Onthophilus punctatus, copyright Lech Borowiec.

Belongs within: Hydrophiloidea.
Contains: Pachylomalus, Eblisia, Dendrophilinae, Saprininae, Tribalinae, Chlamydopsis, Histerinae.

The Histeridae are a group of carnivorous beetles that are diverse in appearance but have a generally compact body form, deeply inserted head and compactly clubbed antennae (Lawrence & Britton 1991). The elytra are truncate, exposing the last two tergites, with the pygidium being operculate (Kovarik & Carerino 2001). Cavities are commonly present on the prosternum allowing for the retraction of the antennae against the body.

In the subfamilies Onthophilinae and Tribalinae, the retracted antennae are partially concealed by lateral extensions of the prosternal lobe. These last two subfamilies, together with Dendrophilinae and Abraeinae, are also characterised by a setose labrum. Onthophilinae are distinguished by costae on the pronotum Species in the subfamilies (Kovarik & Carerino 2001). Hetaeriinae and Chlamydopsinae are inquilines of social insects such as ants and termites, producing glandular secretions that attract and appease their hosts (Bouchard 2014).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Adult with compact body form, length 1–16 mm; head deeply inserted; antenna 8–11-segmented, almost always geniculate, with compact, pilose, one- or three-segmented club; fore coxae large, transverse, fore trochantin concealed, fore coxal cavity open; fore tibiae dentate; elytra with six or fewer striae, truncate, exposing one or two abdominal segments; middle coxal cavities very widely separated, open laterally; tarsal formula 5-5-5 or 5-5-4; abdomen with five ventrites, none connate. Larva with head prognathous; one or no stemmata; antenna three-segmented; frontoclypeal suture absent; labrum fused; mandibular mola absent; ventral mouth-parts prognathous; penicillus of hairs present at base of each mandible; maxilla without lobes; maxillary palp four- or five-segmented; labial palp two- or three-segmented; hypopharyngeal sclerome absent; hypostomal rods absent; ventral epicranial ridges absent; legs five-segmented; two or no tarsungular setae; urogomphi almost always two-segmented; abdominal spiracles biforous.

Histeridae [Histerides, Niponiidae]
| `--+--+--TrypanaeinaeMF15
| | | |--XylonaeusLC20
| | | `--Tryponaeus Esch. 1829FS90
| | | |--T. bipustulatus (Fabricius 1801)B14
| | | |--T. flavipennis Chv. 1858FS90
| | | `--T. pallidipennis Mars. 1860FS90
| | `--Trypeticus [Trypeticinae, Trypeticini]MF15
| | `--T. cinctipygus (Marseul 1864)B14
| `--SaprininaeLC20
| | |--Eucurtia comata (Blackburn 1901)B14
| | |--Pheidoliphila magna Dégallier & Caterino 2005B14
| | |--ChlamydopsisL19
| | `--Quasimodopsis riedeliLC20
| `--OnthophilinaeKC01
| |--Peploglyptus LeConte 1880LC20, KC01
| | `--P. belfragei LeConte 1880KC01
| `--Onthophilus Leach 1817KC01
| |--O. cynomysiKC01
| |--O. deflectusKC01
| `--O. punctatus (Müller 1776)B14

Histeridae incertae sedis:
|--P. cossyphus Marseul 1864L01
|--P. javanusZ93
`--P. pudicusL01
|--A. foliaceusL01
`--A. migneauxi Marseul 1860L01
|--*C aenescensC41
|--C. assamensisC41
|--C. bengalensis Lewis 1901L01
|--C. perroti Cooman 1941C41
`--C. thugiC41
|--P. cregoei Lewis 1901L01
|--P. formosusL01
`--P. glaucopterusL01
|--E. laevicaudaC41
`--E. seitzi Cooman 1941C41
|--*B. barbarusC41
|--B. chujoi Cooman 1941C41
`--B. noziriC41
|--P. cafferL00a
`--P. opacus Lewis 1900L00a
|--P. lignarium (Lewis 1900) [=Platysoma lignarium]JG19
|--P. mirabilis Lewis 1900L00a
`--P. ovatusL00a
Sternocoelis ovalis Lewis 1900L00b
Saprinodes falcifer Lewis 1891M96
Pantostictus burmanicusLC20
Niponius [Niponiinae]B14
`--N. osoriceps Lewis 1885B14

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature’s gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[C41] Cooman, A. de. 1941. Coléoptères Histeridae d’Extrême-Orient, principalement de Tonkin. Notes d’Entomologie Chinoise 8 (7): 291–333.

[FS90] Fleutiaux, E., & A. Sallé. 1890. Liste des coléoptères de la Guadeloupe et descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: 351–484.

[JG19] James, D. J., P. T. Green, W. F. Humphreys & J. C. Z. Woinarski. 2019. Endemic species of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34 (2): 55–114.

[KC01] Kovarik, P. W., & M. S. Carerino. 2001. Histeridae Gyllenhal, 1808. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr & M. C. Thomas (eds) American Beetles vol. 1. Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia pp. 212–227. CRC Press: Boca Raton.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[L19] Lea, A. M. 1919. Notes on some miscellaneous Coleoptera with descriptions of new species.—Part V. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 43: 166–261, pls 25–27.

[L00a] Lewis, G. 1900a. On new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 5: 224–234.

[L00b] Lewis, G. 1900b. On new species of Histeridae and notices of others (concluded). Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 5: 246–254.

[L01] Lewis, G. 1901. On new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 7: 241–245.

[LC20] Lü, L., C.-Y. Cai, X. Zhang, A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer & H.-Z. Zhou. 2020. Linking evolutionary mode to palaeoclimate change reveals rapid radiations of staphylinoid beetles in low-energy conditions. Current Zoology 66 (4): 435–444.

[M96] Masters, G. 1896. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Supplement, part II. Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae, Hydrophyllidae, Staphylinidae, Pselaphidae, Paussidae, Silphidae, Scaphididae, Histeridae, Phalacridae, Nitidulidae, Trogositidae, Colydiidae, Cucujidae, Cryptophagidae, Lathridiidae, Mycetophagidae, Dermestidae, Byrrhidae, Parnidae, Heteroceridae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 21 (Suppl.): 695–754.

[MF15] McKenna, D. D., B. D. Farrell, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, D. R. Maddison, A. E. Seago, A. E. Z. Short, A. F. Newton & M. K. Thayer. 2015. Phylogeny and evolution of Staphyliniformia and Scarabaeiformia: forest litter as a stepping stone for diversification of nonphytophagous beetles. Systematic Entomology 40: 35–60.

[Z93] Zimmerman, E. C. 1993. Australian Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) vol. 3. Nanophyidae, Rhynchophoridae, Erirhinidae, Curculionidae: Amycterinae, literature consulted. CSIRO Australia.

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