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Reproduction

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Reproduction information only known for one or a few species. Psephenus herricki females lay hundreds or thousands of small, bright yellow eggs on submerged and emergent objects in stream riffles with fast current. Probably semelparous, adults only live a few weeks. Believed to all be sexual dioecious species (each individual either male or female), with internal fertilization.

Key Reproductive Features: semelparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Life Cycle

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Female water penny beetles lay their eggs above or at the edge of the stream or shore habitat where their larvae will live. Aquatic larvae hatch from the eggs and drop or crawl into the water. They cling to gravel and other hard debris in the water, grazing on the algae and other micro-organisms that grow there. In this stage they grow and molt several times during warm months. If the warm season is short, they may need more than one year to complete the larval stage. When read to transform, larvae small chamber where they enter the pupal stage and metamorphose into an adult. Some species create an air-filled chamber under water, but most pupate on land, in moist soil. Pupation is completed inside the larval skin. Adults don't live long.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Comprehensive Description

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This small family of beetles gets its common name ("water pennies") from the unusual shape of the larvae, which have widely expanded dorsal plates that give the animals a flat round shape, like a coin. The classification of the family is uncertain, some authorities recognize some subgroups as separate families. There are only about 263 species in 31 genera are known (Lee et alia, 2007) but this family has not received intensive study, and there are probably more species still undescribed.

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Trophic Strategy

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Water penny larvae feed on periphyton, the thin layer of algae and micro-organisms that forms on stones and other objects in moving freshwater. Adults may not feed.

Primary Diet: herbivore

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Distribution

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Members of the Psephenidae are found on all continents except Antarctica.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: cosmopolitan

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Habitat

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Psephenid larvae cling to hard substrates (rocks, woody debris) in well-oxygenated water. They are most often found in fast-moving streams, especially riffle beds, but some species are found on rocky lake shores with wave action. Most pupae and all adults are air-breathing, but stay near the water. Adults are often found on the underside of logs and other objects overhanging streams.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; rivers and streams; coastal

Other Habitat Features: riparian

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Morphology

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Larvae are 3-10 mm long, ranging in color from pale amber to nearly black (usually matching the substrate) and have a distinctive shape. They dorso-ventrally flattened, with expansions of the dorsal plates that extend out so far that they are oblong or nearly round when viewed from above -- the head and legs completely covered. This flat round shape, plus their brownish color, earns them the name "water pennies". Larvae have clawed legs for clinging to rocks in moving water, and chewing mouthparts for scraping food off of rock and other hard substrate.

Adults are dark-colored, 4-6 mm long, with somewhat flattened bodies, short thread-like antennae, and mandibles not visible from above.

Most species in this family have amphipneustic larvae: they can extract oxygen both from air and directly from the water. They have a few functional spiracles for air breathing. Most also have filamentous gills that extract oxygen from the water, either paired structures on abdomenal sterna, or a single caudal structure near the anus. The genus Psephenoides is more fully aquatic, neither larvae nor pupae have functional spiracles, and both stages have gills. In the rest of the family, pupae and adults are air-breathers, with functional spiracles.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Associations

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Water pennies hide from predators during the day, and are most active at night.

Freshwater trout are reported to be able to pluck the larvae off of stones.

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Hammond, G. 2009. "Psephenidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Psephenidae.html
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Water-penny beetle

provided by wikipedia EN

Water-penny beetles are a family (the Psephenidae) of 272 species (in 35 genera) of aquatic beetles found on all continents, in both tropical and temperate areas.[2] The young, which live in water, resemble tiny pennies. The larvae feed – usually nocturnally – on algae on rock surfaces.[3] The presence of water penny larvae in a stream can be used as a test for the quality of the water, as they are pollution-sensitive.[4] They cannot live in habitats where rocks acquire a thick layer of algae, fungi, or inorganic sediment. Therefore, their presence along with other diverse phyla signifies good-quality water. They are around 6 to 10 millimeters in length.[5]

A water penny larvae's shell are oval-shaped to almost circular and is commonly a copper color, which explains the name, 'water penny.' Water pennies obtain oxygen through their membrane and through feathery gills located at the base of the abdomen. They are typically found in riffles in streams with a moderate to fast current, clinging to the underside of logs or rocks. Occasionally, they can be found on rocks along the shores of lakes. Attached to the legs are scrapers, which are used to scrape the algae from the surface of a log or rock.

In North America, they are usually found in the Northeast, and occasionally discovered in the Southwest. Some genera in the US:[6]

As adults, water pennies become terrestrial. Adults are relatively short-lived and eat little to nothing.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Psephenidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Rolf G. Beutel; Richard Leschen (2005). Morphology and Systematics. 1. Walter de Gruyter. p. 521. ISBN 978-3-11-090455-0.
  3. ^ a b Arthur V. Evans (2014). Beetles of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-4008-5182-9.
  4. ^ EPA: The pollution sensitivity categories for benthic macroinvertebrates: sensitive, somewhat-sensitive, and tolerant. Water pennies belong to the sensitive category.
  5. ^ Arnett, Ross H. ;Thomas, Michael C. 2002. American Beetles: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea, Volume 2. Pages 133-134.
  6. ^ Usinger, Robert, L., 1956, Aquatic Insects of California, p. 365.

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Water-penny beetle: Brief Summary

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 src= Eubria palustris adult

Water-penny beetles are a family (the Psephenidae) of 272 species (in 35 genera) of aquatic beetles found on all continents, in both tropical and temperate areas. The young, which live in water, resemble tiny pennies. The larvae feed – usually nocturnally – on algae on rock surfaces. The presence of water penny larvae in a stream can be used as a test for the quality of the water, as they are pollution-sensitive. They cannot live in habitats where rocks acquire a thick layer of algae, fungi, or inorganic sediment. Therefore, their presence along with other diverse phyla signifies good-quality water. They are around 6 to 10 millimeters in length.

A water penny larvae's shell are oval-shaped to almost circular and is commonly a copper color, which explains the name, 'water penny.' Water pennies obtain oxygen through their membrane and through feathery gills located at the base of the abdomen. They are typically found in riffles in streams with a moderate to fast current, clinging to the underside of logs or rocks. Occasionally, they can be found on rocks along the shores of lakes. Attached to the legs are scrapers, which are used to scrape the algae from the surface of a log or rock.

In North America, they are usually found in the Northeast, and occasionally discovered in the Southwest. Some genera in the US:

Psephenus: the Northeast and the west coast (from Oregon to California; usually below 4,000 feet elevation in California). Eubrianax: California, up to 6,000 feet elevation. Ectoparia: the northeastern and Central U.S.. Acneus: California and Oregon up to 4,000 feet.

As adults, water pennies become terrestrial. Adults are relatively short-lived and eat little to nothing.

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