Journal article Open Access

Morphology and biology of the flower-visiting water scavenger beetle genus Rygmodus (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)

Yusuke Minoshima; Matthias Seidel; Jamie R. Wood; Richard A. B. Leschen; Nicole L. Gunter; Martin Fikáček


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    <subfield code="a">Morphology and biology of the flower-visiting water scavenger beetle genus  Rygmodus (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Hydrophilidae (water scavenger beetles) is well known as an aquatic beetle family;&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
however, it contains ca. 1,000 secondarily terrestrial species derived from aquatic&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
ancestors. The New Zealand endemic genus Rygmodus White is a member of the&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
hydrophilid subfamily Cylominae, which is the early-diverging taxon of the largest&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
terrestrial lineage (Cylominae + Sphaeridiinae) within the Hydrophilidae. In this paper&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
we demonstrate that Rygmodus beetles are pollen-feeding flower visitors as adults, but&lt;br&gt;
aquatic predators as larvae. Based on analyses of gut contents and a summary of&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
collecting records reported on museum specimen labels, adult Rygmodus beetles are&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
generalists feeding on pollen of at least 13 plant families. Rygmodus adult mouthparts&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
differ from those of other (saprophagous) hydrophilid beetles in having the simple&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
scoop-like apex and mola with roughly denticulate surface, resembling the morphology&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
found in pollen-feeding staphylinid beetles. Larvae were found along the sides of&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
streams, under stones and in algal mats and water-soaked moss; one collected larval&lt;br&gt;
specimens was identified using DNA barcoding of two molecular markers,&lt;br&gt;
mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (cox1) and nuclear histone 3 (H3). Larvae of two&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
species, Rygmodus modestus and Rygmodus sp., are described in detail and illustrated;&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
they closely resemble ambush-type predatory larvae of the hydrophilid tribe&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Hydrophilini in the head morphology. Rygmodus is the only known hydrophilid beetle&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
with adults and larvae inhabiting different environments.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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