mthayer's picture

Margaret Thayer

Curator Emeritus

Integrative Research Center
Collection Management
Evolutionary Biology

Thayer is a retired curator in the Division of Insects in the Field Museum's Integrative Research Center (Life Sciences), where she conducts specimen-based research on rove beetles (Staphylinidae) and continues to work in the collection of over 12 million specimens and lots of insects and other arthropods. 

Margaret is particularly interested in the evolution, biogeography, and biology of rove beetles of the Austral region: Australia, New Zealand, southern South America, and South Africa and has also worked extensively with the North American fauna. Her systematic research is based mainly on study of morphological features, but she collaborates with colleagues on research using molecular (DNA sequence) data to help understand the evolution of rove beetles and their relatives.  Field work is an essential part of her research program that she enjoys tremendously, and she has done field work in the United States and nine other countries.

Research Interests

  • Systematics, phylogeny, biology, and evolution of Staphylinidae of the world, especially Omaliinae and other relatively basal taxa
  • Long-term primary emphases on Omaliini of the world and various southern hemisphere temperate zone staphylinid groups
  • Fossil Staphylinidae and other Staphylinoidea (mainly Mesozoic)
  • Faunal surveys: southern hemisphere temperate Staphyliniformia
  • Historical biogeography, especially with regard to austral regions

For papers, see "Publications" below

Field Experience

Over three full years of total field experience in temperate and tropical regions, using a variety of collecting techniques (flight intercept, baited pitfall, and light traps; Berlese and other soil extraction methods; standard and non-standard hand-collecting techniques) in the following areas:

  • United States & Canada (ca. 69 weeks, 1974–present): New England, California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Smoky Mts., Ouachita Mts., Rocky Mts., Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Texas. Includes directing and carrying out long-term sampling in Chicago area, 1996–2000 and leading 5-week western US expedition in 2006.
  • Australia (36 weeks): 1980, 1986–87, 1993, 2004 [expedition leader], 2013)
  • New Zealand (22 weeks): 1980, 1984–85; 2005 (expedition leader)
  • Chile (17 weeks): 1982–83, 1996–97; 2002 (expedition leader)
  • South Africa (5 weeks): 2004 (expedition leader)
  • Laos (4 weeks): 2008
  • Mexico (4 weeks): 1999
  • Peru (2 weeks): 1983
  • Costa Rica (8 weeks): 1974 (field assistant)
  • Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland (1-3 day excursions each, 2005–present)
  • Effectiveness of field work

Over 280 new species and at least two new genera of arthropods (in 2 classes, 7 orders, and 42 families) and 6 species of parasitic fungi have been described (published by over 80 authors) based on holotypes from material collected in nine countries in her field work listed above, most of it done jointly with A. F. Newton (plus far more species with just paratypes they collected).  Two-thirds of these taxa are known only from their collections.  Many more new species and genera, as well as previously unknown larvae of at least 100 genera of Staphyliniformia, have been recognized among this material and are being described or await description by them or other workers.  Their field work has also provided the first or only detailed locality, habitat, and/or ecological data for many already-described but poorly known taxa (e.g., Thayer 1985 [3 papers], 1987, 1997, 2003; Thayer et al. 2004; Newton et al. 2000; Navarrete-Heredia et al. 2002; Betz et al. 2003; Weide et al. 2010, 2014; countless papers by others); critical material for wide-ranging molecular and morphological studies (Lawrence et al. 2011; McKenna et al. 2015 [2 papers]) and has been critical to synthetic work as well (Newton 1984, 1985; Newton et al. 2000; Navarrete-Heredia et al. 2002; Thayer 2005, 2016).

Recent Blog Posts

Additional Information


Ph.D. (Biology), Harvard University, 1985. Thesis title: Revision of the austral genus Metacorneolabium and studies in the systematics and biogeography of omaliine Staphylinidae (Coleoptera).

Sc.B. (Biology), Brown University, 1973


Grants & awards

  • Fossil Carrion Feeders (video). Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF) video pick of the week, 29 Aug 2011 and one of 80 festival presentations (out of 400 submissions); Science 360 video of the day 8 Sept 2011
  • National Science Foundation Academic Research Infrastructure - Recovery and Reinvestment (ARI-R2) grant 2010-2013,“Infrastructure improvements to support invertebrate research at The Field Museum,” co-PI; R. Bieler, PI
  • National Science Foundation AToL grant (2005-2010); Staphyliniformia TWiG leader (PI of subcontract from Harvard University), “COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Assembling the Beetle Tree of Life (BToL)” (Brian D. Farrell, Harvard University, Lead PI; David R. Maddison, Oregon State University, PI; Michael F. Whiting, Brigham Young University, PI
  • National Science Foundation Systematics (PEET) grant 2001-2010, “Monography, phylogeny, and historical biogeography of austral Staphylinidae (Coleoptera)” PI; A. F. Newton, co-PI
  • Bertha LeBus Charitable Trust grant 2000-2001 Support for completion of “Guía ilustrada para los géneros de Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) de México – Illustrated guide to the genera of Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) of México”
  • National Science Foundation collection grant: 1996-1998, "Expansion and improvement of the Field Museum pinned insect collection", co-PI; A. F. Newton, PI; plus 1997 RAMHSS supplement with J. W. O. Ballard, A. F. Newton
  • Conservation Foundation (for Chicago Wilderness) grants: 1996–1999, "Restoration Effects in an Oak-Woodland Community at Swallow Cliff Woods," G. Mueller, D. Stotz, M. Thayer, co-PIs (also P. Leacock, P. Parrillo, P. Sierwald in 1999)
  • National Biological Service contract:  1995–1998, "Development of a taxonomic database on the Coleoptera of North America,"
  • National Science Foundation research grant:  1988–1992, "Phylogeny and reclassification of Omaliini beetles of the World"
  • National Geographic Society research grant, 1986–87, Field work in Australia, co-PI; A. F. Newton, PI
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 1985, turned back because of earlier completion of degree
  • Summer Research Grant, Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 1985, turned back because of earlier completion of degree
  • National Geographic Society research grant, 1984–85, Field work in New Zealand, with A. F. Newton, PI
  • Sigma Xi Grant‑in‑Aid‑of‑Research, 1982-83, Field work in Chile
  • Anderson Fund, Harvard University 1982–83, Field work in Chile and 1984, SEM work for dissertation
  • Australian Biological Resources Study research grant, 1980, Field work in Tasmania, museum studies in Adelaide; co-PI; A. F. Newton, PI



Email me to request pdfs if you cannot get them from the links below.

Refereed publications

Cai, Chen-Yang, M. K. Thayer, A. F. Newton, Zi-Wei Yin & Diying Huang. 2017. A new genus of dasycerine rove beetles from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber and its phylogenetic implications (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Cretaceous Research 84: 431-436. [2018] Online 9 Dec 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.12.004 Available free before 10 Feb 2018 at:

Cai, Chen-Yang, Liang Lü, E. Caron, S. Bortoluzzi, A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer & Di-Ying Huang. 2017. First piestine rove beetle in Eocene Baltic amber (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Piestinae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 89 (4): 345-357. doi: 10.2317/0022-8567-89.4.345

Cai, Chenyang, A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer, R. A. B. Leschen & Diying Huang. 2016. Specialized proteinine rove beetles shed light on insect-fungal associations in the Cretaceous. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 20161439. (8 pp.) doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1439

Thayer, M. K. 2016. 14. Staphylinoidea. 14.7. Staphylinidae Latreille, 1802, pp. 394–442. In: Handbook of Zoology, Arthopoda: Insecta; Coleoptera, Beetles. Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim), 2nd ed., Beutel, R. G. & R. A. B. Leschen, eds., De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston. xvii + 684 pp. 

Thayer, M. K. 2015. New nomenclatural and taxonomic acts, and comments: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae, pp. 18-19. In: Löbl, I. & D. Löbl (eds.). Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. Vol. 2. Revised and updated edition. Hydrophiloidea - Staphylinoidea. Brill, Leiden & Boston. Vol. 2/1, xiii, 1-900; 2/2, 901-1702.      

McKenna, D. M., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, S. A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle Tree of Life reveals Coleoptera survived End Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 46 pp. doi: 10.1111/syen.12132 (open access) Supporting information

McKenna, D. D., B. D. Farrell, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, D. R. Maddison, A. E. Seago, A. E.Z. Short, A. F. Newton & M. K. Thayer. 2015. Phylogeny and evolution of Staphyliniformia and Scarabaeiformia: Forest litter as a stepping-stone for diversification of non-phytophagous beetles. Systematic Entomology 40: 35–60. doi: 10.1111/syen.12093  free pdf   Supporting information

Cai, Chen-Yang, M. K. Thayer, M. S. Engel, A. F. Newton, J. Ortega-Blanco, Bo Wang, Xiang-Dong Wang & Di-Ying Huang. 2014. Early origin of parental care in Mesozoic carrion beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (39): 14170-14174.

Peris, D., M. K. Thayer & D. Neraudeau. 2014. Oldest Omaliini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae) discovered in the opaque Cretaceous amber of Charentes. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107 (5): 902-910. Featured by ESA website 31 July: and press release at

Cai, Chenyang, Diying Huang, A. F. Newton & M. K. Thayer. 2014. Mesapatetica aenigmatica, a primitive rove beetle (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from the Middle Jurassic of China. Journal of Kansas Entomological Society 87 (2): 219-224.

Weide, D., M. K. Thayer & O. Betz. 2014. Comparative morphology of the tentorium and hypopharyngeal-premental sclerites in sporophagous and non-sporophagous adult Aleocharinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Acta Zoologica  95 (1): 84-110. (with19 online animations).

Klimaszewski, J., M.-J. Morency, P. Labrie, A. Séguin, D. Langor, T. Work, C. Bourdon, E. Thiffault, D. Paré, A. F. Newton & M. K. Thayer. 2013. Molecular and microscopic analysis of the gut contents of abundant rove beetle species (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) in the boreal balsam fir forest of Quebec, Canada. ZooKeys 353: 1-24.

Cai, Chenyang, M. K. Thayer, Diying Huang, Xiangdong Wan & A. F. Newton. 2013. A basal oxyteline rove beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) from the Early Cretaceous of China: oldest record for the tribe Euphaniini. Comptes Rendus Palevol 12: 159-163.

Cai, Chen-yang, Di-ying Huang, M. K. Thayer & A. F. Newton. 2012. Glypholomatine rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae): a southern hemisphere Recent group newly recorded from the Middle Jurassic of China. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 85 (3): 239-244.

Thayer, M. K., A. F. Newton & S. Chatzimanolis. 2012. Prosolierius, a new mid-Cretaceous genus of Solieriinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) with three new species from Burmese amber. Cretaceous Research 34: 124-134. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2011.10.010

Thayer, M. K. & J. V. McHugh. 2011. Range extension and biological notes on Eudectus crassicornis LeConte, 1885 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae: Coryphiini). Coleopterists Bulletin 65 (3): 292-293. doi: 10.1649/072.065.0309

Pardo, F., M. K. Thayer & Chenyang Cai. 2011. Fossil Carrion Feeders (video).

Lawrence, J, F., A. Ślipiński, A. E. Seago, M. K. Thayer, A. F. Newton & A. E. Marvaldi. 2011.  Phylogeny of the Coleoptera based on morphological characters of adults and larvae. Annales Zoologici 61 (1): 1-217. Lower-res pdf  (20 MB)   Request high-res pdf   Order hard copy

Weide, D., M. K. Thayer, A. F. Newton & O. Betz. 2010. Comparative morphology of the head of selected sporophagous and non-sporophagous Aleocharinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae): Musculature and hypopharynx-prementum complex. Journal of Morphology 271 (8): 910-931.DOI: 10.1002/jmor.10841; pdf online supporting information.

Chani-Posse, M. R. & M. K. Thayer.  2008. Staphylinidae, pp. 471-494. In: Biodiversidad de Artrópodos Argentinos, vol. 2, Claps, L., G. Debandi y S. Roig-Juñent, dirs. Sociedad Entomológica Argentina Ediciones, Mendoza, Argentina. ISBN 978-987-21319-2-0.

Thayer, M. K., T. Jászay & P. Hlaváč. 2007. Clarifications of and corrections to “A revision of the Palaearctic species of the genus Dropephylla (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae)”. Entomological Problems 37 (1-2): 59-62.

Thayer, M. K.  2005. 11. Staphylinoidea. 11.7. Staphylinidae Latreille, 1802, pp. 296-344.  In: Coleoptera, Vol. 1. Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim), Beutel, R.G. & Leschen, R.A.B., eds., Handbook of Zoology, Vol. IV, Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 38,Kristensen, N.P. & Beutel, R.G., eds. De Gruyter, Berlin, New York.

Thayer M. K., J. S. Ashe, & R. S. Hanley. 2004.  Discovery of the remarkable larvae of Hoplandriini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae).  Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97: 624-634. pdf 

Thayer, M. K. & F. F. Purrington.  2004. Bledius beattyi Blackwelder (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae:  Oxytelinae), new to the United States, and co-occurrences of some Bledius Leach and Dyschiriodes Jeannel (Coleoptera:  Carabidae:  Scaritinae) species in south Florida. Coleopterists Bulletin 58: 439-442.  pdf (bioone) or pdf (jstor)

Thayer, M. K.  2003.  Omaliinae of México:  New species, combinations, and records (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). In: Systematics of Coleoptera: Papers Celebrating the Retirement of Ivan Löbl, Cuccodoro, G. & R. A. B. Leschen, eds., Memoirs on Entomology, International 17: 311-358.

Betz, O., M. K. Thayer, & A. F. Newton. 2003. Comparative morphology and evolutionary pathways of the mouthparts in spore‑feeding Staphylinoidea (Coleoptera). Acta Zoologica84: 179‑238.  pdf; supplemental figures.

Peck, S. B. & M. K. Thayer. 2003. The cave‑inhabiting rove beetles of the United States (Coleoptera; Staphylinidae; excluding Aleocharinae and Pselaphinae): Diversity and distributions.  Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 65(1): 3-8, 12 pp. appendix.   pdf, appendix

Thayer, M. K. & J. F. Lawrence.  2002. Family 98. Ciidae, Leach in Samouelle, 1819, pp. 403-412.  In: Arnett, R. H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, , P. E. Skelley, and J. H. Frank, eds., American Beetles,  Volume 2, Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.  xiv + 861 pp.

Navarrete‑Heredia, J. L., A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer, J. S. Ashe, y D. S. Chandler. 2002. Guía ilustrada para los géneros de Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) de México. Illustrated guide to the genera of Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) of Mexico. Universidad de Guadalajara y CONABIO, México. 401 pp., 630 figs.

Thayer, M. K. 2000.  Glypholoma larvae at last: phylogenetic implications for basal Staphylinidae? (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Glypholomatinae).  Invertebrate Taxonomy 14: 741-754.  pdf, Treebase entry

Carlton, C., A. Newton, Jr., M. Thayer, G. Ball, E. Hall, A. Smith, M. L. Jameson, B. Ratcliffe, S. Peck, T. Seeno, S. Lingafelter, P. J. Johnson, W. Warner & P. Skelley. 2000. A comment on Coleoptera and Hymenoptera diversity. American Entomologist 46 (2): 69.

Newton, A. F., M. K. Thayer, J. S. Ashe (Aleocharinae) & D. S. Chandler (Pselaphinae).  2000. Family 22. Staphylinidae Latreille, 1802, pp. 272‑418.  In: Arnett, R. H., Jr. and M. C. Thomas, eds., American Beetles,  Volume 1, Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.  xv + 443 pp. [2001]

Ballard, J. W. O., M. K. Thayer, A. F. Newton & E. R. Grismer. 1998.  Data sets, partitions, and characters:  Philosophies and procedures for analyzing multiple data sets.  Systematic Biology 47: 367-396.  pdf

Thayer, M. K.1997.  Proglypholoma aenigma gen. et sp. nov., Glypholoma spp. nov. and new records, and a phylogenetic analysis of Glypholomatinae (Coleoptera:  Staphylinidae).  Annales Zoologici 47: 157-174. Treebase entry

Klimaszewski, J., A. F. Newton, Jr. & M. K. Thayer.  1996.  A review of the New Zealand rove beetles (Coleoptera:  Staphylinidae).  New Zealand Journal of Zoology 23: 143-160.

Newton, A. F., Jr. & M. K. Thayer.  1995.  Protopselaphinae new subfamily for Protopselaphus new genus from Malaysia, with a phylogenetic analysis and review of the Omaliine Group of Staphylinidae including Pselaphidae.  pp. 219-320 in:  Pakaluk, J. and Ślipiński, S. A., eds., Biology, Phylogeny, and Classification of Coleoptera: Papers Celebrating the 80th Birthday of Roy A. Crowson.  Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN, Warszawa.

Thayer, M. K.  1993.  Osellia Zanetti a junior synonym of Orochares Kraatz, with a checklist of Orochares species.  (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae).  Coleopterists Bulletin 47: 285-287.  pdf

Thayer, M. K.  1992.  Discovery of sexual wing dimorphism in Staphylinidae (Coleoptera): "Omalium" flavidum, and a discussion of wing dimorphism in insects.  Journal of the New York Entomological Society 100: 540-573. pdf

Newton, A. F., Jr. & M. K. Thayer.  1992.  Current classification and family-group names in Staphyliniformia (Coleoptera).  Fieldiana, Zoology, New Series, No. 67: iv + 92 pp.  pdf

Johnson, S. A., R. W. Lundgren, A. F. Newton, Jr., M. K. Thayer, R. L. Wenzel & M. Wenzel.  1992 (1991).  Mazur's World Catalogue of Histeridae: emendations, replacement names for homonyms, and an index.  Polski Pismo Entomologiczne 61: 1-100.

Newton, A. F., Jr. & M. K. Thayer.  1988.  Naomi's phylogeny and higher classification of Staphylinidae and allies (Coleoptera):  A critique.  Entomologia Generalis14:63-72.

Thayer, M. K.  1987.  Biology and phylogenetic relationships of Neophonus bruchi, an anomalous south Andean staphylinid (Coleoptera).  Systematic Entomology 12:389-404. pdf

Thayer, M. K.  1985.  The larva of Brathinus nitidus LeConte and the systematic position of the genus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae).  Coleopterists Bulletin 39:174‑184. pdf

Thayer, M. K.  1985.  Micralymma marinum (Stroem) in North America: biological notes and new distributional records (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae).  Psyche 92:49‑55. pdf

Thayer, M. K.  1985.  Revision, phylogeny, and biogeography of the austral genus Metacor­neo­labium Steel (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae, Omaliinae). pp. 113‑179 in G. E. Ball, ed., Taxonomy, phylogeny, and zoogeography of beetles and ants.  A volume dedicated to the memory of Philip Jackson Darlington, Jr. 1904‑1983.  Series Entomologica 33, Dr. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht.

Thayer, M. K. & A. F. Newton, Jr.  1979.  Revision of the south temperate genus Glypholoma Jeannel, with four new species (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae).  Psyche 85: 25‑63. [1978] pdf

Thayer, M. K.  1978.  Redescription of Xenicopoda Moore and Legner (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae, Omaliinae) with supplementary notes.  Psyche 84:142‑149. [1977] pdf

Non-refereed publications and abstracts

Thayer, M. K. and A. F Newton. 2016. Nearly 500 genera and counting… An overview of Australian Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) and their distributions (with A. F. Newton). Proceedings XXV International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, FL, September 2016. (Published Abstract)

Newton, A. F. and M. K. Thayer. 2008. Documenting Biodiversity: No End in Sight in Staphyliniformia (Coleoptera)? in: Names and Naming in Entomology symposium. Proceedings XXIII International Congress of Entomology, Durban, South Africa, July 2008. (Published Abstract)

Macnamara. P. (paintings), text by J. H. Boone, P. Z. Goldstein, C. Grinter*, J. E. Louderman, A. F. Newton, P. P. Parrillo, M. B. Prondzinski, M. K. Thayer, P. Sierwald, D. A. Summers, and J. A. Wagner. 2005. Illinois Insects and Spiders. University of Chicago Press in association with The Field Museum, Chicago and London. xv + 118 pp. (incl. 28 color plates) [popular book]

Sullivan, J. 2005. Scientists [series]: Margaret Thayer: The largest family in North America. Chicago Reader 35(16), 28 January 2005: 11 + my cover-page beetle photo.

Thayer, M. K. and A. F. Newton. 2004. Southern Beetle Quest. In The Field, Summer 2004: 18-19.

Clarke, D. J., M. K. Thayer & A. F. Newton. 2004 Creophilus (Staphylininae: Staphylinini): Phylogeny and Historical Biogeography. XXII International Congress of Entomology, Brisbane, Australia, August 2004. (Published Abstract)

Thayer, M. K. 2004. Omaliopsis (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) – Old Or New South-North Connections? (poster) XXII International Congress of Entomology, Brisbane, Australia, August 2004 (Published Abstract)

Navarrete, J. L., A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer, J. S. Ashe, and D. S. Chandler. 2000. An illustrated guide to the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) of Mexico. Abstracts, XXI International Congress of Entomology, vol. II (Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, August 2000): 963.  (Published Abstract)

Newton, A. F., Jr. and M. K. Thayer. 1995. Comment on the proposed conservation of Aspidiphorus Ziegler in Dejean, 1821 (Insecta, Coleoptera) as the correct original spelling, and the placement of Aspidiphoridae Kiesenwetter, 1877 (1859) on the Official List (Case 2918; see BZN 52: 44‑47). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 52: 264‑266.

Thayer, M. K. and A. F. Newton, Jr. 1994. New Product Review: Lawrence, J., A. Hastings, M. Dallwitz, T. Paine, Beetle Larvae of the World Interactive key on CD-ROM. Mola 3: 6-7.

Thayer, M. K., A. F. Newton, Jr., and T. Pape. 1992. METOPIINAE Foerster, 1868 (Insecta: Hymenoptera), METOPIINI Raffray, 1904 (Insecta: Coleoptera), and METOPIINI Townsend, 1908 (Insecta: Diptera): proposed removal of homonymy. Case 2793. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 49: 200-204.

Thayer, M. K. and A. F. Newton, Jr. 1992. Specimen databases as research tools [Synopsis of ECN talk]. Insect Collection News 8: 6-7.

Newton, A. F., Jr., M. K. Thayer, and C. W. Sabrosky. 1992. TACHINIDAE Fleming, 1821 (Insecta: Coleoptera) and TACHINIDAE Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 (Insecta: Diptera): proposed removal of homonymy, and TACHYPORINAE MacLeay, 1825 (Insecta: Coleoptera): proposed conservation. Case 2786. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 49: 122-126.

Thayer, M. K. 1992. Acrolocha Thomson, 1858 (Insecta, Coleoptera): proposed conservation, and Coprophilus Latreille, 1829: proposed designation of Staphylinus striatulus Fabricius, 1792 as the type species. Case 2764. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 49: 22-27.

Thayer, M. K. 1991. How to gain strength from diversity [ECN Discussion Group Summary]. Insect Collection News 6: 2.

Newton, A. F., Jr. and M. K. Thayer. 1990a. Book Review: A. Zanetti, 1987, Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae. Fauna d'Italia, Vol. XXV. Coleopterists Bulletin 44:93-94.

Newton, A. F., Jr. and M. K. Thayer. 1990b. Comment on the proposed placement of hydrobiidae Troschel, 1857 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) on the Official List of Family-Group Names (Case 2699; see BZN 47: 104-109). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 47: 286-287.

Hellenthal, R. A., J. Louton, G. R. Noonan, R. T. Schuh, M. K. Thayer, & F. C. Thompson. 1990. Automatic data processing for systematic entomology: promises and problems. A report for the Entomological Collections Network. Entomological Collections Network, released at Baton Rouge meeting, December 1990. Available from:

Thayer, M. K. 1989. Comment on the proposed conservation of Coryphium angusticolle Stephens, 1834 (Insecta, Coleoptera). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 46:44.

Newton, A. F., Jr. and M. K. Thayer. 1988. Pselaphidae and Staphylinidae (Coleoptera): the "missing link" discovered? Proceedings XVIII International Congress of Entomology (Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 1988): 50. (Published Abstract)

Thayer, M. K. 1988. The promise of larval chaetotaxy for phylogenetic studies of Omaliinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Proceedings XVIII International Congress of Entomology (Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 1988): 50. (Published Abstract)

Internet publications or resources

Ferro, M. L., M. K. Thayer, A. F. Newton, Jr. & Jong-Seok Park. 2015. Key to North American Staphylinidae subfamilies.  (Highlighted 29 April 2015 on ESA news site:

ESA news site. Press release about Peris, Thayer, Neraudeau (2014) paper.

Webbink, K. and J. Berent. 2012. What’s in a name? (video). Interviewed about holotypes.

Guest on WBEZ/Worldview/Ecomyths program on insects for radio & web – aired early July 2012, on web at and related story at

Group interview with several Field Museum curators, July 2012 with Milt Rosenberg on“WGN Extension 720,” about evolution and the Field Museum [offline]

Pardo, F., M. K. Thayer, and Chenyang Cai. 2011. Fossil Carrion Feeders (video). Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF) video pick of the week, 29 Aug 2011 and one of 80 festival presentations (out of 400 submissions); Science 360 video of the day 8 Sept 2011; selected (January 2012) to be part of MemberCentral, an online video channel created by ISF Sponsor AAAS/Science.

Thayer, M. K. 2011– Personal web profile

Thayer, M. K. 2008. Nicrophorus americanus Olivier (American burying beetle) [exemplar launch page on Encyclopedia of Life]. URL:

Newton, A. F. and M. K. Thayer. 2003– Catalog of higher taxa, genera, and subgenera of Staphyliniformia [online]. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History [last updated 3 November 2005].

Newton, A. F. and M. K. Thayer. 2003–. Catalog of austral species of Staphylinidae and other Staphylinoidea [online]. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History [last updated 3 November 2005].

Newton, A. F. and M. K. Thayer. 2003–. Bibliography supporting catalogs of Staphyliniformia family‑, genus- and species-group names [online]. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History [last updated 3 November 2005].

Thayer, M. K. and A. F. Newton. 2003–. Summary of distributions of austral species of Staphylinidae and other Staphylinoidea [downloadable pdf files]. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 313 pp. [last generated 27 August 2005].

Thayer, M. K., A. F. Newton, A. Yu. Solodovnikov, and D. J. Clarke. 2003–2006. Austral Staphylinidae web site, including Staphyliniformia databases:  [last updated 23 March 2006]

Navarrete-Heredia, J. L., A. F. Newton, M. K. Thayer, J. S. Ashe & D. S. Chandler. 2003. Catálogo de autoridad para los Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) de México. v + 163 pp. [offline]

Thayer, M. K. 2001–2011. Personal research web pages on [offline]

Thayer, M. K. 1997-8. Content specialist for Field Museum’s Butterfly web pages:


Work experience

  • Curator Emeritus (2013- ), Field Museum of Natural History
  • Lecturer, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago (2013– )
  • Associate Curator (2005–2013),  Zoology - Division of Insects, Field Museum of Natural History; Assistant Curator (2000–2005); Head, Division of Insects (2001–2002, 2007–2013)
  • Visiting Scientist (June-Aug 2004), CSIRO Entomology, Australia
  • Adjunct Curator (1994–1999), Zoology, Field Museum of Natural History
  • Research Associate (1986–94), Field Museum of Natural History
  • Visiting Assistant Curator (1988–92), Division of Insects, Field Museum of Natural History (as PI of NSF research grant)
  • Instructor, Coleoptera Larvae Workshop (June 1991), University of Hawaii and Bishop Museum, Honolulu
  • Visiting Curator/contract curation: Canadian National Collection, Ottawa; Bohart Entomological Museum, University of California, Davis; California Academy of Sciences; Bishop Museum, Honolulu; Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan; National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution); Entomology Department, University of New Hampshire; American Museum of Natural History
  • Student Curator (1984), Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard University (Biology of Insects; Intro. Evolutionary Biology)
  • Curatorial Associate (1976–80), Curatorial Assistant (1975–76), Preparator (1973–74), Entomology Department, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University


Professional affiliations

  • American Association for Zoological Nomenclature
  • American Association of University Professors (Secretary of FMNH chapter, 2009–2011; President of FMNH chapter, 2011-2013)
  • Asociación europea de coleopterología
  • Cambridge Entomological Club (Secretary, 1982 83; President, 1983–84)
  • Coleopterists Society (Treasurer, 1987–1991; President-Elect, President, Past President, 1993–98)
  • Entomological Collections Network (Steering Committee member, 1991–1992; Automatic Data Processing Data Standards Committee 1990)
  • Entomological Society of America (Annals Editorial Board, 1993–94; Section A officer, 1995–1997; symposium co-organizer, 1998; Thomas Say Publications Editorial Board 2005–2017)
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Sigma Xi (elected 1973)
  • Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
  • Society of Systematic Biologists (formerly Society of Systematic Zoology; Councillor, 1990–1992)
  • Willi Hennig Society
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Xerces Society