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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Coleoptera (beetles) | Heteroceridae


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Heteroceridae

Descriptive Features:

  • antennae short, no distinct club
  • frontoclypeal suture distinct
  • posterior edge of pronotum simple
  • elytra exposing less than 2 complete abdominal tergites
  • abdomen with at least 3 connate ventrites
  • pubescent 
  • mesocoxal cavities moderately to widely separated
  • ventral portion of the notum, (hypomeron) on each side joined directly to the sternum by notosternal suture
  • pleuron reduced and concealed
  • outer edge of middle tibia bearing spines or teeth along most of its length
  • tarsi 4-segmented, simple
  • size: 3 - 4mm
  • antennae 3-segmented
  • labrum separated from head capsule by complete suture
  • maxillary palps 3-segmented
  • mandibular mola present
  • basal portion of labium completely or almost completely connate with maxillae
  • bases of frontal arms distinctly separated
  • body elongate
  • legs well-developed
  • size:

    Heterocerus larva


    Heterocerus sp. adult

    Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    Elythomerus elongatus Waterhouse, 1874
    Heterocerus debilipes Blackburn
    Heterocerus flindersi Blackburn
    Heterocerus largensis Blackburn
    Heterocerus mastersi Macleay
    Heterocerus scabriusculus Charpentier
    Heterocerus simillimus Charpentier
    Heterocerus subpilosus Charpentier

    Heterocerus Australia wide 

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 1

    Functional Feeding Group: uncertain


    Mitta Mitta River below Dartmouth Dam, Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Adult and larval heterocerid beetles occur within moist mud or sand at the edge of fresh and brackish watercourses, lakes and ponds particularly in arid and semiarid inland regions. Larvae excavate subsurface tunnels and adults reside in their own tunnels with entrances marked with sand ‘chimneys’.
    Feeding ecology: All Heteroceridae stages feed on zooplankton, algae, diatoms, and organic debris.
    Habit: Australian adults are readily attracted in large numbers to light
    Life history: Eggs are laid in small masses in breeding chambers. Pupation takes place in a mud cell.



    Information Sources: Lawrence 1992, Lawrence & Britton 1991, Calder 1999b, Williams 1980
    Key to Genera: Charpentier 1968 (Notogean region)
    Key to Species: Charpentier 1968 (Notogean region)