Richness and distribution of Elmidae (Insecta: Coleoptera: Byrrhoidea) in the Choco department from Colombia
Authors: Marcela González-Córdoba, María del Carmen Zúñiga, Zuleyma Mosquera-Murillo and Sandra Sánchez-Vásquez
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The Elmidae are water beetles, common and widely used as bioindicators of water quality for their sensitivity to organic pollution. To contribute to the knowledge of the family in the department of Chocó, a region which the taxonomic, ecological and distributional studies for this family are incipient, specimens deposited mainly in the Colección Limnológica del Chocó (Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó) and the Museo de Entomología de la Universidad del Valle, were analyzed. 958 specimens (adults and larvae), collected in 14 municipalities between 5 and 2063 meters, 40 streams of different orders, and two lentic ecosystems that drain mainly into the Atrato and San Juan rivers were analyzed. 17 genera (12 of the subfamily Elminae and five of the Larainae) and four species are recorded in this study. Austrolimnius, Hexacylloepus, Hexanchorus, Huleechius, Microcylloepus, Neocylloepus, Neoelmis, Onychelmis, Stenhelmoides, Pharceonus, Pseudodisersus and Xenelmis, are new records to Chocó and Cylloepus, Disersus, Heterelmis, Macrelmis and Phanocerus, Cylloepus, Macrelmis and Heterelmis, already known, increase their range of distribution in the region. Two species are new records for Colombia (Austrolimnius pusio y A. formosus) and two for the Chocó (Stenhelmoides rufulus and Pseudodisersus goudotti). Those records represent 70.8 % of the Elmidae generic richness known for Colombia. Most taxonomic records were found in the middle basin of the Atrato River between 25 and 150 meters. The Andean region and the upper basins of the Atrato and San Juan and the entire Baudó rivers exhibited the biggest lack information. Macrelmis, Cylloepus, Microcylloepus, Phanocerus, Neoelmis and Heterelmis, had the widest distribution, while Disersus, Hexacylloepus, Onychelmis and Pharceonus, were restricted to a single locality in low areas. Based on this work the Chocó, together with the Valle del Cauca, Antioquia and Meta, has the most generic richness of the family among the departments of Colombia.