Annotated Checklist of
Staphylinidae, Subfamily Pselaphinae, from Rio Bravo
Conservation and Management Area, Orange Walk District, Belize
Christopher E. Carlton
Louisiana State Arthropod Museum
402 Life Sciences Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-1710 USA
Last update 4 June 1999
The staphylinid beetle subfamily Pselaphinae (formerly the family Pselaphidae) includes approximately 10,000 described species of small to minute beetles. Members of the group occur worldwide, and are ubiquitous inhabitants of forest litter habitats. All species for which data are available have predatory feeding habits or live as highly specialized inquilines in social insect nests. In contrast to the great diversity and wide distribution of the group as a whole, individual species tend to be restricted to narrowly defined habitats in limited areas. These attributes make the Pselaphinae an ideal group for biogeographic analyses and as an indicator taxon for overall forest litter diversity.
Few taxonomists have dealt with pselaphines historically, and fewer than 10 specialists in the World (two in the Western Hemisphere) are actively engaged in revisionary work on the Latin American fauna. Yet it is becoming increasingly apparent that, in terms of undescribed tropical species, the group rivals other hyperdiverse groups of insects such as microgastrine braconids and aleocharine staphylinids. Almost every collection of tropical pselaphines consists predominantly of undescribed species, and the generic limits within some groups, such as trimiine euplectines, are sufficiently vague to render generic assignments doubtful. In other cases the species cannot be assigned a name even though it is described because no one has compared the types and devised usable keys or illustrations, though the situation is slowly improving.
Taxa identified during this analysis, to my knowledge, represent the first records for Belize. I am not aware of any records for British Honduras in the earlier pselaphid literature, nor for Belize in the more recent material. Though there are probably scattered locality records for species in the country, I am certain that this is the first comprehensive analysis of a systematically sampled habitat in the country. It is a significant first step towards a understanding the pselaphine fauna of Rio Bravo. With continued sampling in the Rio Bravo Conservation Area, a comprehensive picture of regional pselaphine diversity in central american forests should emerge through comparisons with other low-altitude forests that also have been surveyed, including LaSelva in Costa Rica, and Barro Colorado Island in Panama.
Unless otherwise indicated, all specimens inventoried in the table below came from the moist tropical broadleaf forest in the vacinity of LaMilpa field station and archeological site. The other major Rio Bravo locality represented is Hill Bank Station, but limited collecting has been done there. All determinations are by C. Carlton. Annotations are given as footnotes. Specimens are deposited in the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, LSU Agricultural Center and the Belizean National Collection, Belize National Plant Protection Service.
|Faronitae: Bythinoplectini||Bythinoplectus||dechambrieri Comellini ||3||FIT , berlese sample|
|Dimerini||Barroeuplectoides||sp. 1||28||Palm stump, rotten log, berlese samples|
|B.||sp. 2||15||Leaf litter berlese|
|Euplectitae: Panaphantini||Thesium ||sp. 1||4||Rotten log berlese|
|T.||sp. 2||4||FIT, rotten log berlese|
|nr. Pycnoplectus||sp. 1||2||Rotten log berlese|
|Verabolus||nr. subdendrus Park ||11||Rotten log berlese|
|Undet. genus||sp. 1||1||Rotten log berlese|
|Rhinoscepsis||dybasi Park ||129||Berlese samples, multiple litter types. Also collected at Hill Bank.|
|Undet. Bibloporina||sp. 1||12||Palm stump, berlese|
|Trimiini ||Allotrimium||sp. 1||1|
|nr. Dalmosella||sp. 1||2||Rotten log berlese|
|nr. Hanfordia ||sp. 1||53||Atta debris pile, berlese riparian litter. Also collected at Hill Bank|
|nr. Hanfordia||sp. 2||5||Rotten log berlese|
|nr. Hanfordia||sp. 3||197||Berlese samples, multiple litter types|
|Tomoplectus||sp. 1||30||FIT, berlese sample|
|T.||sp. 2||1||Rotten log berlese|
|nr. Trimiopsis||sp. 1||4||Rotten log berlese|
|nr. Zonaira||sp. 1||24||Rotten log berlese|
|Undet. genus 1||sp. 1||1||Rotten log berlese|
|Undet. genus 2||sp. 2||2||FIT|
|S.||sp. 2 ||6||FIT, flood debris berlese|
|S.||sp. 3||4||Berlese sample|
|Trogastrini||Rhexinia||sp. 1||1||Hill Bank, riparian litter berlese.|
|Batrisitae: Batrisini||Arthmius||bubalus Raffray||1||Light trap|
|Euphalepsus||sp. 1||3||FIT, yellow pan trap|
|E.||sp. 2||8||Berlese samples|
|Undet. genus ||sp. 1||34||Berlese samples|
|Undet. genus||sp. 1||3||Berlese sample|
|Goniaceritae: Brachyglutini: Eupsenina||Eupsenius||sp. 1||8||Malaise trap, FIT|
|E.||sp. 2||6||FIT, yellow pan trap|
|Brachyglutina||Reichenbachia||bicuspida Park ||3||UV light trap|
|R.||sarcinaria (Schaufuss) ||1||Light trap|
|R.||guatemalensis Fletcher ||3||Light trap|
|Drasinus||sp. 1||3||Pond edge berlese, riparian litter berlese at Hill Bank.|
|Pselaptina||Eutrichites||arizonensis Carlton ||6||Light trap|
|Pselaptus/Xybaris||sp. 1||17||FIT, riparian litter berlese, also known from Hill Bank|
|Pselaptus/Xybaris||sp. 2||12||Berlese samples|
|Pselaptus/Xybaris||sp. 3||5||Berlese samples, FIT|
|Decarthronina||Decarthron||cristatum Becker and Sanderson||5||Light trap|
|Tanypleurini||Dalmoburis||nr. brevicollis (Sharp)||9||Berlese samples|
|Batrybraxis||sp. 1||4||Berlese sample|
|Pselaphitae: Ctenistini||Ctenisis||sp. 1||6||FIT, light trap|
|Tyrini||Hamotus||sp. 1||6||Berlese samples, FIT|
|H.||sp. 2||2||Under bark|
|H.||sp. 3||8||Rotten log berlese|
|H.||sp. 4||1||Palm stump berlese|
|Neotyrus||nr. coptocolus Park ||1||Under oak bark at Rancho Delores (East Gate)|
|Clavigeritae: Fustigerini||Fustiger||sp. 1||2||FIT|
|F.||sp. 2||1||Lindgren funnel trap|
|F.||sp. 3||10||FIT, berlese samples|
|F.||sp. 4||5||FIT, berlese samples|
 This species was described in 1985 based on specimens collected at Tikal, Guatemala.
 FIT=flight intercept trap
 There are approximately 12 described neotropical species of Thesium. No keys are available.
 This species was described from an all female series from Panama.
 This second most abundant species in my collections was not represented in the material Kovarik sent me. It was originally described from the Yucatan region of Mexico, and seems to be endemic to the region.
 This group of minute euplectines needs wholesale reorganization at the generic level. The group appears to be oversplit because the characters used to define generic limits are inconsistent among apparently closely related species. Many undescribed species cannot be reliably assigned to genus even though a fairly modern (1980) key is available.
 Hanfordia is based on a single species from Jamaica. I have seen a number of addition specimens that key near the genus from Dominican Republic, and I have seen females from central Florida.
 Sebaga 2 and 3 are either the same or closely related species. They are externally distinguishable and the genitalia are different, but not by much.
 This genus is assigned to the Batrisini with doubt.
 Also known from Guatemala, Guerro, Mexico, and Honduras.
 Also known from Oaxaca, Mexico, the Yucatan region, and Honduras.
 Also known from Guatemala, Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Veracruz, Mexico, and Honduras.
 Previously known only from Arizona, USA and one locality in Sonora, Mexico.
 This species was described from Panama.
 The Clavergeritae, insofar as is known, consists exclusively of highly specialized inquilines of social insects, mainly ants.