Classification. Polyphaga: Elateriformia.
Distribution. Lycidae occur in all major regions of the world, but are most diverse in tropical and subtropical areas.
Biogeographic regions: Nearctic, Palearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropical, Oriental, Australian.
Biology. Lycid adults are commonly seen flying at dusk and may be found in flowers or on foliage. Some adults may be nectar-feeders, but others probably do not feed at all. Larvae occur under bark or in leaf litter; they are liquid feeders, but there is little reliable information on their diet. Duliticolines exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism and neoteny. Females are much larger than males and completely larviform. The peculiar flattened form, enlarged thorax and lateral abdominal processes of larvae and females of this group have earned them the name "trilobite larvae".
Bocák, L. and M. Bocákov 1989. Contribution à l'étude des Lycides de l'île Sri Lanka, III. Cladophorini (Coleoptera, Lycidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (N.F.) 36: 321–328.
Bocák, L. and M. Bocákova 1989. New tribe Lypropaeini, with a description of a new species of Lypropaeus (Coleoptera, Lycidae). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 58: 717–723.
Bocák, L. and M. Bocákova 1990. Revision of the supergeneric classification of the family Lycidae (Coleoptera). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 59: 623–676.
Burakowsky, B. 1988. Notes on the biology of Xylobanellus erythropterus (Baudi a Selve) (Coleoptera, Lycidae), with descriptions of the immature stages. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 58: 575–585.
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.
Geisthardt, M. 1979. 25. Familie: Lycidae, pp. 9–14. IN: H. Freude, K. W. Harde and G. A. Lohse (eds.), Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 6. Diversicornia. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld.
Gravely, H. F. 1915. The larvae and pupae of some beetles from Cochin. Records of the Indian Museum 11: 353–366, pls. 20–21.
Kasantsev, S. 1993. Lycidae nouveaux ou peu connus de l'Indochine (Coleoptera). Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (4) 15(A): 49–68.
Kasantsev, S. V. 1999. Alyculus new genus, first brachypterous male lycid (Insecta: Coleoptera). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 47: 251–255.
Kleine, R. 1926. Coleoptera Lycidae. Nova Guinea. 15 (Zoologie): 91–195.
Kleine, R. 1930. Bestimmungstabelle der Trichalusverwandtschaft. Treubia 11: 325–341.
Kleine, R. 1933. Pars 128. Lycidae. IN: S. Schenkling (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 145 pp.
Lea,A. M. 1909. Revision of the Australian and Tasmanian Malacodermidae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1909: 45–251, pls. 2–6.
Leng, C. W. and A. J. Mutchler 1922. The Lycidae, Lampyridae and Cantharidae (Telephoridae) of the West Indies. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 46: 413–499.
McCabe, T. L. and L. M. Johnson 1979. Larva of Calopteron terminale (Say) with additional notes on adult behavior (Coleoptera: Lycidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 87: 283–288.
Magis, N. 1977. Catalogue des Coléoptères de Belgique. Fascicule VI. Catalogue Raisonne des Cantharoidea de Belgique. Premiere Partie. Homalisidae, Drilidae, Lampyridae et Lycidae. Société Royale Belge d'Entomologiue, Brussels, 60 pp.
Medvedev, L. N. and S. V. Kazantsev 1992. A new subfamily and a new genus of lycid beetles (Coleoptera, Lycidae) from soputheast Asia, pp. 55–60. IN: L. N. Medvedev (ed.), Systematization and Ecology of Insects of Vietnam. "Nauka", Moscow (in Russian).
Miller, R. S. 1997. Immature stages of Plateros floralis (Melsheimer) and discussion of phylogenetic relationships (Coleoptera: Lycidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 51: 1–12.
Miller, R. S. 2000. 67. Lycidae. IN: R. H. Arnett, Jr., Jr. and M. C. Thomas (eds.), American Beetles. CRC Press, Gainesville, Florida (in press).
Mjöberg, E. 1925. The mystery of the so called "trilobite larvae" or "Perty's larvae" definitely solved. Psyche 32: 119–154, pls. 3–4.
Moore, B. P. and W. V. Brown 1981. Identification of warning odour components, bitter principles and antifeedants in an aposematic beetle: Metriorrhynchus rhipidius (Coleoptera: Lycidae). Insect Biochemistry 11: 493–499.
Nakane, T. 1969. Fauna Japonica. Lycidae (Insecta). Academic Press of Japan, Tokyo, 224 pp., 8 pls.
Pototskaya, V. A. 1981. Morphology and ecology of larvae of the lycid genera Aplatopterus Rtt. and Xylobanus C. O. Waterh. (Coleoptera, Lycidae). Entomologischeskoye Obozreniye 60: 337–347 (in Russian).
Waterhouse, C. O. 1877. Monograph of the coleopterous genus Calochromus of the family Lycidae. Cistula Entomologica 2: 195–202.
Waterhouse, C. O. 1878. Illustrations of Type Specimens of Coleoptera in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. - Lycidae. British Museum, London, 83 pp., 18 pls.
Wong, A. T. C. 1996. A new species of neotenous beetle, Duliticola hoiseni (Insecta: Coleoptera: Cantharoidea: Lycidae) from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 44: 173–187.
General appearance. Total length 3–80 mm. Ratio of body length to greatest body width 1.1–4.5. 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 glabrous or subglabrous, or 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, or entirely concealed from above by pronotum; without elongate rostrum, or with 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 at apex only. Occipital region without median longitudinal groove or line (endocarina), or with median longitudinal groove or line (endocarina). Frontal region without median groove or line (endocarina), or with median groove or line (endocarina). Head without ocelli.
Compound eyes present, or absent. Eyes strongly protuberant. Vertical diameter of eye less than 2 times horizontal diameter. Eyes finely facetted, or coarsely 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; narrowly separated, or closely approximate or contiguous. Antennae not borne on raised tubercles, or 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. Clypeus not laterally emarginate. Anterior edge of clypeus or clypeolabrum straight to convex, or concave to shallowly emarginate. Mouth cavity anteriorly or anteroventrally oriented, or ventrally or posteroventrally oriented. Pregular area without laterally opening cavities. Head ventrally without paired subgenal ridges. Head without anteriorly-projecting genal processes. Gular sutures widely separated or absent. Corporotentorium incomplete or absent. Cervical sclerites present.
Antennae. Number of antennomeres 2, or 9–10, or 11. Antennae when posteriorly extended not reaching middle of prothorax, or 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 moniliform, or serrate, or pectinate or bipectinate, or flabellate or biflabellate, or of a unique configuration, none of above. Antennomeres 3, 4 or 5 to 10 without or with single rami (uniramose). Antennae entirely subglabrous and without obvious modifications, or at least partly pubescent or with obvious modifications. Antennal modifications beginning on antennomere 3 (rarely 2), or antennomere 4. 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, or geniculate or elbowed; 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 slightly concave or emarginate, or deeply emarginate or bilobed. Labrum moderately to heavily sclerotized, except at base and-or apex. Mouthparts not forming a piercing or sucking tube. Mandibles present, or absent. Mandible short and broad, or 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; 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, or enclosed in mouth cavity or not visible in lateral view. Incisor edge of mandible simple. 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, or stylet-like. Apex of galea or maxillary lobe densely setose or spinose, or without or with few setae or spines; 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; 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 indistinct or absent.
Prothorax. Ratio of pronotal length to greatest pronotal width 0.43–0.76. Prothorax widest at middle, or posteriorly. Sides of prothorax more or less straight, or straight posteriorly, curved anteriorly, or sinuate. 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. 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; visible for their entire lengths 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. 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, or distinctly sinuate or variously lobed; simple; not or vaguely margined, or with narrow raised margin or bead. Discal carinae of pronotum absent, or basal but mesad of posterior angles, or extending beyond middle of disc. 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 narrow margin or bead. Hypomeron without pit.
Lateral portion of prosternum in front of coxae shorter than mid length of procoxal cavity, or longer than mid length of procoxal cavity. Anterior edge of prosternum not produced anteriorly, or distinctly produced forming chin piece. 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 complete, or incomplete, or 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, or completely concealed or absent. Promesothoracic clicking mechanism absent.
Elytra. Elytra present, or absent (anelytrous or larviform). Ratio of elytral length to greatest elytral width 0.9–3.75. Ratio of elytral length to pronotal length 2.4–11.73. Elytra apunctate, irregularly punctate, or with 5 or fewer distinct puncture rows or striae, or with more than 5 distinct puncture rows, or with more than 5 distinct impressed striae; 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 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; not or gradually narrowed. Lateral edge of elytron straight or weakly sinuate.
Pterothorax. Scutellum well developed; not abruptly elevated; anteriorly simple; posteriorly 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 not conical and projecting, or conical and projecting. Mesocoxal cavities absent, mesocoxae attached externally. 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.
Metaventral discrimen or median line moderately to very long, or absent. 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 short and broad, or moderately elongate, or very long and narrow or absent. Metacoxae contiguous or narrowly separated, or widely 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. 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. Apical portion of metendosternite not or only slightly emarginate.
Hind wing. Hind wing well developed, or highly reduced or absent; with normal 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. 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 5 or 6, or 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 transverse or slightly oblique, or 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), or with 2 or fewer tarsomeres. 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 absent, or on penultimate tarsomere only, or on more than one tarsomere. Mesotarsal claws paired, or single; 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, or with one or more setae near base. Mesotarsal empodium present and exposed, or 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, or 10. 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, or located on sternite. 6th abdominal spiracles located in pleural membrane, or located in sternite. 5th abdominal spiracles located in pleural membrane, or located in sternite. 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, or with median strut (spiculum gastrale). Tergite 9 in male truncate, or slightly to moderately emarginate, or deeply emarginate. Tergite 10 in male well developed and free.
Aedeagus trilobate, or unclassified; symmetrical, or asymmetrical. Anterior edge of tegmen or phallobase without struts. Parameres individually articulated to phallobase or base of penis, or fused to phallobase or base of penis but free from one another, or partly or entirely fused together but articulated to phallobase, or partly or entirely fused together and to phallobase, or absent; not outwardly hooked. Penis without dorsal and ventral lobes. Anterior edge of penis without struts, or with paired struts.
Illustrations. • Lycus. Lycus carmelitus Gorham. Locality: Central America. Reference: Gorham 1880. • Calochromus. Calochromus basalis Waterhouse. Locality: Australia. Photo D. McClenaghan. Copyright CSIRO. • Platerodrilus. Platerodrilus sp. Locality: Singapore. Photo: K. Smith. Copyright CSIRO. • Duliticola. Duliticola hoiseni Wong. Locality: Malaysia. Photo: A. T. C. Wong. Reference: Wong 1996. Courtesy of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. • Genus ?. Genus ? sp. Locality: Peru. Photo D. McClenaghan. Copyright CSIRO. • Lypropaeus. Lypropaeus fallax (Walker). Locality: Sri Lanka. Artist: E. A. Smith. Reference: Waterhouse 1879. • Porrostoma. Porrostoma apterus (Lea). Locality: Australia. Reference: Lea 1909.
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’.