ISSN 2816-6531

First records of Meotica exilis (Knoch) and Stenichnus scutellaris (Müller & Kunze) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) for the province of Quebec, Canada

Tags: Aleocharinae, Arthropoda, Canada, Coleoptera, Insecta, Meotica exilis, Quebec, Scydmaeninae, Staphylinidae, Stenichnus scutellaris
Number 16, 
29 September 2023


The Staphylinidae (rove beetles) correspond to the beetle family with the most species recorded in Canada. The Canadian fauna might count more than 2000 species (Bousquet et al., 2013; Brunke et al., 2019). More than 153 species are considered adventive for the country, many of them with a Palaearctic origin (Klimaszewski et al., 2013; Brunke et al., 2019). Two adventive species of rove beetle have been recently collected on Mont-Royal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada): Meotica exilis (Knoch) (Aleocharinae) and Stenichnus scutellaris (Müller & Kunze) (Scydmaeninae). The genus Meotica Mulsant & Rey includes 20 Palaearctic species (Assing & Vogel, 2019). Amongst these, two of them, Meotica exilis and M. pallens (Redtenbacher), are adventive in North America. A third species, M. pseudowinkleri Klimaszewski & Langor, is native to Canada (Klimaszewski et al., 2018). The genus Stenichnus Thomson includes approximately 200 species worldwide (Jałoszyński, 2013). The genus is mainly represented in the western Palaearctic, with more than 130 species recorded (Davies, 2004). Six species are known from Canada: four native, Stenichnus badius (Casey), S. ovipennis (Casey), S. perforatus (Schaum) and S. turbatus (Casey); two are adventive: S. collaris (Müller & Kunze) and S. scutellaris (Bousquet et al., 2013; Pentinsaari et al., 2019). In Canada, Meotica exilis is recorded from Nova Scotia and Stenichnus scutellaris from Ontario (Majka & Klimaszewski, 2008; Pentinsaari et al., 2019). This work reports the first records of both species for the province of Quebec. 

Results and Discussion

For confident identifications of Meotica exilis and Stenichnus scutellaris, genitalic structures must be studied. Male (Fig. 2a) and female genitalia can be used for M. exilis (Assing & Vogel, 2019). For S. scutellaris, only male genitalia seem to be documented (Fig. 2b). Males of S. scutellaris have also typical claviform profemora, truncated apically (Fig. 1b) which are not developed nor truncated in females (Freude et al., 1971). The specimens of both species were collected in leaf litter of a disturbed grove of deciduous trees: those of M. exilis in a small area regularly flooded, those of S. scutellaris in a small area at the base of a degraded slope. Until now, M. exilis was known in North America from only three localities in Nova Scotia, S. scutellaris from less than ten localities in Ontario (Majka & Klimaszewski, 2008; Pentinsaari et al., 2019).

Klimaszewski et al. (2013) reported a greater abundance of adventive rove beetle species around major port cities, as is the case for Montreal. Several other adventive invertebrate species have recently been reported from this same area on Mont-Royal: Bipalium adventitium Hyman (Platyhelmintida, Geoplanidae), Anommatus duodecimstriatus (Müller) (Coleoptera, Teredidae), Loricula coleoptrata (Fallén) (Heteroptera, Microphysidae), Cephennium gallicum Ganglbauer and C. thoracicum (Müller & Kunze) (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) (Justine et al., 2019; Théry 2022 a, b; Théry & Ratzlaff, 2022). These five species all live in soil, litter or decaying organic matter, and several are known to be transported in potted plants. The presence of these five species on the Mont-Royal may be due to the existence of two large cemeteries (Mont-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemeteries) and more particularly that they may have been introduced in potted plants. The same hypothesis may apply to Meotica exilis and Stenichnus scutellaris.


The author acknowledges Adam Brunke (Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematods, Ottawa, ON), Jan Klimaszewski (emeritus scientist, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC) for their help in the bibliographic research, for confirming the identification of M. exilis and information about its distribution in North America; Colin Favret (Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC) for his advice and the use of microscopic equipment in his lab; Maxim Larrivée and Stéphane Le Tirant (Insectarium de Montréal, Montreal, QC) for their support. 




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Figure 1. Dorsal habitus. (a) Meotica exilis with tip of the abdomen extracted, specimen CNC480419 (scale 200 μm); (b) Stenichnus scutellaris, specimen CTT2610 (scale 500 μm).


Figure 2. Aedeagus. (a) Meotica exilis, in lateral view, specimen CNC480419; (b) Stenichnus scutellaris, in ventral view, specimen CTT2610; (scale 100 μm).