Systematic Revision of Operclipygus Marseul (Coleoptera, Histeridae, Exosternini)
ZooKeys No. 271
By Michael S. Caterino & Alexey K. Tishechkin
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
401 pages, Illustrated
$199.50 Paper original
This monograph presents a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the hyperdiverse Neotropical beetle genusOperclipygus Marseul. Operclipygus occurs almost throughout the Americas, but there are few species that extend beyond the diverse tropical regions. The genus was originally defined very narrowly, for just a single unusual species (the type species O. sulcistrius). However, evolutionary considerations have led to a much broader conception of the genus, and it is now one of the largest in the entire family Histeridae, containing 177 species. In this paper 138 species are described as new. Identification keys are presented to allow identification of all the species, and most species are illustrated by color photographs and drawings of diagnostic characteristics. Natural history details for species of Operclipygus are scant, as most specimens have been collected through the use of passive flight interception traps. They are known to be predaceous, and many are probably generally associated with decaying vegetation and leaf litter, where they prey on small arthropods. But a small proportion are known to be inquilines, living in symbiotic relationships with social insects such as ants and termites, and also with some burrowing mammals, such as Tuco-tucos.
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