Contribution to the Knowledge of the Aquatic Beetle Genus Berosus Leach (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) in Serbia

Gabor Mesaroš1 and Boris Novaković2

 

1 Lazarevačka 2, 24000 Subotica, Serbia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 Serbian Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, Ruže Jovanovića 27a, 11160 Belgrade, Serbia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Abstract

The paper presents the results of the study on the distribution of the aquatic beetle genus Berosus (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) in Serbia. During field research conducted in the 2011-2015 period, a total of 6 species of the genus Berosus were collected and identified (B. affinis, B. geminus, B. luridus, B. signaticollis, B. frontifoveatus and B. spinosus). The species Berosus geminus is new for fauna the of Serbia. The most frequent species in Serbia is B. frontifoveatus. Considering the species' habitat selection, it was found that the adults of the Berosus species in Serbia primarily inhabit lentic habitats in lowlands (small reservoirs, ponds and pools). Such stagnant waters are characterized by silt or clay as a dominant substrate mainly covered with dense submerged and emergent aquatic macrophytes. The species of genus Berosus are absent in flowing waters in Serbia. The main goal of the study is to contribute to the general knowledge of the Berosus species and their recent distribution in Serbia.

Keywords: Berosus, Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae, habitat, distribution, Serbia.

 

Introduction

The water scavenger beetles (family Hydrophilidae) are the largest group of the superfamily Hydrophiloidea, comprising about 2500 known species (Hansen, 1999; Short & Hebauer, 2006). Adults are not predacious. Aquatic forms are almost exclusively phytophagous, consuming decaying plant material. Terrestrial forms are mainly detritophagous but some are coprophagous (mostly saprophagous). Larvae are aquatic, or non-aquatic; predacious (mostly, by contrast with the adults), or not predacious (e.g., a few phytophagous Helophorinae); when non-aquatic, in decaying plant material, or in dung. Aquatic forms replenish air for respiration beneath the elytra indirectly from that acquired and held in the ventral plastron (this is often conspicuous as a bubble on the underside of the submerged insect); regularly posing head first at the water surface to replenish air; collecting air at the water surface by exerting one antenna to achieve a continuum of air with the ventral plastron, or replenishing air in the ventral plastron by exerting both antennae at the water surface, or incorporating bubbles of oxygen directly into the plastron (Watson & Dallwitz, 2003).

The genus Berosus is represented in all major zoogeographical regions. Over 260 species of the genus are known all over the world (Hansen, 1999; Löbl & Smetana, 2004). In Europe, 13 species that have been recorded belong to two subgenera: Berosus Leach, 1817 and Enoplurus Hope, 1838 (Löbl & Smetana, 2004). The latest Palearctic revision of the genus was introduced to science by Schödl (1991, 1993).

The paper presents new data on the distribution of the aquatic beetle species belonging to the genus Berosus in Serbia. During the field research conducted in the 2011-2015 period, a total of 6 species of the genus Berosus were recorded (B. affinis, B. geminus, B. luridus, B. signaticollis, B. frontifoveatus and B. spinosus).