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Michael S. Caterino
taxon links [down<--]Histeridae Monophyly Uncertain Monophyly Uncertain Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Histeridae


The Chlamydopsinae is one of two exclusively inquilinous subfamilies of Histeridae (along with Hetaeriinae). This is probably the most poorly known of all histerid groups, although it has received some important recent attention (Caterino, 2000; Degallier and Caterino, in prep). Chlamydopsinae are rather restricted in distribution. Most of the described species are Australian, although additional species have been described from India, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, and New Guinea. It is likely that many new species will be found throughout mainland and insular southeast Asia.


The main synapomorphy of the subfamily is also its best diagnostic character: the antennal scape is inserted high on the frons, above the eye, and is expanded such that it completely hides the eye when the head is withdrawn (the name Chlamydopsis means ‘covered eye’).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Relationships within Chlamydopsinae are currently being investigated. Pheidoliphila, Orectoscelis, Ceratohister, Eucurtiopsis, and Gomyopsis together clearly form a monophyletic group. In all of these the scutellum is hidden by the posterior margin of the pronotum, a strong synapomorphy. Whether the remaining genera form the sister group of this one or are paraphyletic with respect to it is not yet clear. The generic limits within the group are also currently in flux. The monophyly of Chlamydopsis and Orectoscelis is particularly doubtful.


Caterino, M. S. 2001. Descriptions of the first Chlamydopsinae (Coleoptera: Histeridae) from Wallacea. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 143:267-278.

Degallier, N. 1984. Gomyopsis kuscheli, nouveau genre et nouvelle espece de Chlamydopsinae. Nouvelle Revue Entomologie (N. S.) 1:55-59.

Degallier, N. and Caterino, M. S. in prep. Notes taxonomiques sur les Chlamydopsinae et description de taxons nouveaux.

Lea, A. 1912. Australian and Tasmanian Coleoptera. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 25: 31-78.

Nishikawa, M. 1996. On the genus Eucurtiopsis Silvestri occurring in Japan and Taiwan. Kanagawa-Chuho, Odawara 113:7-11.

Nishikawa, M., and K. Maruyama. 1993. Coleoptera in Zama-shi, Kanagawa pref.:219-308.

Oke, C. 1923. Notes on the Victorian Chlamydopsinae, with descriptions of new species. Victorian Naturalist 49:152-162.

Sawada, K. 1991. New myrmecophilous Coleoptera in Nepal and Japan. Contributions of the Biological Laboratory of Kyoto University 28:357-365.

Title Illustrations

From left to right:

Photographs copyright © M. S. Caterino, 2002

Scientific Name Ceratohister
Location Sabah, Malaysia
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Copyright © 2002
Scientific Name Ectatommiphila opaca
Location Australia
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Copyright © 2002
Scientific Name Eucurtia comata
Location Australia
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Copyright © 2002
About This Page

Acknowledgments: Much of the current work on Chlamydopsinae has been carried out in collaboration with Nicolas Degallier. Most of the uncited ideas presented above derive from our discussions. Numerous collectors and collection managers have provided us with tremendous help and wonderful specimens over the past couple years of chlamydopsine work, especially Ross Storey, Geoff Monteith, Tom Weir, Eric Matthews, Terry Houston, Alexander Reidel, and Bob Anderson. Keep ‘em coming, guys!

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105 USA

Citing this page:

Caterino, Michael S. 2002. Chlamydopsinae. Version 07 March 2002 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Chlamydopsinae/9386/2002.03.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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