Elateriformia (Coleoptera)

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

Scirtes group SCIRTIDAE

Classification. Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Distribution. The genus Scirtes and its relatives are distributed throughout the warmer parts of the world and do not occur in Chile or New Zealand.

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

Biology. Adult Scirtes and Ora are usually collected on the surfaces of vegetation, while their larvae live in ponds. Adults of this group are capable of jumping using the enlarged hind legs.

References

Beerbower, F. V. 1943. Life history of Scirtes orbiculatus Fabricius (Coleoptera: Helodidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 36: 672–680.

Hannappel, U. and H. F. Paulus 1987. Arbeiten zu einem phylogenetishcen System der Helodidae (Coleoptera) - Feinstrukturuntersuchungen an europäischen Larven. Zoologische Beiträge (N.F.) 31: 77–150.

Lohse, G. A. 1979. 40. Familie: Helodidae, pp. 250–263. IN: H. Freude, K. W. Harde and G. A. Lohse (eds.), Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 6. Diversicornia. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld.

Lombardi, D. 1929. Contributo alla conoscenza dello Scirtes hemisphaericus L. (Coleoptera Helodidae). Bolletino del Laboratorio di Entomologia del R. Istituto Superiore Agrario di Bologna 1: 236–258.

Nyholm, T. 1972. Zur Morphologie und Funktion des Helodiden-Aedoeagus (Col.). Entomologica Scandinavica 3: 81–119.

Pic, M. 1914. Pars 58. Dascillidae, Helodidae, Eucinetidae. IN: S. Schenkling (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 65 pp.

Pope, R. D. 1976. Nomenclatural notes on the British Scirtidae (= Helodidae) (Col.). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 111: 186–187.

Young, D. K. 2000. 41. Scirtidae. IN: R. H. Arnett, Jr. and M. C. Thomas (eds.), American Beetles. CRC Press, Gainesville, Florida (in press).

General appearance. Total length 2–6 mm. Ratio of body length to greatest body width 1–1.8. Body strongly flattened. Sides of body not evenly curved, or 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) 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. Frontal region not to moderately, gradually declined. 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. Vertical diameter of eye less than 2 times horizontal diameter. Eyes finely facetted; without interfacetal setae. Ommatidium of the eucone type. Eye entire. Anterior or mesal edge of eye not or only barely emarginate, or shallowly emarginate or slightly divided by canthus. Posterior edge of eye not or barely emarginate.

Antennal insertions exposed from above; moderately to widely separated. Antennae not borne on raised tubercles. Antennal insertions flush with head capsule or raised, not in fossae. Subantennal groove or cavity on head well developed. Frontoclypeal suture absent or incomplete. Clypeus not laterally emarginate. Anterior edge of clypeus or clypeolabrum straight to convex. Mouth cavity anteriorly or anteroventrally oriented. Pregular area without laterally opening cavities. Head ventrally with paired subgenal ridges. Head without anteriorly-projecting genal processes. Gular sutures widely separated or absent. Corporotentorium narrow; without median process. 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. Antennae filiform, or serrate. 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), or antennomere 4. First antennomere (scape) less 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. Major portion of labrum strongly transverse. Apex of labrum subtruncate to slightly convex. 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. Mandibular apex not or slightly and gradually curved mesally, or moderately to strongly, gradually curved mesally; unidentate, truncate or rounded; rounded or truncate. Dorsal part of mandible without tubercle; without setose cavity. Mandible much more lightly sclerotized or pigmented at apex; visible in lateral view, or enclosed in mouth cavity or not visible in lateral view. Incisor edge of mandible simple. Mandible without mola; with reduced prostheca, or without prostheca. Prostheca absent or without articulated, sclerotized process. Inner basal angle of mandible without pubescent process. Maxilla with distinct galea and lacinia. 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; at least as wide as or longer than preapical one. Maxillary palp without complex palp organ. Apical labial palpomere cylindrical to fusiform. Ligula undivided or finely cleft, or deeply emarginate or bilobed.

Prothorax. Ratio of pronotal length to greatest pronotal width 0.22–0.47. Prothorax widest posteriorly. Sides of prothorax more or less straight, or moderately to strongly curved. Prothorax not laterally compressed to form cavities for legs. Sides of prothorax moderately to strongly, horizontally explanate, or moderately to strongly, obliquely or vertically 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; simple; 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. Anterior angles of pronotum distinctly produced forward; produced and broadly rounded or obtusely angulate, or produced and narrowly rounded or acute. Posterior angles of pronotum obtuse or right; not produced and 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. Pronotum without median longitudinal groove or line. Anterior edge of pronotum simple, without margin, or with narrow margin or bead. Hypomeron without pit.

Anterior portion of prosternum at midline shorter than prosternal process. 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 complete; parallel-sided; slightly to strongly elevated but not curved behind; slightly overlapping mesoventrite. Apex of prosternal process acute or narrowly rounded. Prosternal process without transverse groove. Accessory (mesal) procoxal articulation absent. Ventral portion of prothorax on each side with notosternal suture only. Propleuron not extending to anterior edge of prothorax. Propleuron or pleurotrochantin not extending behind coxa. Procoxae not or slightly projecting below prosternum. Procoxa without or with short concealed lateral extension. Procoxal cavity strongly transverse. Procoxal cavities at middle narrowly separated. Procoxal cavities externally open; broadly open. Postcoxal projection absent or very short. Procoxal cavities without narrow lateral extensions. Procoxal cavities internally open. Prothoracic trochantin or pleurotrochantin at least partly exposed. Promesothoracic clicking mechanism absent.

Elytra. Elytra present. Ratio of elytral length to greatest elytral width 0.85–1.52. Ratio of elytral length to pronotal length 4.78–8.2. Elytra apunctate, irregularly punctate, or with 5 or fewer distinct puncture rows or striae; without scutellary striole. Sutural stria absent or not deeply impressed near apex. Abdominal tergites exposed by elytra none or apex of 1. Elytral apices meeting or almost meeting at the suture. 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; abruptly elevated; anteriorly simple; posteriorly narrowly rounded or acute, or broadly rounded or obtusely angulate. Mesoscutum without stridulatory file. Mesoventrite with paired procoxal rests. Paired mesoventral procoxal rests absent, horizontal or slightly oblique, or moderately to strongly 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 small and shallow, or moderately large and shallow. Mesocoxa not conical and projecting. Mesocoxal cavities at middle contiguous, or narrowly separated. Mesocoxae separated by less than shortest diameter of coxal cavity. Mesocoxal cavities circular to slightly transverse, or strongly transverse; not or slightly oblique. Mesoventrite separated by complete sutures from 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 extending at least to middle of mesocoxal cavity. Mesometaventral junction absent or a point, or a complex fitting. 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. Transverse groove of metaventrite present. Anterior edge of metaventrite without transverse carina between mesocoxal cavities. Exposed portion of metepisternum short and broad. Metacoxae contiguous or narrowly separated; separated by less than longest coxal diameter; 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, or greatly enlarged; horizontally 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. Anterior tendons of metendosternite widely separated but not on lateral arms. Apical portion of metendosternite not or only slightly emarginate.

Hind wing. Hind wing well developed; with normal transverse folds. Radial cell of hind wing well developed; shorter and broader. Inner posterior angle formed at base of radial cell right or obtuse. Radial cell forming equilateral triangle. Ratio of length of apical area to total wing length 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 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 present. 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 much wider than mesofemur. Mesotibia not strongly widened. Outer edge of mesotibia simple, crenulate or denticulate, or with distinct teeth or long spines. 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. 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. Mesotarsal claws paired; subequal in length and similar in form and angle of inclination; simple. 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. 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; differing distinctly in length.

Abdomen. Number of abdominal ventrites 5. Number of basal ventrites connate two. Abdominal sternite 2 apparently absent. 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 acute or narrowly rounded. 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. Subapical abdominal luminous organ absent. Ventrites without setose patches or foveae. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 8 absent. Anterior edge of sternite 8 in male without median strut. Anterior edge of sternite 9 in male without median strut. Tergite 9 in male completely fused to tergite 10. Tergite 10 in male completely membranous or fused to tergite 9.

Aedeagus unclassified; symmetrical, or asymmetrical. Anterior edge of tegmen or phallobase without struts. Parameres fused to phallobase or base of penis but free from one another, 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.

Illustrations. • Scirtes. Scirtes hemisphaericus (Linnaeus). Locality: Denmark. Artist: Victor Hansen. Courtesy of Danmarks Fauna and Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. Reference: Hansen 1973.


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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