Back to Coleoptera Checklist

Back to Species Webpage List

Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Histeridae

            Tribe Platysomatini

 Playsoma (s. str.) leconti Marseul

Description and Taxonomy

Length 2.5-3.5 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 well developed 5th dorsal and sutural striae and presence of series of large punctures along the lateral sides of the pronotum.

Life History

The species is found under the bark of dead trees, both coniferous and deciduous (Bousquet & Lapalante 2006). The primary food sources for these beetles are most probably larvae of xylophilous flies, but they apparently also feed on other subcortical soft bodied insects, including bark beetle larvae (Kovarik & Caterino 2005).  In GSMNP, the species was collected at several locations at 455-1280 m elevation.


 Widespread in N. America, from British Columbia and Nova Scotia to northern California and Florida (Bousquet & Lapalante 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. 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.

Kovarik, P.W. and M. S. Caterino.  2005. Histeridae. Pp. 190-222 in: Beutel, R. and R. A. B. Leschen (eds.) Handbuch der Zoologie. Vol. IV (38). Walter de Gruyter: Berlin - New York.

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.


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

Back to Coleoptera Checklist

Back to Species Webpage List