American Beetles

American Beetles is the single most comprehensive description of the beetles of North America north of the tropical area of Mexico. It was started by Ross H. Arnett, Jr. as an update of his classic The Beetles of the United States; along with Michael C. Thomas, he enlisted more than 60 specialists to write treatments of each family. The work outlived Arnett, and was published by CRC Press in 2001 (vol. 1) and 2002 (vol. 2).

This is a highly technical book, with extensive references to the literature. The introduction includes a section on beetle anatomy that introduces all the technical terms used later. The bulk of the content consists of treatments of the 130-odd families known to occur in North America (a couple dozen are not known from North America, and are not described); the descriptive material applies worldwide, and there are brief notes about non-North American family members.

A family treatment consists of a morphological description, including the larvae if known, habits and habitats, status of the classification, a key to the Nearctic genera (and sometimes species, if the family is small), and short treatments of the subtaxa. Every family gets at least one drawing of a member, and larger families may include dozens of drawings illustrating particular characters important for classification. Note that the classification that appears in Volume 1, pp. 10-13, is superseded by a number of changes that appeared in Volume 2 (the relegation of the families Monommatidae, Colydiidae, and Bruchidae to subfamily status, and the revised spelling of Ripiphoridae), and these changes have been incorporated into the List of subgroups of the order Coleoptera.

A handful of color photographs are included in a center section.

  • Volume 1: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia ISBN 0-8493-1925-0
  • Volume 2: Polyphaga ISBN 0-8493-0954-9

Artematopodidae is a family of soft-bodied plant beetles in the order Coleoptera. There are about 6 genera and 16 described species in Artematopodidae.


Biphyllidae or False Skin Beetles is a family of beetles, in the suborder Polyphaga. Worldwide, about 195 species are known. They live under the bark of dead trees and feed on fungi. It contains the following genera:

Althaesia Pascoe, 1860

Anchorius Casey, 1900

Anobocaelus Sharp, 1902

Biphyllus Dejean, 1821

Diplocoelus Guérin-Méneville, 1836

Euderopus Sharp, 1900

Gonicoelus Sharp, 1900


Byturidae, also known as Fruitworms, is a very small family of beetles, in the suborder Polyphaga, comprising fewer than 20 species worldwide. The larvae of some species develop in fruits. Byturus unicolor affects species of Rubus and Geum.

There are two subfamilies: Platydascillinae and Byturinae. The distribution of Byturinae is holarctic. Species of Platydascillinae are found in southeast Asia.


Corylophidae is a family of minute hooded beetles, sometimes called minute fungus beetles, in the order Coleoptera. There are about 18 genera and at least 120 described species in Corylophidae.


Dascillidae is a family of soft-bodied plant beetles in the order Coleoptera. There are at least two genera and about five described species in Dascillidae.ITIS Taxonomic notes:

Lawrence and Newton (1995) give the authorship for this family as 'Guérin Méneville, 1843 (1834)'.


Eulichadidae is a family of forest stream beetles in the order Coleoptera. There is at least one genus, Stenocolus, and at least one described species in Eulichadidae, S. scutellaris.


Glaphyridae is a family of beetles, commonly known as bumble bee scarab beetles. There are eight extant genera with about 80 species distributed worldwide and two extinct genera described from the fossil record of China.

Isohydnocera aegra

Isohydnocera aegra is a species of checkered beetles in the family Cleridae. It is found in North America.

John Lawrence LeConte

John Lawrence LeConte (May 13, 1825 – November 15, 1883) was an American entomologist of the 19th century, responsible for naming and describing approximately half of the insect taxa known in the United States during his lifetime, including some 5,000 species of beetles. He was recognized as the foremost authority on North American beetles during his lifetime, and has been described as "the father of American beetle study."


Limnichidae is a family of minute marsh-loving beetles in the order Coleoptera. There are at least 30 genera and 350 described species in Limnichidae.


The Mycetophagidae or hairy fungus beetles are a family of beetles in the large suborder Polyphaga. The different species are between 1.0 and 6.5 mm in length. The larvae and adults live in decaying leaf litter, fungi, and under bark. Most species feed on fungi (hence the name). Worldwide, the 18 genera contain around 200 species.


The family Mycteridae is a small group of beetles with no vernacular common name, though recent authors have coined the name palm and flower beetles.

The family Mycteridae is distributed worldwide. There are about 30 genera and 160 species. About 20 species are found in Australian, species of three genera are found in North America (Mycterus, Hemipeplus and Lacconotus)


Ptilodactylidae is a family of toe-winged beetles in the order Coleoptera. There are about 6 genera and 15 described species in Ptilodactylidae.


Rhipiceridae is a family of cicada parasite beetles in the order Coleoptera. There is at least one genus, Sandalus, and about five described species in Rhipiceridae.


Salpingidae or narrow-waisted bark beetles is a family of beetles, in the large suborder Polyphaga. The species are small, about 1.5 – 7 mm in length. This family is worldwide distributed and consists of about 45 genera and 300 species.


Stenotrachelidae, commonly called false longhorn beetles is a family of beetles, in the large suborder Polyphaga.


Throscidae is a family of small false click beetles in the order Coleoptera. In North America, there are 3 genera and 20 described species.


Trogossitidae is a small family of bark-gnawing beetles in the suborder Polyphaga. Trogossitidae consists of about 600 species. 59 species are found in America and about 36 in Australia.

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