VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Coleoptera - Family Dryopidae
Distinguishing characteristics - The pubescence (Fig. B) of the last abdominal sternite (white arrow) is different from that of preceding sternites (black arrow), often appearing bare. The bases of the antennae are widely separated (Fig. C). First and second segments of antenna are enlarged and hardened (black arrows), forming a shield beneath which remaining segments (white arrows) may be retracted and protected. Body parts and legs have woolly hairs (Fig. D).

Genus - Helichus

Tolerance Value - 5

Feeding Group - Collector

Notes - Helichus is the most common and widespread genus of 'long-toed water beetles.' It is the only genus of Dryopidae that has been found in North Dakota. Only the adults are aquatic, living among debris and on decaying wood in streams. Their habitat is in well-aerated small streams, where they cling to the substrate. Helichus moves very slowly, and does not swim.

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