Plague soldier beetle Chauliognathus lugubris, copyright Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.

Belongs within: Elateroidea.
Contains: Heteromastix, Telephorus.

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 (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 ZS10
              |--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. pulchellus Lucas 1846 E12
  Maltypus KB11
  Inmalthodes KB11
  0--Ichtyurus KB11
  `--+--+--Asiosilis KB11
     |  `--Laemoglyptus KB11
     `--+--Rhagonycha KB11
        |    |--R. atra C01
        |    |--R. femoralis C01
        |    `--R. testacea C01
        `--Cantharis Linnaeus 1758 KB11, BR05
             |--C. aenea Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. assimilis C01
             |--C. bipustulata Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. caerulea Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. chinensis Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. cirtana Lucas 1846 E12
             |--C. fasciata Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. ignita Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. italica Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. lampyris Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. lateralis Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. lineata B35
             |--C. livida Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. lucida Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. mauritanica Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. melanura Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. minima Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. navalis Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. noctiluca Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. obscura Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. oculata C01
             |--C. pectinata Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. pectinicornis Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. pedicularia Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. pellucida C01
             |--C. phosphorea Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. posticalis Fairm. 1879 M86
             |--C. pyralis Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. rufa Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. rustica C01
             |--C. sanguinea Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. schaefferi [=Telephorus schaefferi] B35
             |--C. serrata Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. testacea Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. tropica Linnaeus 1758 L58
             |--C. vanikorensis Boisduval 1835 B35
             |--C. viridissima Linnaeus 1758 L58
             `--C. ‘viridissima’ Lucas 1846 non Linnaeus 1758 E12
  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.

[B35] Boisduval, J. B. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l’Astrolabe. Exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune entomologique de l'océan Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage vol. 2. Coléoptères et autres ordres. J. Tastu: Paris.

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

[BR05] Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1–2): 1–397.

[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.

[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.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[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.

[ZS10] Zborowski, P., & R. Storey. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects in Australia 3rd ed. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

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