Rove Beetles

Staphylinidae.

Although an immense group with more than 5,000 regional species, rove beetles in general are conservative in body form, elongate, and usually easily recognized by their very short truncated elytra barely reaching to the base of the abdomen. Most have well-developed hind wings and fly well. The head is large, frequently almost the size of the prothorax. They are active beetles and often elevate the tip of the abdomen threateningly when disturbed, although they have no sting.

Their life-styles as adults and larvae vary tremendously, but most are predaceous and inhabit organic matter. Many are tolerant of salt and dwell at the ocean shore near the tide line (Bledius; fig. 9.4a). Some bizarre species live symbiotically with ants and termites; these exhibit odd modifications of form to resemble their hosts. Some 210 species in 79 genera are known to occupy army ant colonies alone, many (Dioploeciton, Cryptomimus, etc.; Seevers 1965) that outwardly look amazingly similar to the worker ants: elongate legs; bulbous abdomen, like

Figure 9.4 ROVE (STAPHYLINIDAE) AND CLICK (ELATERIDAE) BEETLES, (a) Rove beetle (Bledius sp., Staphylinidae). (b) Whiplash beetle (Paederus irritans, Staphylinidae). (c) Parasitic rove beetle (Amblyopinus sp., Staphylinidae). (d) Termitophilic rove beetle (Termitogaster sp.. Staphylinidae). (e) Myrmecophilic rove beetle (Ecitophya sp., Staphylinidae). (f) Headlight beetle (Pyrophorus nyctophanus, Elateridae). (g) Click beetle (Semiotus sp., Elateridae). (h) Giant click beetle, Chalcolepidius bonplanni, Elateridae). (i) Wireworm beetle (Conoderus sp., Elateridae).

Figure 9.4 ROVE (STAPHYLINIDAE) AND CLICK (ELATERIDAE) BEETLES, (a) Rove beetle (Bledius sp., Staphylinidae). (b) Whiplash beetle (Paederus irritans, Staphylinidae). (c) Parasitic rove beetle (Amblyopinus sp., Staphylinidae). (d) Termitophilic rove beetle (Termitogaster sp.. Staphylinidae). (e) Myrmecophilic rove beetle (Ecitophya sp., Staphylinidae). (f) Headlight beetle (Pyrophorus nyctophanus, Elateridae). (g) Click beetle (Semiotus sp., Elateridae). (h) Giant click beetle, Chalcolepidius bonplanni, Elateridae). (i) Wireworm beetle (Conoderus sp., Elateridae).

the gaster; and compressed anterior abdominal segments, like the nodes. A typical genus in the Neotropics associated with the famihar Eciton army ants is Ecitophya (fig. 9 4e). They also have specialized glands for secreting pheromonelike substances that pacify their benefactors, whom they groom and feed. They feed on booty and the larval brood of the host ants (Akre and Retten-meyer 1966). Although many have typical rove beetle shapes, some may resemble silverfish or be trilobitelike in body form (Jermitonannus), and a common feature of termitophilous forms is oddly shaped body outgrowths (Spirachtha); many hold the abdomen erect or bent forward over the thorax, as in Termitogaster (fig. 9.4d), a widespread genus that lives in the nests of nasute termites (Seevers 1957).

Blackwelder (1943) has published a major taxonomic work on the family in the West Indies.

References

Akre, R. D., and C. W. Rettenmeyer. 1966. Behavior of Staphylinidae associated with army ants (Formicidae: Ecitonini). Kans. Entomol. Soc. J. 39: 745-782. Blackwelder, R. E. 1943. Monograph of the West Indian beetles of the family Staphylinidae. U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 182: 1-658. Seevers, C. H. 1957. A monograph on the termitophilous Staphylinidae (Coloeptera). Fieldiana Zool. 40: 1-334. Seevers, C. H. 1965. The systematics, evolution and zoogeography of staphylinid beetles associated with army ants (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Fieldiana Zool. 47: 137-351.

Oplan Termites

Oplan Termites

You Might Start Missing Your Termites After Kickin'em Out. After All, They Have Been Your Roommates For Quite A While. Enraged With How The Termites Have Eaten Up Your Antique Furniture? Can't Wait To Have Them Exterminated Completely From The Face Of The Earth? Fret Not. We Will Tell You How To Get Rid Of Them From Your House At Least. If Not From The Face The Earth.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment