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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae

            Tribe Platynini

 Platynus  (s.str.) trifoveolatus  Beutenmüller

Description and Taxonomy

Length 7.5-9.0mm. This Platynus species is piceous brown  with paler pronotal and elytral margins. It is easily distinguished from other Platynus species by its short body and oviform elytra with obsolete humeri (Lindroth 1966). This species is also characterized by the absence of any dorsoapical setae on the metafemura and quadrate metepisterna as a result of hind-wing reduction (Liebherr and Will 1996). In the Nearctic Region, the genus is represented by 22 species, six of which inhabit the Smokies (Ball and Bousquet 2001) .

Life History

The species is hygrophilous, but avoids major streams, where it is replaced by Platynus tenuicollis. Rather, it occurs along small creeks, seeps, beds of intermittent tributaries or just wet places. In GSMNP adults can be found beneath rocks or in litter of appropriate habitats from middle altitudes up (900-2000m).  Specimens from GSMNP were collected during April-September.


The species is a Southern Appalachian endemic, occurring in montane areas of  Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). The species is known from numerous localities in GSMNP. 

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Platynus trifoveolatus.



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.

Liebherr, J.K. and K.W. Will. 1996. New North American Platynus Bonelli (Coleoptera: Carabidae), a key to species North of Mexico, and notes on species from southwestern United States. Coleopterists Bulletin Vol.50. No 4: 301-320.

Lindroth, C.H. 1966. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl.Cicindelinae) of  Canada and Alaska. Part 4. Opuscula Entomologica. Supplementum No.29. 409-648pp.

Posted 29 Aug. 2006, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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