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Aleochara (Polystomota)

Christian Maus and James S. Ashe (1947-2005)
Containing group: Aleochara


The subgenus Polystomota comprises two Western Palaearctic, seashore-dwelling species. Because of external similarities, it has frequently been confused in the literature with the subgenus Emplenota.


The members of this subgenus are distinguished by the following combination of characters: distinct microsculpture, especially on the forebody; hypomera not visible in lateral view; mesosternum completely carinate; aedeagal median lobe without ventral processes. They may also be distinguished from the externally similar Western Palaearctic species of the subgenus Emplenota by the pronotal pubescence pattern (LOHSE 1989).

Identification Guides

Aleochara (P.) punctatella and A. (P.) grisea can be identified with the keys of LOHSE (1989), ASSING (1995) and WELCH (1997) (who, however does not distinguish between Emplenota and Polystomota). Keys published before LOHSE 1984 should not be used, because radical nomenclatorial and taxonomic changes were established in this paper and using the old names may lead to confusion.


Polystomota species live exclusively on seashores, where they are found under decaying seaweed and debris, and occasionally on carrion. A. (P.) grisea has been reared from Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in the laboratory, but the natural hosts may be other species (MAUS et al. in prep.).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

As long as no further species of this subgenus are known, A. (P.) punctatella and A. (P.) grisea can be considered to be adelphotaxa.


Assing, V. 1995. The Palaearctic species of Emplenota Casey, Polystomota Casey, Triochara Bernhauer and Skenochara Bernhauer & Scheerpeltz, with descriptions of three new species (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Aleocharinae). Beitr. Ent. 45(1): 217-237

Lohse, G.A. 1984. 14. Nachtrag zum Verzeichnis der mitteleuropaeischen Kaefer. Ent. Bl. 80(2-3): 143-152

Lohse, G.A. 1989. 23. Familie Staphylinidae (II) (Aleocharinae). In: Lohse, G.A. & W.H. Lucht: Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 12 (1. Supplementband). Goecke & Evers, Krefeld: 346 pp.

Maus, Ch., B. Mittmann & K. Peschke in prep.. Survey of host records of parasitoid Aleochara species (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) attacking cyclorrhaphous fly puparia: Review and new investigations.

Welch, C. 1997. The British species of the genus Aleochara Gravenhorst (Staphylinidae). Coleopterist 6(1): 1-45

About This Page
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.

Bayer CropScience AG, Institute for Ecotoxicology, Monheim, Germany

James S. Ashe (1947-2005)
University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Christian Maus at

Page: Tree of Life Aleochara (Polystomota). Authored by Christian Maus and James S. Ashe (1947-2005). The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Maus, Christian and James S. Ashe (1947-2005). 1998. Aleochara (Polystomota). Version 11 September 1998 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Aleochara_%28Polystomota%29/9912/1998.09.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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