Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A new water scavenger beetle: Elocomosta lilizheni

The beetle family Hydrophilidae contains about 3000 aquatic species found all over the world. The name water scavenger beetles is not an accurate description of the beetle's habit. Larvae are mostly predatory while the adults may be vegetarians or predators in addition to scavenging.

Some hydrophilid species have been reported as pests in fish hatcheries.Other species are voracious consumers of mosquito larvae, and are therefore considered as potential biological control agents.

The new species was found in China and named after the collector, Dr. Li-zhen Li, an entomologist at Shanghai Normal University.

For the experts: A new species of the genus Elocomosta Hansen, 1989 (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae: Sphaeridiinae: Coelostomatini), E. lilizheni sp. n., is described from Guangxi Province, China. It is compared in detail with the only other known species of the genus, E. nigra Hansen, 1989 from Borneo, and the genus is diagnosed from the remaining coelostomatine genera. The new species is unusual among Hydrophilidae by having extremely reduced eyes.

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