Elodes maculicollis, copyright Tom Murray.

Belongs within: Scirtoidea.
Contains: Scirtes, Prionocyphon.

The Scirtidae are a group of small to moderate-sized beetles mostly found in vegetation near water, with larvae mostly being aquatic detritivores (Lawrence & Britton 1991). Members of the genera Scirtes and Ora have the femora of the hind legs greatly enlarged and adapted for jumping. Ora species have the hind coxae touching anteriorly but divided posteriorly by an abdominal process (Young 2002).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Moderate to small, oblong to ovoid beetles, usually somewhat flattened, with large, strongly deflexed head, pair of sharp genal ridges resting against fore coxae when head deflexed; antennae eleven-segmented, filiform; prothorax short and broad with large, projecting fore coxae and reduced sternal region, trochantins exposed, fore coxal cavities externally and internally open; mid coxal cavities contiguous, laterally open; elytral epipleura moderately broad and complete; tarsi five-segmented, fourth tarsal segments lobed; hind coxal plates often present; abdomen with five visible ventrites, none to two connate. Larvae elongate and somewhat flattened, with large head, multisegmented antennae, complex mouth-parts with maxillary comb-hairs and comb-like hypopharyngeal armature, a single pair of large spiracles at abdominal apex and a set of five anal papillae.

Scirtidae [Cyphonidae, Elodidae, Helodidae, Scirtinae]
|--+--Cyphon Paykull 1799MW15, Y02
| | |--C. hilarisKB11
| | |--C. padiC01
| | |--C. paykulliC01
| | `--C. variabilisC01
| `--+--ScirtesMW15
| `--+--PrionocyphonMW15
| `--VeronatusMW15
| |--V. longicornis Sharp 1878B14
| `--V. tricostellusB14
`--Elodes Latreille 1796MW15, Y02 [incl. Helodes Duval 1861 nec Paykull 1799 nec Dejean 1836Y02, Hemicyphon LeConte 1866Y02]
|--E. angustaY02
|--E. apicalisY02
|--E. aquaticaY02
|--‘Helodes’ atkinsoni Waterh. 1877M86
|--‘Helodes’ australis Erichs. 1841M86
|--‘Helodes’ distincta Lucas 1846E12
|--E. emarginataY02
|--E. griseus [=Cebrio (Elodes) griseus]G20
|--E. haemisphaericaR26 [=Cebrio (Elodes) haemisphaericusG20, Cyphon haemisphericusL02]
|--E. impressaY02
|--‘Helodes’ maculatus Waterh. 1877M86
|--E. maculicollisY02
|--E. nunenmacheriY02
|--E. pallidaR26 [=Cyphon pallidusL02]
`--‘Helodes’ vicina Lucas 1846E12

Scirtidae incertae sedis:
|--M. crassus Blackburn 1892B14 (see below for synonymy)
|--M. lucidusL19
|--M. montanus Lea 1919L19
`--M. princepsL19
Ora Clark 1865Y02
|--O. hyacinthaY02
|--O. texanaY02
`--O. troberti (Guérin-Méneville 1861)B14
Microcara Thomson 1859Y02
`--M. explanataY02
Macrodascillus Carter 1935W11
|--M. scalaris (Lea 1895) [=Helodes scalaris; incl. *M. denticornis Carter 1935]W11
`--M. pannuceus Watts 2011W11
Eohelodites Hong 2002H02
`--*E. orbiculatus Hong 2002H02
Spaniodascillus Watts 2011W11
`--*S. elongatus Watts 2011W11
Chameloscyphon Watts 2011W11
`--*C. huonensis Watts 2011W11
Dasyscyphon Watts 2011W11
|--*D. hadrostiktos Watts 2011W11
`--D. victoriaensis Watts 2011W11
Daploeuros Watts 2011W11
|--*D. tasmanicus Watts 2011W11
|--D. lamingtonensis Watts 2011W11
`--D. spencei (Armstrong 1953) [=Macrocyphon spencei]W11
Petrocyphon Watts 2011W11
|--*P. antarcticus Watts 2011W11
|--P. arktous Watts 2011W11
|--P. dorrigoensis Watts 2011W11
|--P. hamoni Watts 2011W11
|--P. messatos Watts 2011W11
|--P. monga Watts 2011W11
`--P. phoenix Watts 2011W11
Eurycyphon Watts 2011W11
|--*E. fulvus Watts 2011W11
`--E. aquilus Watts 2011W11
Sacodes LeConte 1853 [incl. Flavohelodes Klausnitzer 1980]Y02
|--S. fuscipennisY02
|--S. pulchellaY02
`--S. thoracicaY02
Sarabandus Leech 1955Y02
`--S. robustusY02

Macrohelodes crassus Blackburn 1892B14 [incl. M. crassus gravisL19, M. crassus intricatusL19, M. crassus nigerL19, M. crassus tasmanicusL19]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature’s gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[B70] Britton, E. B. 1970. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 495–621. Melbourne University Press.

[C01] Csiki, E. 1901. Bogarak [Coleopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy], pp. 75–120. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[H02] Hong Y. 2002. Amber Insect of China. Beijing Scientific and Technological Publishing House.

[KB11] Kundrata, R., & L. Bocak. 2011. The phylogeny and limits of Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera): is there a common tendency of click beetles to soft-bodiedness and neoteny? Zoologica Scripta 40: 364–378.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[L19] Lea, A. M. 1919. Notes on some miscellaneous Coleoptera with descriptions of new species.—Part V. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 43: 166–261, pls 25–27.

[M86] Masters, G. 1886. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Part IV. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 259–380.

[MW15] McKenna, D. D., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 40 (4): 835–880.

[P92] Poinar, G. O., Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

[W11] Watts, C. H. S. 2011. Revision of Australian Scirtidae of the genera Chameloscyphon gen. nov., Daploeuros gen. nov., Dasyscyphon gen. nov., Eurycyphon gen. nov., Macrodascillus Carter, Petrocyphon gen. nov. and Spaniodascillus gen. nov. (Coleoptera). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 135 (1): 66–110.

[Y02] Young, D. K. 2002. Scirtidae Fleming 1821. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr, M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley & J. H. Frank (eds) American Beetles vol. 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea pp. 87–89. CRC Press.


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