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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Staphylinidae

            Subfamily Oxyporinae

 Oxyporus (s. str.) stygicus Say

Description and Taxonomy

Length 6-12.5mm. 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 broad, shining medial areas (Campbell 1969). This is the only entirely black species in GSMNP (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 six genera from three families of fungi (Hanley & Goodrich 1994). Immature stages were described by Hanley & Goodrich (1994). Specimens in GSMNP were collected using Malaise traps and from unidentified fleshy fungi. Specimens were collected from late may to late September at 445-980 m elevations. 

Distribution

Widely distributed in eastern and central North America, from Michigan and Nova Scotia to Kansas, Tennessee and North Carolina, not known from the Gulf Coast States (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. 1994. Natural history, development and immature stages of Oxyporus stygicus Say (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Oxyporinae). Coleopterists Bulletin 48: 213-225.

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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