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Family Histeridae - Clown Beetles

Histerid - Geomysaprinus Histeridae.. - Epierus regularis Histerid - Hypocaccus fraternus Histerid Euspilotus? - Hister abbreviatus Saprininae? Found on an animal carcass - Saprinus Beetle Hister - Dendrophilus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Staphyliniformia)
Superfamily Hydrophiloidea
Family Histeridae (Clown Beetles)
Other Common Names
Hister Beetles
Explanation of Names
Histeridae Gyllenhaal 1808
see Hister
~440 spp. in 58 genera in our area, ca. 4000 spp. in ~330 genera worldwide(1)(2); sample local faunas: CA 165 spp.(3), FL 139 spp.(4), WI 97 spp.(5), LA 96 spp.(6), Canada 135 spp.(7), Atlantic Canada 37 spp.(8), NB 42(9)...
Overview of our fauna:
Taxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
Subfamily Abraeinae
Subfamily Saprininae(10)
Aphelosternus [unassigned]
Subfamily Dendrophilinae
Subfamily Onthophilinae
Subfamily Tribalinae
Subfamily Histerinae
Subfamily Hetaeriinae
Notes on some genera listed in(1): the alleged NA species of Euclasea · Chrysetaerius, and Mroczkowskiella are in fact members of Renclasea · Aritaerius, and Pinaxister, respectively(11).
1―20 mm
Small to medium-sized, compact, sturdy beetles, typically black and shiny (a few are brightly colored). Family characteristics(12)(13):
elytra short, exposing two tergites
legs short, tibiae usually compressed, front tibiae modified for digging, middle tibiae often with long spines--provide traction on substrate
five visible abdominal sternites, the first one long, last very short
antennae distinctive: short, elbowed, with abrupt 3-segmented club, i.e., geniculate and capitate, usually fold into recesses on prothorax
tarsal formula 5-5-5
dung, carrion, decomposing fungi, under bark, in ant nests, forest litter, flood debris, treeholes, bird nests, mammal/reptile burrows, at sap flows, under wrack on beaches, and on sandy beaches.
Adults and larvae predatory on other insects (such as maggots), other small invertebrates.
See Also
other critters that may be mistaken for [micro]histerids:
Internet References
World data base in (14)
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume I: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia
Arnett, R.H., Jr., and M. C. Thomas. (eds.). 2000. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.A review of Hippeutister Reichensperger with new species from California and Costa Rica (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Hetaeriinae)
Caterino M.S., Tishechkin A.K. 2008. Zootaxa 1895: 39–52.
3.California Beetle Project
4.A Distributional Checklist of the Beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida
5.Gruber J.P. (2003) Hister beetles of Wisconsin
6.Histerid Beetles (Coleoptera: Histeridae) of Louisiana, by A.K. Tishechkin
7.The insects and arachnids of Canada. Part 24. Coleoptera Histeridae
Bousquet Y., Laplante S. 2006. NRC Research press, Ottawa. 485 pp.
8.Contributions to the knowledge of Atlantic Canadian Histeridae (Coleoptera)
C.G. Majka. 2008. ZooKeys 2: 189-202.
9.New Coleoptera records from New Brunswick, Canada: Histeridae
Webster R.P., Makepeace S., Demerchant I., Sweeney J.D. 2012. Zookeys 179: 11-26.
10.Saprininae: Phylogeny, biogeography and a new classification of the subfamily (Coleoptera_ Histeridae)
Lackner T., Zhang Y.M., Kindler C., Motyka M., Balke M. 2023. Syst. Entomol. 1―24.
11.A new North American genus of Hetaeriinae (Coleoptera: Histeridae), with descriptions of six new species from the USA and Mexico
A.K. Tishechkin & M.S. Caterino. 2009. Zootaxa 2311: 1–18.
12.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
13.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
14.Ôhara M. (2009-) Emma-mushi: database of the superfamily Histeroidea