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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Staphylinidae

            Subfamily Oxyporinae

 Oxyporus (s. str.) vittatus Gravenhorst

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). The species key was provided by Campbell (1979). This species can be distinguished the other three GSMNP species of the subgenus having black bodies and yellow markings on elytra (O. femoralis, O. major and O. kiteley) by its yellow legs (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 is reported to feed on 17 genera from eight families of fungi (Campbell 1978). Specimens from GSMNP were collected using Malaise traps and from unidentified fleshy fungi from early June to mid September at 980-1600 m elevations. 

Distribution

Widely distributed in eastern and central North America, from Manitoba and Nova Scotia to Alabama 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.

 

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

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