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Avis préliminaire d'une nouvelle Classification de la Famille des Dytisdæ

Nature volume 23, page 98 | Download Citation



DR. SHARP is well known to have been long occupied on a work on the water-beetles of the world (at any rate on those of this particular family). The author announces it as ready for the press, and has forwarded to the Belgian Entomological Society a sketch of his ideas of the limits of the family and its classification, from which we learn that about 80 genera are recognised. One of the most important characters, as separating true Dytiscidæ from Carabidæ and from all other Coleoptera, appears to consist of the condition of the metathoracic episternum in connection with the intermediate cotyloid cavities. The family as a whole is divided into two great divisions, termed “fragmentati” and “complicati,” the latter being headed by the anomalous genus Amphizoa, the position assigned to which will perhaps not find universal favour. No one can doubt that the book, when it appears, will mark an era in this department of entomology. It is a great pity therefore that Dr. Sharp should throw himself open to the shafts of ridicule in his choice of terms wherewith to designate some of his new genera. We need only allude here to such terms as Huxelhydrus (presumably a misprint for Huxleyhydrus), Darwinhydrus, and Tyndalhydrus ! ! ! We all honour the names that form the prefixes, and fail to realise the watery connection suggested.

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