Family: Aspidytidae (cliff water beetles)
Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda
(insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola >
Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles)
> Suborder: Adephaga
This new family was established when a new genus and species,
Aspidytes niobe, was found
and morphological and DNA characters indicated that it had no living relatives.
This relic group resembles Jurassic-Cretaceous fossil species and occurs in mountain
rivers of the Western Cape in South Africa. Aspidytidae beetles are specifically
adapted for a life in rivers, in
crevices and on
wet rock faces behind algae with just a trickling film of water running
Aspidytes niobe, 6-7mm. [image by D. Bilton
©, with permission].
Ribera, I., Beutel, R.G., Balke, M. &
Vogler, A.P. 2002. Discovery of Aspidytidae, a new family of aquatic
Coleoptera. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 269: 2351-2356.
Page by Margie Cochrane