Rivulicola variegatus, copyright CSIRO.

Belongs within: Elateroidea.
Contains: Synaptini, Ludius, Agrypninae, Denticollinae, Elaterinae, Thylacosterninae, Lissominae, Cardiophorinae.

The Elateridae are the click beetles, so called for their ability to jump by rapidly bending the thorax (producing a clicking noise). This clicking ability is enabled by a long prosternal process entering a cavity on the mesosternum and has been lost in certain derived, softer-bodied subgroups. Larvae of elaterids are liquid feeders on various foods by extraoral digestion. Some phytophagous species, known as wireworms, are pests of crops.

Members of the Elateridae have been divided between several subfamilies. These include the Negastriinae, characterised by the presence of two sublateral longitudinal carinae on the base of the pronotum, a short truncate prosternal spine, and a cordate scutellum that is deeply notched on the anterior margin (Calder 1996). The Hemiopinae are found in southern and eastern Asia, and possess a pair of short longitudinal ridges near the base of the pronotum. Campyloxenus pyrothorax is a distinctive species from southern South America with bioluminescent organs on the pronotum (Bouchard 2014).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Characteristic elongate form, with acute hind angles on prothorax and clicking mechanism enabling them to jump by forcing long prosternal process suddenly into cavity on mesosternum causing sudden movement of prothorax relative to hind body. Labrum always visible; frontal area usually with sharp transverse ridge between eyes; antennae almost always serrate; tarsi simple or provided with setal brushes or membranous appendages; fifth ventrite more or less free, membrane usually visible between it and ventrite 4. Larvae elongate and cylindrical to slightly flattened, either uniformly sclerotised and yellow to brown in colour, or more lightly sclerotised, except for head capsule, protergum and T9. Labrum and clypeus solidly fused to remainder of head capsule forming nasale, which is variously lobed or toothed; stemmata often reduced or absent; ventral mouthparts consolidated to form maxillolabial complex; tenth segment reduced and ventrally situated; T9 terminal.

Elateridae [Serricornes]
    |--+--Panspaeus guttatus KB11
    |  `--+--+--Agrypninae KB11
    |     |  `--Denticollinae KB11
    |     `--+--Elaterinae KB11
    |        `--+--Thylacosterninae KB11
    |           `--Lissominae KB11
    `--+--Cardiophorinae KB11
       `--Negastriinae KB11
            |--Yukoana Kishii 1959 PS07
            |--Zorochros KB11
            |--Quasimus Gozis 1886 PS07
            |    |--Q. (Quasimus) vunum Kishii 1994 PS07
            |    `--Q. (Miquasus Kishii 1959) PS07
            `--Rivulicola Calder 1996 C96
                 |--*R. variegatus (Macleay 1872) [=Cryptohypnus variegatus] C96
                 `--R. dimidiatus (Macleay 1888) (see below for synonymy) C96

Elateridae incertae sedis:
  Acritelater barbatus (Candèze 1865) [=Chrosis barbata, Elatichrosis barbata] C96
  Thoramus WH02
  Codemus teres P02
  Amychus WH02
    |--A. candezei Pascoe 1876 E02
    `--A. granulatus WH02
  Pectocera [Pectocerini] PS07
    |--P. babai Kishii 1990 PS07
    |--P. formosana Kishii 1990 PS07
    `--P. yaeyamana Suzuki 1976 PS07
  Synaptini PS07
  Camptosternus fulgens B66
  Agonischius M86
    |--A. breviusculus Fl89
    |--A. delauneyi Fleut. 1887 Fl89
    |--A. mirus Fl89
    |--A. obscuripes B66
    |--A. speculifer Cand. in Fairmaire 1889 Fa89
    `--A. thoracicus Fleutiaux 1889 Fl89
  Eopenthes O94
  Poecilonata masudai Kano 1929 TYM08
  Archontas murinus C01
  Betarmon picipennis C01
  Ludius C01
  Dolopius C01
    |--D. marginatus C01
    `--D. marginipennis Lucas 1846 E12
  Campyloxenus [Campyloxeninae] B14
    `--C. pyrothorax Fairmaire & Germain 1860 B14
  Hemiopinae B14
    |--Parhemiops dubius Fleutiaux 1889 B14, Fl89
    |--Plectrosternum B14
    `--Hemiops PS07
         |--H. flava Castelnau 1838 PS07
         |--H. ireii B14
         `--H. substriata B14
  Eudicronychinae KB11
  Morostominae KB11
  Subprotelater [Subprotelaterinae] C96
  Cryptohypnus flavicans Candèze 1889 C96
  Psephus quadraticollis Schwarz 1906 C96
  Photophorus B70
    |--P. bakewelli B70
    `--P. jansoni B70
  Cryptochile melanoptera B35
  Elaterophanes regius Whalley 1985 RJ93
  Crioraphes P92
  Diaraphes P92
  Dipropus P92
  Elatron P92
  Holopleurus P92
  Idolus P92
  Mecynocanthus P92
  Neotrichophorus P92
  Orthoraphes P92
  Pheletes P92
  Plagioraphes P92
  Porthmidius P92
  Sternopes P92
  Tetraraphes P92
  Mionelater Becker 1963 P92
    `--M. planatus Becker 1963 P92
  Physorinus quirsfeldi PP72
  Meristhus Fl89
    |--M. apicalis Fl89
    `--M. perraudierei Fleutiaux 1889 Fl89
  Diploconus Fl89
    |--D. coracinus Fl89
    `--D. melanopterus Fl89
  Aphanobius Fl89
    |--A. cylindricus Fl89
    `--A. malaccensis Fl89
  Crepidius Cand. 1859 FS90
    |--C. brunneus Fleutiaux & Sallé 1890 FS90
    `--C. rhipiphorus Cand. 1859 FS90
  Ischiodontus Cand. 1859 FS90
    |--I. convexus Fleutiaux & Sallé 1890 FS90
    `--I. inornatus Cand. 1859 [incl. I. pruinosus] FS90
  Horistonotus Cand. 1860 FS90
    `--H. asthenicus FS90

Rivulicola dimidiatus (Macleay 1888) [=Cryptohypnus dimidiatus, Hypnoidus dimidiatus, Hypolithus dimidiatus; incl. Cryptohypnus semifasciatus Macleay 1888] C96

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[E02] Emberson, R. M. 2002. The beetle (Coleoptera) fauna of the Chatham Islands: additions and corrections. New Zealand Entomologist 25: 69–77.

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[Fl89] Fleutiaux, E. 1889. Contributions a la faune Indo-Chinoise. Cicindelidae et Elateridae. 1er mémoire. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: 137–146.

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[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

Last updated: 10 April 2022.

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