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Checklist of Elateroidea of Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, Belize

Paul J. Johnson

Insect Research Collection 

South Dakota State University 

Brooking, SD 57007, USA

Last update: 16 December 1999

The beetle superfamily Elateroidea in the Americas is represented by the families Elateridae, Throscidae, Cerophytidae, and Eucnemidae. These beetles, especially species of Elateridae, are often conspicuous and recognizable by their body structure and habits throughout southern North America and the Caribbean. All of these beetles share an ability to click and “jump” by rapidly articulating the prothorax and mesothorax against a substrate. This habit provides the common names of click beetle, snappers, or skipjacks to the more common Elateridae.

Elateridae is the largest and most biologically diverse of the elateroid families. Taxonomically, the Elateridae is the ninth most diverse family of beetles, with approximately 10,000 described species worldwide. The family received its only faunal review for Belize and the rest of southern North America (Mexico to Panama) by George C. Champion (1894-1896) in the massive Biologia Centrali-Americana project. No other work has since been done on the Belizean fauna until now. The only other Meso-American click beetle fauna under concerted study is that of Costa Rica. See the above website for further information on this work.

The Belizean fauna of these beetles is understudied. Until now, only 7 genera and 18 species were reported from Belize. Below, 21 genera and 39 species are itemized. In comparison, 63 genera represented by approximately 370 species are recorded from Mexico, and 69 genera represented by approximately 250 species are expected for Costa Rica. There is no reason to expect fewer than 250 species for Belize. All future records will be new for Belize and many of these expected species will be undescribed.

Most species of click beetle are relatively common, with adults often collected in various traps, on vegetation, or at lights; most fly well. Diurnal species are often found on foliage, at flowers, or flying along woodland edges, trails, forest roadways, and through forest openings. Many species are active in late morning and late afternoon, though most neotropical species are crepuscular and nocturnal. In all areas there are seasonal or phenologically related diversity shifts. Some species are predaceous on soft bodied sternorrhynchous insects and their “honey dew” exudates, but many feed on nectar, pollen, floral parts, and at extra floral nectaries.

Larvae are found in soil, forest duff, or decaying plant materials, especially fibrous stems and wood. Generally, most species are opportunistic predators. Wood inhabiting larvae are predaceous on small and immature invertebrates or saprophagous on decay organisms, while soil dwelling species are generally predaceous or omnivorous. Some soil dwelling species are phytophagous on sprouting seeds and roots of grass seedlings, and occasionally on roots and tubers of vegetables. Larvae are liquid feeders and practice extra-oral digestion. There are generally 3-5 larval instars taking 1-3 years for development, depending on food quality and availability. The pupal stage typically lasts 10-30 days, depending on ambient temperatures. Larvae of pest species are called wireworms.

Most members of the tribe Pyrophorini are bioluminescent. Adults of these beetles have paired light organs on the thorax and usually an additional median spot that is visible in flight on abdominal segment 3. Embryos and larvae of these species are luminous through intersegmental membranes.

Throscidae is a small family represented in southern North America by only two genera, Trixagus and Aulonothroscus. There are 152 described species worldwide. To date, three species of Aulonothroscus have been seen from Belize, all from the Rio Bravo site. There is no doubt that some species of Trixagus will be eventually recovered in samples. In southern North America, George Horn (1890, Biologia Centrali-Americana) provided the most recent review of most species. Until now, no species were recorded from Belize.

Little is known about throscid ecology, and nothing for Belizean species beyond habitat information for those from Rio Bravo. Most throscids occur in lowland and mid-elevational forested environments. Generally, adults are usually captured in traps or netted in late afternoon flights, at light traps, in flowers, recovered from duff and litter samples, near mammal burrows, in rotted wood, grain storage facilities, and on various foliage. Adults may be generalist pollen and mold feeders. Adults are reported to possess four fat-body mycetomes containing three types of bacterial symbionts. Larvae have been found in blocky red-rotted portions of oak logs, in fungusy soil samples, and in grass tussocks. Larvae are liquid feeders and apparently specializing on the outer portions of ectotrophic mycorrhizal roots.

Cerophytidae is not reported from Belize, yet. Species of Cerophytum are known from surrounding countries, including adjacent Mexico and Guatemala. Thus, it is only a matter of time before a Belizean specimen is discovered. The taxonomy of Cerophytum species seems stable and identification of described world species is possible, though undescribed species are known. There are 10 described species occurring in the Americas and Europe. Probably, only one or two species occur in Belize.

Little is known about cerophytid biology. Adults are usually captured in malaise traps, light traps, or netted in late afternoon flights in lowland and mid elevational forested environments. Larvae are associated with various angiosperm trees, apparently feeding in the laminated rotted xylem.

Eucnemidae is an extremely poorly studied family in the Americas. The only study of eucnemid beetles of Belize and the region was conducted by George Horn (1890, Biologia Centrali-Americana). Only one genus and species was recorded from Belize. The following table includes a total of 10 genera and 19 species. As indicated by question marks in the identification boxes, there are specimens available that do not fit the definitions of described genera and species, indicating the presence of undescribed species and the need for considerable new work.

Eucnemid beetles are associated with dead and dying woody plants, mostly trees. Adults are relatively rare and are usually found on trees or in malaise, flight intercept, multiple funnel, and other traps. Feeding records by MesoAmerican eucnemids are few. Larvae occur in the decaying xylem, where they apparently feed on fungusy tissues but ingest only a liquid diet.

Reported specimens of these families are deposited with the author at the Insect Research Collection, South Dakota State University, with duplicates to be deposited in the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, and the Belizean National Collection, Belize National Plant Protection Service.

FAMILY:

Subfamily

Genus Species

Author

ID No. Preserve Localities Collecting

Methods

Date Known Distribution

Comments

ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Aeolus circumscriptus (Germar) P.J. 7 RS CPT; MPT 14-20.VII.1996 Mexico; Belize; Nicaragua; Colombia; Grand Cayman  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Aeolus pulchellus Candeze P.J. 1 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Costa Rica; USA; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Aeolus vittatus Candeze P.J. 12 1st; 2nd; RS; AS FIT; MAL 11-21.VII.1996 Guatemala; Nicaragua; Costa Rica; Brazil; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Agrypnus brevis (Candeze) P.J. 1 AS FIT 19-30.VI.1996 Mexico; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Alaus plebejus Candeze P.J. 2 RS UVL 1-17.IV.1995 Mexico; Belize; Nicaragua; French Guiana; Costa Rica; Panama; Venezuela; Brazil  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Chalcolepidius bonplandi Guerin-Meneville P.J. 2 AS ? 9-13.IX.1996 Mexico; Belize; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Costa Rica; Colombia  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Chalcolepidius rugatus Candeze P.J. 2 RS; MA LFT 1-14.IX.1995 Mexico; Belize; Guatemala  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Conoderus pictus Candeze P.J. 1 RS UVL 4.IX.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Panama; Colombia; Brazil; Argentina; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Conoderus pilatei Candeze P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-19.IV.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Conoderus varians   P.J. 2 RS FIT 9-13.IX.1995 Guatemala; Panama; Colombia; Venezuela; USA; Virgin Is.; Costa Rica; Honduras; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Deilelater stella Candeze P.J. 2 AS; WT FIT; YPT 3-13.IX.1995 Mexico; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Dilobitarsus inopinus Candeze P.J. 1 AS LFT 11-20.VII.1996 Mexico; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Pyrophorus strabus Germar P.J. 3 RS LFT 10-19.IV.1995 Mexico; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Agrypninae

Rismethus squamiger (Champion) P.J. 3 RS UVL 10-11.IV.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Costa Rica; Brazil; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Anischiinae

Anischia mexicanus Fleutiaux P. J. 4 ME hand collected on recently downed tree trunk at night 14.vii.1996 Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama Belize and Costa Rica are new country records
ELATERIDAE:

Cardiophorinae

Horistonotus obliteratus Champion P.J. 3 AS; WT LFT; MAL 6-16.IV.1995

7-14.IX.1997

Mexico; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Belize Belize is a new country record

ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Anchastus ANC01   P.J. 3 RS UVL 7-18.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Anchastus augusti (Candeze) P.J. 1 FL FIT 4-10.IX.1996 Mexico; Belize; Guatemala  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Anchastus moratus (Candeze) P.J. 2 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Colombia; Grenada; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Dipropus DIP01   P.J. 2 RS UVL I17.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Dipropus DIP02   P.J. 5 RS UVL I7-14.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Dipropus DIP03   P.J. 5 RS UVL 17-18.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Glyphonyx brevicollis Champion P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-19.IV.1995 Mexico; Guatemala; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Glyphonyx flohri Champion P.J. 5 WT MAL 6-16.IV.1995 Mexico; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Glyphonyx praecox (Erichson) P.J. 23 WT; RS; AS FIT; UVL; MAL; MPT; YPT 7-19.IV.1995 15-21.VII.1996 Mexico; Guatemala; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Glyphonyx teapensis Champion P.J. 2 WT YPT 11-18.VII.1996 Mexico; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Megapenthes bicostata Champion P.J. 93 WT; RS YPT; UVL; FIT; MAL; UVL; RWB 6-19.IV.1995 Guatemala; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Megapenthes furva Champion P.J. 1 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Mexico; Nicaragua; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Megapenthes MEG01   P.J. 3 RS; TC UVL; LFT 7-14.IV.1995 12-20.VII.1996 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Megapenthes MEG02   P.J. 1 RS UVL 7-14.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Neotrichophorus subsericeus (Candeze) P.J. 1 SL FIT 11-18.VII.1996 Mexico; Belize Belize is a new country record
ELATERIDAE:

Elaterinae

Orthostethus infuscatus (Germar) P.J. 1 RS ? 1-14.IX.1995 Mexico; Belize; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Panama; Brazil  
ELATERIDAE:

Lissominae

Drapetes DRA01   P.J. 4 SL; WT FIT 7-16.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Lissominae

Drapetes pusillus Horn P.J. 3 SL; WT FIT 10-16.IV.1995 10-16.VII.1996 Guatemala; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Lissominae

Drapetes quadrisignatus Bonvouloir P.J. 1 WT FIT 7-14.IV.1995 Guatemala; Brasil; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Lissominae

Drapetes ruficollis Bonvouloir P.J. 1 TC LFT 12-20.VII.1996 Mexico; Guatemala; Panama; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Prosterninae

Oistus sphenosomus Candeze P.J. 4 RS UVL 17-18.IV.1995; 9.VII.1996 Mexico; Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Prosterninae

Paradonus PAR01   P.J. 1 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Belize  
ELATERIDAE:

Thylacosterninae

Pterotarsus PTE01   P.J. 1 WT FIT 10-16.VII.1996 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 1   P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-19.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 2   P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-19.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 3   P.J. 1 RS; WT FIT 7-19.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 4   P.J. 1 WT FIT 10-14.IX.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 5   P.J. 1 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 6   P.J. 1 WT LFT 12-21.VII.1996 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE: ? 7   P.J. 1 1st FIT 9-15.VII.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Eucneminae

Gastraulacus bisulcatus (Latreille) P.J. 1 WT ? 16.VII.1996 Belize, Mexico, Nicaragua Brazil, Colombia Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Macraulacinae

Diphytaxis excavata Horn P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-16.IV.1995 Belize, Guatemala Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Macraulacinae

Dromaeolus DRO01   P.J. 1 AS LFT 7-14.IX.1997 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Macraulacinae

Nematodes mexicanus Laporte P.J. 9 TC; ME; 1st LFT; FIT; taken on fresh fallen log at night 9-15.IV.1995 12-20.VII.1996 Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama  
EUCNEMIDAE:

Macraulacinae

Nematodes NEM01   P.J. 2 WT MAL 6-16.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Macraulacinae

Plesiofornax ligniperda Bonvouloir P.J. 1 RS UVL 7-14.IV.1995 Belize, Mexico, French Guiana Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Adelothyreus flavosignatus Bonvouloir P.J. 2 WT FIT 7-14.IV.1995 Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Arrhipis ARR01   P.J. 3 RS LFT 10-19.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Entomophthalmus americanus Bonvouloir P.J. 1 1st FIT 12-18.VII.1996 Belize, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Brazil Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Entomophthalmus ENT01   P.J. 1 WT FIT 10-16.VII.1996 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Entomophthalmus nr. asper Horn P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-16.IV.1995 Belize, Panama Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus MIC01   P.J. 1 AS FIT 11-18.VII.1996 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus MIC02   P.J. 1 RS UVL 17.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus MC03   P.J. 1 WT FIT 10-14.IX.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus repandus Horn P.J. 5 WT; AS YPT; FIT; MAL 10-21.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala, Panama Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus ruficeps Horn P.J. 1 AS MAL 15-21.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala, Panama Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus thoracicus Horn P.J. 1 2nd ? 11-18.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala, Panama Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Melasinae

Microrhagus thoracicus Horn P.J. 1 WT FIT 10-16.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala, Panama Belize is a new country record
EUCNEMIDAE:

Phlegoninae

Phlegon PHL01   P.J. 1 WT MAL 6-19.IV.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus AUL01   P.J. 2 WT MAL; YPT 6-19.iv.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus AUL01   P.J. 2 WT MAL; YPT 6-19.iv.1995 Belize Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus AUL02   P.J. 3 RS MAL 15-21.VII.1996 Belize Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus fraternus Horn P.J. 6 WT MAL 6-16.IV.1995 Belize, Mexico, Guatemala Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus gradatus Horn P.J. 5 RS; WT MAL; FIT 6-16.IV.1995 11-21.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala Belize is a new country record
THROSCIDAE:

Throscinae

Aulonothroscus schaumi Bonvouloir P.J. 12 WT; RS MAL 6-16.IV.199515-21.VII.1996 Belize, Guatemala; Brasil, Argentina Belize is a new country record