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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Paromalini

 Paromalus seminulum Erichson

Description and Taxonomy

Length 1.9-2.4 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 the GSMNP by lack of background alutaceous microsculpture on body surface, uninterrupted frontal stria and presence of elytral sutural striae.

Life History

This species lives under the bark of dead trees, primarily hardwoods in more advanced stages of decay (Tishechkin, unpublished). The only specimen known from GSMNP was, however, collected at UV lights, at 530 m of elevation.


Widespread and common in southeastern N America, but the northern border of the range is unclear. It has not been reported from Canada (Bousquet & Laplante 2006), but known as far North as Kentucky, Missouri and Tennesee (Peck & Tomas 1998, Tishechkin, unpublished).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. 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.

Peck, S. B and M. C. Thomas. 1998. A distributional checklist of the beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida. Arthropods of Florida. Volume 16. Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville. 180 pp.


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

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