Elateriformia (Coleoptera) Larvae
Psephenines occur in North and South America and Asia.
Psephenine larvae feed on algae growing on rocks in streams; they are flattened and limpet-like and are thus are not swept away by the current. Air is obtained through ventral abdominal gill tufts.
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.
Brown, H. P. (1991). Psephenidae (Dryopoidea), pp 395–397 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.
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.
Body. Length less than 3 mm, or 3 to 15 mm. Body broadly ovate, strongly flattened and disc-like; relatively straight or only slightly curved ventrally; strongly flattened; body, as viewed from above oblong to ovate, not parallel-sided. Vestiture including bristles, scales, expanded or complex hairs. Dorsal surfaces more or less heavily pigmented or sclerotized; generally granulate or tuberculate. Ventral surfaces very lightly pigmented.
Head. Head prognathous or slightly declined; protracted or slightly retracted; completely 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; V-shaped or U-shaped; 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 five, or six. Number of antennal segments three. Ratio of antennal length to head width more than 0.50. Sensorium(a) on preapical antennal segment present; shorter than apical segment, or as long as or longer 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 distinct. Labrum separated from head capsule by complete suture; 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 and stout or more or less wedge-like; without groove or perforation. Apex of mandible broad when viewed from in front (perpendicular to plane of movement); with single lobe or tooth. Accessory ventral process of mandible absent. Incisor edge of mandible simple. Mesal surface of mandibular base with brush of hairs or spines. Mandibular mola absent. Ventral mouthparts retracted. Cardo distinct and sclerotized; divided by internal ridge; transverse to slightly oblique. Cardines or maxillary bases separated from each other by labium. Stipes longer than wide. Maxillary articulating area present. Maxilla with fixed galea and lacinia. Mala or galea consisting of a single segment. Apex of mala or galea rounded or truncate; setose or spinose. Apex of lacinia rounded or truncate; bearing 2 or 3 spurs or bifid spur. 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 free or basally connate with maxillae. Postmentum or labial plate subquadrate or trapezoidal, with blunt posterior edge. Postmentum or labial plate not divided longitudinally. Ligula as long as or longer than labial palp. Ligula simple, not bilobed; without tooth-like sclerome. Number of segments in labial palp two. Labial palps 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 absent. Gula wider than long; gular sutures separate. Gula or gular region fused to labium. 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 with well-developed lateral tergal processes. Prosternum without armature. Mesocoxae or coxal lobes 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 one. Thoracic spiracles biforous or bilabiate; not placed at ends of spiracular tubes.
Abdomen. Ratio of length of abdomen (without appendages) to length of thorax less than 1.2. Number of visible abdominal segments ten. Abdominal terga extending laterally beyond edges of sterna; without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities. Abdomen with 1 pair of lateral processes on most segments. 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 present on segments 2 to 6. 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; 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; 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 posteroventrally oriented. Anal gill tufts absent. Anal hooks absent. Anterior abdominal spiracles reduced and non-functional or absent. Abdominal spiracles on segment 8 placed at ends of lateral spiracular tubes. Eighth abdominal spiracles only functional pair on abdomen.
Illustrations. • Psephenus.
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’.