Hygrobia hermanni, copyright Frank Koehler.

Belongs within: Adephaga.
Contains: Noteridae, 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. Meru phyllisae is known from a whitewater cascade in Venezuela, where it crawls over submerged dead leaves lying on the exposed bedrock (Bouchard 2014). 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 BW13
    |           |--Liadytes longus Ponomarenko 1977 RB02, BW13
    |           `--Memptus S02
    |--+--Noteridae RB02
    |  `--Meru [Meruidae] BW13
    |       `--M. phyllisae Spangler & Steiner 2005 B14
    |--Coptoclavidae BW13
    |    |  i. s.: Coptoclavella minor BW13, 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 LeConte 1854 MW15, PX01 [incl. Dysmathes Mannerheim 1853 PX01; Amphizoidae, Amphizoinae]
          |       |--A. insolens LeConte 1853 B14
          |       |--A. leconti RB02
          |       `--A. striata PX01
          `--+--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, B14 [=Dystiscus hermanni LM87, *Hydrachna hermanni LM87]
                  `--+--H. australasiae (Clark 1862) RB02, LM87 [=Pelobius australasiae LM87]
                     `--H. maculata Britton 1981 RB02, LM87

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

*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.

[PX01] Philips, T. K., & W. Xie. 2001. Amphizoidae LeConte, 1853. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr & M. C. Thomas (eds) American Beetles vol. 1. Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia pp. 153–155. CRC Press: Boca Raton.

[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.

Last updated: 28 October 2018.

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