[Atlantic Canada Coleoptera]

Elateroides lugubris (Say)

Maxillary palps of male E. lugubris.

Elateroides lugubris

Elateroides lugubris (Say) (the so-called "sapwood timberworm') is a member of the unusual family, the Lymexylidae - the ship-timber beetles. There are only two (or perhaps three) species in this family known from North America. In the Atlantic region it is known from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In Nova Scotia there are only a small number of scattered records (Cumberland, Halifax, and Kings counties). They are infrequently encountered and Young (2002) notes that adults are probably short-lived.

When found they are frequently associated with fresh poplar (Populus spp.) logs. The other widespread North American species, Melittomma sericeum (Harris), is often found in oak, elm, and chestnut logs.

Young (2002) notes that the species is believed to have a symbiotic association with ambrosia fungi (Ascoides spp.). Females carry the fungal spores in mycangia near the tip of the ovipositor and when eggs are laid the fungus is deposited with them in a sticky matrix. The larvae then carry the fungi into the wood on their bodies and when it grow the larvae begin to feed on the fungi.

Adult males are unusual in having the apical maxillary palpomere modified into a complex, plumose sensory organ.

Elateroides lugubris Elateroides lugubris Elateroides lugubris Elateroides lugubris

male: dorsal habitus

male: ventral habitus

female: dorsal habitus

female: ventral habitus


Young, D.K. 2002. Lymexylidae Fleming 1821. pp. 261-262. In: Arnett, R.H., Jr., Thomas, M.C., Skelley, P.E., and Frank, J.H. (eds.) American Beetles, Volume 2: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA.

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