Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Includes members of former families Brathinidae, Dasyceridae, Empelidae, Micropeplidae, Oxytelidae, Oxyporidae, Pselaphidae, Scaphidiidae, and Scydmaenidae.
massive changes in higher taxonomy introduced in (1)
but not yet implemented in the guide
The largest animal 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). World's largest animal family (although Ichneumonidae may be even larger, with 60,000 spp.), with ~56,000 spp. in 3500 genera(4)
Overview of our fauna* –taxa not yet in the guide; + -missing non-native genera. NB: classification substantially updated since (2)
Modern online keys, gallery, etc. (5)
useful key here
elytra typically short (about as long as pronotum; wings functional in most), exposing 3-6 (usually 5-6) abdominal segments, though abdomen concealed in a few, e.g.
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:(7)
Often found under rocks, logs, etc. Some found on edges of bodies of water, others on carrion, decaying fungi, etc.
Most adults and larvae are predatory on other invertebrates. Some larvae feed on decaying vegetation.
When threatened, these beetles release a potent odor from the stink glands in their abdomens. They also will raise their tails bfore spraying.(8)
Fairly distinctive among beetles, could be mistaken for earwigs (Dermaptera
) at first glance
however, brachypterous forms are found in many beetle families, e.g.:
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
Grebennikov V.V., Newton A.F. (2009) Good-bye Scydmaenidae, or why the ant-like stone beetles should become megadiverse Staphylinidae sensu latissimo (Coleoptera). Eur. J. Entomol. 106: 275‒301. Full text
Oberprieler R.G., Marvaldi A.E., Anderson R.S. (2007) Weevils, weevils, weevils everywhere. Zootaxa 1668: 491–520. Full text
(Frank & Thomas 1999‒2012)(9)