Beaver beetle

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Staphyliniformia
Superfamily: Staphylinoidea
Family: Leiodidae
Subfamily: Platypsyllinae
Genus: Platypsyllus
Ritsema, 1869
Species: P. castoris
Binomial name
Platypsyllus castoris
Ritsema, 1869[1]

The Beaver beetle (Platypsyllus castoris) is an ectoparasitic beetle that only hosts on beavers.[2][3] It is flattened and eyeless,[4] resembling a flea or tick. It used to be placed in a separate family called Leptinidae, but is now placed in the family Leiodidae, in its own subfamily, Platypsyllinae.[1]


The beetle exists only in the northern hemisphere (holarctic).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Peck, S. B. (March–June 2006). "Distribution and biology of the ectoparasitic beaver beetle Platypsyllus castoris Ritsema in North America (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Platypsyllinae)". Insecta Mundi 20 (1–2): 85. ISSN 0749-6737. Retrieved 8 April 2013. "...and Platypsyllus Ritsema 1869 with one apparently Holarctic species, ectoparasitic on the two species of Castor." 
  2. ^ Cardé, Vincent H.; Resh, Ring T., eds. (2009). Encyclopedia of Insects (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press. p. 197. ISBN 9780080920900. "Platypsyllus castoris beetles of the family Leiodidae are specialists on beavers,..." 
  3. ^ Whitaker, John O. (1996). National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mammals (Revised ed.). New York: Knopf. p. 568. ISBN 0-679-44631-1. "Beavers are hosts to a unique parasite that lives on the exterior of their bodies—a highly specialized beetle that parasitizes only beavers." 
  4. ^ Goater, Timothy M.; Goater, Cameron P.; Esch, Gerald W. (2013). Parasitism: The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 325. ISBN 9780521190282. "All genera [of Coleoptera, which includes Platypsyllus,] are wingless and are eyeless or have reduced eyes, and are markedly dorsoventrally flattened." 
  • Behrendt, Marc (July–August 2003). "Beaver Beetles". Buckeye Trapper. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

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