Hodoxenus sheasbyiJames S. Ashe (1947-2005) and Christian Maus
The subtribe Hodoxenina is comprised of a single genus and species, Hodoxenus sheasbyi Kistner, the members of which are inquilines in the nests of the termite Microhodotermes viator (Hodotermitidae). They are only known to occur in the Cape Province of South Africa.
Members of the subtribe Hodoxenina can be distinguished from all other Aleocharini by the combination of: elongate head (longer than wide); unusually large abdominal tergum II (extended well beyond elytra); the "trilobed" abdominal tergum IX with modified setae on the medial portion; and their occurrence with the termite Microhodotermes viator (from Kistner 1970). The single known species is dark reddish-brown, almost black, throughout. Kistner (1970) provides a detailed description of the genus Hodoxenus and its included species, with photographic illustrations of habitus and structural characteristics. Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) provide additional illustrations of habitus and structural features and report that the setae covering the body are bifurcated or branched.
Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) provide observations of the behavior and host interactions of Hodoxenus sheasbyi. The beetles antennate worker termites and offer the tips of their abdomens to the workers. At times the termites run their mandibles down the abdomen of the beetles and linger at the tip as though drinking. The beetles were also observed to imbibe proctodeal fluid produced by the termites following antennation by the beetles. Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) reported a high degree of integration of Hodoxenus sheasbyi within the termite society, and they provide photographs of interactions between ther termites and adults of Hodoxenus sheasbyi.
Kistner, D. H. 1970. New termitophilous Staphylinidae from Hodotermitidae (Isoptera) nests. Jour. New York Entomol. Soc. 78: 2-16.
Kistner, D. H. and F. A. Abdel-Galil. 1986. A review of the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) found with the Hodotermitidae (Isoptera) with notes on their behavior and relationships. Sociobiology 12(2): 249-284.
Development of this page made possible by National Science Foundation PEET grant DEB 95-21755 to James S. Ashe and a DAAD grant D/97/05475 from the German Government to Christian Maus.
All images on this page copyright © 1997 James S. Ashe.
James S. Ashe (1947-2005)
University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to James S. Ashe (1947-2005) at
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- First online 11 September 1998
Citing this page:
Ashe (1947-2005), James S. and Christian Maus. 1998. Hodoxenina. Hodoxenus sheasbyi. Version 11 September 1998 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hodoxenus_sheasbyi/9876/1998.09.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/