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Tenomerga mucida01.jpg
Tenomerga mucida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Archostemata
Kolbe, 1908


The Archostemata are the smallest suborder of beetles, consisting of fewer than 50 known species organised into five families. They are an ancient lineage with a number of primitive characteristics. They are similar in morphology to the first beetles, which appear in the fossil record about 250 million years ago. Antennae may be thread-shaped (filiform) or like a string of beads (moniliform). This suborder also contains the only paedogenic beetles, Micromalthus debilis.

These beetles are considered rare.[citation needed] Fossil deposits from the Permian suggest that the Archostemata were once much more common and dispersed over a wide portion of the globe, and the species that remain are but scattered vestiges of their former population.


There are five extant families of Archostemata (Crowsoniellidae, Cupedidae, Jurodidae, Micromalthidae, and Ommatidae) and three extinct families (Triadocupedidae, Magnocoleidae, Obrieniidae).[1][a]

  • Subfamily Priacminae Crowson, 1962
  • †Subfamily Mesocupedinae Ponomarenko, 1969
  • Subfamily Cupedinae Laporte, 1836
  • †Subfamily Brochocoleinae Hong, 1982
  • Subfamily Tetraphalerinae Crowson, 1962
  • Subfamily Ommatinae Sharp and Muir, 1912
  • †Tribe Lithocupedini Ponomarenko, 1969
  • †Tribe Notocupedini Ponomarenko, 1966
  • Tribe Ommatini Sharp and Muir, 1912
  • †Subfamily Kararhynchinae Zherikhin and Gratshev, 1994
  • †Tribe Kararhynchini Zherikhin and Gratshev, 1994
  • †Tribe Kenderlykaini Legalov, 2009
  • †Subfamily Obrieniinae Zherikhin and Gratshev, 1994

See also[edit]


  1. ^ † Denotes that the family-group is extinct


  1. ^ Patrice Bouchard; Yves Bousquet; Anthony E. Davies; Miguel A. Alonso-Zarazaga; John F. Lawrence; Chris H. C. Lyal; Alfred F. Newton; Chris A. M. Reid; Michael Schmitt; S. Adam Ślipiński; Andrew B. T. Smith (2011). "Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)". ZooKeys. 88: 1–972. 

External links[edit]