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Phanoceroides can be distinguished from all other genera of Larainae by the presence of a dense, silvery mat of setae on the ventral surface, or plastron (Fig. 63). They can be distinguished from members of the other elmid subfamily, Elminae, by the clubbed antennae, dense hairlike setae on the dorsum, and transverse procoxae (Fig. 63).
This genus is known from Manaus, Amazonas State, in the Amazon river basin in Brazil and from Tobogan de la Selva, Amazonas State, in the Orinoco River drainage in Venezuela, and probably occur throughout the Southern Venezuela and Northern Brazil. There have also been literature reports of Phanoceroides spp. from as far west as Cordillera de Vilcabamba, Peru, but this record has not been confirmed by me (Acosta et al. 1998).
Phanoceroides species have unique habitat requirements in the subfamily Larainae, in that they remain fully submerged and are found in the benthos of streams, as opposed to water-splashed surfaces in streams as others in Larainae (Hinton 1939).
The genus Phanoceroides is rather interesting among the Larainae, in that while it bears superficial resemblance to beetles in the subfamily Elminae, in their fully aquatic habits and in the presence of a dense, hairy plastron on the ventral surface, anatomically, they are most similar to the Larainae, and therefore they are included in this work. Whether this is a case of convergent evolution or the retention of plesiomophic characters is unknown and it deserves further study, and this species may provide insights into the evolution of laraine Elmidae.
- Maier, C; 2013: A revision of the Larainae (Coleoptera, Elmidae) of Venezuela, with description of nine new species ZooKeys, 329: 33-91. doi
- Hinton H (1939) An Inquiry into the natural classification of the Dryopoidea, based partly on a study of their internal anatomy (Col.). Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 89(7): 133-184. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.1939.tb00739.x