Forest stream beetlesWilliam Shepard
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Until relatively recently Eulichadidae was one of the least known beetle groups. The family includes only two genera: Stenocolus LeConte, a monospecific taxon known only from California, and Eulichas Jacobsen, with approximately 30 species spread from India east to China and the Philippines. About half of the species were described from 1853 to 1933. The next additions came from a synopsis of Eulichas (Jäch 1995) in which 8 new species were described. This was quickly followed by description of larvae of the two genera (Costa and Vanin 1998) and then description of 11 other new species of Eulichas (Ivie and Jäch 2002; Hájek 2007, 2008).
Very little life cycle information exists. Adult Eulichas have mainly been collected at lights. Adult Stenocolus do not come to light but can be swept from riparian vegetation around the streams the larvae inhabit. Larvae of both genera live under rocks in streams where they feed on leaf detritus. Larvae are present all year around. Pupation occurs in the summer for Stenocolus with adults present shortly thereafter. However, pupae have not been described in either genus. Eggs and oviposition have not yet been described.
The morphology of adults has been well described (Jäch 1995; Shepard 2002; Ivie 2005; Hájek 2007) as has that of the larvae (Lawrence 1991; Costa and Vanin 1998; Ivie 2005).
Adults can be recognized by the following characters:
- Large size (10-35 mm)
- Scutellum densely covered with white setae
- Sexually dimorphic serrate antennae
Larvae can be recognized by the following characters:
- Body large, cylindrical and well sclerotized
- Head with one large ocellus on each side
- Abdominal tergum IX with broad, fixed, upturned urogomphi
- Abdominal sternites with coarse tracheal gills
- Stream associated
Stenocolus has remained monospecific since its description. In contrast, Eulichas has grown in number of species over the last 100 years. Jäch (1995) split the genus into two subgenera and described two species groups within the nominate subgenus. Hájek (2007) added four more species groups to the nominate subgenus. Jäch (1995) discusses the great variability in some characters and similarity in other characters. He notes that environmental degradation in the Oriental region may yield species extinction and increased taxonomic problems.
Discussion of Phylogenetic RelationshipsIvie (2005) and Hájek (2007) have provided excellent reviews of how Eulichadidae has been variously associated with different members of Dryopoidea, Byrrhoidea and Elateriformia. Phylogenetic analyses have put Eulichadidae as a sister group to (Callirhipidae + Chelonariidae + Cneoglossidae) (Lawrence 1987), to Ptilodactylidae (Beutel 1995) or to Callirhipidae (Costa et al. 1999).
Beutel, R. G. 1995. Phylogenetic analysis of Elateriformia (Coleoptera: Polyphaga) based on larval characters. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 33: 145-171.
Costa, C., S. A. Vanin and S. Ide. 1999. Systematics and bionomics of Cneoglossidae with a cladistic analysis of Byrrhoidea sensu Lawrence and Newton (1995) (Coleoptera, Elateriformia). Arquivos de Zoologia, 35(3): 231-300.
Costa, C. and S. A. Vanin. 1998. Eulichadidae: Description of the larva of Eulichas dudgeoni Jäch, with comparative notes on larvae of other Eulichas spp., and on Stenocolus scutellaris LeConte (Coleoptera). Water Beetles of China, 2: 327-336.
Hájek, J. 2007. Revision of the genus Eulichas Jacobson, 1913 (Coleoptera: Eulichadidae) I. Introduction, morphology of adults, key to subgenera and species groups, and taxonomy of E. funebris species group. Zootaxa, 1620: 1-35.
Hájek, J. 2008. A new species of Eulichas (Coleoptera: Eulichadidae) from Laos. Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Prague, 48(1): 67-72.
Ivie, M. A. 2005. 18.11 Eulichadidae Crowson, 1973. Pages 547-551. In: (R. G. Beutel and R. A. B. Leschen, eds.). Handbook of Zoology. Volume IV, Part 38. Coleoptera, Beetles. Volume 1: Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin. 567 pp.
Ivie, M. A. and M. A. Jäch. 2002. A new species of Eulichas Jacobson from Vietnam (Coleoptera: Eulichadidae). Koleopterologische Rundschau, 72: 165-168.
Jäch, M. A. 1995. Eulichadidae: Synopsis of the species of the genus Eulichas Jacobson from China, Laos and Vietnam (Coloeptera). Water Beetles of China, 1: 359-388.`
Lawrence, J. F. 1987. Rhinorhipicae, a new beetle family from Australia, with comments on the phylogeny of the Elateriformia. Invertebrate Taxonomy, 2: 1-53.
Lawrence, J. F. 1991. 1991. Eulichadidae (Dryopoidea) (=Lichadidae). Pages 390-391. In: J. F. Lawrence (ed.). Order Coleoptera, chapter 34. In: F. W./ Stehr (ed.). Imature Insects. Dubuque. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 975 pp.
Shepard, W. D. 2002. Family 51. Eulichadidae Crowson 1973. Pages 142-143. In: (R. H. Arnett, Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank, eds.). American Beetles. Volume 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionidea. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. 861 pp.
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Univerrsity of California, Berkeley
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- Content changed 03 March 2011
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Shepard, William. 2011. Eulichadidae. Forest stream beetles. Version 03 March 2011. http://tolweb.org/Eulichadidae/9124/2011.03.03 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/