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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Paromalini

 Paromalus bistriatus Erichson

Description and Taxonomy

Length 1.8-2.2 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Paromalini, which is characterized by more or less dorsoventrally flattened bodies, expanded pro-, but not meso- and metatibiae, presence of narrow prosternal lobe with a "lock" for the protibial spur, short epistoma and long basal piece of the aedeagus (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976, Mazur 1993, Caterino & Vogler 2002). Among genera of Paromalini, Paromalus may be diagnosed by the lack of dorsal and prosternal carinal striae.  Paromalus bistriatus differs from the other congeners in GSMNP by lack of background alutaceous microsculpture on body surface, uninterrupted frontal stria and lack of elytral sutural stiae.

Life History

This species lives under the bark of dead trees, primarily hardwoods in more advanced stages of decay (Bousquet & Laplante 2006). Specimens in the Park were collected under bark of pines and oaks as well as by flight intercept and UV light traps. This is one of the most widespread histerids in GSMNP collected at a wide range of elevation (455-1840 m).


 Widespread in eastern N. America, reported from Ontario to Louisiana and Florida (Bousquet & Laplante 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. 2006.  Coleoptera Histeridae. The insects and arachnids of Canada. Part 24. NRC Research press, Ottawa. 485 pp.

Caterino, M. S. and A. P. Vogler. 2002. The phylogeny of the Histeroidea (Cleoptera: Staphyliniformia). Cladistics 18: 394-415.

Mazur, S. 1993. Notes on new and little known oriental Histeridae (Col.). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 100: 211-219.

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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