Comal Springs Riffle Beetle

Heterelmis comalensis

Description: The Comal Springs riffle beetle is a small, flightless, surface aquatic beetle (Federal Register 62:243, 1997).

Size: Adult beetles are approximately one-eighth inch long, with females slightly larger than males.

Habitat: Comal Springs aquatic ecosystem. These beetles are generally found near spring orifices, in flowing, uncontaminated waters ranging from 1 to 4 inches deep and have also been found in the spring runs and in spring upwellings about 10 feet below the surface of Landa Lake (BIO-WEST 2002). Both larvae and adult riffle beetles are entirely aquatic with the adults feeding mainly on algae and detritus scraped from submerged weeds and rocks (Brown 1987). Water flow is important to respiration and survival of this species (Federal Register 62:243, 1997); therefore, a severe reduction in springflow leading to drying of the spring runs will limit their range and may be a limiting factor to their survival.

 

© 2017 Edwards Aquifer Authority