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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Saprinini

Euspilotus asimilis (Paykull)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 3.5-5.5 mm. The genus belongs to the subfamily Saprininae (not further subdivided into tribes), which is characterized by relatively large robust bodies, often with metallic luster, lack of prosternal lobe and antennal cavities situated alongside prosternal keel (Kovarik & Caterino 2000). Three genera of saprinines, Euspilotus, Ganthoncus and Geomysaprinus, are known in the GSMNP. They differ in the patterns of prosternal striae and foveae. Euspilotus has the carinal and lateral prosternal striae united before they end in the prosternal foveae. Twenty-eight described and several undescribed N. American species  are available in collections (Kovarik & Caterino 2000). Taxonomy of the genus is not well worked out, even for the eastern N American fauna, so species identifications may be problematic. So far, only one species is reported for GSMNP. It is one of the most common eastern histerids and is characterized by a relatively large body size and deep sulcus along the the anterior margins of the pygidium (better developed in females).

Life History

This is one of the most characteristic carrion-dwelling histerids in the East, occurring in a wide variety of habitats, from coniferous and subtropical deciduous forests to grasslands and urban and agricultural lands. It also sometimes occurs in dung. In GSMNP, it was collected on carrion, different kinds of  vertebrate feces and by pitfall and flight intercept traps at 370-740 m elevation.


 Widely distributed in central and eastern N. America, from Manitoba and Ontario to Nebraska, Texas and Florida (Bousquet & Laplante 2006, Tishechkin, unpublished).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. 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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