Vulnerability of Dytiscidae species (Coleoptera) in Cuba. Cuba has one of the richest diving beetles species diversity in the Caribbean islands. However, Cuban Dytiscidae remain scarcely studied, and there is need to identify those species and habitats that urgently require effective conservation actions. Here we aim to identify the threatened taxa of the family Dytiscidae in Cuba according to their degree of vulnerability. For that, we compiled distributional data on the Cuban fauna, including data from literature, collections and own samplings carried out between the period 2000 and 2014. In addition, the vulnerability of the species was evaluated using a methodology that combines six criteria regarding both species and habitat attributes. This analysis of vulnerability was completed to 50 (94 %) out of 53 Cuban species. Five species (9 %) were identified as highly vulnerable, 20 (38 %) moderately and 25 (48 %) as having low conservation status. The five most threatened species were Laccodytes cobrinae, Laccophilus alariei, Copelatus barbouri, C. darlingtoni, and Desmopachria glabella. These species are endemic to Cuba and characterized by highly localized populations and low abundance as well as high habitat specificity. Thus, we propose the inclusion of these five species in both the red list of Cuban fauna and the IUCN Red List (under the category of “Vulnerable”). In addition, not all areas where these species were found belong to the National System of Protected Areas of Cuba. Thus, we suggest the inclusion of the Laguna Base Julio A. Mella and the North of Imías, and to develop effective management measures to prevent the alteration of these aquatic ecosystems. Rev. Biol. Trop. 66(2): 709-721. Epub 2018 June 01.


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Keywords: Adephaga, diving beetles, threatened species, IUCN, biodiversity.