Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Subfamily Lissominae Laporte, 1835

Compiler and date details

31 December 1997 - Andrew A. Calder, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


The Lissominae were recently recognised as a separate family related to the Throscidae by Burakowski (1973) and Costa et al. (1988). However, Muona (1996) considers this group to form a subfamily of the Throscidae while Calder (1996, 1998) considers it to represent a subfamily of Elateridae based to a large extent on larval characters. Calder et al. (1993) consider this subfamily to consist of the groups formerly known as Lissominae, Protelaterinae and Oestodinae. The Lissominae form the second smallest of the Australian subfamilies and is composed of three genera and six species.

The world fauna is comprised of 10 genera and 142 species, found in all Zoogeographic Regions except the Afrotropical. Calder et al. (1993) have provided a key to the species of Austrelater Calder & Lawrence as well as a phylogenetic analysis of the group and Calder (1996) has provided an overview and key to all the Australian genera. The Australian species of Drapetes Dejean are in need of revision particularly in relation to the New Guinea fauna.

The first described Australian lissomine, Drapetes jansoni Bonvouloir (1861), was originally described as a throscid. Fleutiaux (1897) described a new Drapetes from New Guinea which was also found at Somerset on Cape York Peninsula, and Cobos (1967) described Lissomus freyi Cobos from south east Queensland which was later placed into a new genus Osslimus, by Calder (1996).

Lissomines are for the most part black or reddish brown in colour except for Osslimus freyi which is brightly coloured in bluish-black and reddish orange. Species range in size from 3 to 17 mm.

Austrelater and Osslimus Calder are endemic to Australia and Lord Howe Island. Drapetes on the other hand is widespread in the Holarctic, Oriental and Neotropical Regions.

The biology of most Australian lissomines is poorly known. Adults and larvae of Austrelater have been collected from white or red rotten wood often just underneath the bark in rainforest or wet sclerophyll forest areas. The early stages of the Australian Drapetes are not known with certainty but larvae of the Palaearctic Drapetes biguttatus (Piller) have been described by Burakowski (1973). Larvae occur underneath bark, in decaying stumps and fallen rotten logs of old deciduous trees such as Salix, Fagus, Quercus and Ulmus. The larvae usually feed in the sapwood, preferring moist, decaying or rotten wood formed by the actions of parasitic fungi. The early stages and biology of Osslimus freyi is not known. The adults have been collected in and around rainforest margins.


General References

Bonvouloir, H. de 1861. Description de plusieurs espèces nouvelles de la famille des Throscides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 4 1: 349-360

Burakowski, B. 1973. Immature stages and biology of Drapetes biguttatus (Piller) (Coleoptera, Lissomidae). Annales Zoologici, Warszawa 30: 335-347

Calder, A.A. 1996. Click Beetles. Genera of Australian Elateridae (Coleoptera). Monographs on Invertebrate Taxonomy 2: i-x 1-401

Calder, A.A. 1998. Coleoptera: Elateroidea. In Wells, A. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 29.6. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, Australia. xiii 248 pp.

Calder, A.A., Lawrence, J.F. & Trueman, J.W.H. 1993. Austrelater, gen. nov. (Coleoptera: Elateridae), with a description of the larva and comments on elaterid relationships. Invertebrate Taxonomy 7(6): 1349-1394 [Date published Dec. 30, 1993]

Cobos, A. 1967. Estudios sobre Throscidae, II. (Col. Sternoxia). Environmental Entomology 42: 311-351 [Date published Feb. 28, 1967: publication dated 1966]

Costa, C., Vanin, S.A. & Casari-Chen, S.A. 1988. Larvas de Coleoptera do Brasil. São Paulo : Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo. vii 282 pp. 163 pls.

Fleutiaux, E. 1897. Sur quelques espèces de Trixagidae exotiques appartenant au musée civique de Gênes. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genova 2 17: 327-330

Kundrata, R., Kubaczkova, M. Prosvirov, A.S., Douglas, H.B., Fojtikova, A., Costa, C., Bosquet, Y., Alonso-Zarazaga, M.A. & Bouchard, P. 2019. World catalogue of the genus-group names in Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera). Part I: Agrypninae, Campyloxeninae, Hemiopinae, Lissominae, Oestodinae, Parablacinae, Physodactylinae, Pityobiinae, Subprotelaterinae, Tetralobinae. ZooKeys 839: 83-154 [123]

Muona, J. 1996. The phylogeny of Elateroidea (Coleoptera), or which tree is best today? Cladistics 11(4): 317-341 [Date published Nov. 10, 1996]


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
01-Jul-2020 POLYPHAGA 16-Jan-2020 MODIFIED Max Beatson
30-Aug-2016 ELATERIDAE 28-Jun-2018 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)