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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Paromalini

 Carcinops pumilio (Erichson)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 2.1-2.6 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Paromalini, which is characterized by more or less dorsoventrally flattened bodies, expanded tibiae, expanded pro-, but not meso- and metatibiae, presence of narrow prosternal lobe with a "lock" for the protibial spur, short epistoma and long basal piece of aedeagus (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976, Mazur 1993, Caterino & Vogler 2002). Among the genera of Paromalini, Carcinops may be diagnosed by a full set of dorsal striae, lack of connection between 4th and sutural striae and lack of female pygidial ornamentation. Fourteen species of Carcinops occur in N America. They are distributed primarily in the western deserts, with only single species found in the East and in the GSMNP.

Life History

The species is found in various habitats, from dense forests to deserts and urban areas, in a wide variety of  niches, such carrion, dung, bird and mammal nests in tree holes as wells as in stored products and farm animal manure (Bousquet & Laplante 2006). The GSMNP specimens were collected  in bat droppings at a roosting site in a building at 585 m elevation.


The species is nearly cosmopolitan, apparently introduced to many areas by humans (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976; Bousquet & Laplante 2006). Distribution includes most of N America, north to southwestern British Columbia and Newfoundland.

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.

Caterino, M. S. and A. P. Vogler. 2002. The phylogeny of the Histeroidea (Cleoptera: Staphyliniformia). Cladistics 18: 394-415.

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.

Mazur, S. 1993. Notes on new and little known oriental Histeridae (Col.). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 100: 211-219.

Kryzhanovskij, O. L. and A. N. Reichardt. 1976. Histeroidea. fauna of the USSR. Vol. V (4). Nauka: Moscow - Leneingrad. 433 pp.


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

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