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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae

            Tribe Bembidiini

 Bembidion (Plataphus) simplex Hayward

Description and Taxonomy

Length 4-5mm. This flattened, piceous Bembidion has faint metallic lustre on the forebody and iridescent elytra. Superficially the species may be easily confused with certain Bembidion species from the subgenus Trichoplataphus.  But, it differs in  lacking extra setiferous punctures on the abdominal sternites. Among Plataphus species,  it is distinguished by the presence of  a rudimentary basal margin inside the shoulder and the completely margined metasternal process  (Lindroth 1963).  About 250 species of  the genus are currently recorded for Nearctic North America,  and more then 10 of them inhabit the Smokies (Ball and Bousquet 2001).

Life History

The species is hygrophilous and confined to the barren banks of gravel and stones along running water. In GSMNP adults can be found on gravel bars of creeks in more or less shady areas at middle altitudes (500-1500m).  Specimens from GSMNP were collected during June. At  Porters Creek the species was taken in company with other ground beetles, including Nebria appalachia and Platynus tenuicollis.


Distributed through northeastern North America from Tennessee and North Carolina  to south Quebec (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). The species is known from only a couple of localities in GSMNP, but probably is distributed wider, inhabiting most streams at their upper reaches.  

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Bembidion simplex.



Locality records in GSMNP.


Development of these pages was supported by grants from Discover Life in America and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0516311). Photograph of habitat courtesy Olexandre Rusin, Louisiana State University.


Ball, G. E., and Y. Bousquet. 2001.  6. Carabidae  Latreille, 1810. In: American Beetles. Vol.1. CRC Press. 32-132 pp.

Bousquet, Y., and  A. Larochelle. 1993. Catalogue of the Geadephaga  (Col. Trachypachidae, Rhysodidae, Carabidae, incl. Cicindelini) of America north of Mexico. Entomological Society of Canada, Memoir No.167. 395 pp.

Lindroth, C.H. 1963. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl.Cicindelinae) of  Canada and Alaska. Part 3. Opuscula Entomologica. Supplementum No.24. 201-408pp.

Posted 15 Aug. 2006, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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