Elateriformia (Coleoptera) Larvae

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

CANTHARIDAE

(Including Chauliognathidae).

Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Cantharidae is a cosmopolitan family.

Cantharid larvae are commonly found in leaf litter and soil, under stones, in moss and under bark; they are usually predacious and have been reported to feed on caterpillars and fly larvae. Some Holarctic larvae are known to be phytophagous, and it is possible that other species have a more varied diet.

References

Böving, A. G. and Craighead, F. C. (1931). An illustrated synopsis of the principal larval forms of the order Coleoptera. Entomologica Americana (New Series) 1: 1–351, 125 pls.

Costa, C., Vanin, S. A. and Casari-Chen, S. A. (1988). Larvas de Coleoptera do Brasil, vi + 282 pp. Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo.

Fitton, M. G. (1975). The larvae of the British genera of Cantharidae (Coleoptera). Journal of Entomology 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.o

LeSage, L. (1991). Cantharidae (Cantharoidea), pp 429–431 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.

Body. Length less than 3 mm to more than 15 mm. Body not broadly ovate and strongly flattened; relatively straight or only slightly curved ventrally; slightly flattened; body, as viewed from above elongate and more or less parallel-sided. Vestiture consisting of fine hairs or setae only. Dorsal surfaces very lightly pigmented or sclerotized; generally smooth. Ventral surfaces very lightly pigmented.

Head. Head prognathous or slightly declined; protracted or slightly retracted; not concealed from above by prothorax; narrower than thorax, or broader than thorax; not forming sclerotized, serrate, wedge-like plate. Head capsule not strongly depressed and wedge-like anteriorly; posterior edge of head capsule distinctly emarginate. Median epicranial region without longitudinal furrow. Epicranial stem absent or very short. Frontal arms absent. Median endocarina absent or coincident with epicranial stem. Paired endocarinae absent or coincident with frontal arms. Number of stemmata one. Number of antennal segments three. Ratio of antennal length to head width less than 0.15. Sensorium(a) on preapical antennal segment present; shorter than apical segment. Sensorium(a) on preapical (or apical) antennal segment conical or palpiform. Apex of preapical antennal segment truncate, so that sensorium and apical segment arise together. Antennal base without eversible membranous lobe. Frontoclypeal suture absent or vaguely indicated. Labrum completely fused to head capsule (suture absent). Epipharyngeal rods absent. Mouthparts not forming sucking tube. Mandibles symmetrical; opposable, at least slightly curving mesally at apex; not approximate, diverging and longitudinally divided; narrow and falcate; with open or partly closed groove. Apex of mandible narrow when viewed from in front (parallel or oblique to plane of movement); with single lobe or tooth. Accessory ventral process of mandible absent. Incisor edge of mandible simple, or with 1 or 2 heavily sclerotized retinacula. Mesal surface of mandibular base simple or slightly expanded, or with brush of hairs or spines. Mandibular mola absent. Ventral mouthparts retracted, or strongly protracted. Cardo distinct and sclerotized; undivided; transverse to slightly oblique. Cardines or maxillary bases separated from each other by labium. Stipes longer than wide. Maxillary articulating area absent. Maxilla with single, fixed mala, or with single, articulated mala. Mala or galea consisting of a single segment. Apex of mala simple, not cleft; or galea rounded or truncate; or galea setose or spinose. Inner apical angle of mala simple. Number of segments in maxillary palp three, or four. First segment of maxillary palp without digitiform appendage. Labium consisting of prementum and postmentum. Mentum, postmentum or labial plate completely or almost completely connate with maxillae. Postmentum or labial plate subquadrate or trapezoidal, with blunt posterior edge. Postmentum or labial plate not divided longitudinally. Ligula absent. Number of segments in labial palp two. Labial palps contiguous or separated by less than width of first palp segment, or separated by more than width of first palp segment. Hypopharyngeal bracon present. Hypopharyngeal sclerome absent. Hypostomal region present (separating labium from thorax). Hypostomal rods absent. Ventral epicranial ridges present. Gula absent; gular sutures absent, or partly or completely fused. Occipital foramen not divided by tentorial bridge.

Thorax. Prothorax not or only slightly wider than abdomen; not longer than meso- and metathorax combined. Thoracic terga without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities or carinae. Protergum without sclerotized plates. Meso- and metaterga without sclerotized plates. Thorax without well-developed lateral tergal processes. Prosternum without armature. Mesocoxae or coxal lobes separated by 1 to 2 basal coxal diameters, or separated by more than 2 basal coxal diameters. Thoracic legs articulated. Number of segments in mesothoracic leg five including pretarsus (claw). Number of segments in mesothoracic leg five or fewer including pretarsus (claw). Legs not highly reduced, more than 0.2 times as long as head width. Metathoracic leg about same size as mesothoracic leg. Meso- and metathoracic legs not forming stridulatory organ. Apical segment of leg acute and claw-like (or consisting of 2 claws). Number of movable pretarsal claws one. Number of setae on pretarsus four or more. Thoracic spiracles annular; not placed at ends of spiracular tubes.

Abdomen. Ratio of length of abdomen (without appendages) to length of thorax more than 2.0. Number of visible abdominal segments ten. Abdominal terga not extending laterally beyond edges of sterna; without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities. Abdomen without well-developed lateral processes. Abdominal tergum 3 without transverse dorsal folds or lobes; simple, not divided into transverse dorsal folds or lobes. Paired abdominal glands (openings or porous plates) present on segments 1 to 8 or 9. Dorsal, balloon-like tracheal gills absent. Long and narrow, lateral gills absent. Abdominal sterna without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities. Paired ventral prolegs (or asperity-bearing ampullae) absent. Ventral abdominal gill tufts absent. Abdominal tergum 8 without special armature. Abdominal apex without respiratory chamber. Abdominal segment 9 excluding appendages shorter than segment 8. Abdominal tergum 9 not forming articulated plate; completely dorsal; without paired processes or urogomphi; without median process or terminal disc. Abdominal sternum 9 partly or entirely exposed; simple or apparently absent; not enclosed by sternum 8. Abdominal apex without hinged operculum. Abdominal segment 10 without oval lobes separated by longitudinal groove; distinct and visible from above; without asperated, tubular holdfast organs. Paired pygopods on segment 10 absent. Anal region posteriorly or terminally oriented. Anal gill tufts absent. Anal hooks absent. Anterior abdominal spiracles annular. Abdominal spiracles not placed at ends of spiracular tubes. Eighth abdominal spiracles functional and about the same size as others on abdomen; abdominal spiracle 8 lateral or dorsolateral, facing laterally.

Illustrations. • Chauliognathus.


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. 1995 onwards. Elateriformia (Coleoptera) larvae: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval for families and subfamilies. Version: 9th October 2005. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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