Oklahoma State University


Checklist of the Coleoptera of Oklahoma

Beetles, the insect order Coleoptera, are the dominant form of life on earth: there are more known species of Coleoptera than any other group of organisms, with over 350,000 described species. Various species live in nearly every habitat except the open sea, and for every possible kind of food, there's probably a beetle species that eats it. The oldest beetle fossils are from the Lower Permian (about 265 million years old), appearing before dinosaurs existed, and now greatly outnumbering the dinosaurs' descendants. Beetles include beneficial and pest species, beautiful and plain, huge and tiny. They have even had a role in human culture, most notably the ancient Egyptians revering the sacred scarab as a symbol of life and rebirth.

The most distinctive feature of beetles is the hardening of the forewings into elytra; it is from this that they get their formal name (koleos - sheath, pteron - wing). The elytra serve to protect the more delicate hind wings (during flight the forewings are opened enough to allow the hind wings to unfold and function) and the dorsal surface of the abdomen.

The following list contains records for 110 families of which 102 are currently considered valid, over 1000 genera, and about 2900 species of beetles that are known to occur in Oklahoma. The total includes about 30% of the genera but only about 10% of the species of Coleoptera recorded from the United States and Canada by Arnett (1993). It is hoped this list represents at least 50% of the species that may eventually be found in our state.

For the most part, family names and arrangement of subfamilies, tribes, and genera follow Arnett and Thomas (2001) and Arnett et al. (2002) (American Beetles, Vol. 1 and 2). The exception is that not all of the families have been combined as in American Beetles. The statement, "Reported in Coleoptera Catalog", found in the reference list of many families, refers to Arnett (1983). An abbreviated list of references can be found at the end of each family list and are referred to by the numbers after each species. Complete citations may be found in the bibliography link.

Despite nearly 20 years of off/on effort, this list remains incomplete and should be considered a "work in progress". It will change as new information becomes available. Questions, comments, corrections, additions, and/or reprints of papers not listed in the bibliography would be greatly appreciated. Please address all correspondence to:


Don Arnold, Curator Emeritus
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
Oklahoma State University
127 NRC
Stillwater, OK 74078
Tel: (405) 744-5527
e-mail don.arnold@okstate.edu

Checklist and Bibliography of Oklahoma Coleoptera:


  • Aderidae ... (ant-like leaf beetles)
  • Alleculidae ... (comb-clawed beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Tenebrionidae
  • Anobiidae ... (death-watch beetles)
  • Anthicidae ... (ant-like flower beetles)
  • Anthribidae ... (fungus weevils)
  • Archeocrypticidae ... (archeocrypticid beetles)
  • Attelabidae ... (leaf-rolling weevils)
  • Biphyllidae ... (biphyllid beetles)
  • Bostrichidae ... (branch-and-twig borers)
  • Bothrideridae ... (bothriderid beetles)
  • Brentidae ... (primitive weevils)
  • Bruchidae ... (seed beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Chrysomelidae
  • Buprestidae ... (metallic wood-boring beetles)
  • Byturidae ... (fruitworm beetles)
  • Callirhipidae ... (cedar beetles)
  • Cantharidae ... (soldier beetles)
  • Carabidae ... (ground beetles)
  • Cebrionidae ... (cebrionid beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Elateridae
  • Cerambycidae ... (long-horned beetles)
  • Ceratocanthidae ... (pill scarab beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Cerylonidae ... (cerylonid beetles)
  • Chelonariidae ... (chelonariid beetles)
  • Chrysomelidae ... (leaf beetles)
  • Cicindelidae ... (tiger beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Carabidae
  • Ciidae ... (minute tree-fungus beetles)
  • Cleridae ... (checkered beetles)
  • Coccinellidae ... (lady or ladybird beetles)
  • Colydiidae ... (cylindrical bark beetles)
  • Corylophidae ... (minute fungus beetles)
  • Cryptophagidae ... (silken fungus beetles)
  • Cucujidae ... (flat bark beetles)
  • Cupedidae ... (reticulated beetles)
  • Curculionidae ... (weevils or snout beetles)
  • Cybocephalidae ... (cybocephalid beetles)
  • Dermestidae ... (skin beetles)
  • Derodontidae ... (tooth-necked fungus beetles)
  • Dryopidae ... (long-toed water beetles)
  • Dytiscidae ... (predaceous diving beetles)
  • Elateridae ... (click beetles)
  • Elmidae ... (riffle beetles)
  • Endomychidae ... (handsome fungus beetles)
  • Erotylidae ... (pleasing fungus beetles)
  • Eucinetidae ... (eucinetid beetles)
  • Eucnemidae ... (false click beetles)
  • Geotrupidae ... (earth-boring scarab beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Glaresidae ... (enigmatic scarab beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Gyrinidae ... (whirligig beetles)
  • Haliplidae ... (crawling water beetles)
  • Heteroceridae ... (variegated mud-loving beetles)
  • Histeridae ... (hister beetles)
  • Hybosoridae ... (scavenger scarab beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Hydraenidae ... (minute moss beetles)
  • Hydrophilidae ... (water scavenger beetles)
  • Laemophloeidae ... (lined flat bark beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Cucujidae
  • Lagriidae ... (long-jointed bark beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Tenebrionidae
  • Lampyridae ... (lightning bugs or fireflies)
  • Languriidae ... (lizard beetles)
  • Latridiidae ... (minute brown scavenger beetles)
  • Leiodidae ... (round fungus beetles)
  • Limnichidae ... (minute marsh-loving beetles)
  • Lucanidae ... (stag beetles)
  • Lutrochidae ... (travertine beetles)
  • Lycidae ... (net-winged beetles)
  • Lyctidae ... (powderpost beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Bostrichidae
  • Lymexylidae ... (ship-timber beetles)
  • Melandryidae ... (false darkling beetles)
  • Meloidae ... (blister beetles)
  • Melyridae ... (soft-winged flower beetles)
  • Monotomidae ... (monotomid beetles)
  • Mordellidae ... (tumbling flower beetles)
  • Mycetophagidae ... (hairy fungus beetles)
  • Mycteridae ... (palm and flower beetles)
  • Nitidulidae ... (sap beetles)
  • Nosodendridae ... (wounded-tree beetles)
  • Noteridae ... (burrowing water beetles)
  • Ochodaeidae ... (sand-loving scarab beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Oedemeridae ... (false blister beetles)
  • Orsodacnidae ... (orsodacnid leaf beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Chrysomelidae
  • Passalidae ... (bess beetles)
  • Passandridae ... (parasitic flat bark beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Cucujidae
  • Phalacridae ... (shining mold beetles)
  • Phengodidae ... (glowworms)
  • Platypodidae ... (pinhole borers) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Curculionidae
  • Pselaphidae ... (short-winged mold beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Staphylinidae
  • Psephenidae ... (water-penny beetles)
  • Ptilodactylidae ... (ptilodactylid beetles)
  • Ptiliidae ... (featherwing beetles)
  • Ptinidae ... (spider beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Anobiidae
  • Pyrochroidae ... (fire-colored beetles)
  • Rhipiceridae ... (cedar beetles)
  • Ripiphoridae ... (wedge-shaped beetles)
  • Rhysodidae ... (wrinkled bark beetles)
  • Salpingidae ... (narrow-waisted bark beetles)
  • Scaphidiidae ... (shining fungus beetles) ~~~~} now placed in Staphylinidae
  • Scarabaeidae ... (scarabs)
  • Scirtidae ... (marsh beetles)
  • Scolytidae ... (bark-and-ambrosia beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Curculionidae
  • Scraptiidae ... (false flower beetles)
  • Scydmaenidae ... (antlike stone beetles)
  • Silphidae ... (carrion beetles)
  • Silvanidae ... (silvanid flat bark beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Cucujidae
  • Sphindidae ... (dry-fungus beetles)
  • Staphylinidae ... (rove beetles)
  • Synchroidae ... (synchroa bark beetles)
  • Tenebrionidae ... (darkling beetles)
  • Tetratomidae ... (polypore fungus beetles)
  • Throscidae ... (throscid beetles)
  • Trogidae ... (hide beetles) ~~~~} sometimes placed in Scarabaeidae
  • Trogossitidae ... (bark-gnawing beetles)
  • Zopheridae ... (zopherid beetles)