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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Platysomatini

 Playsoma (s. str.) aurelianum (Horn)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 3.2-3.8 mm. The genus belongs to the tribe Platysomatini, which is characterized by the presence of a wide prosternal lobe, free labrum, antennal cavities situated under anterior angles of the pronotum, dentate protibiae with sinuate protarsal furrow, antennal club with V-shaped annuli, deflexed head and flattened or cylindrical body (Kryzhanovskij & Reichardt 1976, Kovarik & Caterino 2000). The generic level taxonomy of the tribe has been in flux recently (Mazur 1984, 1998, 1999). Here, I use Mazur's most recent concept (1999) with a single genus Platysoma subdivided into three subgenera, with subgeneric names following recent usage of Bousquet & Laplante (1999). The subgenus Platysoma s.str. may be diagnosed by the flattened body shape. Two species in the subgenus are known from GSMNP and this species may be diagnosed from its other congener by the lack of 5th dorsal and sutural striae and punctures along lateral sides of the pronotum.

Life History

Since the species is rare in collections and its validity has been re-established only recently (Bousquet & Lapalante 1999), its natural history is poorly known. It is found under the bark of dead trees, primarily deciduous, also it has been reported from mushrooms (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006).  In GSMNP, the species was collected by passive methods (Lindgren, Malaise, flight intercept traps) at several locations at 615-1650 m elevation.


Widespread in eastern  N. America, from Manitoba and Quebec to Texas and Florida (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006, Peck & Thomas 1998, Tishechkin, unpublished).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. 1999.  Les coloptres histrids du Qubec. Fabreries. Suppl. 8: 1-190.

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.

Mazur, S. 1984. A World catalogue of Histeridae. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 54: 1-376.

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

Mazur, S. 1999. preliminary srudies upon the Platysoma complex (Col. Histeridae). Annals of Warsaw Agricultural university - SGGW. Forestry & Wood Technology 49: 3-29.

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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