Back to Coleoptera Checklist

Back to Species Webpage List

Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Platysomatini

 Platysoma (Cylister) paralellum (Say)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 2.73.5 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Platysomatini, which is characterized by the presence of wide prosternal lobe, free labrum, antennal cavities situated under anterior angles of pronotum, dentate protibiae with sinuate protarsal furrow, antennal club with V-shaped annuli, deflexed head and flattened or cylindrical body (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976, Kovarik & Caterino 2000). The generic level taxonomy of the tribe has been recently in the state of flux (Mazur 1984, 1998, 1999). Here, I use Mazur's most recent concept (1999) with a single genus Platysoma subdivided into three subgenera, with subgeneric names following recent usage of Bousquet & Laplante (1999). The subgenus Cylister may be diagnosed by the cylindrical body shape and the absence of a fossa on the meso-metasternal margin. Two species in the subgenus are known in GSMNP. This species may be distinguished from its congener by almost complete 5th dorsal and sutural striae and the lack of transverse stria along anterior margin of pronotum

Life History

The species is found under the bark of dead conifer trees, primarily pines, in bark beetle galleries, where it preys upon lavae and teneral adult bark beetles (Kovarik & Caterino 2005; Bousquet & Lapalante 2006). In GSMNP, the species was collected at two localities at 455-1280 m elevation.


 Widespread in eastern N America, from Michigan to Texas and Florida (Peck & Thomas 1998, Tishechkin, unpublished).

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. 1999.  les coloptres histrids du Qubec. Fabreries. Suppl. 8: 1-190.

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.

Kovarik, P.W. and M. S. Caterino.  2005. Histeridae. Pp. 190-222 in: Beutel, R. and R. A. B. Leschen (eds.) Handbuch der Zoologie. Vol. IV (38). Walter de Gruyter: Berlin - New York.

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

Mazur, S. 1984. A World catalogue of Histeridae. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 54: 1-376.

Mazur, S. 1997. A World catalogue of the Histeridae (Coleoptera: Histeroidea). Biologica Silesiae, Wroclaw. 373 pp.

Mazur, S. 1999. preliminary srudies upon the Platysoma complex (Col. Histeridae). Annals of Warsaw Agricultural university - SGGW. Forestry & Wood Technology 49: 3-29.

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.

Back to Coleoptera Checklist

Back to Species Webpage List