Elateriformia (Coleoptera) Larvae

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

Elaterinae ELATERIDAE

Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Elaterinae is a more or less cosmopolitan group.

Elaterine larvae may be found in soil (e.g. Agriotes, Dalopius, Glyphonyx) or under bark and in rotten wood (e.g. Ampedus, Dicrepidius, Elater). Larvae are known as wireworms, and those of some Agriotes are crop pests.

References

Becker, E. C. (1991). Elateridae (Elateroidea), pp 410–417 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.

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.

Dogger, J. R. (1991). Key to thirty-two genera of larval Elateridae, pp. 412–414 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.

Dolin, V. G. (1978). Identification Table for Click Beetle Larvae of the Fauna of the U.S.S.R., 126 pp. Urozhai: Kiev.

Hyslop, J. A. (1917). The phylogeny of Elateridae based on larval characters. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 10: 241–263.

Ohira, H. (1962). Morphological and Taxonomic Study on the Larvae of Elateridae in Japan (Coleoptera), 179 pp, 61 pls. Ohira: Okazaki.

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; circular in cross-section; body, as viewed from above elongate and more or less parallel-sided. Vestiture consisting of fine hairs or setae only. Dorsal surfaces more or less heavily pigmented or sclerotized; generally smooth, or generally granulate or tuberculate. Ventral surfaces more or less heavily pigmented.

Head. Head prognathous or slightly declined; protracted or slightly retracted; not concealed from above by prothorax; narrower than thorax; not forming sclerotized, serrate, wedge-like plate. Head capsule not strongly depressed and wedge-like anteriorly; posterior edge of head capsule not or only slightly emarginate, or distinctly emarginate. Median epicranial region without longitudinal furrow. Epicranial stem absent or very short; straight, not bent to the left. Frontal arms present; lyriform; not joined anteriorly by transverse line; bases of frontal arms contiguous. Median endocarina absent or coincident with epicranial stem. Paired endocarinae absent or coincident with frontal arms. Number of stemmata one, or zero. Number of antennal segments three. Ratio of antennal length to head width 0.15 to 0.50. Sensorium(a) on preapical antennal segment present; shorter than apical segment. Sensorium(a) on preapical (or apical) antennal segment conical or palpiform, or dome-like. 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); without crenulate emargination. Epipharyngeal rods absent. Mouthparts not forming sucking tube. Mandibles symmetrical; opposable, at least slightly curving mesally at apex; not approximate, diverging and longitudinally divided; broad at base and narrow at apex; without groove or perforation. Apex of mandible narrow when viewed from in front (parallel or oblique to plane of movement); with single lobe or tooth, or bilobed or bidentate. Accessory ventral process of mandible absent. Incisor edge of mandible 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. Cardo distinct and sclerotized; divided by internal ridge, or externally divided; transverse to slightly oblique. Cardines or maxillary bases closely approximate or contiguous, not separated by labium. Stipes longer than wide. Maxillary articulating area absent. Maxilla with single, articulated mala, or with articulated galea and fixed lacinia. Mala or galea 2-segmented. Apex of mala simple, not cleft; or galea rounded or truncate; or galea setose or spinose. Inner apical angle of mala simple. Apex of lacinia rounded or truncate; setose or spinose. Number of segments in maxillary palp 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 separated by more than width of first palp segment. Hypopharyngeal bracon present. Hypopharyngeal sclerome consisting of transverse bar only. Hypostomal region present (separating labium from thorax). Hypostomal rods absent. Ventral epicranial ridges present. Gula wider than long, or longer than wide; gular sutures 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 with 1 or more sclerotized plates. Meso- and metaterga with 1 or more sclerotized plates. Thorax without well-developed lateral tergal processes. Prosternum without armature. Mesocoxae or coxal lobes separated by less than 1 basal coxal diameter. 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 two. Pretarsal setae lying side by side or obliquely situated. Thoracic spiracles biforous or bilabiate; 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) absent. 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, or as long as or slightly longer than segment 8. Abdominal tergum 9 not forming articulated plate; extending onto ventral surface; without paired processes or urogomphi; without median process or terminal disc, or with median process; median process on tergum 9 acute or narrowly truncate. 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; concealed from above, sometimes membranous or more or less fused to segment 9; without asperated, tubular holdfast organs. Paired pygopods on segment 10 absent. Anal region ventrally oriented. Anal gill tufts absent. Anal hooks absent. Anterior abdominal spiracles biforous or bilabiate. 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. • Anchastus.


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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