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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Limnichidae

Descriptive Features:

  • head hypognathous and strongly retracted
  • antennae and mouthparts usually concealed by prosternum, which is produced forward
  • antennae slender, distinctly pubescent with segments 7-10
  • antennal segment 1 only slightly longer than 2
  • antennal segments 7-10 usually longer than wide, widest at middle and narrowed at either end
  • frontoclypeal suture distinct
  • body ovate, usually less than 2 times as long as wide, densely pubescent
  • pronotal and elytral bases equal in width and closely joined, forming an unbroken lateral outline
  • posterior edge of pronotum simple
  • lateral pronotal carinae complete, sharply defined
  • ventral portion of the notum, (hypomeron) on each side joined directly to the sternum by notosternal suture
  • pleuron reduced and concealed
  • mesocoxal cavities moderately to widely separated
  • ventrite 1 not divided by hind coxae
  • abdomen with at least 3 connate ventrites
  • tarsi simple, 5-segmented
  • outer edge of middle tibia simple
  • size: 3mm
  • head prognathous or slightly declined
  • antennae with 6 well separated stemmata on each side
  • apex of antennal segment 2 truncate
  • spiracles biforous, with 2 parallel openings
  • epicranial stem present
  • labrum separated from head capsule by complete suture
  • mesal surface of mandibular base simple or slightly expanded
  • maxillary palp 4-segmented
  • legs 5-segmented, including claw
  • size:

    Limnichidae larva


    Limnichius australis

    Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    3 species
    Byrrhinus 4 species
    Paralimnichus castaneus Lea

    Distribution: NT, Qld, WA, Tas, NSW, SA

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 4

    Functional Feeding Group: gathering collectors (adults), unknown (larvae)


    Wakool River at Kyalite, NSW

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Adult limnichid beetles occur in riparian areas alongside creeks and rivers. Large numbers may be attached to lights at night but they are not frequently collected in routine freshwater sampling, reflecting a preference for near-terrestrial habitats. Larvae live in sand, mud and damp leaf litter.
    Feeding ecology: Adults of Australian Limnichidae species appear to feed on decaying organic matter but Asian species have been recorded as feeding on algae and moss.
    Life history:


    Information Sources: Lawrence 1992, Lawrence & Britton 1991, Hendrich et al. 2004, Williams 1980
    Key to Genera: Matthews 1980 part 4 (SA adults partial)
    Key to Species: none