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Family Staphylinidae - Rove Beetles

Paederin - Sunius confluentus Black rove beetle - Ocypus nitens what is this? - Platydracus Medium Rove Beetle - Achenomorphus corticinus Coprophilus striatulus (Fabricius) - Coprophilus striatulus - male Beetle - Olophrum obtectum Lobrathium Shining Fungus Beetle - Baeocera falsata
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Staphylinoidea (Rove, Carrion and Fungus Beetles)
Family Staphylinidae (Rove Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Includes Brathinidae, Dasyceridae, Empelidae, Micropeplidae, Oxytelidae, Oxyporidae, Pselaphidae, Scaphidiidae and Scydmaenidae.
Explanation of Names
Author of family is Latreille 1802
Greek staphilinos (σαφυλινοσ) 'a type of insect', from σαφυλη 'a bunch of grapes'(1)
Numbers
The largest beetle family in our area, with ca. 4,400 described (+ numerous undescribed) spp. in 540 genera of 26 subfamilies(2)(3); current estimates for our area are 5,050-5,250 (M.K. Thayer, pers.comm. to =v=, 15.viii.2011). Lumping the former Scydmaenidae into this already huge family makes it the largest animal family, with 55,440 recognized species (incl. extinct ones) as of the end of 2007 (Newton, 2007, slightly updated), thus surpassing the Curculionidae (estimated 51,000 spp.) (Gaston 1991; Oberprieler et al. 2007; Grebennikov & Newton 2009).
Overview of our fauna (DRAFT):
Family STAPHYLINIDAE
Taxa not yet in the guide are marked (*); missing non-native genera, (+). NB: Taxonomy substantially updated from(2).
Subfamily Omaliinae
Subfamily *Empelinae
Subfamily Proteininae
Subfamily Micropeplinae
Subfamily Dasycerinae
Subfamily Pselaphinae
Division BRACHYSCELIA
Supertribe Faronitae
Supertribe Euplectitae
Section Euplectomorphi
   Subtribe Rhexiina Rhexius
   Subtribe *Bibloporina *Bibloporus
Tribe Jubini Sebaga
Supertribe Batrisitae
Supertribe Goniaceritae
Section Brachyglutomorphi
   Subtribe Decarthrina Decarthron
   Subtribe Eupseniina Eupsenius
Section Tychomorphi
Tribe Valdini Valda
Division MACROSCELIA
Supertribe Pselaphitae
Section Ctenistomorphi
Tribe Tyrini
   Subtribe Hamotina Circocerus, Hamotus
Section Pselaphomorphi
Supertribe Clavigeritae
Subfamily Scydmaeninae
Subfamily Phloeocharinae
Subfamily Olisthaerinae
Subfamily Tachyporinae
Subfamily Trichophyinae
Subfamily Habrocerinae
Subfamily Aleocharinae
Tribe Oxypodini
   Subtribe Phloeoporina Phloeopora
Tribe Homalotini
   Subtribe *Silusina *Silusa
   Subtribe *Diestotina *Diestota
   Unassigned: *Coenonica
Tribe Athetini
   Subtribe Lomechusina Xenodusa
Subfamily Trigonurinae
Subfamily Scaphidiinae
Subfamily Piestinae
Subfamily Osoriinae
Subfamily Oxytelinae
Subfamily Oxyporinae
Subfamily Megalopsidiinae
Subfamily Steninae
Subfamily Euaesthetinae
Subfamily Leptotyphlinae
Subfamily Pseudopsinae
Subfamily Paederinae
Tribe Paederini
   Subtribe Scopaeina Orus, Scopaeus
   Subtribe Astenina Astenus
   Subtribe Paedeina Paederus
   Subtribe Procirrina Palaminus
Subfamily Staphylininae
   Subtribe Amblyopinina Heterothops
   Subtribe Xanthopygina Xanthopygus
   Subtribe Anisolinina Tympanophorus
   Subtribe *Hyptiomina *Holisus
Size
0.7-25 mm, most 1-10 mm
Identification
Modern online keys, gallery, etc. in(4)
Thin, active beetles with shortened elytra that do not, at first glance, resemble beetles. In typical form, body appears to be divided into four parts when viewed from above. Family characteristics:
body shape typically elongated, with parallel sides
elytra short (about same length as pronotum, or only slightly longer; wings are functional in most), typically exposing 3-6 (usually 5-6) abdominal segments, though abdomen concealed in a few, e.g.

coloration usually dark but some brightly colored
antennae thread-like or clubbed
tarsal formula variable, usually 5-5-5 (sometimes 4-5-5, 5-4-4, etc.)
Some species run with abdomen curled up over thorax as if it were a stinger but no rove beetle has a stinger. Members of the genus Paederus contain a potent toxin, pederin, able to cause a long-lasting painful/itchy welt on the skin.
Distinguishing staphylinid from carabid larvae (per Margaret Thayer's pers. comm. to Jim McClarin)
Carabid larvae have 6-segmented legs and often 2 claws, while staphs have 5-segmented legs and always only 1 claw
nearly all carabids have the urgomphi solidly attached (not jointed) to segment 9, and at least some of the ones that do have them articulated basally have more than 2 segments, which staphs never have. Staphs almost always have the urogomphi articulated and they have only 1-2 segments; the ones with solid urogomphi are tiny and quite different in form from carabid larvae.
Helpful habitus images representing most subfamilies on one plate:(5)
Habitat
Often found under rocks, logs, etc. Some found on edges of bodies of water, others on carrion, decaying fungi, etc.
Food
Most adults and larvae are predatory on other invertebrates. Some larvae feed on decaying vegetation.
See Also
Fairly distinctive among beetles, could be mistaken for earwigs (Dermaptera) at first glance
however, several other beetle families include brachypterous forms:

most of them, though, are unable to conceal their hind wings under the covers completely while at rest, others lost the hind wings completely, but a few can be really hard to tell from above
Print References
Gaston K.J. (1991) The magnitude of global insect species richness. Conservation Biology 5: 283–296.
Grebennikov V.V., Newton A.F. (2009) Good-bye Scydmaenidae, or why the ant-like stone beetles should become megadiverse Staphylinidae sensu latissimo (Coleoptera). European Journal of Entomology 106: 275–301. Full text
Newton A.F. (2007) Documenting biodiversity: how well are we doing in Staphyliniformia (Coleoptera)? Entomological Society of America poster presentation D0471.
Oberprieler R.G., Marvaldi A.E., Anderson, R.S. (2007) Weevils, weevils, weevils everywhere. Zootaxa 1668: 491–520. Full text
Internet References
http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/eflpub/efl130b-1.htm