Index of Representation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Adult water beetles were collected from 841 localities in the Netherlands. The distribution maps of the three species of the genus Helochares (Coleoptera; Hydrophilidae) in the Netherlands are given. They are based on specimens from museum collections and this investigation. H. lividus occurs all over the Netherlands, except for the north-east. This northern limit of its European distribution area coincides with the 8.5°C isotherm for the mean year temperature. H. obscurus is limited in its distribution to clay and peat-bog, but in the sandy coastal dune area H. obscurus replaces H. punctatus. H. punctatus is limited in its distribution to soils consisting of peat-moor or sand, but it is absent from the coastal dune area. Co-existence of H. lividus with either H. obscurus or H. punctatus occurs regularly. Co-existence of H. obscurus and H. punctatus has been observed only once, these species exclude each other by different ecological requirements. H. lividus and H. obscurus show two optima in abundance during the year which corresponds with a univoltine life-cycle. H. punctatus shows no clear maximum in abundance. However, on the basis of the presence of females carrying egg-cases and the presence of teneral adults a univoltine life-cycle for all three Helochares spp. can be deduced. A small proportion of the beetles hibernates either as larva or as pupa and emerges in spring. The distribution of Helochares spp. has been related to some environmental variables using the Index of Representation. H. lividus has a clear preference for waters with a high pH, high conductivity and high chlorinity with a luxurious vegetation of floating leaved and submerged plants on mineral soils. Occasionally running waters or waters with a low current velocity are preferred. Preferred habitats are regulated lowland streams, clay- and sand-ditches, and clay- and sand-canals. H. obscurus has a clear preference for stagnant waters with a high pH, high conductivity and high chlorinity (but the optimum is lower than for H. lividus) with a luxurious vegetation of floating leaved and submerged plants. Preferred habitats are clay- and sand-ditches. H. punctatus has a very clear preference for waters with a low pH, low conductivity and low chlorinity. With respect to vegetation and type of current the species shows no significant preferences or aversions. Preferred habitats are moorland pools, peat-canals and peat-cuttings.
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