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Crystal Maier

PhD Candidate
Dryopoid Systematics; Myxophaga (Coleoptera)

On twitter: @ DryopoidDarling
I am interested in the evolution of wood-boring habits in elateriform beetles, and more specifically in the aquatic dryopoids, or riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Byrrhoidea). My dissertation research focuses on an enigmatic dryopoid lineage known as the travertine beetles (Lutrochidae).  As with many of their close relatives, they live in lotic habitats, often in forested streams. The neotropical lutrochids spend their entire lives in waterlogged woody debris, while the larvae of the nearctic "travertine beetles" burrow in travertine deposits in karst streams. 

The Lutrochidae are unique among beetles in that they are one of the few lineages of beetles that have an aquatic wood-boring life history. Therefore, this small and unusual group of beetles has potential to provide insights into the evolution of Byrrhoidea and the evolution of wood-boring habits in Elateriformia. I am using morphology, ecological data, and molecular data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Lutrochidae. 

Additionally, as a basis for this work, I am currently conducting a completely digitized taxonomic revision of the family. This will result in an electronic key, a georeferenced database of all known specimens of Lutrochidae in CReaC , and images of all types and important specimens. 


Lambert, P., C.A. Maier, & R. Leschen, submitted. A New Species and Lectotype Designations for New Zealand Hydora (Elmidae: Larainae) with a world checklist. New Zealand Entomologist.

Maier, C.A. & A.E.Z. Short, submitted. Review of the Lutrochidae (Coleoptera) of the Guianas and Lesser Antilles, with description of four new species. Zootaxa.

Gimmel, M.L., C.A. Maier, & W.E. Steiner. 2014. First report of Iccius Champion from Louisiana, with notes on microhabitat (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 87(1): 89-91.

Maier, C.A & M.A. Ivie. 2013. Reevaluation of Chalcophora angulicollis (LeConte) and Chalcophora virginiensis (Drury) with a Review and Key to the North American Species of Chalcophora Dejean (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) The Coleopterists Bulletin 47(4):457-469.

Maier, C.A., 2013. A revision of the Larainae (Coleoptera, Elmidae) of Venezuela, with description of nine new species. Zookeys 329: 33-91.

Maier, C.A. & A.E.Z. Short, 2013. A revision of the Lutrochidae (Coleoptera) of Venezuela, with description of six new species. Zootaxa 3637: 285-307.

Maier, C.A. & M.A. Ivie, 2013. New Species and Records of Chrysobothris Eschscholtz (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) from Montserrat, Saba, and Anguilla, with a Key to the Chrysobothris thoracica Species-Group in the West Indies. The Coleopterists Bulletin 67(2): 81-88.

Maier, C.A. 2012. Elachistelmis gen. n. (Coleoptera: Elmidae: Elminae) from Suriname, with description of two new species. Zootaxa 3500: 61-69.

Maier, C.A., and P.J. Spangler, 2011. Hypsilara royi gen. n. and sp. n. (Coleoptera, Elmidae, Larainae) from Southern Venezuela, with a revised key to Larainae of the Western Hemisphere. Zookeys 116: 25-36.

Maier, C.A., M.A. Ivie, J.B. Johnson, and D.R. Maddison, 2010.  A New Northern-most Record for the Family Hydroscaphidae LeConte, with Description of a New Nearctic Species (Coleoptera: Myxophaga). The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(3): 289-302