Plague soldier beetle Chauliognathus lugubris, copyright Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.

Belongs within: Elateroidea.
Contains: Heteromastix, Telephorus, Cantharis.

The Cantharidae are a group of soft-bodied beetles that are usually coloured in contrasting patterns of yellow and black, reflecting their production of distasteful defensive chemicals. Larvae are found in soil and leaf litter; most are predators though some are phytophagous (Lawrence & Britton 1991).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Elongate, parallel-sided, soft-bodied, usually in various combinations of yellow and black or bluish black; head relatively large and deflexed; labrum membranous, often inconspicuous; antennal insertions well separated; antenna eleven-segmented, filiform; pronotum oval or subquadrate and flattened; fore coxae projecting, trochantins exposed, fore coxal cavities externally and internally open; mid coxal cavities medially contiguous, laterally open; tarsi pentamerous, fourth tarsal segment bilobed; abdomen with seven or eight ventrites, none connate; male genitalia usually large, asymmetrical, exposed. Larva elongate, lightly sclerotised (although often darkly pigmented or patterned), with characteristic clothing of fine, velvety pile; stemmata well developed; mandibles more or less falcate; gular region well developed, without or with fused sutures; paired glandular openings on all thoracic and abdominal segments; segment 10 reduced and terminal.

Cantharidae [Cantharini, Telephorinae]
    |--+--Malthodes ruficollis MW15, C01
    |  `--Silis [Silinae] MW15
    |       |--S. bidentata (Say 1825) B14
    |       `--S. latiloba B14
    `--Chauliognathinae B14
         |--Trypherus B14
         |    |--T. babai B14
         |    `--T. rossicus (Barovsky 1922) B14
         `--Chauliognathus MW15
              |--C. apterus LB91
              |--C. lecontei B14
              |--C. lugubris LB91
              |--C. pennsylvanicus AT01
              |--C. profundus LeConte 1858 B14
              `--C. pulchellus B74

Cantharidae incertae sedis:
  Lygistopterus sanguineus C01
  Charopus plumbeomicans C01
  Dolichosoma lineare C01
  Telephorides [Telephoridae] L09
    |--Heteromastix LB91
    |--Telephorus L09
    `--Selenurus Fairm. 1879 L09
         |--S. annulatus Macl. 1887 L09
         |--S. apicalis Macl. 1887 L09
         |--S. appendiculatus Lea 1909 L09
         |--S. depressicollis (Macleay 1872) L09, M86 (see below for synonymy)
         |--S. granulatus Lea 1895 L09
         |--S. sydneyanus Blackb. 1892 L09
         |--S. tricolor Lea 1895 [incl. S. fernshawensis Blackburn 1900] L09
         |--S. variegatus Blackburn 1892 L09
         `--S. v-flavus Lea 1909 L09
  Sphaerarthrum LB91
  Malthinus KB11
    |--M. flaveolus KB11
    |--M. longipennis Lucas 1846 E12
    |--M. marginatus [=Thelephorus (Malthinus) marginatus] G20
    `--M. pulchellus Lucas 1846 E12
  Maltypus KB11
  Inmalthodes KB11
  0--Ichtyurus KB11
  `--+--+--Asiosilis KB11
     |  `--Laemoglyptus KB11
     `--+--Cantharis KB11
        `--Rhagonycha KB11
             |--R. atra C01
             |--R. femoralis C01
             |--R. limbata RD77
             `--R. testacea C01
  Palestrida bicolor M86
  Goetymes flavicornis Pascoe 1863 M86

Selenurus depressicollis (Macleay 1872) L09, M86 [=Ichthyurus depressicollis L09; incl. S. depressicollis var. luteopictus Fairm. 1877 L09]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AT01] Arnett, R. H., Jr & M. C. Thomas (eds) 2001. American Beetles vol. 1. Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia. CRC Press: Boca Raton.

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

[B74] Britton, E. B. 1974. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 62–89. Melbourne University Press.

[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.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[KB11] Kundrata, R., & L. Bocak. 2011. The phylogeny and limits of Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera): is there a common tendency of click beetles to soft-bodiedness and neoteny? Zoologica Scripta 40: 364–378.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[L09] Lea, A. M. 1909. Revision of the Australian and Tasmanian Malacodermidae. Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. 1909 (1): 45–251, pls 2–6.

[M86] Masters, G. 1886. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Part IV. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 259–380.

[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.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

Last updated: 10 December 2020.

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