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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Histerini

 Hister civilis LeConte

Description and Taxonomy

Length 4.0-5.2 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Histerini, which is characterized by the presence of expanded prosternal lobe, free labrum, antennal cavities situated under anterior angles of pronotum, dentate protibiae with straight protarsal furrow, antennal club with annuli not V-shaped, mesosternum without median projection and prosternal base without emargination (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976, Kovarik & Caterino 2000).  Five-six genera of Histerini are known in N America (Kovarik & Caterino 2000, Bousquet & Lapalante 2006), and three are present in GSMNP. Hister may be diagnosed by the at least slightly emarginate outline of the anterior margin of the mesosternum and lack of a complete innner subhumeral striae on elytra. This striae present in some species, but at most in the apical half of the elytra. Twenty-five described species in the genus occur in N. America, five of which are found in GSMNP. This species may be diagnosed by the presence of only three striae on the elytra, the 1st to 3rd dorsal ones.

Life History

The life history is virtually unknown, and the species was not treated in recent revisionary works on the genus (Caterino 1999a, b, 2002).  In GSMNP, the species was collected once at 535 m of elevation.


Widespread in eastern N America, but the distribution is poorly known. It has not been reported from Canada (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006). An incomplete list of records includes Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia (Mazur 1997, Tishechkin, unpublished).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.

Caterino, M. S. 1999a. The taxonomy and phylogenetics of the coenosus group of Hister Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Histeridae).  Univ. of California Publications in Entomology 119: 1-75.

Caterino, M. S. 1999b. Taxonomy and phylogeny of the Hister servus group (Coleoptera: Histeridae):  a Neotropical radiation. Systematic Entomology 24: 351-376.

Caterino, M. S. 2002. Revision of the Hister militaris group (Coleoptera: Histeridae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 95: 323-334.

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.

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

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


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

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