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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae  

Tribe Harpalini

 Selenophorus  (s.str.) opalinus  (LeConte)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 9.5-10.7mm. This black Selenophorus is distinguishable from similar species by its large size, strongly iridescent elytra and broad, evenly rounded pronotum with  pale margins (Lindroth 1968). As a representative of the selenophorine lineage of harpaline carabid beetles, this species also is characterized by the presence of three rows of seriate punctures situated in the 2nd, 5th and 7th elytral interneurs. In the Nearctic Region the genus is represented by 39 species, five of which are known from GSMNP (Ball and Bousquet 2001).

Life History

The species is mesophilous and inhabits leaf  litter in lowland hardwood forests. Adults can be found beneath rocks and in leaf litter under forest canopy or along  boundaries with open areas at low altitudes (400-750m).   The adults are good flyers and have been repeatedly taken at ultraviolet and mercury vapor lights and in malaise traps.  Specimens from GSMNP were collected during March-August.


Widely distributed through eastern North America as far south as Florida and Texas and north to Quebec and Ontario (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). The species is known from many localities in GSMNP. 

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Selenophorus opalinus.



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.

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. 1968. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl.Cicindelinae) of  Canada and Alaska. Part 5. Opuscula Entomologica. Supplementum No.33. 649-944pp.

Posted 26 Sep. 2006, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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