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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338192

Research Project: Beetle Taxonomy and Systematics Supporting U.S. Agriculture, Arboriculture and Biological Control

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Taxonomic review of and natural history notes on the genus Ecclisister Reichensperger (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Haeteriinae)

item Tishechkin, Alexey
item KRONAUER, DANIEL J. - Rockefeller University
item VON BEEREN, CHRISTOPH - Technical University Of Darmstadt

Submitted to: The Coleopterists Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2017
Publication Date: 6/27/2017
Citation: Tishechkin, A., Kronauer, D.C., Von Beeren, C. 2017. Taxonomic review of and natural history notes on the genus Ecclisister Reichensperger (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Haeteriinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin. 71:279-288.

Interpretive Summary: Histerid beetles are rather important insects for U.S. agriculture. They are predators of soft-bodied nisect larvae, primarily of flies and fleas, including many pest species. Also, histerids are widely used as indicator species in forensic entomology and ecological monitoring. This work revises the genus documenting and diagnosing its two species widely distributed in the Neotropic Region and reports original on its natural historyand population mitochondrial DNA variability. This study will be useful taxonomists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists and anyone interested in predatory beetles and ants.

Technical Abstract: A great diversity of arthropods is symbiotically associated with army ant colonies. Despite the efforts of several generations of researchers to survey army ant symbiont diversity, many species still await scientific discovery. Moreover, the taxonomy of many army-ant associated groups remains unsettled. Here we re-assess the species status of two army ant-associated histerid beetles of the subfamily Haeteriinae: Ecclisister bickhardti Reichensperger, 1923 and Ecclisister bickhardti costaericae Reichensperger, 1935. We examined specimens from Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, and Brazil. Based on the analysis of external and genital morphological characters we elevate the subspecies to species level. In addition to morphological characters, we provide 11 DNA barcodes for E. costaericae stat. nov. to facilitate future identifications. A survey of symbiont diversity of the six local Eciton army ant species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, revealed a specific association of E. costaericae stat. nov. with the host ant E. burchellii foreli. We describe the beetles’ mechanism of phoretic transport and discuss reasons for the many taxonomic ambiguities in army ant symbionts.