The beetle collection is world-wide in scope, with special strengths in the Staphylinidae (rove beetles), Histeridae (clown beetles), Silphidae (carrion beetles), Sphaeritidae (false clown beetles), Synteliidae & Agyrtidae (primitive carrion beetles):Learn more
The beetle collection is world-wide in scope, with special strengths in the Staphylinidae (rove beetles), Histeridae (clown beetles), Silphidae (carrion beetles), Sphaeritidae (false clown beetles), Synteliidae & Agyrtidae (primitive carrion beetles):
- Staphylinidae (rove beetles) – about 35% of 43,287 valid described world species or subspecies, including the former Scaphidiidae, Dasyceridae, and Micropeplidae. These species counts do not include the formerly separate families Pselaphinae (9,646 valid described spp. and sspp.) or Scydmaeninae (5,021 valid described spp. and sspp.), our extensive holdings of which are not yet inventoried. The collection includes those of Max Bernhauer (1866-1946), Alexander Bierig (1884-1963), Orlando Park (1901-1969), and D. H. Kistner (still active); significant collections made by former curators Henry S. Dybas (1915-1981), Larry E. Watrous, and James Stephen Ashe (1947-2005); former Research Associate Charles Seevers (1907-1965), Field Associate Walter S. Suter (1934-2008), Research Associate and Associate John A. Wagner (1935-2012), and Stewart B. Peck and Jarmila Kukalová-Peck; and most collections made by Curator Emeritus Alfred Newton and Associate Curator Margaret Thayer.
- Histeridae (clown beetles) – 43% of 4,377 valid described world species and subspecies; includes research material of former curator Rupert L. Wenzel (1916-2006)
- Silphidae (carrion beetles) – 80% of 192 valid described world species and subspecies
- Sphaeritidae (false clown beetles) – 33% of 6 described world species
- Synteliidae – 57% of 7 described world species
- Agyrtidae (primitive carrion beetles) – 42% of 77 described world species and subspecies
and, not yet inventoried:
- Nearctic Coleoptera (besides families listed above) – including the collection of Norville M. Downie (1911-1994)
- Palearctic Coleoptera (besides families listed above) – including the collection of Karel Brančik (Brancsik) (1842-1915)
- Leiodidae (round fungus beetles, small carrion beetles, and mammal-nest beetles), worldwide – including the Palaearctic cave Leptodirini from the collection of Eduard Knirsch (1869-1955), many austral taxa, and thousands of specimens collected by Stewart B. Peck and Jarmila Kukalová-Peck
- Ptiliidae (featherwing beetles), worldwide – including the research material of former curator H. S. Dybas (1915-1981)
- Lucanidae (stag beetles), worldwide – including the collections of Bernard Benesh (1891-1964) and Eduard Knirsch (1869-1955)
- Dryopoidea (riffle beetles, long-toed water beetles, and others), especially Nearctic and Oriental – including the collection of former summer curator and Associate H. G. Nelson (1922-2006)
- Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae (flower chafers), worldwide – including the collection of Eduard Knirsch (1869-1955)
- Tenebrionidae (darkling beetles), especially South American – including the research collection of Luis E. Peña Guzman (1921-1995)
Information on the databased Coleoptera is below under Database Information.View less
We claim copyright to our data. The information is available ONLY for not-for-profit scientific use with the stipulation that FMNH be clearly identified as the source of the data. We request copies or reprints of publications that are based on our collections.
Citing this database: If you wish to refer to this database in a publication, use the following attribution: "Field Museum of Natural History (2006-2011): The Arthropod Collections Database, Division of Insects, Zoology Department, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. http://emuweb.fieldmuseum.org/arthropod/Query.php" with your access date.
The data on Staphylinidae and Histeridae began with a collection inventory database (names, specimen and unit tray counts, geographical region, and presence and number of type specimens) created primarily with support from three National Science Foundation grants:
- DEB-8814449 (A. F. Newton & J. B. Kethley, PIs)
- DEB-8906825 (A. F. Newton)
- DEB-0118749 (M. K. Thayer & A. F. Newton).
After the initial grant, the taxonomic data were augmented in parts by files received from L. H. Herman, J. M. Campbell, and others. For detailed credits, see http://www.fieldmuseum.org/peet_staph/db.html, which hosts a searchable/downloadable database of all Staphyliniformia family- and genus-group names as well as austral species-group names of Staphylinidae and a few smaller families of Staphylinoidea.
Conversion of Insects' Coleoptera data to KE-EMu was partially funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services' support for Common Ground, IMLS CM-00-05-0050-05.
Most images presented here were taken using a Microptics ML Macro XLT digital imaging system purchased under a Field Museum subcontract (M. K. Thayer, PI) to NSF grant EF-0531768 (part of the Assembling the Beetle Tree of Life project; B. D. Farrell, Lead PI). Some images of Staphyliniformia used here were taken for the Beetle Tree of Life project with direct subcontract support.
Dr. David H. Kistner, Research Associate, Staphylinidae
Please see Insects' loan policies on the Loans/Visitors tab of our divisional home page.
The data currently available here are primarily species-level inventories (almost entirely of pinned material) of our holdings of the beetle families:
- Staphylinidae - rove beetles (except Pselaphinae and Scydmaeninae)
- Silphidae - carrion beetles (pinned-specimen records in progress)
- Histeridae - clown beetles
- Sphaeritidae - false clown beetles
- Carabidae (ground beetles and tiger beetles)
and also specimen records for all types of Carabidae that we hold, with images of all 72 primary types and also paratypes representing an additional 148 species.
We are continually adding to and updating the data and plan to extend our specimen databasing and type imaging as funding becomes available.
Especially in the Staphylinidae, there are many manuscript names in the collection, especially those of Bernhauer and Bierig. These are databased and presented here in case (1) publications in which they were, in fact, published have eluded us or (2) publications by other authors cite the names as "Bernhauer in litt." names. Manuscript names of still-living authors are not shown online, although they may be included in our working EMu database.
Using the database
The Scientific Name is the taxon name plus author and year; for partly-identified material it is the lowest taxon to which it is identified. Searches in EMu are performed as whole-word searches, i.e., entering Hister in the Scientific Name field will find all species and undetermined material of that genus, but not records identified as Histeridae, Histerinae, or Histerini. The latter will be found by a search using Hister* instead, but such wildcard searches are extremely slow and not recommended. Entering a subgeneric name alone will find all taxa in that subgenus if the subgeneric name has been entered in our database; if you don't find something that way, try using the appropriate generic name. Note that the types of junior synonyms (or other invalid names) are listed under their own names, not the currently valid name for them. The currently valid name is shown in the detailed view of the record.
Collection inventory records do not have data in the Country, Province, or Date fields, although they do have data in the Region field. If we have specimens of a taxon from more than one region, searching on any one of them will find the record. Only the first region will show in the results list, but all will show in the detailed view of the record.
Query results are sorted by Family + Subfamily + Tribe + Genus + Species + Scientific Name. Records identified only to genus or subgenus therefore appear after all identified species of the genus, and records identified only to tribe or subtribe will appear, sorted alphabetically, at the end of all records for the tribe. If there are more than 5000 records in the result set, they will be unsorted. The detailed view of a record displays the subtribal placement, if any. If you choose to enter more than one term in a field, only records with both terms will be returned. Currently only Carabidae types and a few species of Staphylinidae have images in the database.
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