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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Histerini

 Margarinotus (Ptomister) brunneus (Fabricius)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 5.5-8.5 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Histerini, which is characterized by the presence of an expanded prosternal lobe, free labrum, antennal cavities situated under the 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 or six genera of Histerini are known in N. America (Kovarik & Caterino 2000, Bousquet & Lapalante 2006), and three are present in GSMNP. Margarinotus is an externally diverse genus diagnosed primarily by several characters of the male genitalia.  However, most species (all in the East and GSMNP) may be recognized by the emarginate outline of the anterior margin of the mesosternum and complete inner subhumeral striae on elytra. Twenty-nine described species in the genus are known in N. America, seven of which are found in the GSMNP. This species may be diagnosed by the oblique apical antennal club annuli being closer to the basal annuli laterally. All other Margarinotus species in the Park have apical annuli running across the club, parallel to the other annuli. Among other diagnostic characters of this species are the complete marginal stria of the pronotum, the presence of two lateral pronotal striae and basal fragments of the 5th dorsal striae.

Life History

 The species is primarily found on carrion, but also occasionally on decomposing plant matter (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006).  It is known in GSMNP from only a single record from 1959 at the edge of the Park at 370 m elevation.

Distribution

 This widespread and abundant Eurasian species has been introduced into eastern N America,  where it is known from southern Manitoba and Tennessee and South Carolina. The southwestern border of the range is unclear (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006).

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Locality records in GSMNP.

Acknowledgements

Development of these pages was supported by grants from Discover Life in America and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0516311).

References

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.

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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