Beetle inquilines of New Zealand

Rich Leschen *1, Shuhei Nomura 2

1 Landcare Research, NZAC, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand
2 Department of Zoology, National Science Museum Amakubo 4-1-1, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, 305-0005 Japan

It is well known that the diversity of eusocial insects in New Zealand is depauperate.  With only 11 endemic species of ants, there have been few documented beetle inquilines, most records referring to the lucanid Holloceratognathus passaliformis (Holloway), which was described in 1962 from the Wellington area. Recent collecting has produced 9 species of pselaphine (Euplectitae) staphylinids from Huberia, Pachycondyla, and Prolasius ant nests representing 4 new genera and 7 new species. True inquilinism is inferred from repeated field collections from ant hosts and morphology.  Inferred phylogenetic relationships of New Zealand pselaphine inquilines indicate that at least one of the new genera may be related to an Australian genus also found with ants. Phylogenetic data from formicids suggests that some ant genera may have been in New Zealand since the late Cretaceous, and maybe, some of New Zealand’s pselaphine inquilines could also be this ancient.

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