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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae

            Tribe Omophronini

 Omophron americanum  Dejean

The American round sand beetle

Description and Taxonomy

Length 5.1-7.0 mm. This carabid species is almost circular in general outline, with long, slender antennae and legs--features that make the species easily to distinguish from other carabids in the Park. In addition, the 15-striate elytron, V-shaped pale area on the frons, punctate metasternum and two setae on the mesocoxa make the species easy to distinguish from other Omophron species (Benschoter and Cook 1956).  In the Nearctic Region, the genus is represented by 11 species (Ball and Bousquet 2001).

Life History

The species is strongly hygrophilous and restricted to the immediate vicinity of water on bare or sparsely vegetated sandy substrates (Lindroth 1961). In GSMNP adults can be found on sandbars along rivers at low altitudes (300-400m).  Specimens from GSMNP were collected during September.


This species is the most common and widespread of North American Omophron. It is widely distributed through eastern and central North America as far south as Florida and Arizona and north to New Brunswick  and Saskatchevan (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). The species is known from single locality in GSMNP, but obviously should occur along most rivers at low altitude near the Park boundaries.

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Omophron americanum.



Locality records in GSMNP.


Development of these pages was supported by grants from Discover Life in America and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0516311). Habitat photograph, Igor M. Sokolov, Louisiana State University.


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

Benschoter C.A., and  E.F.Cook. 1956. A revision of the genus Omophron (Carabidae, Coleoptera) of North America North of Mexico. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Vol.49. No.5. 411-429pp.

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. 1961. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl.Cicindelinae) of  Canada and Alaska. Part 2. Opuscula Entomologica. Supplementum No.20. 1-200pp.

 Posted 27 Nov. 2006, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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