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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Staphylinidae

            Subfamily Oxyporinae

 Oxyporus (s. str.) femoralis Gravenhorst

Description and Taxonomy

Length 6-10.5mm. 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 rugose surface of the outer apical areas of the 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 species has been reported feeding on nine genera in five families of fungi (Hanley & Goodrich 1995). Immature stages were described by Leschen & Allen (1988). Specimens from GSMNP were collected using Malaise traps and from unidentified fleshy fungi. Specimens were collected from late May to late September at 625-1340 m elevation. 

Distribution

Widely distributed in eastern North America, from Minnesota and Maine to Texas and Florida (Campbell 1969).

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

 

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.

Leschen, R.A.B. & R.T. Allen 1988. Immature stages, life histories and  feeding mechanisms of three Oxyporus spp. (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Oxyporinae). Coleopterists Bulletin 42: 321-333.

 

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

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