Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Subfamily Denticollinae

Compiler and date details

31 December 1996 - Andrew A. Calder, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


The Denticollinae are a cosmopolitan subfamily of some 150 genera and 1500 species. The Australian fauna consists of 20 genera and 177 species (Calder 1998), and another two species are listed as incertae sedis in this Catalogue. Crepidomenus metallicus Schwarz, 1906 and Crepidomenus nigrifrons Schwarz, 1907 are missing from the collection of the Deutsches Entomologisches Institüt, Berlin, and are assumed to have been lost or destroyed. There is no comprehensive revision of the species. However, Calder (1986) has provided a revision of three genera: Arachnodima Candèze (as Orodina), Crepidomenus Erichson and Paracrepidomenus Schwarz describing 44 new species and providing a key to the known species. The genera Elatichrosis Hyslop (Neboiss 1960), Hapatesus Candèze (Neboiss 1957) and Toorongus Neboiss (Neboiss, 1957) were recently revised, with a total of 24 species and one genus being described as new.

The first described Australian denticollines were Ludius ramifer (now Dicteniophorus) (Eschscholtz, 1829) and Cylindroderus corrigiolatus (now Stichotomus) (Germar, 1848) from the vicinity of Adelaide. Boisduval (1835) decribed Elater australis (now Crepidomenus) and Elater hunteri (now Dicteniophorus ramifer (Eschscholtz)) collected on the voyage of the Astrolabe. Erichson (1842) described four new species and erected a new genus, Crepidomenus, from Tasmania, while Boheman (1858) described Crepidomenus luteipes from Sydney collected on the voyage of the Eugenies. Candèze (1859, 1863, 1878, 1882, 1887, 1889, 1893, 1897, 1900) described a total of 51 species and eight genera. The genus Chrosis, however, was preoccupied and was replaced with Elatichrosis by Hyslop (1921). Macleay (1872) described seven species from Gayndah, Queensland and Blackburn (1892, 1900) decribed two new species. Schwarz (1902a, 1902b, 1902c, 1902d, 1903, 1906, 1907) described 20 new species and erected a new genus Paracrepidomenus. Lea (1908) described two new species collected on King Island in Bass Strait. Elston (1929, 1930) described five new species in the genera Agonischius Candèze (now Drymelater Calder), Glypheus Candèze and Poemnites Buysson (now Neboisselater Calder). Carter (1935, 1939) decribed 17 new species in the genera Crepidomenus, Dicteniophorus Candèze, Glypheus and Microdesmes Candèze (as Limonius Eschscholtz). Blair (1935) described a new species of Crepidomenus (now Litotelater queenslandicus) from Mackay Queensland that was causing problems in sugar cane, the larvae of which was described by Glen (1950). The most recent work on this group has been by Neboiss and Calder, as listed above. Calder (1996) provided an overview and key to the Australian fauna, erecting nine new genera and describing four new species.

Most species are drab coloured although several species of Crepidomenus are distinctively marked with two yellow elytral stripes and species of Rousia Calder are distinctly bicoloured and are obvious lycid mimics. Corystelater kyoglensis Calder, a spectacular beetle with a large prominence on the pronotum resembling a helmet, is found in the northern New South Wales-southern Queensland border region. Denticolline species range in size from 3–33 mm. Female Dicteniophorus species and SA>Arachnodima opaca Candèze have extremely reduced hind wings and are obviously incapable of flight.

All genera except for Hapatesus which also occurs in New Guinea (Neboiss 1958), appear to be Australian endemics.

The biology of almost all denticolline species is poorly known. Litotelater queenslandicus (Blair) occurs in the soil of cultivated fields and grasslands around Mackay and has a life cycle of less than one year with pupation occurring in September to early October (McDougall 1934). Several species of Arachnodima Candèze are known pests of the establishing phase of cereal (barley and wheat) crops in South Australia and southern New South Wales and Hapatesus hirtus Candèze causes sporadic damage to potato crops in Victoria (Neboiss 1962; Smith 1980; Calder 1996).


General References

Blackburn, T. 1892. Notes on Australian Coleoptera, with descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 2 7(2): 283-300 [Date published 22 Nov. 1892]

Blackburn, T. 1900. Further notes on Australian Coleoptera, with descriptions of new genera and species. Part XXVII. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 24: 113-169 [Date published Dec. 31, 1900]

Blair, K.G. 1935. Two new species of Australian Elateridae (Col.). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 71: 102

Boheman, C.H. 1858. Coleoptera, species novas descripsit. Kongliga Svenska Fregatten Eugenies resa Omkring Jorden …1851–1853. Zoologi. 1. Insecta. Stockholm : P.A. Norstedt & Söner. 1-112 pp.

Boisduval, J.B.A.D. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l'Astrolabe exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M.J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune entomologique de l'Océan Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage. 2me Partie. Coléoptères et autres Ordres. Paris : J. Tastu Vol. 2 vii 267 pp.

Calder, A.A. 1986. Classification, relationships and distribution of the Crepidomeninae (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 122: 1-220 [Date published Dec. 18, 1986]

Calder, A.A. 1996. Click Beetles. Genera of Australian Elateridae (Coleoptera). Monographs on Invertebrate Taxonomy 2: i-x 1-401

Calder, A.A. 1998. Coleoptera: Elateroidea. In Wells, A. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 29.6. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, Australia. xiii 248 pp.

Candèze, E. 1859. Monographie des Elatérides 2. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 14: 1-543

Candèze, E. 1863. Monographie des Elatérides 4. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 17: 1-534

Candèze, E. 1878. Elatérides nouveaux. 2. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique (Comptes-rendus) 21: li-lxi, lxxv-lxxxv, cxxxv-cxliii, clxi-c [pages: lxxv–lxxxv, cxxxv–cxliii, clxi–clxxii, clxxxix–cxcix]

Candèze, E. 1882. Elatérides nouveaux 3. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 2 9: 1-117

Candèze, E. 1887. Description d'élatérides nouveaux, provenant de Normantown [sic]: Baie de Carpentaria (Australie septentrionale). Notes from the Leyden Museum 9: 285-290

Candèze, E. 1889. Elatérides nouveaux 4. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique (Comptes-rendus) 33: 67-123

Candèze, E. 1893. Elatérides nouveaux. Cinquième fascicule. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 2 18: 1-76

Candèze, E. 1897. Elatérides nouveaux. Sixième fascicule. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 2 29: 1-88

Candèze, E. 1900. Elatérides nouveaux. Septième fascicule. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique (Comptes-rendus) 44: 77-101

Carter, H.J. 1935. Australian Coleoptera. Notes and new species. No. IX. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 60: 179-193

Carter, H.J. 1939. Australian Coleoptera. Notes and new species. No. XI. (Mostly Elateridae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 64(3-4): 297–330, pls VIII, IX

Elston, A.H. 1929. Australian Coleoptera — Part VI. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 53: 347-352

Elston, A.H. 1930. Results of Dr E. Mjöberg's Swedish scientific expeditions to Australia 1910–1912. 50. Elateridae. Arkiv för Zoologi 22A(1): 1-22 [Date published Sept. 27, 1930]

Erichson, W.F. 1842. Beitrag zur Insecten-fauna von Vandiemensland, mit besonderer Berucksichtigung der geographischen Verbreitung der Insecten. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 8(1): 83-287, pls 4, 5

Eschscholtz, J.F. 1829. Elaterites, Eintheilung derselben in Gattungen. In, Thon. Entomol. Arch.2(1): 31–35.

Germar, E.F. 1848. Beiträge zur Insektenfauna von Adelaide. Linnaea Entomologica 3: 153-247

Glen, R. 1950. Larvae of the elaterid beetles of the tribe Lepturoidini (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 111(11): 1-246 [Date published April 19, 1950]

Hyslop, J.A. 1921. Genotypes of the elaterid beetles of the world. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 58: 621-673

Lea, A.M. 1908. The Coleoptera of King Island, Bass Strait. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria n.s. 20(2): 143-207 [Date published March 31, 1908]

Macleay, W.J. 1872. Notes on a collection of insects from Gayndah. Second paper. Transactions of the Entomological Society of New South Wales 2(4): 239-318

McDougall, W.A. 1934. The determination of larval instars and stadia of some wireworms (Elateridae). Queensland Agricultural Journal 42: 43-70

Neboiss, A. 1957. The genera Hapatesus Candèze and Toorongus, gen. nov. (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Australian Journal of Zoology 5(4): 496-520 [Date published Dec. 31, 1957]

Neboiss, A. 1958. Genus Hapatesus from the Austro-Malayan sub-region (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 70(2): 169-174 [Date published Aug. 29, 1958]

Neboiss, A. 1960. The genera Elatichrosis Hyslop and Lingana, gen. nov. (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Australian Journal of Zoology 8(2): 289-306 [Date published Aug. 31, 1960]

Neboiss, A. 1962. Notes on distribution and descriptions of new species (Orders: Odonata, Plecoptera, Orthoptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera). Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 25: 243-258

Schwarz, O. 1902a. Neue Elateriden. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1901(2): 311-336 [Date published Jan. 31, 1902]

Schwarz, O. 1902b. Neue Elateriden aus Australien. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1902(i): 113-126 [Date published Jul. 31, 1902]

Schwarz, O. 1902c. Neue Elateriden. Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 63(1): 194-316 [Date published Jul. 1, 1902]

Schwarz, O. 1902d. Neue australische Elateriden. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1902(ii): 358-363 [Date published Oct. 31, 1902]

Schwarz, O. 1903. Neue Elateriden aus Neu-Guinea und Australien. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1903(ii): 377-398 [Date published Aug. 31, 1903]

Schwarz, O. 1906. Neue Elateriden aus Australien. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1906(ii): 353-369 [Date published Sept. 10, 1906]

Schwarz, O. 1907. 18 neue Elateriden-Arten von Australien. Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 68(1): 70-86 [Date published May 31, 1907]

Smith, I. 1980. Wireworms in potatoes. Agnote Department of Agriculture Victoria 1196: 1 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-Feb-2010 (import)