Elateriformia (Coleoptera) Larvae
Pityobius species occur in North America, while Metablax, Parablax and their relatives inhabit New Zealand and Australia.
Pityobiines occur under bark or in rotten wood and are predacious.
Becker, E. C. (1991). Elateridae (Elateroidea), pp 410–417 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.
Calder, a. A. (1976). The New Zealand genus Metablax (Coleoptera: Elateridae) and its relationship to the Campsosterninae. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 3: 313–325.
Calder, A. A. (1992). Notes on Parablax Schwarz and the subfamily Pityobiinae with description of Parablax ossa sp. n. from Tasmania (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 31: 143–158.
Hudson, G. V. (1934). New Zealand Beetles and Their Larvae, 236 pp, 17 pls. Ferguson & Osborn: Wellington.
Jewett, H. H. (1946). Identification of some larval Elateridae found in Kentucky. Bulletin of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station 489: 1–40.
Body. Length 3 to 15 mm, or more than 15 mm. Body not broadly ovate and strongly flattened; relatively straight or only slightly curved ventrally; slightly flattened, or strongly flattened; 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, or 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; 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. 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. 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. 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; narrow and falcate; without groove or perforation. Apex of mandible narrow when viewed from in front (parallel or oblique to plane of movement); 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 with brush of hairs or spines. Mandibular mola absent. Ventral mouthparts retracted. Cardo distinct and sclerotized; undivided, or divided by internal ridge; strongly oblique or longitudinal. Cardines or maxillary bases closely approximate or contiguous, not separated by labium. Stipes longer than wide. Maxillary articulating area absent. Maxilla with articulated galea and fixed lacinia. Mala or galea 2-segmented. Apex of mala or galea rounded or truncate; setose or spinose. 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 subtriangular, with acute 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. Hypostomal region present (separating labium from thorax). Hypostomal rods absent. Ventral epicranial ridges present. Gula wider than long, or longer than wide. Gula or gular region separated from labium by suture. 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 without sclerotized plates. Thorax without well-developed lateral tergal processes. Prosternum without armature. 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 as long as or slightly longer than segment 8. Abdominal tergum 9 not forming articulated plate; extending onto ventral surface; with paired processes or urogomphi; without pit between urogomphi; without median process or terminal disc. Ratio of length of urogomphus to basal width of tergum 9 between 0.2 and 1.0. Urogomphi fixed at base; unsegmented; bifurcate or with accessory processes; posteriorly oriented; separated by less than 1 basal width. 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.
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’.