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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Staphylinidae

            Subfamily Oxyporinae

 Oxyporus (s. str.) ashei Campbell

Description and Taxonomy

Length 6.5-9.0mm. The genus belongs to the monotypic subfamily Oxyporinae, a distinctive group of Staphylinidae that are easily recognizable by large, robust bodies, long, sickle-shaped prognathous mandibles, and extremely large, crescent-shaped terminal segments of the labial palpi (Campbell 1969).  The genus is almost worldwide in distribution and contains two subgenera, Oxyporus s. str. and Pseudoxyporus, with three and eight species, respectively, in eastern North America. The subgenus Oxyporus s. str. can be recognized by strongly compressed broad antennomeres with wide broad glabrous, shining medial areas (Campbell 1969). This species can be distinguished from all other GSMNP species of the subgenus by the color combination: orange-yellow body with black underside and lateral parts of elytra (Campbell 1978).

Life History

All Oxyporus species are mycophagous on various fleshy fungi, both as adult and larval stages. These fungi belong to three orders within the class Hymenomycetes: Agaricales (gilled mushrooms), Boletales (bolete mushrooms) and Polyporales (polypore mushrooms) (Hanley & Goodrich 1995). Females may construct and protect special chambers where the eggs hatch (Newton et al. 2000). This only known fungal host of this species is Stropharia squamosa (Hanley & Goodrich 1995). The only specimen recorded from GSMNP was collected by a Malaise trap at Goshen Prong ATBI plot in mid July at 890 m elevation. 

Distribution

The only other known distributional record is the type locality in Watauga Co., North Carolina (Campbell 1978).

Conservation Concerns

Apparently not under threat, though the rarity of the species in collections justifies some level of concern by insect conservationists.

 

Locality records in GSMNP.

Acknowledgements

Development of these pages was supported by grants from Discover Life in America and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0516311).

References

Campbell, J.M. 1969. A revision of the New World Oxyporinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Canadian Entomologist 101: 225-268.

Campbell, J.M. 1978. New species of Oxyporus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) from North America. Canadian Entomologist 110: 805-813.

Hanley, R.S. & M.A. Goodrich. 1995. Review of mycophagy, host relationships and behavior in the New World Oxyporinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 49: 267-280.

Newton, A.F., M.K. Thayer, J.S. Ashe & D.S. Chandler. 2000. Staphylinidae. Pp. 272-418 in: Arnett, R.H & M.C. Thomas (eds.) American Beetles. Vol. 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton - London - New York - Washington.

 

Posted 7 Feb. 2007, A. K. Tishechkin, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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