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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Acritini

 Aeletes politus (LeConte)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 0.8-1.0 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 the clypeus and total lack of a scutellum. Aeletes politus differs from two other congeners found in the Park by the shiny, smooth body surface and the lack of a row of punctures along the base of the pronotum.

Life History

This species is found in various decaying plant material, such as: rotten wood, tree holes, forest litter and compost (Bousquet & Laplante 2006). It is one of a few histerid species collected regularly at UV lights. The GSMNP specimens were collected across the northern slope at 545-1180 m elevation.


 Widespread in eastern and central N America, from Alberta and Ontario to Texas and Florida (Bousquet & Laplante 2006).

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Locality records in GSMNP.


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


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.

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

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