Laccophilus pictus, photographed by Alex Wild.

Belongs within: Dytiscoidea.
Contains: Agabinae, Dytiscinae, Colymbetinae, Copelatinae, Hydroporinae.

The Dytiscidae are the predacious diving beetles, aquatic beetles with enlarged hind legs that are moved simultaneously when swimming. They first appeared in the Early Cretaceous, where Liadytiscus cretaceus is probably the sister group of living dytiscids as indicated by its having the metacoxae rounded anteriorly but the metaventrite less narrowed than in modern dytiscids (Beutel et al. 2013). Miller (2001) identified the earliest-diverging clade among living dytiscids as the Matinae, which retain a plesiomorphic female genital morphology and lack apical subelytral setae. Other subfamilies include the Laccophilinae, characterised by hind legs lacking natatory setae along the tibia though such setae remain present on the tarsus (Miller 2001).

Synapomorphies (from Miller 2001): Anterolateral prothoracic glands present; metacoxae strongly expanded anteriorly with anterior margin strongly curved, metasternal wings narrowed laterally; large rounded posteromedial metacoxal lobes present; posteromedial metacoxal rim continuous medially; metacoxal cavities contiguous, separated only by a fine medial wall; medial portion of metacoxa not concave laterally.

    |  i. s.: Cretodytes S02
    |         Palaeogyrinus S02
    |         Schistomerus californicus S02
    |         Angaragabus jurassicus GE05, P02
    |         Allopachria [incl. Nipponhydrus Guignot 1954] NR97
    |--Liadytiscus [Liadytiscinae] BW13
    |    `--L. cretaceus Prokin & Ren 2010 BW13
    |--Matinae [Matini] M01
    |    |--Allomatus Mouchamps 1964 M01, LM87
    |    |    |--*A. wilsoni Mouchamps 1964 LM87
    |    |    `--A. nannup Watts 1978 LM87
    |    |--Matus Aubé 1836 M01
    |    |    |--M. bicarinatus M01
    |    |    `--M. ovatus M01
    |    `--Batrachomatus Clark 1863 RL01, LM87
    |         |--*B. wingi Clark 1863 LM87
    |         `--B. daemeli (Sharp 1882) [=Matus daemeli; incl. B. burnsi Mouchamps 1964] LM87
    `--+--+--Agabinae M01
       |  `--+--Dytiscinae M01
       |     `--+--Colymbetinae M01
       |        `--Lancetes Sharp 1882 [Lancetinae, Lancetini] M01
       |             |--*L. varius (Fabricius 1775) [=Dytiscus varius] LM87
       |             |--L. lanceolatus (Clark 1863) [=Colymbetes lanceolatus] LM87
       |             |--L. marginatus R89
       |             `--L. nigriceps M01
       `--+--+--Coptotomus Say 1834 [Coptotominae, Coptotomini] M01
          |  |    |--C. interrogatus M01
          |  |    |--C. lenticus M01
          |  |    |--C. longulus M01
          |  |    `--C. venustus M01
          |  `--+--Copelatinae M01
          |     `--+--Hydroporinae M01
          |        `--Hydrodytes Miller 2001 [Hydrodytinae, Hydrodytini] M01
          |             `--*H. opalinus (Zimmermann 1921) [=Agaporomorphus opalinus] M01
          `--Laccophilinae M01
               |  i. s.: Australphilus Watts 1978 LM87
               |           |--*A. saltus Watts 1978 LM87
               |           `--A. montanus Watts 1978 LM87
               |--Agabetes Crotch 1873 RL03 [Agabetinae, Agabetini M01]
               |    `--A. acuductus M01
               `--Laccophilini M01
                    |--Laccodytes Régimbart 1895 M01, RL01
                    |    `--L. pumilio RL01
                    `--+--+--Neptosternus M01
                       |  `--Philaccolilus belissimus M01
                       `--Laccophilus Leach 1817 M01
                            |--*L. minutus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Dytiscus minutus] LM87
                            |--L. angustus Régimbart 1889 R89
                            |--L. balzani Régimbart 1889 R89
                            |--L. biguttatus M01
                            |--L. cingulatus Sharp 1882 (see below for synonymy) LM87
                            |--L. clarki Sharp 1882 LM87
                            |--L. hyalinus C01
                            |--L. maculosus M01
                            |--L. nubilus Régimbart 1889 R89
                            |--L. obliquatus Régimbart 1889 R89
                            |--L. ovatus R89
                            |--L. pictus M01
                            |    |--L. p. pictus B14
                            |    |--L. p. coccinelloides Régimbart 1889 B14
                            |    `--L. p. insignis B14
                            |--L. quadrimaculatus Sharp 1882 LM87
                            |--L. religatus Sharp 1882 LM87
                            |--L. seminiger Fauvel 1883 LM87
                            |--L. sharpi Régimbart 1889 LM87
                            |--L. univittatus Régimbart 1891 LM87
                            |--L. variegatus C01
                            `--L. walkeri Balfour-Browne 1939 LM87

Laccophilus cingulatus Sharp 1882 [incl. L. basifasciatus Zimmermann 1922, L. unifasciatus Sharp 1882] LM87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BW13] Beutel, R. G., B. Wang, J.-J. Tan, S.-Q. Ge, D. Ren & X.-K. Yang. 2013. On the phylogeny and evolution of Mesozoic and extant lineages of Adephaga (Coleoptera, Insecta). Cladistics 29 (2): 147–165.

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

[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.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[LM87] Lawrence, J. F., B. P. Moore, J. E. Pyke & T. A. Weir. 1987. Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 4. Coleoptera: Archostemata, Myxophaga and Adephaga. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[M01] Miller, K. B. 2001. On the phylogeny of the Dytiscidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) with emphasis on the morphology of the female reproductive system. Insect Systematics and Evolution 32: 45–92.

[NR97] Nilsson, A. N., & R. E. Roughley. 1997. The genus- and family-group names of the Dytiscidae—additions and corrections. Beiträge zur Entomologie 47 (2): 359–364.

[P02] Ponomarenko, A. G. 2002. Superorder Scarabaeidea Laicharting, 1781. Order Coleoptera Linné, 1758. The beetles. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 164–176. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[R89] Régimbart, M. 1889. Enumération des Haliplidae, Dytiscidae et Gyrinidae recueillis par M.r le Prof. L. Balzan dans l’Amérique méridionale et description de quelques autres espèces voisines. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 256–268.

[RL01] Roughley, R. E., & D. J. Larson. 2001. Dytiscidae Leach, 1815. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr & M. C. Thomas (eds) American Beetles vol. 1. Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia pp. 156–186. CRC Press: Boca Raton.

[S02] Sinitshenkova, N. D. 2002. Ecological history of the aquatic insects. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 388–426. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

Last updated: 27 October 2018.

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