Hydrocanthus iricolor, photographed by Tom Murray.

Belongs within: Adephaga.
Contains: Dytiscidae.

The Dytiscoidea is a clade of predatory beetles united by the possession of extensively fused mesal metacoxal walls (Ribera et al. 2002). Though all dytiscoids are found in damp habitats, advanced swimming abilities through simultaneous strokes of the hind legs are only found in species of Noteridae and Dytiscidae. Hygrobiidae swim with alternate movements of the hind legs, while Amphizoa and Aspidytes do not swim. Simultaneous strokes also appear to have been the swimming mode used by the Coptoclavidae, known from the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous; these beetles were mostly excellent swimmers and several genera even became adapted to marine environments (Beutel et al. 2013).

    |  i. s.: Necronectulus S02
    |         Colymbothethis [Colymbotethidae] BW13
    |           `--C. antecessor Ponomarenko 1993 BW13
    |         Protodytiscus johillaensis BW13
    |         Liadytidae RB02
    |           |--Liadytes longus Ponomarenko 1977 BW13
    |           `--Memptus S02
    |--Coptoclavidae BW13
    |    |  i. s.: Coptoclavella minor S02
    |    |         Pseudohydrophilus avitus BW13
    |    |         Ovonectes BW13
    |    |--Charonoscapha [Charonoscaphinae] BW13
    |    |    `--C. grossa Ponomarenko 1977 BW13
    |    |--+--Exedia plana Ponomarenko 1977 BW13
    |    |  `--+--Daohugounectes primitivus Wang et al. 2009 BW13
    |    |     `--Hispanoclavina BW13
    |    `--+--Stygeonectes jurassicus Ponomarenko 1977 BW13
    |       `--Coptoclava [Coptoclavinae] BW13
    |            |--C. africana S02
    |            `--C. longipoda Ping 1928 BW13
    |--+--Dytiscidae MW15
    |  `--+--+--Aspidytes Ribera, Beutel et al. 2002 MW15, RB02 [Aspidytidae]
    |     |  |    |--*A. niobe Ribera, Beutel et al. 2002 RB02
    |     |  |    `--A. wrasei B14
    |     |  `--Amphizoa [Amphizoidae, Amphizoinae] MW15
    |     |       |--A. insolens LeConte 1853 B14
    |     |       `--A. leconti RB02
    |     `--+--Parahygrobia [Parahygrobiidae] BW13
    |        |    `--P. natans Ponomarenko 1977 BW13
    |        `--Hygrobia Latreille 1804 MW15, LM87 (see below for synonymy)
    |             |  i. s.: H. davidi B14
    |             |         H. nigra (Clark 1862) [=Pelobius niger] LM87
    |             |         H. tarda M01
    |             |         H. wattsi B14
    |             |--*H. hermanni (Fabricius 1775) LM87, RB02, LM87 [=Dystiscus hermanni LM87, *Hydrachna hermanni LM87]
    |             `--+--H. australasiae RB02
    |                `--H. maculata Britton 1981 RB02, LM87
    `--+--Meru [Meruidae] BW13
       |    `--M. phyllisae Spangler & Steiner 2005 B14
       `--Noteridae RB02
            |  i. s.: Synchortus BW13
            |--Phreatodytes Ueno 1957 BW13, S86 [Phreatodytidae]
            |    `--P. relictus Ueno 1957 S86
            `--+--Notomicrinae LM87
               |    |--Notomicrus Sharp 1882 BW13, LM87
               |    |    |--*N. brevicornis Sharp 1882 LM87
               |    |    `--N. tenellus (Clark 1863) (see below for synonymy) LM87
               |    `--Hydrocoptus Motschulsky 1853 LM87
               |         |--*H. subvittulus Motschulsky 1859 LM87
               |         `--H. subfasciatus Sharp 1882 LM87
               `--+--+--Mesonoterus crassicornis M01
                  |  `--Pronoterus punctipennis M01, R89
                  |--Noterinae B14
                  |    |--Noterus clavicornis BW13, RB02
                  |    `--Neohydrocoptus subvittulus (Motschulsky 1859) B14
                  |         |--N. s. subvittulus B14
                  |         `--N. s. seychellensis B14
                  `--+--Suphis cimicoides RB02, M01
                     `--+--Suphisellus RB02
                        `--Hydrocanthinae LM87
                             |--Hydrocanthus Say 1825 M01, LM87
                             |    |--*H. iricolor Say 1825 LM87
                             |    |--H. australasiae Wehncke 1876 LM87
                             |    |--H. debilis R89
                             |    |--H. laevigatus M01
                             |    |--H. paludimonstrus M01
                             |    `--H. waterhousei Blackburn 1888 LM87
                             `--Canthydrus Shapr 1882 LM87
                                  |--*C. guttulus (Aubé 1838) [=Noterus guttula] LM87
                                  |--C. balzani Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. bovillae Blackburn 1889 LM87
                                  |--C. crassicornis Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. flavolineatus Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. flavopictus Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. grammicus R89
                                  |--C. grammopterus Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. grossus R89
                                  |--C. infuscatus Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. nigrinus M01
                                  |--C. obscuripennis Régimbart 1889 R89
                                  |--C. remator R89
                                  |--C. rotundatus R89
                                  `--C. sexnotatus Régimbart 1889 R89

Hygrobia Latreille 1804 MW15, LM87 [=Hydrachna Fabricius 1801 non Müller 1776 LM87, Hygriobia LM87; Hygrobiidae RB02, Pelobiidae]

Notomicrus tenellus (Clark 1863) [=Hydroporus tenellus; incl. N. laevigatus Sharp 1882, H. politus Macleay 1871, N. suturalis 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).

[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.

[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.

[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.

[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.

[RB02] Ribera, I., R. G. Beutel, M. Balke & A. P. Vogler. 2002. Discovery of Aspidytidae, a new family of aquatic Coleoptera. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 269: 2351–2356.

[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.

[S86] Spangler, P. J. 1986. Insecta: Coleoptera. In: Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) pp. 622–631. E. J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys: Leiden.

Last updated: 5 February 2018.

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