Register      Login
Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

Cladistic analysis and revision of Piestus Gravenhorst with remarks on related genera (Coleoptera : Staphylinidae : Piestinae)

Edilson Caron A D , Cibele S. Ribeiro-Costa B and Alfred F. Newton C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Campus Palotina, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Rua Pioneiro, 2153, Jardim Dallas, 85950-000, Palotina, PR, Brazil.

B Laboratório de Sistemática e Bioecologia de Coleoptera (Insecta), Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Centro Politécnico, Caixa Postal 19020, 81531-980, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.

C Zoology Department, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email:

Invertebrate Systematics 25(6) 490-585
Submitted: 24 May 2010  Accepted: 20 December 2011   Published: 7 May 2012


Rove beetles of the genus Piestus Gravenhorst, 1806 are commonly captured under the bark of or inside decaying logs from Neotropical forests. Piestus belongs to the subfamily Piestinae, historically an ill-defined dumping-ground for Staphylinidae defined by plesiomorphic characters, but which has gradually been restricted in concept and currently includes only six additional extant genera worldwide. Piestinae in this restricted sense has been considered a probably monophyletic subfamily, but its status and phylogenetic position, as a possible sister-group of Osoriinae within the recently proposed Oxyteline group of staphylinid subfamilies, are uncertain and need confirmation. The main aim of the present study was to provide a morphological cladistic analysis and complete taxonomic revision of Piestus, which, as the type and most speciose genus of Piestinae, is critical for future phylogenetic studies involving the subfamily. In our study, the monophyly of Piestus is established and phylogenetic relationships among its species are proposed based on 70 adult morphological characters. Piestus is supported by 11 synapomorphies and high branch support. All species of Piestus are revised and the genus is redefined. The genus contains 43 species, including 13 species described here for the first time. The previously proposed subgenera Antropiestus Bernhauer, 1917, Eccoptopiestus Scheerpeltz, 1952, Elytropiestus Scheerpeltz, 1952, Lissopiestus Scheerpeltz, 1952, Piestus s. str., Trachypiestus Scheerpeltz, 1952 and Zirophorus Dalman, 1821 have not been confirmed, as they were found to be poly- or paraphyletic, or are here removed from Piestus, and therefore subgenera are not used. The main taxonomic changes are as follows. Lissopiestus, syn. nov. is proposed as new synonym of Eleusis Laporte, 1835 and its species, E. interrupta (Erichson, 1840), comb. rest., is transferred again to that genus. Antropiestus, syn. nov. and Eccoptopiestus, syn. nov. are proposed as new synonyms of Hypotelus Erichson, 1839 and their species, H. laevis (Solsky, 1872), comb. nov. and H. andinus (Bernhauer, 1917), comb. nov., are transferred to Hypotelus. Fourteen new synonymies are proposed (valid species listed first): P. lacordairei Laporte, 1835 = Z. furcatus Sharp, 1887, syn. nov.; P. capricornis Laporte, 1835 = P. frontalis Sharp, 1876, syn. nov.; P. pennicornis Fauvel, 1864 = P. plagiatus Fauvel, 1864, syn. nov.; P. rectus Sharp, 1876, syn. nov.; P. pygialis Fauvel, 1902, syn. nov.; P. surinamensis Bernhauer, 1928, syn. nov.; P. minutus Erichson, 1840 = P. nigrator Fauvel, 1902, syn. nov.; P. sulcatus Gravenhorst, 1806 = P. sanctaecatharinae Bernhauer, 1906, syn. nov.; P. condei Wendeler, 1955, syn. nov.; P. gounellei Fauvel, 1902 = P. wasmanni Fauvel, 1902, syn. nov.; P. mexicanus Laporte, 1835 = P. alternans Sharp, 1887, syn. nov.; P. aper Sharp, 1876 = P. schadei Scheerpeltz, 1952, syn. nov.; P. angularis Fauvel, 1864 = P. crassicornis Sharp, 1887, syn. nov.; H. andinus (Bernhauer, 1917) = P. strigipennis Bernhauer, 1921, syn. nov. One species is revalidated: P. fronticornis (Dalman, 1821), stat. rev., and one synonym is restored: P. penicillatus (Dalman, 1821) = P. erythropus Erichson, 1840, syn. rest. Neotypes are designated for P. lacordairei Laporte, 1835 and Oxytelus bicornis Olivier, 1811, and lectotypes are designated for P. puncticollis Fauvel, 1902, P. capricornis variety muticus Fauvel, 1902, P. zischkai Scheerpeltz, 1951, P. pennicornis Fauvel, 1864, P. plagiatus Fauvel, 1864, P. pygmaeus Laporte, 1835, P. niger Fauvel 1864, P. minutus Erichson, 1840, P. nigratror Fauvel, 1902, P. sulcatus Gravenhorst, 1806, P. sanctaecatharinae Bernhauer, 1906, P. sulcipennis Scheerpeltz, 1952, P. aper Sharp, 1876, P. schadei Scheerpeltz, 1952 and P. andinus Bernhauer, 1917.


Bernhauer, M. (1906). Neue Staphyliniden aus Südamerika. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1906, 193–202.

Bernhauer M. 1917 Neue arten der gattungen Piestus, Leptochirus und Conosoma aus Südamerika. Neue Beiträge zur Systematischen Insektenkunde 1 ,4553 .

Bernhauer, M. (1920). Results of Dr. E. Mjöberg’s Swedish scientific expeditions to Australia 1910–1913. 22. Staphylinidae. Arkiv für Zoologi 13, 1–27.

Bernhauer, M. (1921). Zur Staphylinidenfauna von Südamerika. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1921, 65–77.

Bernhauer, M. (1928). 33ster Beitrag zur südamerikanischen Staphylinidenfauna. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 71, 286–288.

Bernhauer, M., and Schubert, K. (1910). Staphylinidae I. In ‘Coleopterorum Catalogus, Vol. 5’. (Ed. S. Schenkling.) pp.1–86. (Junk: Berlin.)

Blackwelder, R. E. (1942). Notes on the classification of the staphylinid beetles of the groups Lispini and Osoriinae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 92, 75–90.

Blackwelder R. E. 1943 Monograph of the West Indian beetles of the family Staphylinidae. United States National Museum Bulletin 182 viii + 1 658

Blackwelder R. E. 1944 Checklist of the coleopterous insects of Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and South America. Part 1. United States National Museum Bulletin 185 xii + 1 188

Blackwelder R. E. 1952 The generic names of the beetle family Staphylinidae, with an essay on genotypy. United States National Museum Bulletin 200 iv + 1 483

Bremer, K. (1994). Branch support and tree stability. Cladistics 10, 295–304.
Branch support and tree stability.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Cameron, M. (1927). Description of a new species of Siagonium from New Zealand. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 63, 222.

Caron, E., Ribeiro-Costa, C. S., and Newton, A. F. (2008). New position of an abdominal defensive gland complex in Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) with redescription of Piestus heterocephalus Fauvel, 1902 (Piestinae). Zootaxa 1895, 1–9.

Crotch, G. R. (1870). The genera of Coleoptera studied chronologically (1802–21). The Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1870, 213–241.

Dalman, J. W. (1821). Nya genera och species af Insecter. Kongelige Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar 1821, 372–387.

Erichson, W. F. (1839). Genera et species Staphylinorum insectorum coleopterorum familiae. F. H. Morin, Berlin, pp. 1–400.

Erichson, W. F. (1840). Genera et species Staphylinorum insectorum coleopterorum familiae. F. H. Morin, Berlin, pp. 401–954.

Fabricius, J. C. (1801). ‘Systema Eleutheratorum Secundum Ordines, Genera, Species: Adiectis Synonymis, Locis, Observationibus, Descriptionibus. Vol. 2.’ (Bibliopolii Academici Novi: Kiliae.) pp. 687.

Fauvel, A. (1864). Études sur les Staphylinides de l’Amérique centrale, principalement du Mexique. Notices Entomologiques 2, 3–62.

Fauvel, A. (1865). Études sur les Staphylinides de l’Amérique centrale, principalement du Mexique. Bulletin de la Société Linnéenne de Normandie 9, 8–66.

Fauvel, A. (1895). Staphylinides nouveaux de l’Inde et de la Malaisie. Revue d’Entomologie 14, 180–286.

Fauvel, A. (1901). Voyage de M. le Dr. Ed. Bugnion au Venezuela, en Colombie et aux Antilles. Revue d’Entomologie 20, 69–91.

Fauvel, A. (1902). Staphylinides exotiques nouveaux. Revue d’Entomologie 21, 8–37.

Fitch, W. N. (1971). Toward defining the course of evolution: minimum change for a specific tree topology. Systematic Zoology 20, 406–416.
Toward defining the course of evolution: minimum change for a specific tree topology.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Fleming, J. (1821). Insecta. In ‘Supplement to the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, with Preliminary Dissertations on the History of the Sciences. Vol. 5’. pp. 41–56. (Archibald Constable and Company: Edinburgh.)

Fleutiaux, E., and Sallé, A. (1889). Liste des Coléoptères de la Guadeloupe et descriptions d’espèces nouvelles. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 9, 351–484.

Goloboff, P. A. (1993). Estimating character weights during tree search. Cladistics 9, 83–91.
Estimating character weights during tree search.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Goloboff, P. A., Farris, J. S., and Nixon, K. C. (2008). TNT, a free program for phylogenetic analysis. Cladistics 24, 774–786.
TNT, a free program for phylogenetic analysis.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Gravenhorst, J. L. C. (1806). ‘Monographia Coleopterorum Micropterorum.’ (Henricus Dieterich: Gottingae [Göttingen, Germany].) pp. 248.

Gray, G. (1832). [Notices of new genera and species]. In ‘The Class Insecta Arranged by the Baron Cuvier, with Supplementary Additions to Each Order’. (Eds E. Griffith and E. Pidgeon.) Insecta, 1: viii + 570. In: E. Griffith, The Animal kingdon arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier . . . with supplementary additions to each order. Vol. 14. (Whittaker, Treacher, and Co.: London.)

Grebennikov, V., and Newton, A. F. (2009). Good-bye Scydmaenidae, or why the ant-like stone beetle should become megadiverse Staphylinidae sensu latissimo (Coleoptera). European Journal of Entomology 106, 275–301.

Guérin-Méneville, F. E. (1829). ‘Iconographie de Règne Animal de G. Cuvier, ou Représentation d’Après Nature de l’Une des Espèces les Plus Remarquables et Souvent non Encore Figurées, de Chaque Genre d’Animaux. Avec un Texte Descriptif Mis au Courant de la Science. Ouvrage Pouvant Servir d’Atlas a Tous les Traites de Zoologie. II. Planches des Animaux Invertébrés. Insectes, pls. 3–12.’ (J. B. Baillière: Paris .)

Gusarov, V. I. (2002). A revision of Nearctic species of the genus Geostiba Thomson, 1858 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae). Zootaxa 81, 1–88.

Herman, L. H. (1970). Phylogeny and reclassification of the genera of the rove-beetle subfamily Oxytelinae of the world (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 142, 343–454.

Herman, L. H. (1977). Revision and phylogeny of Zalobius, Asemobius, and Nanobius, new genus (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Piestinae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 159, 45–86.

Herman, L. H. (2001a). Nomenclatural changes in the Staphylinidae (Insecta: Coleoptera). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 264, 1–82.
Nomenclatural changes in the Staphylinidae (Insecta: Coleoptera).Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Herman, L. H. (2001b). Catalog of the Staphylinidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) 1758 to the end of the second millennium, parts I–VII. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 167, 1–4218.
Catalog of the Staphylinidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) 1758 to the end of the second millennium, parts I–VII.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

ICZN (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, fourth edition [online]. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature 1999 c/o The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK (last updated 01 January 2000). Available from [Verified 26 January 2009.]

Khachikov, E. A. (2007). A new species of the genus Siagonium Kirby et Spence, 1815 (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from China. Kavkazskii Entomologicheskii Byulleten; Caucasian Entomological Bulletin 3, 103–104.

Kirby, W., and Spence, W. (1815). ‘An Introduction to Entomology: or Elements of the Natural History of Insects: with Plates. 1.’ (Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown: London.)

Kraatz, G. (1859). Die Staphylinen-Fauna von Ostindien, insbesondere der Insel Ceylan. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 25, 1–196.

Lacordaire, J. T. (1833). Essai sur les coléoptères de la Guyane Française. Nouvelles Annales du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle 2, 35–94.

Lacordaire, J. T. (1854). ‘Histoire des Insectes. Genera des Coléoptères ou Exposé Méthodique et Critique de Tous les Genres Proposés Jusqu’ici Dans Cet Ordre d’Insectes. 2.’ (Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: Paris.)

Laporte, F. L. (Castelnau) (1835). ‘Études Entomologiques, ou Description d’Insectes Nouveaux, et Observations sur Leur Synonymie.’ (Méquignon-Marvis: Paris.) pp. 159.

Latreille, P. A. (1807). ‘Genera Crustaceorum et Insectorum, Secundem Ordinem Naturalem in Familias Disposita, Iconibus Exemplisque Plurimus Explicata. Vol. 2.’ (Amand Koenig: Paris.) pp. 280.

Latreille, P. A. (1829). Crustacés, arachnides et partie des insectes. In ‘Le Règne Animal Distribué d’Après son Organisation, Pour Servir de Base à l’Histoire Naturelle des Animaux et d’Introduction à l’Anatomie Comparée. par M. le Baron Cuvier. . . . Crustacés, Arachnides et Partie des Insectes. 4.’ (Ed. G. Cuvier.) pp. xxvii + 1–584. (Déterville: Paris.)

Lawrence, J. F., and Newton, A. F. (1982). Evolution and classification of beetles. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 13, 261–290.
Evolution and classification of beetles.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

LeConte, J. L. (1866). Additions to the coleopterous fauna of the United States. No. 1. Proceedings. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 19, 361–394.

Leschen, R. A. B., and Löbl, I. (1995). Phylogeny of Scaphidiinae with redefinition of tribal and generic limits (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 102, 425–474.

Leschen, R. A. B., and Löbl, I. (2005). Phylogeny and classification of Scaphisomatini (Staphylinidae: Scaphidiinae) with notes on mycophagy, termitophily, and functional morphology. Coleopterists Society Monographs, Patricia Vaurie Series 3, 1–63.

Naomi, S.-I. (1987–1990). Comparative morphology of the Staphylinidae and the allied groups (Coleoptera, Staphylinoidea), parts I–XI. Kontyû [1987–88]. Japanese Journal of Entomology [1989–90], 55, 450–458, 666–675; 56, 67–77, 241–250, 506–513, 727–738; 57, 82–90, 269–277, 517–526, 720–733; 58, 16–23.

Naomi, S.-I. (1995). Revision of the genus Piestoneus Sharp (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) from Japan. Japanese Journal of Entomology 63, 763–780.

Naomi, S.-I. (2006). Description of a new species of the genus Siagonium Kirby et Spence from Japan (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Piestinae). Natural History Research 9, 41–44.

Navarrete-Heredia, J. L., Newton, A. F., Thayer, M. K., Ashe, J. S., and Chandler, D. S. (2002). ‘Guía Ilustrada de los Géneros de Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) de México – Illustrated Guide to the Genera of Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) of Mexico.’ (Universidad de Guadalajara y CONABIO: México.)

Newton, A. F. (1982a). Redefinition, revised phylogeny, and relationships of Pseudopsinae (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). American Museum Novitates 2743, 1–13.

Newton, A. F. (1982b). A new genus and species of Oxytelinae from Australia, with a description of its larva, systematic position, and phylogenetic relationships (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). American Museum Novitates 2744, 1–24.

Newton, A. F., and Peck, S. B. (2006). Family Staphylinidae, the rove beetles. In ‘The Beetles of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador: Evolution, Ecology and Diversity (Insecta: Coleoptera)’. (Ed. S. B. Peck.) pp. 131–158. (NRC Research Press: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.)

Newton, A. F., Thayer, M. K., Ashe, J. S., and Chandler, D. S. (2000). 22. Staphylinidae. In: American Beetles. Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia. vol. 1. (Eds R. H. Arnett and M. C. Thomas.) pp. 272–418. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, London, New York, Washington.)

Newton, A. F., Chacón, C. G., and Chandler, D. S. (2005). Checklist of the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) of Colombia. Biota Colombiana 6, 1–72.

Nixon, K. C. (1999). Winclada (BETA), ver. 0.9.9. (Published by the author, Ithaca, New York.)

Nixon, K. C., and Carpenter, J. M. (1993). On outgroups. Cladistics 9, 413–426.
On outgroups.Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Olivier, A. G. (1811). Insectes. In ‘Encyclopédie Méthodique. Histoire Naturelle. Vol. 8(2).’ pp. 361–722. (H. Agasse: Paris.)

Page, R. (2001). NDE (NEXUS Data Editor For Windows) version 0.5.0. (Published by the author, Glasgow, United Kingdom.)

Perty, J. A. M. (1830). Insecta Brasiliensia. In ‘Delectus Animalium Articulatorum, Quae in Itinere per Brasiliam Annis MDCCCXVII–MDCCCXX Jussu et Auspiciis Maximiliani Josephi I. Bavariae Regis Augustissimi Peracto. . . . Frid.’ (Eds J. Spix and C. Martius.) pp. 1–60. (Fleischer: Monachii.)

Reiche, L. (1865). Étude des espèces de Mylabrides de la collection de L. Reiche, suivie d’une note sur le genre Trigonurus Mulsant et description d’une espèce nouvelle. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 5, 627–642.

Scheerpeltz, O. (1933). Staphylinidae VII. In ‘Coleopterorum Catalogus, 6(129).’ (Ed. S. Schenkling.) pp. 989–1500. (Junk: Berlin.)

Scheerpeltz, O. (1951). Los Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) encontrados en Bolivia por el Sr. Rodolfo Zischka. Folia Universitaria 5, 1–16.

Scheerpeltz, O. (1952). Revision der Gattung Piestus Gravh. (Coleoptera Staphylinidae). Revista Chilena de Entomologia 2, 281–305.

Scheerpeltz, O. (1960). Zur Kenntnis neotropischer Staphyliniden (Col.). Beiträge zur Neotropischen Fauna 2, 65–138.
Zur Kenntnis neotropischer Staphyliniden (Col.).Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar |

Sharp, D. (1876). Contribution to an insect fauna of the Amazon Valley. Coleoptera-Staphylinidae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1876, 27–424.

Sharp, D. (1887). Staphylinidae. In ‘Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Coleoptera. 1(2).’ (Ed) pp. 673–824. (Taylor & Francis: London.)

Sharp, D. (1889). The Staphylinidae of Japan. Annals & Magazine of Natural History 3, 28–44, 108–121, 249–267, 319–334, 406–419, 463–476.

Sharp, D., and Muir, F. A. G. (1912). The comparative anatomy of the male genital tube in Coleoptera. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 3, 477–642.

Solsky, S.M. (1872). Enumération et description des coléoptères de la famille des Staphylinides recueillis par Mrs. C. Jelsky et le Baron de Nolken pendant leurs voyages dans l’Amérique du Sud en 1870 et 1871. Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae 8, 289–314.

Steel, W. O. (1950). Notes on Staphylinidae, chiefly from New Zealand. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 78, 203–212, 213–235.

Thayer, M. K. (2005). 11. Staphylinoidea. 11.7. Staphylinidae Latreille, 1802. Coleoptera, Vol. I. Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim). In ‘Handbook of Zoology Vol. IV, Arthropoda: Insecta.’ (Coleoptera Eds R.G. Beutel and R. A. B. Leschen; Insecta Eds N. P. Kristensen and R. G. Beutel.) pp. 296–344. (De Gruyter: Berlin, New York.)

Tikhomirova, A. L. (1968). Zhuki-stafilinidy Iury Karatau. In ‘Iurskie Nasekomye Karatau. Akademiia Nauk SSSR, Otdelenie obshei biologii. (Ed. B. B. Rodendorf.) pp. 139–154. (Izdatel’stvo Nauka, Moskva [Moscow].)

Wendeler, H. (1955). Neue Staphyliniden aus Brasilien (1. Teil). Dusenia 6, 187–198.

Wu, J., and Zhou, H.-Z. (2007). Phylogenetic analysis and reclassification of the genus Priochirus Sharp (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Osoriinae). Invertebrate Systematics 21, 73–107.
Phylogenetic analysis and reclassification of the genus Priochirus Sharp (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Osoriinae).Crossref | GoogleScholarGoogle Scholar | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2sXhtFCgtrfN&md5=118234127611a682f48b7703578f09f6CAS |

Zheng, Fa-ke (2004). Coleoptera: Staphylinidae. In ‘Insects of the Great Yarlung Zangbo Canyon of Xizang, China.’ (Ed. Yang, Xing-ke.) pp. 50–60. (China Science and Technology Press: Beijing.)