Lordithon, THOMSON, 1859

Karns, Ken & Behrendt, Marc, 2015, LordithonThomson, 1859 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Tachyporinae) Recorded in Southeastern Ohio, USA, with Notes on Four Rarely Collected Species Including the Black Lordithon Rove Beetle, Lordithon niger (Gravenhorst), The Coleopterists Bulletin 1859 (1), pp. 117-120 : 118-119

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https://doi.org/ 10.1649/0010-065X-69.1.118

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KEN KARNS Ohio Coleopterists 1637 Sheridan Drive, Lancaster, OH 43130, U.S.A. species@columbus.rr.com


MARC BEHRENDT Department of Biological Sciences , Ohio University Athens, OH 45701, U.S.A. behrendt@ohio.edu

The genus Lordithon Thomson ( Staphylinidae : Tachyporinae ) is comprised of 22 species throughout North America north of Mexico. Of these, 15 species are recorded from eastern or northeastern United States ( Campbell 1982). Adults appear to have a strong association with various mushrooms and are active predators of dipteran larvae ( Campbell 1982). Although some members are conspicuous in their habitat, the genus contains many species that have been rarely collected from Ohio; only six of the 22 species reported to occur in eastern and/or northeastern North America have documented records from Ohio ( Campbell 1982). Members of Lordithon are not currently listed as threatened or endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service nor are species currently proposed as candidates for such listing ( United States Fish and Wildlife Service 2008). One species, the black lordithon rove beetle, Lordithon niger (Gravenhorst) , was listed as a species of special concern in Ohio by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (2010).

The Ohio Coleopterists organization (www. ohiocoleoptera.org) has an active, ongoing field collection effort for the purpose of obtaining records for the Ohio Beetles Database project. The first author’ s focused collecting within Vinton County, Ohio has presently yielded eight species of Lordithon : L. niger ; L. notabilis Campbell; L. cinctus (Gravenhorst); L. bimaculatus (Couper); and four new Ohio state records. All specimens are in the K. D. Karns Collection.

Lordithon niger . Campbell (1982) described the species as rare, restricted to a block of eastern North America, ranging from southern Québec and Ontario to Georgia and eastern Texas. At the time, only seven known specimens were collected after 1942: from Missouri in the late 1960s and Québec City between 1972 and 1980. Campbell (1982) listed only one specimen from Ohio but with no associated data.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2008) listed L. niger as a species of concern, possibly extinct, and provided only a state level distribution: Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2005) reported that L. niger “was thought to be globally extinct, but was discovered in Rhode Island in 1994”. Lordithon niger was thought to be extirpated from Pennsylvania ( Rawlins 2007), Virginia ( Roble 2013), and Michigan ( Michigan Department of Natural Resources 2005). The Louisiana State Arthropod Museum database (www.lsuinsects.org, accessed 7 December 2014) indicates one L. niger specimen in the collection, obtained in Blount County, Tennessee. Falin (2009) collected three L. niger specimens in Kansas using a Malaise trap at a forest meadow’ s edge and with a UV light near a forest pond. The three specimens were a result of 822 cumulative days of Malaise trapping, 1,055 cumulative days of flight intercept trapping, and 23 nights of UV collecting at those localities. Falin (2009) concluded that L. niger must still be considered extremely rare. Ongoing collecting efforts in southeastern Ohio by the first author have resulted in the collection of 17 specimens of L. niger from four counties in Ohio over a six-year period from 2009 to the present, suggesting that this species may be more widespread in southeastern Ohio woodlands than older records indicate.

One anecdotal record from an Ohio Biological Survey newsletter (2011) stated a moth survey at Battelle-Darby Metro Park , Franklin County, Ohio resulted in the collection of one L. niger specimen. The document is non-refereed and will not be included for species reported in this current work until this specimen can be verified .

Ohio records for L. niger are: Hocking County (N 39.429°, W 82.534°, 26 July 2009 sifting polypore fungus (1), 15 August 2010 sifting polypore fungus on large Quercus sp. log (4), 21 August 2010 sifting polypore fungus on large Quercus sp. log (1); Fairfield County (N 39.740°, W 82.710°), 22 September 2011 sifting moist shelf fungus on Fagus grandifolia (Ehrh.) ( Fagales : Fagaceae ) (1); Vinton County (N 35.25°, W 82.34°): 16–23 June 2011 flight intercept trap (1), 1–8 September 2012 Lindgren funnel trap (LFT) with ethanol lure pack (4), 23–30 August 2014 LFT with ethanol lure pack (1), 30 August–6 September 2014 LFT with ethanol lure pack (1), 13–27 September 2014 LFT with ethanol lure pack (1), 11–18 October 2014 LFT with ethanol lure pack (1); Athens County (N 39.304°, W 82.275°): 24–31 August 2012 LFT with alpha pinene lure pack (1).

All of the above specimens were collected in secondary upland hardwood forest except a single specimen collected from a mixed hardwood and pine forest in Athens County. Campbell (1982) proposed that L. niger is restricted to mature virgin deciduous forest. although he admitted “Nothing is known about the ecology of the species”.

Since 1982, L. niger was recorded from New Brunswick and Québec ( Webster et al. 2012). Specimens were collected from Bjerkandera adusta (Willd.) ( Polyporales : Meruliaceae ) and Porodaedalea sp. ( Hymenochaetales : Hymenochaetaceae ) that were attached to dead standing beech trees in old-growth forests, from a decayed fleshy polypore fungus on a standing dead Populus sp. tree, and from a Lindgren funnel trap in an old-growth red oak forest. Falin (2009) collected three specimens from Malaise traps and UV light. Seven of the Ohio specimens reported in this paper were collected from fungi growing on large, dead Quercus sp. or F. grandifolia logs, while the other 10 Ohio specimens were collected in Lindgren funnel traps or flight intercept traps. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2005) suggested L. niger is associated with mature, lowland, mesic, and dry hardwoods, and possibly on fungi, similar to other members of the genus Lordithon . While L. niger may specialize on certain fungi that grow on dead wood, the collection records above suggest that it is not necessarily restricted to old growth or virgin forests and may have an affinity for standing dead wood as suggested by the apparent attraction to the Lindgren funnel traps.

Lordithon axillaris (Gravenhorst) . New state record (n = 20): OHIO: Vinton County, Lake Hope State Park (N 39.333°, W 82.345°), 25 September 2009, on Grifola frondosa (Fr.) ( Polyporales : Meripilaceae (1). Additional 19 specimens from the first author’ s Vinton County, Ohio cabin property (N 35.25°, W 82.34°), all from flight intercept traps in upland hardwood forest of predominantly oak, maple, and hickory, 21–28 May 2011 (1), 28 May–5 June 2011 (1), 19–26 May 2012 (3), 23–30 June 2012 (1), 16–24 August 2012 (2), 25 May–1 June 2013 (2), 1–8 June 2013 (1), 12–19 July 2013 (1), 25 August–7 September 2013 (5), 31 August–14 September 2013 (2).

Campbell (1982) stated, “ Lordithon axillaris is a rare species restricted to eastern North America; it ranges from southwestern Quebec and Minnesota and south down the Appalachian Mts. to North Carolina and Tennessee ”. He further stated that little is known about the habits of L. axillaris and proposed that its rarity may suggest a restricted habitat similar to that of L. niger . As noted earlier, the first author collected 20 specimens of L. axillaris from the identical habitat as L. niger .

Lordithon thoracicus venustus (Melsheimer) . New state record (n = 1): OHIO: Vinton County, Lake Hope State Park (N 39.333°, W 82.345°), 5 September 2009, gilled mushroom (1) GoogleMaps .

Lordithon facilis (Casey) . New state record (n = 5): OHIO: Fairfield County, Rockmill Lake Wildlife Area (N 39.738°, W 82.700°), 22 September 2011, sifting moist shelf fungi (5) GoogleMaps .

Lordithon quaesitor (Horn) . New state record (n = 15); OHIO: Vinton County, senior author’ s cabin property (N 35.25, W 82.34) all from flight intercept traps upland hardwoods: 23–30 April 2011 (1), 07–15 May 2011 (1), 14–21 May 2011 (1), 21–28 May 2011 (1), 28 May–05 June 2011 (5), 23 March–01 April 2012 (1), 11–18 May 2013 (1), 25 May–01 June 2013 (1), 09–15 June 2013 (1), 10–17 May 2014 (1), 31 May–14 June 2014 (1).

Campbell (1982) stated “ Lordithon quaesitor is a rare species known from eastern North America from southern Québec and Ontario south to Illinois and Kentucky and along the Appalachian Mountains to North Carolina ”. He once again suggested nothing is known about the biology of this species. The first author collected 15 specimens of L. quaesitor from habitat identical to that of both L. niger and L. axillaris .