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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Platysomatini

 Platysoma (Cylistus) cylindricum (Paykull)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 3.8-5.0 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 Cylistus may be diagnosed by the cylindrical body shape and the presence of a fossa on the meso-metasternal margin. A single species in the subgenus known in GSMNP.

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 adults of bark beetles (Kovarik & Caterino 2005; Bousquet & Lapalante 2006). In GSMNP, the species was collected at several locations at 455-1280 m elevation.


 Widespread in eastern N America, from Ontario and Quebec to Texas and Florida (Bousquet & Lapalante 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. 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 studies upon the Platysoma complex (Col. Histeridae). Annals of Warsaw Agricultural university - SGGW. Forestry & Wood Technology 49: 3-29.


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

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