mesocoxae countersunk, or absent, mesocoxae attached externally. Mesocoxal cavities at middle contiguous. Mesocoxae separated by less than shortest diameter of coxal cavity. Mesocoxal cavities circular to slightly transverse; moderately to strongly oblique. Mesoventrite separated by complete sutures from mesepisterna, or partly or completely fused to mesepisterna. Mesepisterna distinctly separated at midline; without deep pockets. Mesepimeron not visible from above. Mesocoxal cavities open laterally; not partly closed by metepisterna. Mesoventral process absent or not extending to middle of mesocoxal cavity. Mesometaventral junction absent or a point. Mesoventral and metaventral processes at midline separated by gap, groove, or suture. Accessory (mesal) mesocoxal articulation absent.

Metaventral discrimen or median line moderately to very long. Paired postcoxal lines of metaventrite absent. Postcoxal lines of metaventrite absent. Metaventrite longer than first abdominal ventrite. Postcoxal pits of metaventrite absent. Metaventrite flat to slightly convex, or moderately to strongly convex. Transverse groove of metaventrite absent. Anterior edge of metaventrite without transverse carina between mesocoxal cavities. Exposed portion of metepisternum moderately elongate, or very long and narrow or absent. Metacoxae contiguous or narrowly separated; separated by less than longest coxal diameter; not extending laterally to meet elytra or sides of body, or extending laterally to meet elytra or sides of body; completely separated from metaventrite by suture. Metacoxal plates weakly developed, or absent; not concealing most of basal abdominal ventrite. Metacoxae not greatly enlarged; horizontally oriented, or obliquely oriented. Lateral arms of metendosternite short or absent, or moderately to very long. Metendosternal laminae absent. Ventrolateral processes of metendosternite absent or weakly developed. Anterior process of metendosternite moderately long, or short or absent. Anterior tendons of metendosternite moderately or very close together, or on lateral arms or not apparent. Apical portion of metendosternite not or only slightly emarginate.

Hind wing. Hind wing well developed, or highly reduced or absent; with normal transverse folds, or lacking transverse folds. Radial cell of hind wing well developed, or highly reduced or absent; elongate, or incomplete or absent. Inner posterior angle formed at base of radial cell right or obtuse. Radial cell not forming equilateral triangle. Ratio of length of apical area to total wing length less than 0.2, or 0.20–0.35. Apical area of hind wing without veins or sclerotizations, or with one or more vague sclerotizations or pigment patches. Medial bar of hind wing not crossed by fold. Free veins in medial area of hind wing 4, or 3 or fewer. Oblongum cell of hind wing absent. Medial fleck of hind wing absent; absent or not partly bisected by a vein. Wedge cell of hind wing absent. Anal lobe of hind wing absent. Posterior edge of hind wing without fringe of long hairs.

Legs. Femoral attachment of mid trochanter strongly oblique with base of femur separate from coxa. Mesotrochanter not reduced or concealed from below. Metafemur not much wider than mesofemur. Mesotibia not strongly widened. Outer edge of mesotibia simple, crenulate or denticulate. Outer subapical edge of mesotibia without antenna cleaner. Preapical surfaces of mesotibia without ridges or combs. Outer apical angle of mesotibia simple or slightly produced, without lobe, teeth or spines. Inner apical angle of mesotibia not or slightly produced, without tooth. Mesotibial spurs glabrous or absent; double, or absent. Mesotarsus with 5 distinct tarsomeres (pentamerous). Tarsomeres on hind leg at least as many as on mid leg. Tarsomeres on fore leg at least as many as on mid leg. Mesotarsomere 1 well developed and visible. Preapical mesotarsomeres together longer than apical one. Penultimate mesotarsomere not distinctly shorter than antepenultimate. Ventral mesotarsal lobes on penultimate tarsomere only, or on more than one tarsomere. Mesotarsal claws paired; subequal in length and similar in form and angle of inclination; simple, or toothed or bifid. Appendage on each tarsal claw absent. Mesotarsal claws without setae near base. Mesotarsal empodium absent or concealed; absent or with 2 or fewer setae. Outer edge of protibia simple and rounded to carinate but without lobes or teeth, except at apex. Outer apical angle of protibia simple or slightly produced, without lobe, teeth or spines. Inner subapical edge of protibia without antenna cleaner. Protibial spurs double, or absent. Articulations of protibial spurs located in same plane. Hind legs without swimming hairs. Preapical surfaces of metatibia without ridges or combs. Metatibial articular area not to only moderately expanded, narrowly oval or oblique. Metatibial spurs double, or absent; subequal in length and form.

Abdomen. Number of abdominal ventrites 7, or 8. Number of basal ventrites connate none. Abdominal sternite 2 visible. First ventrite not completely divided by metacoxae. Suture between ventrites 1 and 2 distinct. Suture between ventrites 2 and 3 distinct. Ventrite 4 articulated with or connate with both 3 and 5. Postcoxal lines on ventrite 1 absent. Ventrite 1 not much longer than 2. Abdominal process absent. Ventrite 5 in female without circular depression. Posterior edge of ventrite 5 not crenulate. Last visible tergite and-or sternite (7 or 8) not forming terminal spine. Tergite and sternite 7 separated by membrane or distinct suture. Subapical abdominal luminous organ absent. Ventrites without setose patches or foveae. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 8 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 7 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 6 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 5 present. 7th abdominal spiracles located in pleural membrane. 6th abdominal spiracles located in pleural membrane. 5th abdominal spiracles located in pleural membrane. Anterior edge of sternite 8 in male without median strut. Pygidium (sclerotized tergite 7 or 8) more or less horizontal. Anterior edge of sternite 9 in male without median strut. Tergite 9 in male truncate, or slightly to moderately emarginate, or deeply emarginate, or completely fused to tergite 10. Tergite 10 in male well developed and free, or completely membranous or fused to tergite 9.

Aedeagus trilobate, or unclassified; symmetrical, or asymmetrical. Anterior edge of tegmen or phallobase without struts, or with single strut. Parameres fused to phallobase or base of penis but free from one another, or partly or entirely fused together but articulated to phallobase; not outwardly hooked. Penis without dorsal and ventral lobes. Anterior edge of penis without struts, or with paired struts.

Illustrations. • Cantharis. Cantharis fusca Linnaeus. Locality: Denmark. Artist: Victor Hansen. Courtesy of Danmarks Fauna and Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. Reference: Hansen 1973. • Chauliognathus. Chauliognathus lugubris (Fabricius). Locality: Australia. Artist: F. Nanninga. Copyright CSIRO. Reference: Britton 1970. • Chauliognathus. Chauliognathus lugubris (Fabricius). Locality: Australia. Photo: D. F. Rentz. Copyright CSIRO. • Trypherus. Trypherus latipennis Germar. Locality: Eastern North America. Photo: K. Smith. Copyright CSIRO. • Asilis. Asilis fulvithorax Broun. Locality: New Zealand. Artist: D. H. Helmore. Courtesy of Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Reference: Klimaszewski and Watt 1997. • Malthodes. Malthodes minimus (Linnaeus). Locality: Europe. Reference: Reitter 1911. • Silis. Silis ruficollis (Fabricius). Locality: Denmark. Artist: Victor Hansen. Courtesy of Danmarks Fauna and Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. Reference: Hansen 1973. • Tytthonyx. Tytthonyx bicolor (LeConte). Locality: Arizona. Photo: K. Smith. Copyright CSIRO.


The interactive key provides access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, and summaries of attributes within groups of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Lawrence, J.F., Hastings, A.M., Dallwitz, M.J., Paine, T.A., and Zurcher, E.J. 2000 onwards. Elateriformia (Coleoptera): descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval for families and subfamilies. Version: 9th October 2005. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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