An interesting family; the adults are normally found on vegetation in wet or marshy sites, the larvae , however, are entirely aquatic.
Adults are normally pubescent and weakly sclerotized and can be quite fragile. Larvae resemble small woodlice with very long antennae. They do not swim but crawl feeding on microorganisms. Not all species develop in 'normal' aquatic habitats i.e. ponds streams etc. but in much small water bodies like pools in tree stumps and hollows. Most species pupate on dry land in the soil or in plant stems.
20 species divided into 8 genera.
Elodes contains 4 species 3 of which were added in 1990's. They are generally more elongate than the rest of the family and the larvae develop in small streams.
Odeles contains one species (O. marginata (Fab.)) which was originally included within Elodes
Microcara testacea (L.) is widespread and resembles a large Cyphon.
The largest genus; Cyphon contains 10 species some of which can be difficult to separate, the larvae prefer stagnant water.
Prionocyphon serricornis (Muller) differs from all the other species in the family by having serrate antennae, the larvae develop in micro water pools in tree hollows etc.
Hydrocyphon deflexicollis (Muller) is 'boat shaped'.
The two species of Scirtes have enlarged rear femorae and in the field could be confused with some Alticini (Chrysomelidae) were it not for the long spine on the rear tibia.

Cyphon coarctatus

Cyphon coarctatus

Cyphon laevipennis

Cyphon ochraceus

Cyphon padi

Elodes elongata

Microcara testacea

Scirtes hemisphaericus