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The Clown Beetles (Coleoptera: Histeridae) of Papua Indonesia

by Tomas Lackner

The Histeridae contains about 330 genera and 3900 species (Mazur, 1997). Most histerid beetles are generalist predators, generalist in the sense that most can survive on whatever soft-bodied prey, usually larval Diptera, they encounter in their chosen habitat. In habitat preference, however, histerids vary widely. The most widely recognized habitats for histerids are dung and carrion. However, although prominent, these habits account for a relatively small fraction of histerid diversity. Various histerids are also associated with fungi (some apparently are even primarily fungus-feeding). Many are associated with trees, either living primarily under bark, in tree holes, or in the galleries of wood-boring beetles. Some species prefer leaf litter or other decomposing vegetation, especially fruit. Finally, a large number of histerids live in symbiotic associations with other animals. Many species are restricted to specific burrows, including those of both rodents and tortoises. Some species are found mainly in bird nests.
Perhaps the most spectacular (and least known) radiations of histerids are those that live in obligate associations with social insects, mainly ants (AKA myrmecophiles) (Caterino, 2004).
In Papua the Histeridae are represented by the subfamilies Chlamydopsinae, Onthophilinae, Tribalinae, Histerinae, Dendrophilinae, Abraeinae, Saprininae and Trypeticinae. Most abundant are the species living subcortically, as is prevalent in the forested tropical regions of the Old World.
The present catalogue is based on the Mazur’s ‘World Catalogue of the Histeridae’ (1997). Whenever possible, all original descriptions and faunistic works were checked. The genus Trypeticus Marseul has been excellently revised by Kanaar (2003) and its results are adopted here.
Higher classification is based on the catalogue of Mazur (1997).

For practical reasons the list represents all New Guinea species, including those from PNG, because from many species no exact locality data are known. Further inventories must establish the actual occurence in Papua Indonesia.

Species which are not known yet for certain from Papua Indonesia are coloured grey.

Listed New Guinea species: 143 [76 endemic for New Guinea (including PNG)]


Chlamydopsis Westwood, 1869

jayawijaya Caterino, 2003 [endemic]

papuae Lewis, 1913 [endemic]

Orectoscelis Lewis, 1903

attenuatus Dégallier & Caterino, 2005 [endemic]

howdeni Dégallier & Caterino, 2005 [endemic]

Pheidoliphila Lea, 1914

micra Dégallier & Caterino, 2005 [endemic]



Epiechinus Lewis, 1891

cavisternus Bickhardt, 1918 [endemic]

planisternus Bickhardt, 1918 [endemic]



Epierus Erichson, 1834

beccarii Marseul, 1871
dalaunayi Desbordes, 1919

biscissus Marseul, 1880 [endemic]

Tribalus Erichson, 1834
sg. Eutribalus Bickhardt, 1921

doriae Marseul, 1871

koenigius Marseul, 1864

marseuli Gomy, 1985 [endemic]



Tribus Exosternini

Pseudister Bickhardt, 1917

contusus (Marseul, 1864) [endemic]

leporinus (Marseul, 1864) [endemic]?
contusus sensu auct. nec Marseul, 1864

Asterix Mazur, 1993

affinis (Schmidt, 1893) [endemic]?

appendiculatus (Schmidt, 1893)

aruensis (Marseul, 1864)

papuensis (Marseul, 1864)

paralellus (Lewis, 1900)
paralellum Mazur, 1984
sumatrana Mazur, 1984 (emmendation)

Procoryphaeus Mazur, 1984

wallacei (Marseul, 1864)
paralellus sensu Marseul, 1864 nec Lewis, 1900


Tribus Hololeptini

Hololepta Paykull, 1811
sg. Hololepta Paykull, 1811

elongata Erichson, 1834

immarginata Schmidt, 1889

indica Erichson, 1834
orientalis Sturm, 1826 (nom. nudum)
indica Cristofori et Jan, 1832 (nom. nudum)
manillensis Marseul, 1853
batchiana Marseul, 1860
menadia Marseul, 1864
aequa Lewis, 1885

laevigata Guérin-Ménéville, 1833
procera Erichson, 1834
subarmata Dejean, 1837 (nom. nudum)

lissopyga Marseul, 1853
sidnensis Marseul, 1860


Tribus Platysomatini

Silinus Lewis, 1907

canalicollis (Marseul, 1864)

placitus (Lewis, 1906) [endemic]
bandae Lewis, 1919

Placodister Bickhardt, 1918

nudisternus Bickhardt, 1918 [endemic]

Platysoma Leach, 1817
sg. Platylister Lewis, 1892

abruptum Erichson, 1834
cavifrons Marseul, 1857 (nomen nudum, given as synonym)
gorhami Lewis, 1889
abruptus Lewis, 1905

bimarginatum Bickhardt, 1920 [endemic]

bonvouloiri Marseul, 1861

canalicollis (Marseul, 1864)

charrali Marseul, 1861

doriae Lewis, 1888
doriai (sic!) sensu Desbordes, 1917

emptum Marseul, 1864

enodum (Lewis, 1900) [endemic]
enodis Lewis, 1900

fallaciosum Marseul, 1879 [endemic]
fallaciosis sensu Lewis, 1905

habitum (Lewis, 1912) [endemic]

hatamense Marseul, 1879 [endemic]
hatamensis sensu Lewis, 1905

jobiense Marseul, 1879
jobiensis Thérond, 1970

ovatum Erichson, 1834
[tri]sulcata Sturm, 1826 (nom. nudum)
ovatus Cristofori et Jan, 1832 (nom. nudum)
planatum Dejean, 1837 (nom. nudum)

placitus (Lewis, 1906)

ramoicola Marseul, 1879
bruneicola Desbordes, 1915

soronense Marseul, 1879 [endemic]
soronensis sensu Lewis, 1905

urvillei (Le Guillou, 1844)
urvillii (sic!) sensu Marseul, 1852

sg. Apobletes Marseul, 1860

correctum (Marseul, 1864) [endemic]
correctus Marseul, 1864

esuriale (Lewis, 1885) [endemic]?
esurialis Lewis, 1885

expansum (Marseul, 1879) [endemic]
expansus Marseul, 1879

maindroni (Desbordes, 1929) [endemic]

montrouzieri (Marseul, 1860)
montrousieri (sic!) sensu Fauvel, 1891

mysolicum (Marseul, 1864)

schaumei (Marseul, 1860)
tener Marseul, 1860
schaumi sensu Marseul, 1864 (misspelling)

sg. Platysoma Leach, 1817

aureoliferum Marseul, 1864 [endemic]

clarenciae Marseul, 1870

completum Marseul, 1870

conditum Marseul, 1864

crybripygum Marseul, 1864

debile Marseul, 1864

dufali Marseul, 1864
scitulum Lewis, 1889

loriae Schmidt, 1893 [endemic]

moluccanum Marseul, 1864

paugami (Le Guillou, 1844)

platypygum Marseul, 1879
platypygus sensu Lewis, 1905

raffrayi Desbordes, 1929 [endemic]

suturistrium Marseul, 1879 [endemic]

torpens Marseul, 1864

tribistriatum Marseul, 1879 [endemic]

sg. Popinus Mazur, 1999

biimpressus (J. Schmidt, 1892)

dahdah Marseul, 1861
mirandum Marseul, 1864

hemistrium Marseul, 1879

querulum Marseul, 1864

Eblisia Lewis, 1889

benningseni Bickhardt, 1912 [endemic]

ceramicola (Marseul, 1864)

discrepans (Marseul, 1879)

disparile (Lewis, 1900)
disparilis sensu Bickhardt, 1920

egregia (Bickhardt, 1920) [endemic]
egregius Bickhardt, 1920
egregium sensu Mazur, 1984

guinense Mazur, 1989 [endemic]

laevidorse (Lewis, 1905) [endemic]
laevidorsum Lewis, 1905
laevidorsum Bickhardt, 1920

maori (Bickhardt, 1918) [endemic]

mutilata (Schmidt, 1893) [endemic]
mutilatum Schmidt, 1893

obliqua Lewis, 1903 [endemic]

reinecki (Bickhardt, 1920) [endemic]

sesquistriata (Marseul, 1864)
sesquistriatum Marseul, 1864
sesquistriatum sensu Bickhardt, 1920

speculipyga (Marseul, 1879) [endemic]
speculipygus sensu Marseul, 1879

uniforme (Lewis, 1894)
uniformis Bickhardt, 1920

Idister Marseul, 1880
sg. Diister Mazur, 1989

omalodellus Mazur, 1989 [endemic]

platysomoides Mazur, 1989 [endemic]

Kanaarister Mazur, 1999

amphibium (Marseul, 1864) [endemic]
amphibius Marseul, 1864

Plaesius Erichson, 1834
sg. Plaesius Erichson, 1834

acutidens Lewis, 1912

ellipticus Marseul, 1853
cossyphus (Marseul, 1864)

javanus Erichson, 1834
orthogonium Dejean, 1837 (nom. nudum)

pucidus Marseul, 1864

ruptistrius Lewis, 1906 [endemic]

striaticeps Lewis, 1905


Tribe Histerini

Pachylister Lewis, 1904
sg. Pachylister Lewis, 1904

lutarius (Erichson, 1834)
indus Dejean, 1821 (nom. nudum)
inaequidens Dejean, 1837 (nom. nudum)

sg. Santalus Lewis, 1906

orientalis (Paykull, 1811)

Hister Linnaeus, 1758

javanicus Paykull, 1811
[septem]striatus Dejean, 1821 (nom. nudum)
coracinus Erichson, 1834
squalidus Erichson, 1834
mandarinus Marseul, 1861
corax Marseul, 1861
carnaticus Lewis, 1885
fortedentatus Desbordes, 1915
angulicollis Bickhardt, 1919

Atholus C. Thomson, 1859

myrmidion (Marseul, 1861)


Tribus Bacaniini

Antongilus Gomy, 1969

biroi (Thérond, 1965) [endemic]

Chaetobacanius Gomy, 1977

papou Gomy, 1977 [endemic]

therondi Gomy, 1977 [endemic]

Bacanius J.L. LeConte, 1853
sg. Tuberister Gomy, 1980

papulatus Cooman, 1933

permirus (Marseul,1879)

sg. Gomyister Mazur, 1984

baloghi Gomy, 1977 [endemic]

sg. Bacanius J.L. LeConte, 1853

ambiguus Schmidt, 1893

gestroi Schmidt, 1893 [endemic]

hemisphaeroides (Marseul, 1879) [endemic]

kaszabi Gomy, 1977

nobleti Gomy, 1981 [endemic]

wauensis Gomy, 1981 [endemic]

Abraeomorphus Reitter, 1886

novaeguineae Thérond, 1965

Bacaniomorphus Mazur, 1989

semiellipticus (Thérond, 1965)


Tribus Paromalini

Pachylomalus Schmidt, 1897
sg. Pachylomalus Schmidt, 1897

leo (Marseul, 1879)
tuberosus Lewis, 1896

victor (Marseul, 1864)

sg. Canidius Cooman, 1941

mus (Marseul, 1864)

Platylomalus Cooman, 1948

clavis (Marseul, 1879)

gardineri (Scott, 1913)

lenticula (Schmidt, 1893) [endemic]

musicus (Marseul, 1864)

oceanitis (Marseul, 1855)
micros Dejean, 1837 (nom. nudum)
oceanitis Marseul, 1855
ceylanicus sensu Marseul, 1870
biarculus Marseul, 1870
vermiculatus Lewis, 1892

vittula (Marseul, 1879) [endemic]

Eulomalus Cooman, 1937

amplipes Cooman, 1937

coomani Thérond, 1965

despectus (Marseul, 1864)

keicola (Marseul, 1879)

laevigatus Cooman, 1937 [endemic]

miliaris (Marseul, 1870)

orbatus Cooman, 1937 [endemic]

pradali (Marseul, 1864)

roberti (Marseul, 1879)[endemic]

sculptipygus (Marseul, 1864)



Tribus Acritini

Acritus J.L. LeConte, 1853
sg. Pynacritus Casey, 1916

inquilinus Lea, 1925
biloculatus Cooman, 1947

sg. Acritus J.L. LeConte, 1853

angoramensis Gomy, 1977 [endemic]

cingulidens Marseul, 1879

deharvengi Gomy, 1981 [endemic]

erimae Gomy, 1981 [endemic]

indignus Schmidt, 1893 [endemic]

insipiens Marseul, 1879

loriai Gomy, 1980 [endemic]

novaeguineae Gomy, 1977 [endemic]

poggi Gomy, 1980 [endemic]

subtilissimus Schmidt, 1893

wokanensis Marseul, 1879
torquillus Marseul, 1879

Aeletes Horn, 1873
sg. Aeletes Horn, 1873

daubani (Scott, 1913)

Aeletodes Gomy, 1977

minus Gomy, 1977 [endemic]



Tribus Teretriini

Teretrius Erichson, 1834
sg. Neotepetrius G. Müller, 1937

novaeguineae (Bickhardt, 1918) [endemic]



Saprinus Erichson, 1834
sg. Saprinus Erichson, 1834

cyaneus (Fabricius, 1775)
ssp. cyaneus (Fabricius, 1775)
laetus Erichson, 1834
speciosus Boisduval, 1835
gayndahensis Mac Leay, 1871
ssp. auricollis Marseul, 1855
cyaneocupreus Marseul, 1864
australasiae Blackburn, 1903

grandiclava Kanaar, 1989 [endemic]

optabilis Marseul, 1855
dives Lewis, 1911

splendens (Paykull, 1811)

Hypocacculus Bickhardt, 1914
sg. Hypocacculus Bickhardt, 1914

hyla (Marseul, 1864)



Trypeticus Marseul, 1864

albertisii (Gestro, 1875) [endemic]

alticola Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

andaiensis (Gestro, 1875) [endemic]

angustifrons Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

cinctipygus (Marseul, 1864)
predaceus Lewis, 1892
separandum Schmidt, in litt.
triangulus Lewis, in litt.

degallieri Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

gestroi (Marseul, 1879) [endemic]

gilolus Marseul, 1864
terebellus Marseul, 1864

gracilis Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

gratus Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

helleri Bickhardt, 1918 [endemic]

hinei Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

nasicus Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

nitens Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

parobeliscus Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

poggii Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

pooti Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

rectangulus Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

riedeli Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

sulcisternum Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]

valens Kanaar, 2003 [endemic]



[list updated on 7th February 2016]


Bickhardt, H. 1912. Neuheiten aus Herrn. R. v. Benningsen’s Sammlung von Coleopteren aus den deutschen Kolonien. Histeridae. Ent. Mitt., 1: 307-308.
Bickhardt, H. 1918a. Neue paläarktische Histeriden und Bemerkungen zu bekannten Arten (35. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Histeriden). Ent. Bl., 14: 226-232
Bickhardt, H. 1918b. Neue Histeriden aus Ungarischen National-Museum und Bemerkungen zu bekannten Arten (35. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Histeriden). Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Hung., 16: 283-297
Bickhardt, H. 1920a. Eine neue indomalayische Histeridengattung. (40. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Histeriden). Ent. Bl., 15 (1919): 213-217
Bickhardt, H. 1920b. Histeridenstudien. (42. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Histeriden). Ent. Bl., 16: 29-32
Bickhardt, H. 1920c. Neue Indo-Malayische Platysomini und Bemerkungen zu bekannten Arten. (Coleoptera, Histeridae). (43. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Histeriden). Stettin. Ent. Ztg., 81: 57-61
Caterino, M.S. 2003. New species of Chlamydopsis (Histeridae: Chlamydopsinae), with a review and phylogenetic analysis of all known species. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 49: 159-235.Cooman, A. 1937.Étude sur les genres Paromalus et Eulomalus n.g. (Col. Histeridae). Avec descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. Not. Ent. Chin., 4: 89-147
Dégallier, N. & Caterino, M.S. 2005a. Notes taxonomiques sur les Chlamydopsinae et descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. – I. Genres Ceratohister Reichensperger, Eucurtiopsis Silvestri et Orectoscelis Lewis (Coleoptera, Histeridae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France, 110 (3): 299-326.
Dégallier, N. & Caterino, M.S. 2005b. Notes taxonomiques sur les Chlamydopsinae et descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. – II. Genre Pheidoliphila Lea. (Coleoptera, Histeridae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France, 110 (4/5): 463-494
Desbordes, H. 1929. Description des deux espèces nouvelles d’Histérides de Nouvelle-Guinée (Col.) Bull. Soc. Ent. France, 1929: 296-297
Gomy, Y. 1977. Histeridae nouveaux de la orientale et de la Nouvelle-Guinée (Coleoptera). Ann. Hist.-nat. Mus Nat. Hung., 69: 101-115
Gomy, Y. 1980. Deux Acritus Lec. nouveaux de la Nouvelle-Guinée (Col. Histeridae). Ann. Mus. Civ. Sot. Nat. Genova, 83: 21-25
Gomy, Y. 1981. Contribution à la conaissance des micro-Histeridae (Coleoptera) de la faune orientale et de la Nouvelle-Guinée. Fol. Ent. Hung., 42 (34): 79-90
Gomy, Y. 1985. Contribution à la conaissance des Eutribalus BICKHARDT de la faune australopapoue (Coleoptera: Histeridae). Nouv. Rev. Ent., 2 (n.s.): 377-383
Kanaar, P. 1989. A new Saprinus from Irian Jaya (Coleoptera: Histeridae). Tijdschr. Ent. 132: 285-287
Kanaar, P. 2003. Revision of the genus Trypeticus Marseul (Coleoptera: Histeridae). Zoologische Verhandelingen 342, Leiden, 318 pp
Lewis, G. 1900. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7) 5: 265-278
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Lewis, G. 1905. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7) 16: 604-611
Lewis, G. 1906a. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7) 17: 337-344
Lewis, G. 1906b. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (7) 18: 180-191
Lewis, G. 1912. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8) 10: 250-260
Lewis, G. 1913. On a new species of Histeridae and notices of others. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (8) 12: 81-87
Marseul, S.A. 1861. Supplement à la monographie des Histérides. Ann. Soc. Ent. France, (4) 1: 141-184, 509-566
Marseul, S.A. 1864. Histérides de l’ Archipel Malais ou Indo-Australien. L’Abeille, 1: 271-341
Marseul, S.A. 1870. Descriprion d’espèces nouvelles d’Histérides. Ann. Soc. Ent. Belg., 13 (1869-1870): 55-158
Marseul, S.A. 1879. Ènumeration des Histérides, rapportés de l’ Archipel Malais, de la Nouvelle-Guinée et de l’ Australie boreale par M.M. le Prof. O. Beccari et L.M. D’Albertis. Ann. Mus. Stor. Nat. Genova, 14: 254-286
Marseul, S.A. 1880. Addition à l’enumeration des Histérides, rapportés de l’ Archipel Malais, de la Nouvelle-Guinée et de l’ Australie boreale par M.M. le Prof. O. Beccari et L.M. D’Albertis. Ann. Mus. Stor. Nat. Genova, 16 (1880-1881): 149-160
Mazur, S. 1989. New Oriental Histeridae (Coleoptera). Rev. Suisse Zool., 96: 729-741
Mazur, S. 1993. Notes on new and little known Oriental Histeridae (Col.). Revue Suisse Zool., 100: 211-219
Mazur, S. 1997. A world catalogue of the Histeridae. Genus, international Journal of Invertebrate taxonomy (Supplement) Wroclaw, Poland, 373 pp.
Ohara, M. & S. Hartini, 2008. Notes on the subfamily Saprininae (Coleoptera: Histeridae) of Indonesia. Insecta Matsumurana (new series) 64: 1-22.
Schmidt, J. 1893. Viaggio di Lamberto LORIA nella Papuasia Orientale. VIII. Histeridae. Ann. Mus. Stor. Nat. Genova (2)
13 (33): 231-240
Telnov, D., S. Mazur, A. Skale & A. Weigel, 2016. New notes on faunistics of the Histeridae (Coleoptera) from the Papuan Region. Latvijas Entomologs 53: 14-32.
Thérond, J. 1965. Quatres espèces de Coleoptères – Histeridae, originaires de la Nouvelle-Guinée, dans les collections du Musée Hongrois d’Histoire Naturelle. Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Hung., 57: 269-271