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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Acritini

 Aeletes floridae (Marseul)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 1.2-1.6 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Acritini characterized by minute compact oval bodies, lack of a prosternal lobe, four-segmented hind tarsi and sclerotized basal areas of antennal clubs (Kovarik & Caterino 2000). Together with the tribe Bacaniini, they form an informal group called "Microhisteridae," distinguished by their tiny body sizes (extremely rarely approaching 2 mm maximum length) and compact short elliptic body shapes. Two genera of acritines, Acritus and Aeletes, are known in the GSMNP. Aeletes may be distinguished by the presence of lateral striae on clypeus and total lack of a scutellum. Aeletes floridae differs from two other congeners found in the Park by the larger, less elongate body and distinct dense punctation.

Life History

This species lives under bark of dead trees in different stages of decomposition, from freshly broken to decayed. It has been recorded both on conifers and deciduous trees, more often on the latter (Tishechkin, unpublished). Occasional collections in coarse leaf litter are also known. The GSMNP specimens were collected on freshly broken hickory, in forest litter and by flight intercept and Lindgren funnel traps at 545-1370 m elevation.

Distribution

 Widespread in eastern N America, but the northern range limits are poorly known. Not reported from Canada (Bousquet & Laplante 2006), but known as far North as Ohio and Maryland down to Florida and Texas in the South (Peck & Thomas 1998, Tishechkin, unpublished).

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

Bousquet, Y. and S. Laplante. 2006.  Coleoptera Histeridae. The insects and arachnids of Canada. Part 24. NRC Research press, Ottawa. 485 pp.

Kovarik, P.W. and M. S. Caterino.  2000. Histeridae. Pp. 212-227 in: Arnett, R. H. and M. C. Thomas (eds.) American beetles. Vol. 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton  - London - New York - Washington.

Peck, S. B and M. C. Thomas. 1998. A distributional checklist of the beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida. Arthropods of Florida. Volume 16. Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville. 180 pp.

 Posted 13 August 2007, A. K. Tishechkin, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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