Coleoptera: India

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Faunal Diversity in India: Coleoptera

This is an extract from


Edited by

J. R. B. Alfred

A. K. Das

A. K. Sanyal.

ENVIS Centre,

Zoological Survey of India,



( J. R. B. Alfred was

Director, Zoological Survey of India)


Beetles comprise the insect order Coleoptera (the name derived from two Greek words, meaning a sheath, and a wing). Not only in number of described species beetles represent the-largest group of organisms at the order level but also they show exceptionally diverse adaptations to wide range of environmental conditions and habits. Their role in the functioning of ecosystems, especially the terrestrial ones is immense.

The Coleoptera are minute to large (0.6 mm to 15 cm) in size and usually sclerotized insects. The front wings are much thickened, veinless and meeting in a middorsal straight line; the hind wings are membranous, with few veins and the apex folded beneath when at rest, sometimes absent. Mouthparts are of typical biting and chewing type, although in the snout beetles (Curculionidae) these are reduced and placed at the tip of a slender trunk¬like snout. Antennae are mostly of 9 to 11 segments. Metamorphosis is complete. Larvae are worm-like; head usually without paired endocarina forming a V or Y, antennae usually with 4 segments or fewer and with a sensorium on the penultimate segment; usually with 3 pairs of thoracic legs but rarely apodus (Scarabaeidae, Curculionidae, etc.), legs with 5 or 6 segments; abdomen usually with 10 segments and sometimes with prominent cerci. The pupae are with appendages and do not form a puparium. The beetles show wide diversity of colour, form and life pattern.

Status Of The Taxon

Global Status

More than one out of every four named species of animal is a beetle. Out of about 8,00,000 described species of insects Coleoptera alone shares about 3,50,000 species belonging to 177 families under 4 suborders. But still it is doubtful whether this number represents one-tenth of those existing today.

So far as the richness of the fauna in the World is concerned the beetles are found in most abundance or with great concentration in the tropical and subtropical parts of both the hemispheres which receive good precipitation and possess substantial vegetative cover. Often the areas within which a particular species occur naturally appear to be interconnected. But the taxa above species level, in many cases, are distributed to disjunct areas interrupted by vast stretches of oceans or seas. These distribution have undergone changes in the remote past through the interaction of positional change of continential masses, climatic and evolutionary changes.

Indian Status

Owing to variation in altitude and latitude and difference in rainfall, India possesses great ecological diversity ranging from tropical and subtropical of plains to temperate and arctic of the Himalaya. All these demonstrated vegetative cover of varied groups, plus a hot hostile desert patch in west of the country. These contribute to a diversified beetle fauna and India holds about S per cent of all known species of the world, i.e., about IS,SOO species belonging to 104 families under 3 suborders (Table 1). It is estimated that if a good exploration of all habitats for collection of beetles and inventorisation of collections are made, the number of species would at least be doubled to the existing figure of IS,SOO.

Table-l Diversity of Coleoptera (in numbers) in India in contrast to world Suborders No. of families No. of species WI WI


A significant feature of the present Indian beetles is the occurence of Chinese, Burmese and Malayan elements, which are rich in terms of number of species, plus the element of original Gondwanaland that shows affinities with the existing African element to a certain extent. Beetles are to be found everywhere and in ahnost all ecosystems where animals can thrive, with the exceptions of arctic snow and the sea-waters. There are many types of habitats in which more or less characteristically specialized beetle representatives are to be seen. Water or atmospheric humidity, favourable temperature gradient and the food (plant life is basic source) are the three basic requirements for the beetles to flourish. The annual rainfall in India exhibits a wide range of variation from less than 150 mm in Thar desert to more than 5000 mm in Khasi hills. India possesses very rich evergreen and subtropical vegetation in Eastern Ghat, Nilgiri hills, Western Ghat, Northern West Bengal, Assam plateau, Eastern and Western Himalaya, etc., and consequently these areas become the major zones of concentration of rich beetle fauna of the country.

Apart from the course of distribution impacted by geographic, climatic and evolutionary changes, the distribution of beetles must have been influenced at a greater rate by the human activities in recent times. Though a realistic estimate become impractical, it is thought that at least 400 species have entered into this country in the last four centuries through various human agencies. These species might have come either as adults, or as immature stages, or as eggs along with plants, fruits, seeds and plant products.

Biological Diversity And Its Special Features

The biological diversity of Coleoptera is enormous as they exploit varied types of foods, reside in widest range of habitats and use diverse methods of locomotion. The taxonomic diversity of this group has already been shown in Table 1. The diversification within Coeoptera in modes of feeding and digestion is almost as great as that in the food themselves. Many beetles are primarily predacious. The ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), predacious diVing beetles (Dytiscidae) are good examples of predators. Worms, various tiny insects and their larvae, slugs, snails, and even fishlings and tadpoles become their victim. Some hydrophilid larvae predate on snails and small invertebrates while their adults feed on decomposing vegetation; Histeridae usually predate on wood inhabiting grubs and dung inhabiting maggots; some Staphylinidae, Scydmaenidae, Pselaphidae and Coccinellidae feed on mites, coccids, aphids, etc.; adults of some but larvae of most of the Cleridae are predacious on larvae in dead woods; larvae of fireflies (Lampyridae) prey on snails, slugs, earthworms, caterpillars, etc. Many Silphidae, Anisotomidae and Staphylinidae are scavengers and feed on dried animal matters, dry insects and museum specimens. A number of beetle families are mould feeders; Nitidulidae are usually mycetophagous or saprophagous; members of Erotylidae, Endomychidae, Corylophidae, Mycetophagidae, Tetratomidae, Melandryidae, etc. feed on fungal spores or soft fungal tissues. Some Anthicidae, Meloidae, Cantharidae, Nitidulidae and Staphylinidae feed on pollen and nectar of flowers. Anobidae, Bosrychidae, Scolytidae, Platypodidae and Lyctidae are xylophagous (wood eating). The adults of Buprestidae, Elateridae, Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae, Cerambycidae are phytophagous, usually feeding on foliage or vegetal parts of plants; many soil dwelling white grubs (Scarabaeidae) feed on roots of plants. A number of beetles distributed to families Curculionidae, Tenebrionidae, Bruchidae, Bostrychidae, Cleridae, Nitidulidae, Silvanidae, Cucujidae, etc. feed on stored grains or grain products. A number of Scarabaeidae are dung or carrion feeders. In a few cavernicolous species (Leiodidae), the larva takes no independent food but gets nourished inside the body of the mother. In some Elateridae, the adult feeding is very restricted and of little biological significance.

The exceptional diversity of food and extensive adaptive biology have made the beetles capable of exploiting diversity of ecological habitats. The chief habitats and their prevalent representative families are as follows:

(i) Under stone, logs and fallen trees :-Carabidae, Tenebrionidae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae, etc.

(ii) Under bark (dying or dead trees) :-Silvanidae, Cucujidae, Elacatidae, Inopedlidae, Nitidulidae, Colydiidae, Corylophidae, Cryptophagidae, Erotylidae, Endomychidae, Rhizophagidae, Cerylonidae, Mordellidae, Carabidae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae, etc.

(iii) Tunnels and holes of trees, stumps :-Scolytidae, Bostrychidae, Lyctidae, Platypodidae, Anobiidae, Colydiidae, Carabidae, Elateridae, etc.

(iv) Rotten and decayed wood :-Passalidae, Lucanidae, Anthribidae, Cerambycidae, Rhipiphoridae, Rhipiceridae, Tenebrionidae, Scapidiidae, Rhysodidae, Paussidae, etc.

(v) Shrubs, foliage and small trees :-Chrysomelidae, Cantharidae, Coccinellidae, Curculionidae, Buprestidae, Burchidae, Elateridae, Scarabaeidae, Cleridae, Languriidae, Lathridiidae, Mycetophagidae, etc.

(vi) Flowers :-Anthicidae, Pedilidae, Nitidulidae, Cryptophagidae, Phalacridae, Coccinellidae, Buprestidae, Scarabaeidae, Cerambycidae, Chrysomelidae, etc.

(vii) Vegetation debris :-Staphylinidae, Scarabaeidae, Mycetophagidae, Anthicidae, Scydmaenidae, Ptilidae, Pselaphidae, Tenebrionidae, etc. (viii) Dung and Carrion :-Scarabaeidae, Staphylinidae, Hydrophilidae, Histeridae, Silphidae, Dennestidae, etc.

(ix) Fungi :-Erotylidae, Nitidulidae, Sphinididae, Tenebrionidae, Scaphidiidae, etc.

(x) Nests of mammals, birds, ants, tennites :-Dennestidae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae, Merophysiidae, Cerylonidae, etc.

(xi) Water bodies :-Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae, Hydrophilidae, Haliplidae, Dryopidae, Amphizoidae, etc.

Endemicity And Plasticity

On the basis of available infonnation, India appears to possess about 20 per cent of its beetle species endemic to this country. However, the Coleopteran fauna of the adjoining countries is far less known than that in India. Therefore, it is uncertain whether a large number of species described from India extend their range of distribution to those countries or not. Hence, the endemicity of the Indian species remains to be a matter of controversy till the fauna of the neighbouring countries are significantly explored. From the view point of dispersal efficiency, that underlies the reason for endemicity to certain extent, beetles may be categorised into five main types. The first of these are the fonns in which the females are flightless, and those who do neither have regular phoresy by flying hosts or development in dead timber (found among certain Carabide, Cebrionidae, Drilidae, Cantharidae, Tenebrionidae, Curculionidae, etc.).

The second category comprises the long-lived but rarely flying adults and whose larvae do not develop in dead timber (found among certain Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae, Carabidae, etc.). The third category comprises short-lived but frequently flying and active adults which spread reasonably over distance, excepting wide habitat gaps (found among certain Scarabaeidae, Cantharidae, Cicindelidae, Melyridae, Mordellidae, Oedemeridae, Cerambycidae, etc.). The fourth category comprises long-lived larvae in dead timber and both adults and larvae capable of surviving in sea drifted logs, etc., (found among certain Curculionidae, Cerambycicae). The fifth category comprises small, readily flying beetles, caught up in air currents and drifted to distance as 'aerial plankton' (found among certain Staphylinidae, Nitidulidae, etc.). The species belong to categories one and two entirely and these of three partially have rather restricted areas of distribution. Moreover, the cave dwelling forms with flightless adults have least capacity of survival outside their specific habitats (found among certain Carabidae, Scydmaenidae, etc.).

It is also believed that the beetles as a group which has shown great adaptibility and plasticity in the evolutionary course may be able to adjust changes of human dominated world. As for example, a number of species have established themselves as 'stored pests' or 'agricultural pests' or otherwise 'anthropophilic' by adaptations in course of millienia of stable custom of food storage, agriculture, etc.


Most of the beetle species are neither specifically useful or harmful to us, nor are they unique indicator species monitoring the health of the environment in any precise way. Most are in a sense, merely small fibres in the enormous fabric of life in our natural world. However, some of them really have beneficial uses as well as harmful effects to human concerns.

Human interest in Coleoptera can be traced back to ancient history or prehistory. The luminosity of fireflies (Lampyridae), the poisonous properties of certain Chrysomelidae and Carabidae, the brilliant metallic colours of large Buprestidae have all attracted attention of primitive people. The depredations by beetles in food stores and medicinal properties of Cantharidin of Meloidae were not unknown to them.

The economic importance of various beetles. are well known. More than 300 species in India are noted as pests of field crops, forest trees, timbers and various stored products. A large number of beetles are detrimental to economic crops or agriculture. They attack various plants of cereals, vegetables and spices (Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae, Elateridae, Meloidae, etc.) ; fruit trees and orchard crops (Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae, Scarabaeidae, Cerambycidae, Tenebrionidae, Buprestidae, etc.).

A number of beetles belonging to families Cerambycidae, Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae, Platypodidae, Scolytidae, etc., cause damage to forest trees and timber by infesting them. Some beetles belonging to families Cerambycidae, Lyctidae and Anobiidae are destructive to timber in buildings, packing cases, furniture, etc. The main beetle pests of stored products belong to the families Dermestidae, Bostrychidae, Anobiidae, Trogositide, Cleridae, Nitidulidae, Silvanidae, Cucujidae, Tenebrionidae, Bruchidae, Curculionidae, etc. On the contrary, the value of Coccinellidae as destroyer of injurious homoptera and mites; of the Carabidae, Staphylinidae and Colydiidae as destroyer of lepidopterous, dipterous and coleopterous larvae; of many Chrysomelidae as destroyer of injurious plants are realised. Many species (Silphidae, Trogidae, Scarabaeidae, Dermestidae, etc.), scavenging and feeding on dead bodies of animals, serve in sanitation of nature. Many of the beetles (Histeridae and Staphylinidae) found in carrion are largely predatory in larval stages on the dipteran maggots. By combating toxic pollutants produced by larvae of Calliphorine flies they help other beetles in consuming carrion. Trogids feeding on very old carcasses are able to break down keratin from hairs and feathers of vertebrates. Phycocesids occurring on sea beaches often consume dead fishes. The activity of dung beetles (Scarabaeine and Aphodiine Scarabaeidae, Geotrupidae) is important in the downward transportation of minerals into the soil. The use of Coleoptera as 'material' for various laboratory and experimental investigations is long established.

The activities of dung beetles (Scarabaeine and Aphodiine Scarabaeidae, Geotrupidae) are of considerable ecological importance especially through the return of mineral components into the soil. The adult beetles show strong burrowing modifications and the burrows may be as deep as 2 metres in certain species. They sink the dung to a sufficient depth of the soil. It has been observed that earthworms playa greater role than dung beetles in the disappearance of cow dung patches in the fields, but the dung keetles played an important part in opening up the habitat to the earthwarms.


The extremely diversified ecosystems which maintained considerable degree of stability have supported immense diversity of beetle fauna. These are now being depleted by human acts and large number of species face extinction. Particularly threatened are those species which are dependent upon old dying and dead trees in natural forests, and those which live in heap of humus on forest floor accumulated over the years since these habitats are not safe from human interference. Apart from the destruction of climax forests in which numerous specialized beetles live, serious threat to the beetle fauna comes from the chemical insecticides so Widely used at present in agriculture and public health programmes. Periodic forest fires also contribute to a great loss of population of beetles in terms of quantity and quality.

Conservation And Future Studies

Beetles like all wildlife deserve conservation. As ecological indicator beetles are especially valuable as they have intimate and specific biological links SENGUPTA AND PAL: Coleoptera with extremely diverse range of other organisms in the ecosystem. Further, conservation of relict beetle population in situ, is extremely essential as ecological information of various fossil fauna and their lines of evolution could be interpreted from study of these relict species.

The survival of the present diversity of beetle fauna of the world can only be assured by the establishment of numerous and fairly large nature reserves in all parts of the world, and by safeguarding their long tenn inviolability against the pressing claims of economic and social development plans.Virtually, the conservation of some less Wide-spread beetles in their existing habitats are threatened by the introduction of various nonindigenous predators or fishes into pools where they have not previously occurred. Another type of threat arises from the sylvicultural measures instigated by botanists eager to promote mass regeneration of favoured species of woody plants, or to protect existing ones against fungal infection or insect damage. There is no doubt that the floral constitution of an ecosystem is liable to be greatly influenced by the activities of its animals and vice versa. However, people in the forestry sector hardly appreciate the consideration and accommodate it into actions. It can no way be ignored, if consideration for beetles receive due attention. In a natural forest old trees in suitable condition prOVide habitat for many beetle species completely dependent on them. Trees of this type either standing or fallen, should be given special consideration in relation to plans for conservation.

Many beetles are extremely sensitive to various chemical insecticides. It is necessary that an important reserve should be surrounded by sufficient 'buffer' area which is to be kept free from application of chemicals. Because, the reserves close to agricultural fields are likely to receive windblown spray or dust material from adjacent fields. Further, insecticides should never •be applied in a reserve, even to protect its desirable trees species from the destruction by insects.

It is believed that complete inventory of the beetle species of a particular habitat (or protected nature reserve) would permit to draw more information about it than would a similar list for many other kind of organisms. Considering all the aspects presented here, it is but essential for the workers engaged in the study of biodiversity to (i) carry out extensive surveys and inventories of the collection; (ii) develop plans for managing the species diversity (and populations) steadily; (iii) assess long-term effect of traditional methods of management and exploitation of forest produces as well as effect of moderated ecosystems, agrophysiological changes, and changes of cultural practices on the fauna; (iv) undertake study on environmental as well as genetic variations; (v) analyse the relationship between populations and communities and identify the role of a species in the food web.

Selected References

Arnett, R.H. 1968. The Beetles of the United States (A Manllal for Identification). The American Entomological Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan. B6ving, A. G. and Craighead, F. C. 1931. An ilIl1strated synopsis of tile principal larval forms of tIle order Coleoptera. Brooklyn Entomological Society, New York. Crowson, R. A. 1955. The natllral classification of the families of Coleoptera. Nathaniel Lloyd, London. Crowson, R. A. 1981. The Biology of the Coleoptera. Academic Press, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, San Francisco. Dillon, E. and Dillon, L. 1960. A manllal of common beetles of eastem North America. Row, Peterson & Co., Evaston, Illinois. Fowler, W. W. 1912. The Fauna ofBritish India including Ceylon and Burma. Coleoptera: General Introduction and Cicindelidae and Paussidae. Taylor and Francis, London. Ganglabauer, L. 1892-1904. Die Kiifer von Millelellropa. Vienna [4 volumes]. Joy, N. H.1976. A Practical Handbook of British Beetles. Classey, Farringdon [2 volumes], Reprint edition. Kuhnt, P. 1912. 1/lllstrierte Bestimnllmgs-Tabellen der Kiifer Delltsclllands. Nagele & Spr6sser, Stuttgart. Leconte, J. L. and Horn, G. H. 1883. Classification of the Coleoptera of North America. Smithsonian Misc. Coil., 507. Parker, S. P. (ed.) 1982. Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms. 2 : McGraw¬Hill, New York. Reitter, E. 1908-1916. Fallna Germanica. Die Kiifer des Delltscllerl Reic/le5. Stuttgart [5 volumes].


This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book was an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, your help will be gratefully acknowledged.


Members of the order Coleoptera are commonly known as beetles. This is the largest group of comparable units afnong all.animals. This is not only the largest order of Insecta, but has also been a very favourite group of the collectors for a long time, due to their versatile habits, marvellous colouration and sculpture, as. well as for their economic importance. India being situated in tropics, is well known for her richness of Coleopterous fauna The dense and evergreen forests of North-East India and Nilgiri hills are beetles paradise. The Himalaya down to the Nilgiri hills along with the Vindhyachal and Satpura Ranges gives us enormous variety of habitats and innumerable types of beetles. Beetles form a well characterised group, having hard integument, distinct gular region, modified forewing as elytra meeting mid-dorsally into a straight line, biting mouth parts and holometabolic life-cycle,. which are ordinarily sufficient to distinguish them.

Beetles are of immense economic importance, some of them are beneficial, help in controlling many injurious insects. Importance of some Coccinellid species (Rodolia) in biological control is well know. On the other hand, damage caused by Coleoptera is colossal, although no definite statistical data is available. The major ecological impact of beetles results from their effects on green plants, their contribution to the breakdown of plant and animal debris and the formation of soil, and their predatory activities. Many species have economic importance often becoming injurious and some others also beneficial.

Many species of the order are markedly stenibiotic, with special ecological requirements for their continued existence. Occurrence of such species can be used as indicators of ecological conditions. Beetles provided suitable material for all types of studies on comparative biology. They also offer a classic example of evolutionary diversification. Representatives of the following families of Coleoptera include majority of stored product insect pests.

16 Stored food products, flour, decaying vegetable matter in ware houses. Animal skin, furs, woods, dried fish, dried vegetables. Ware houses and granaries, fungi &moulds. Rice, seeds and nuts also attack twigs, leaves, buds and roots. Stored products in Wax:e house and granaries. Feed on leguminous plants, peas, beans, ware house, cargo ships Fruits, ware houses, carrions, fungi and flowers. T. Sengupta, S. Biswas, P. Mukhopadhyay &C. R. Balu, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Family Number of Chief "abitats species Representative of following ten families of Coleoptera include majority of forest pests in India Family Number of Chief habitats species


Classification of Coleoptera has been worked out from different angles 'by various workers, chiefly by Verhoeff (1893) on the abdomen; Sharp and Muir (1912) on the male genitalia, Forbes (1922 and 1926) on the wing venation and wing folding; Stickney (1923) on the head capsule; Tanner (1927) on the female genitalia; Boving and Craighead (1931) on the larvae; Poel (1932) on the malpighian tubules; William (1938) on the mouth parts and Smith (1950) on Cytotaxonomy.

Crowson (1955) published an invaluable work on the natural classification of the families of Coleoptera, using external morphology and internal anatomy of both adult and larva, life histories, pbysiology, habitat and palaeontological evidences. He recognised 4 suborders, 6 series, 22 super families, 157 families, plus 3 families with uncertain systematic position. Since the work Qf Crowson (1955), more changes have been made specially in the super families Cantharoidea, Cleroidea, Cucujoidea and Dascilloidea. Some new families viz. Boganiidae, Cavognathidae, Phloeostichidae and Lamingtonidae have also been added recently "to the order Coleoptera by Sengupta and Crowson (1966-70). T-he families of Coleoptera have been arranged in the following manner by Crowson (1981);

Suborder I Archostemata, Superfamily Cupedoidea. Families 1. Ommadidae, 2. Tetraphabridae, 3. Cupedidae 4. Micromalthidae. Suborder II Adephaga, Superfamily Caraboid~. 1. Rhysodidae, 2. Paussidae, 3. Cicindelidae, 4. Carabidae, 5. Tracbypacbydae, 6. Haliplidae, 7. Amphiz•oidae, 8. Hygrobiidae, 9. Noteridae, 10. Dytiscidae, 11. Gyrinidae. Suborder III Myxophaga; Superfamily Sphaerioidea. Families 1. Lepiceridae, 2. Tonidincolidae, 3. Hydroscaphidae 4. Sphaeriidae Suborder IV. Polypbaga, Superfamily: Hydrophiloidea. 1. Hydmenidae, 2. Spercheidae, 3. Hydrochidae, 4. Georyssidae, 5. Hydrophilidae Superfamily Histeroidea Families 1. Sphaeritidae, 2. Syntelidae, 3. Histeridae Superfamily Staphylinoidea Families 1. Ptiilidae, 2. Empelidae, 3. Liodidae, 4. Scydmaenidae, 5. Silphidae, 6. Micropeplidae, 7. Dasyceridae, 8. Staphylinidae, 9. Pselaphidae. Superfamily Eucinetoidea Families 1. Clambidae, 2. Eucinetidae, 3. Helodidae Superfamily Dascilloidea Families 1. Dascillidae, 2. Karumidae, 3. Rhipiceridae Animal Resources ofIndia Superfamily Scarabaeoidea Families 1. Lucanidae, 2. Trogidae, 3. Acanthoceridae, 4. Passalidae, 5. Pleocomidae, 6. Geotrupidae, 7. Ochodaeidae, 8. Hybosoridae, 9. Glaphyridae, 10. Scarabaeidae. Superfamily Byrrhoidea Families 1. Bynhidae Superfamily Dryopoidea Families 1. Eulichadidae, 2. Ptilodactylidae, 3. Chelonariidae, 4. Psephenidae, 5. Elmidae, 6. Lutrochidae, 7. Dryopidae, 8. Limnichidae, 9. Heteroceridae Superfamily Buprestoidea Families 1. Buprestidae Superfamily Artematopoidea Families 1. Artematopidae, 2. Callirhidpidae, 3. Bracbypsectridae Superfamily Elateroidea Families 1. Cebrionidae, 2. Elateridae, 3. Throscidae, 4. Eucnemidae Superfamily Cantharoidea Families 1. Gneoglossidae, 2. Plastoceridae, 3. Homalisidae, 4. Lycidae, 5. Drilidae, 6. Phengodidae, 7. Telegeusidae, 8. Lampyridae, 9. Omethidae, 10. Cantlmrjdae Superfamily Dermestoidea Families 1. Derodontidae, 2. Nosodendridae, 3. Dennestidae, 4. Thorictidae, 5. Jacobsonidae Superfamily Bostrychoidea Families 1. Bosb'ychidae, 2. Lyctidae, 3. Anobiidae, 4. Ptinidae Superfamily Cleroidea Families 1. Phloiophilidae, 2. Peltidae, 3. Lophocateridae, 4. Trossitidae, 5. Chaetosomatidae, 6. Clcridae, 7. Acanthoenemidae, 8. Phycosecidae, 9. Melyridae Superfamily Lymexyloidea Families 1. Lymexylidae, 2. Stylopidae Superfamily Cucujoidea Section (I) Clavicornia Families 1. Nitidulidae, 2. Rhizophagidae, 3. Boganidae, 4. Phalacridae, 5. Protocucujidae, 6. Sphindidae, 7. Hobartiidae, 8. Cucujidae, 9. Passandridae, 10. Phloeostichidae, 11. Silvanidae, 12. Cavognathidae, 13. Cryptophagidae, 14. Helotidae, 15. Byturidae, 16. Biphyllidae, 17. Lamingtoniidae, 18. Languriidae, 19. Erotylidae, 20. Cryptophilidae, 21. Cerylonidae, 22. Corylophidae, 23. Sphaerosomatidae, 24. Endomychidae, 25. Coccinellidae, 26. Discolomidae, 27. Merophysiidae, 28. Lathridiidae. Section (II) Heteromem Families 1. Merycidae, 2. Colydiidae, 3. Prostomidae, 4. Mycetophagidae, 5. Cisidae, 6. Pterogeniidae, 7. Tetratomidae, 8. Melandryidae, 9. Mordellidae, 10. Rhipiphoridae, 11. Synchroidae, 12. Cephaloidae, 13.0edemeridae, 14. Pythidae, 15. Trictenotomidae, 16. Pyrochroidae, 17. Anthicidae, 18. Aderidae, 19. Meloidae, 20. Scraptiidae, 21. Cononotidae, 22.0thnidae, 23. Salpingidae, 24. Inopeplidae, 25. Myctoridae, 26. Monommidae, 27. Zopheridae, 28. Lagriidae, 29. Tenebrionidae, 30. Alleculidae. Superfamily Chrysomeloidea Families 1. Disteniidae, 2. Cerambycidae, 3. Megalopodidae, 4. Bruchidae, 5. Chrysomelidae Superfamily Curculionoidea Families 1. Nemonychidae, 2. Anthribidae, 3. Belidae, 4. Oxycorynidae, 5. Aglycyderidae, 6. Allocorynidae, 7. Attelabidae, 8. Apionidae, 9. Brenthidae, 10. Curculionidae, 11. Scolytidae, 12. Platypodidae

Historical Resume

i) Pre-1900

Indian Coleoptera have been dealt and described by various workers, as early as 1792 by Fabricius, who described a longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) based on single specimen from Tranquebar. some other early workers are Wiedemann (1823) who described 200 new species from Bengal, Petry (1831) who in his D.Sc thesis included, 1500 species of Coleoptera from Oriental region; Westwood (1832) published a book on Indian Insects with many colour illustrations, Hope (1837) on Himalayan Insects, and Bates (1864) recorded 5000 species from India.

ii) 1901-1947

At the beginning of twentieth century, most important work published on CQleoptera is Coleopterorum Catalogus (1910-1940) in 31 volumes, 170 pars, edited'by S. Schenkling and published by W. Junk (The Netherlands), other important works published are: Lefroy (1906 and 1909) on 'Indian Insect Pests'; Stebbing (1914) on 'Ecology and control of Indian forest insects. In the 'Fauna of British India' series contributions were made by C. J. Gahan (1906) on Cerambycidae (prioninae, Disteniinae, Lepturinae, and Cerambycinae); by M. Jacoby (1908) on Chrysomelidae (Sagrinae, Danacinae, Criocerinae, Zugophorinae, Orsodaeninae, Megalopodinae, Clytrinae, Cryptocephalinae, Chlamisinae, Lamprosomatinae, Eumolpinae); by G. J. Arrow (1910) on Scarabaeidae (Cetoninae, Dynestinae); by W. W. Fowler• (1912) on Cicindelidae, Rhysodidae and Paussidae; by G. A. K. Marshall (1916) on Curculionidae (Brachyderinae.and Otiorhynchinae): by G. J. Arrow (1917) on Scarabaeidae (Rutelinae, Desmomycinae &Euchirinae); "by S. Maulik (1919) on Chrysomelidae (Hispinae &Cassidinae); by G. J. Arrow (1925) on Eroiylidae, Languriidae &Endomychidae); by S. Maulik (1926) on Chrysomelidae (Chrysomelinae &Halticinae); H. E. Andrewes (1929) on Carabidae (Carabinae); by M. Cameron (1930) on Staphylinidae (Micropeplinae, Oxytelina~, Oxyporinae, Megalopodinae, Steninae &Enaes'thetinae); by G. J. Arrow (1931) on Scarabaeidae (Coprinae); M. Cameron •(1931) on Staphylinidae (paederinae); by M. Cameron (1932) on Staphylinidae (Staphylininae, Trichophyinae, Termitodiscinae, Phgosteninae & Trachyphorinae); by H. E. Andrewes (1935) on Carabidae (Harpalinae); by S. Maulik (1936) by Chrysomelidae (Galerucinae); and by M. Cameron (1939) on Staphylinidae (pseudoperenthinae &Aleocharinae). Catalogue of Indian insects were published by Government of India (1924-1931) on the families Carabidae (H. E. Andrews 1930), Lycidae (R. Kleine' 1931), Palpicomia (d' Orchymont 1928), Cicindelidae (M. H. Heynes-Wood and C. Dover 1928), Nitidulidae (S. N. Chatterjee 1924) and Brenthidae (R. Kleine 1926).

iii) 1948-1990

Since Independance (1947) two major work published are 'Fauna of India' vols. by G. J. Arrow (1949) Lueanidae and Passalidae; other Indian Coleopterists of this period, who worked iit Z.S.I., are A. P. Kapur on Coccinellidae, T. G. Vazirani on Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae and Haliplidae, R. K. Kacker on Cytotaxonomy of Coleoptera, K. Rai on Bostrychidae, G. N. Saba on Meloidae, C. R: Basu on Chrysomelidae, S. Biswas on Scarabaeidae, Dytiscidae and other aquatic families, S. K. Saha on Carabidae, Cicindelidae and Rhysodidae, P. K. Maiti on Cerambycidae, Scolytidae and Platypodidae, A. K. Mukherjee on Langurodae and Dytiscidae, P. Mukhopadhyay on Cucujidae and Curculionidae, T. K. Pal on Silvanidae and Passalidae, A. R. Bhaumik on Coccinellidae, R. Sewak on genitalia ofScarabaeidae, N. Saba on Scolytidae, D.'N. Bisws on Staphylinidae, G. N. Saha &B. N. Das on Tenebrionidae, S. K. Chatterjee on Scarabaeidae, T. Sengupta, P. Mukhopadhyay, R. Sengupta &P. K. Basak on Stored product beetles, T. Sengupta &Mrs. M. Dey on Beetles of Wetland, T. Sengupta &C. K. Sengupta an Cerambycidae, T. Sengupta on higher classification of Clavicomia, and on Languriidae, Cryptophagidae, Erotylidae, Cerylonidae, Byturidae. Merophysidae, Othnidae, Inopeplidae, Rhizophagidae, Propalticidae and Lathridiidae. In other Institutions, the following worked : V. V. Ramamurthy &. S. Ghai on Curculionidae. G. L. Arora on Bruchidae, H. Pajni on Curculionidae and K. P. Jaiswal on Hydrophilidae.

Foreign workers in the recent times (1975-83) published several papers on various families of Coleoptera from Indian and its adjoining countries, which enriched present know ledge on Indian beetles. These workers are : S. Kimoto, H. Takizawa, I. Lopatin, M. Daccordi and M. Wurmli (Chrysomelidae), R. Bielawski (Coccinellidae), E. Colonnelli (Curculionidae), P. Morvan, K. Mandl, M. Schmid, A. Casale, R. Heinertz, W. Heinz and T. Deave (Carabidae). M. Sato (Georyssidae, Hydraenidae, Hydrophilidae and Ptilodactylidae), S. Breuning and C. Holzschuh (Cerambycidae), M. Chujo (Erotylidae, Languriidae &Helotidae), R. Dajoz and S. A. Slipinsky (Colydiidae &'Cerylonidae), H. Franz (Scydmaenidae); G. Fray, R. Petrovitz and G. Sahatinelli (Scarabaeidae), Z. Kaszab (Tenebrionidae), F. Angetini &L. Marzo and M. O. Lisle (Lucanidae), V. Puthz, H. Coiffait and G. M. Rougemout (Staphylinidae), C. Reyes (Passalidae), E. Schedl (Scolytidae and Plat ypodidae) , J. Theorond (Histeridae), G. Wewalka (Dytiscidae), W. Wittmer (Cantharidae), J. Jelinck (Nitidulidae), W. Schawaller (Silphidae), V. Svihla (Oedemeridae), M. Brancui (Cantharidae and Dytiscidae), B. Klausnitzer (Helotidae), R. Friesa. (Anthribidae), G. Liberti (Dasytidae), S. Bily (Buprestidae), H. Coiffait and L. Harmann (Staphylinidae).

Sengup~ et ale (1984) published an important account on major beetle pests on stored products, Basak &Sengupta (1989-90) published a number of papers on stored product beetles, and Basak (1989) reported 84 species under 22 families of Coleoptera associated with stored products in Calcutta. Kacker (19~3-1988) published a series of papers on cytotaxonomy of beetles, wherein he proposed a hypothetical classification of Coleoptera based on his chromosomal studies. Recently t Biswas and Mukhopadhyay (in press) hae completed a study on beetles of Lakshadweep Islands.

Estimation of Taxa

Out of the four suborders of Coleoptera, two major suborders, namely, Adephaga and Polyphaga, are represented in India. Members of other two suborders, Archostemata and Myxopbaga are yet to be discovered. Against an estimated total of 179 families of Coleoptera known from the world, about 103 families are recorded from India. Out of about 3,50,000 described species from allover the world, 15,000 species under 2000 genera are known from India. The National Zoological Collections in the Zoological Survey of India contain 86 families covering about 8000 species, collected from different localities in India and adjacent countries. Some species from different parts of the world are also represented in the collection. Our knowledge of the Indian Coleoptera at present is far from complete. Leaving aside the case of little known groups, new taxa of specific or generic level are constantly discovered. The family• wise break up of Indian and world Coleoptera is as given below:

Terrestrial Coleoptera

Of the four suborders of the order Coleoptera, the members of Archostemata are terrestrial, whereas numbers of families of Adephaga are divided into terrestrial and aquatic forms, Myxophaga are predominantly aquatic and major families of Polyphaga are terrestrial in habi.t, although about half a dozen Polyphagan families are aquatic. Some members of the families Chrysomelidae (Donaciinae), Curculionidae (Ceuthorthynchinae, Boganinii) and Lampyridae (Luciolinae in part) have secondarily gone into water. An approximate"estiamte of different categories is given below:

Aquatic Coleoptera

Out of 8054 species of aquatic beetles known from the world, 588 species are represented in India. An approximate break up of different taxa is given below:

Among freshwater Coleoptera, there are certain Zoogeographically interesting groups e.g. out of five species of Amphizoidae known from the world, one species is recorded from Kashmir in India. Family Psephenidae is known from North America and Tibet. In recent surveys specimens have been collected from torrential rivers and streams of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Classified Treatment

Suborder I Archostemata• This suborder is not represented in India proper; Fowler (1912) recorded a species, Cupes clathratus Solsky, from Ruby mines, Burma. Suborder n Adephaga Superfamily Camboidea Super family Caraboidea includes 11 familes, namely Rhysodidae, Paussidae, Cicindelidae, Carabidae, Trachypachydae, Haliplidae, Amphizoidae, Hygrobiidae, Noteridae, Dytiscidae and Gyrinidae. Fowler (1912) published an account of Indian Rhysodidae, Paussidae and Cicindelidae in a volume of 'Fauna of British India' series, whereas Andrews (1929, 1935) contributed accounts o.f Indian Carabinae in two other volumes of 'Fauna' Recently, T. G. Vazirani (1953-1984) published a series of papers on aquatic beetles of India, of which most important review of the subfamilies Noterinae, Laccophilinae, Hydroporinae, Colymbetinae and Dytiscinae. He (1977) also published a catalogue of Oriental Dytiscidae. his other contributions are discovery of Amphizoidae for frrst time from India and a volume of 'Fauna' on Gyrinidae and Haliplidae (1984). Saba (1978¬86) has published a number of papers on Indian .Carabidae, where he has added 12 new species. Presently he is studying Carabidae fauna of West Bengal and a revision of Indian Chlaeniinae. Saba with Biswas, Sengupta and Halder (1978-86) published a number of papers on Cicindelidae and Rhysodidae Biswas and Rynth (1987) published Cicindelidae of Meghalaya. Sengupta, Dey &Bhuiya (1989) published an account on wetland fauna ofW. Bengal, and Dey (1990) recorded 28 spp. of aquatic beetles associated with wetland around Calcutta. Mukherjee and Sengupta (1986) discovered anew species of Dytiscidae from Silent valley. Biswas, Saba &Mukhopadhyay recently completed a study on Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae &Haliplidae of West Bengal and dealt with 71 species. Saba, Halder and Biswas have taken a project on Indian Cicindelidae. This suborder contains 4 families. Family Lepiceridae is represented with single genus upicerus and two species, Tonidincollidae with 6 genera and 25 species, Spbaeriidae with single genus Sphaerius and 18 species and Hydroscaphidae with 3 genera and 13 species from the world. So far, these families are not reported from India

Suborder IV Polyphaga

This suborder contains large number of taxa and divided into 19 super(amilies and 145 families. Workers differ intheir opinion regarding definition and limit of some of the families included. however, classification is based on the biology of Coleoptera by-Crowson (1981).

Superfamily Hydrophiloidea

D'Orchymont (1919-1929) and Sharp (1874-1890) dealt with Indian fauna. Orchymont (1928) published a check list of the species recorded from India and ajoining areas. Hydrophilidae is the dominant family and other four smaller families namely Hydaenidae, Hydrochidae and Spercbidae are often treated as subfamilies of Hydrophilidae. Champion (1920-1923) has described a few' species of Georyssidae and recently deo Sato described a number of species from Darjeeling area. A study on Hydrophilidae of Orissa by Biswas &Mukhopadhyay is in press, and work on Hydrophilidae of West Bengal is also completed, where they dealt with 79 spp under 21 genera with several new records. Biswas and Mukhopadhyay have also studied Indian Geoi'yssidae.

Superfamily Histeroidea

Of the three families, Histeridae, Sphaeritidae and Syntelidae, Sphaeritidae does not occur in India, while Syntelidae is represented by single species Synrelia indica from India. Histeridae fauna was studied chiefly by Erichson (1834), Wiedemann (1821), Redtenbacher (1847), Thomson (1862), Bickhardt (1913-1921), Marseul (1853-1879), Lewis (1888-1910), Cooman (1932-47), Therond (1970-78) and Mazur (1978-85). Recently, Biswas and Pal (1984) have published Histeridae of Namdapha (Arunachal Pradesh) adding one new species. Chakraborty and Biswas have worked on Histeridae of West Bengal where they have dealt with 40 species.

Superfamily Staphylinoidea

Nine families are included in this superfamily, of which little work has been done in India on 8 families, namely, Ptiliidae, Empelidae, Liodidae, Scydmaenidae, Dasyceridae, Pselaphidae and Silphidae, though about 9700 species and 1072 genera are known these families from all over the world. The remaining family is Staphylinidae, of which about 30,000 species and 1500 genera are knwn from the world. The Indian fauna of Staphylini~e has been stud~ed by early workers like Motschulsky (1844-1861), Krattz (1853-1863) and Fauvel (1862-1908). Later Cameron (1930¬1939) published four volumes of 'Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma' Recently harmann (1970-1986) and Hamond (1973-1975) have added knowledge to Indian Staphylinidae. D. N. Biswas (1977-89) published a series of papers on Indian Staphylinidae, including a monograph with Sengupta where they have added 14 new species 'and a new genus. They also revised genus Bledius Leach reporting 8 new species. Angelini and De Marzo (1983-86) published a number of papers on Indian Leiodidae and added 31 new species from Himalaya and South India.

Superfamily Eucinetoidea

This superfamily contains 3 families, 40 genera and 680 species from the world, but very little is known about the group from India Superfamily Dascilloidea This group contains 3 families, 20 genera and 130 species from the world, but little informations available on these groups from India. Van Emden (1926) published results of his studies on the Sandalidae (=Rhipiceridae) of Indian Museum Collection and reported the larva of Sandalus as a parasite of Cicadas.

Superfamily Scarabaeoidea

This is one of the distinct group of Coleoptera. The species are usually fossorial. Many species are of economic importance. Some species of Melolonthinae, Rutelinae, Dynastinae and Cetoniinae are defamed for their destructive habit. Coprophagus species of several subfamilies of Scarabaeidae are useful scavangers. In India subfamily Coprinae plays an important role in clearing the animal faeces. They also enrich the soil by taking valuable nutrients into it. About 2200 genera and 27,500 species are known of this group from the world. In India, Gravely (1914) published a monograph on Indian Passalidae. Lucanidae was monographed by Arrow (1949) in 'Fauna of British India' series and he also updated our knowledge on Indian Passalidae in the same volume. of the remaining families, only Scarabaeidae has received serious attention both by Indian and foreign workers due mainly to its economic importance. Arrow (1910, 1917, 1931) published three volumes dealing with part of the family but economically very important subfamily Melolonthinae is yet to be worked out. Biswas (1978); made important contribution on Indian Coprinae of Meghalaya. Biswas &Chatterjee (1977-87) published a series of papers on Scarabaeidae of Arunachal Pradesh, Silent Valley (Kerala), Palamau Tiger reserve (Bihar), Orissa, West Bengal, Megbalaya, Tripura and Andaman Islands, where they have dealt with hundreds of species, adding 12 new species. Recently, Pal (1990) published an account of Passalidae of Arunachal Pradesh.

Superfamily Byrrhoidea

This superfamily contains a single family Byrrhidae, which includes 300 species under 28 genera from the world, but little is known from India.

Superfamily Dryopoidea

The superfamily Dryopoidea contains 9 families, which are mostly subaquatic. Not much is known of these beetles in India. Only some species of Heteroceridae. Dryopidae, Elmidae and Psephenidae have been reecorded from India. The last named family is interesting for its geographical distribution, being known from N. America. Tibet and Himalaya.

Superfamily Buprestoidea

This superfamily contains a single family Buprestidae. which includes about 15.000 species under 400 genera from the world. The family is essentially tropical in distribution. Some species are brilliantly coloured and owing to the splendour of their metallic lustre are used in embroidery and jewellery. Beeson (1919). Gardner (1929), Kalshoven (1929), Stebbing (1914) and Thery (1928) have worked on various aspects of the grQUP, but no comprehensive taxonomic account is available from India.

Superfamily Artemetopoidea

The superfamily contains only 3 small families with. about 2000 species known from the world. Van Emden (1926, 1936) contributed some infonnations on Indian Callirhipidae and since then no other infonnation is available.

Superfamily Elateroidea

This superfamily contains 4 families. of which Elateridae is the largesL The adult beetles-are capable of leaping when lying on their back. Some members possess photogenic organs like those of Lampyridae. The larvae of Elaterinae are elongate and cylindrical and very tough skinned. Some larvae are root feeders and extremely destructive. Altogether about 10,470 sPecies under 600 genera are known from the world. Inspite of their economic importance, little attention has been paid to this group in India. Chatterjee and Fleutiaux (1933) and Gardner (1930) studied some species'but no comprehensive work is available. If properly explored, many new taxa are likely to• be discovered from the country.

Superfamily Cantharoidea

The superfamily contains 12 families. Their soft integument and loosely articulated body parts are characteristic of the group. Fire flies of the family' Lampyridae b~long to this superfamily., Some larvae of this group prey on snails. About 10,500 species under 430\ genera are known from the world. No comprehensive taxonomic account is available of any of the families from India, but Austin (1924). Paiva (1919) and Mehata (1932) have worked on biology of few species of Indian Lampyridae. Wiwner (1980-86) published a number of papers on Indian Malachiidae, describing 27 species mostly from foothills of .Himalaya. He also published (1983-86) descriptions of 20 new species of Cantharidae from Himalaya.

Superfamily Dennestoidea

This superfamily contains 5 families, of which Dennestidae i~ the largest. It includes som~ of the most injurious pest species of store. products, specially fur. wool. skin and hide. No comprehensive taxonomic account of Indian fauna is available. About 925 species under 51 genem are known from the world. Barnes and Grove (1916). Fletcher and Ghosh (1919) and Hussain (1921) have worked on Indian species. .

Superfamily Bostrychoidea

This superamily includes 4 families. Majority of species are associated with wood or wooden furniture, bamboo and other materials of plant origin. Lasioderma serricorne of the family Anobiidae is a serious pest in Cigar and Cigarette factories everywhere. This species infects dry fish also. About 2750 species under 270 genera are known from the world. Pic (1937), Gardner (1937), Garthwaite (1940), Atkinston (1933), Beeson and Bhatia (1937) and Beeson (1919-1935) have dealt with the group. Rai has published some papers on Bostrychidae.

Superfamily Cleroidea

This superfamily includes 9 -families. Majority oJ species are predatory in nature, at least in larval stage. The group is predominantly distributed in tropics. A few species (Necrobia, Corynotes) occur within carcases and skjn. In the larval stage they are predacious an4 feed upon wood and bark bonng Coleoptera. About 9609 species under 410 species genera are genera from the world. In India, Beeson (1926), Corporaal (1926, 1939) and Gardner (1937) have contributed to our knowledge. -

Superfamily Lymexyloidea

The superfamily Lymexyloidea contains a single family Lymexylidae, of which 50 species under 6 genera are known from the world. They can bore into hard wood, sometimes doing serious damage by drilling cylindrical holes. two genera Attractocerus and Melittoma occur in India, which have been dealt by Gardner (1926). The group needs more attention.

Superfamily Cucujoidea

Superfamily Cucujoidea is divisible into two sections, namely Clavicornia and Heteromera. The Clavicom beetles pose some difficult problem in the classification of the families, particularly in the. characterisation and constitution of the group. Different authorities still vary greatly in their treatment of vast number of species assembled in this superfamily. Usually 28 families are recognized in the section Clavicomia and 30 families in Heteromera Sengupta & Crowson (1966¬73) published a series of papers on higher classification ot'Clavicornia, where they established 4 new families, and reviewed Lan guriidae , Cerylonidae and Sphindidae. Sengupta (1967-88) published many papers on tribe Loberini, Cladoxenine and Thallisellini of Languriidae; reviewed the world genera of Rhizophagidae; discovered the families Propalticidae .and Byturidae for the first time from India region; proposed a new classification fo the family Erotylidae: and revised Lathridiinae of India. Recently, he has completed a study of Indian Cryptophagidae where about 50 new species are discov.ered. Sengupta &Pal (1977-84) worked on Indian Silvanidae, Merophysiidae, Cerylonidae, Sphindidae and published a number of papers.

A volume of 'Fauna' on Silvanidae by them is in press. Sengupta and Mukhopadhyay (1976-85) published many papers on Indian Cucujidae and a volume of 'Fauna' is under preparation, which will include 24 new species. Sengupta &Dey (1990) revised Indian Rhizophagus (Rhizophagidae) where they established 7 new species. Mukherjee published a number of papers on Indian Languriidae.

Kapur (1946-72) published a series of valuable papers on Indian Coccinellidae, of which important ones are: Revision of genus Jauravia, Tribe Aspidimerini, genus Stethorus, Rodalia and Tetrabrachys. Amongst other important works contributed by Kapur on Coccinellidae are fauna of Manipur, Nepal, Andaman, Goa and Mount Everest regioQ. Recently, Chakraborty and Biswas completed a study of Coccinellidae of West Bengal, where they have dealt with.95 spp.; Ghosh, Biswas and Lahiri (1977) published a list of Coccinellidae of Meghalaya. Mukhopadhyay has studied Indian Passandridae and Prostomidae, adding 4 new species. Sengupta, Pal and Mukhopadhyay (1977-1980) have published a number of papers on small families of Heteromera mainly Inopeplidae and Elacatidae. Saba (1972-1990) published a series of papers and a monogmph on Indian Meloidae, dealing with about 100 species and reporting 28 new species and one new genus. Saba has also prepared a catalogue on Oriental Tenebrionidea and published (1984-90) a few papers besides jointly working with Das on Tenebrionidae of West Bengal.

Superfamily Chrysomeloidea

This superfamily contains 5 families 6560 genera and 71,500 species from the world. Out of the 5 families, Disteniidae is often included in Cerambycidae and Megalopodinae in Chrysomelidae. AU members of this group are phytophagus and cause considerable damage to the foliage, timber, forest trees and stored products, specially seeds and pods of various leguminous plants. Due to its economic importance, the group has attracted attention from the early times and one of the frrst volume of 'Fauna' was published on a part of Cerambycidae by Gahan (1906). Jacoby (1908) published a volume on a part of Chrysomelidae, and remaining parts were dealt with in three separate volumes of 'Fauna' by Maulik (1919, 1926, 1936).

Recently Scherer (1969) published a monograph on Indian Alticinae (Chrysomelidae). In Z.S.I. Basu (1977-87) published a series of papers on Indian Chrysomelidae where he dealt with hundreds of species, added one new genus, 30 new species and several new records. Recently he comple~d a study on Chrysomelidae of West Bengal, where he has dealt with 374 species including 4 new species. He has published papers jointly with Sengupta, Bhowmick and Halder on Chrysomelidae of Tripura and other states. Anand (1978-89) published a number of papers on Chrysomelid species of economic importance. Arora (1977-78) published two important monographs on Taxonomy of Bruchidae of North West India. C. K. Sengupta &T. Sengupta (1981) has dealt with Cerambycidae of Arunachal Pradesh: Maiti, Khan & Mitra (1981-88) published a series of papers on biology & ecology of Ceram bycidae beetles. Maiti &Mitra are studying Cerambycidae of Anaman & Nicobar Islands. Biswas, Basak &Mukhopadhyay are dealing with Cerambycidae of West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Superfamily Curculionoidea

Superfamily Curculionoidea includes 10 families, about 5311 genera and 59,9520 species from the whole world. Curculionidae alone contains 50,000 species and 4,500 genera dislributed over 75 subfamilies. The members of this group are phytophagus and include some serious pests of forest trees, agricultural crops and stored grain. Ambrosia (members af Platypodidae and Scolytidae) are notorious due to their relationship with a deadly fungal disease, which causes heavy damage to forest trees. Out of the families included in this superfamily, considerable work has been done on biology of economically importance species, but no comprehensive taxonomic account is available. Stebbing (1914), Beeson (1941), Voss (1935), Ayyar (1922) and Gardner (1934), have done useful work, and Marshall (1916) has published a monograph on a part of Curculionidae as a volume in 'Fauna of British India' series~ Recently, Pajni (in press) has completed work on another 'Fauna' volume on Eremninae : Curculionidae. Ghai, Supare and Rammurthy (1988-9,0) have revised genera Tanymecus and Myllocerus and added a new species in genus Derelomorphus Mukhopadhyay (1984) has dealt with Indian Brachyderinae, adding a new species. Mukhopadhyay and Biswas are now engaged on studies of Rhynchophorinae : Curculionidae of West Bengal and Meghalaya. Maiti and Saba (1990-89) published a series of papers including two monographs on Indian Scolytidae, dealing with 150 species, particularly from the Bay Islands, West Bengal and Northeast India. Maiti and Nandi are now engaged on Indian Platypodidae, recording 89 species so far.

Expertise India


T. Sengupta, [Rhizophagidae, Languriidae, Cerylonidae, Erotylidae, Cucujidae, Silvanidae, Cryptophagidae, Lathridiidae, Nitidulidae, Elacatidae, Propalticidae]. Kuldip Rai, [Bostrychidae]. P. K. Maiti, [Bark and Timber beetles (Cerambycidae, Scolytidae and Platypodidae)]. S. Biswas, [Aquatic Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Histeridae, Coccinelidae, Bruchidae, Cerambycidae, Curculionidae]. G. N. Saba, [Meloidae, Tenebrionidae]. S. K. Saba, [Carabidae, Cicindellidae, Rhysodidae]. P. Mukhopadhyay, [Cucujidae, Stored grain pest, Cerambycidae, Curculionidae]. C. R. Basu, [Chrysomelidae]. S. K. Chatterjee, [Scarabaeidae, esp. Cetoniinae Dynastinae]. D. N. Biswas, [Staphylinidae]. S. K. Chakraborty. [Histeridae, Coccinellidae] and N. Saha, [Scolytidae], all of ZSI, M-Block, New Alipur, Calcutta 700 053. R. K. Kacker, ZSI, Fire Proof Spirit building, 27, Jawharlal Nehru Road, Calcutta 700 016 (Cytotaxonomy] . T. K. Pal, ZSI, Arunachal Pradesh Field Station, 158, P Sector, ltanagar 791 111 (Arunachal Pmdesh) [Silvanidae and Colydiidae]. Ram Sewak, ZSI, Desert Reg. Stn., Paota B Road, Jodhpur ..... 342 006 (Rajasthan). [Scarabaeidae].


H. R. Pajni, Punjab University, Chandigarh. [Bruchidae, Curculionidae]. G. L. Arora, Punjab University, Chandigarh. [Bruchidae]. G. K. Veeresh, Agricultural University, Bangalore. [Scarabaeidae, esp. Melolonthinae]. P. K. Basak, Jhargram Govl College, Midnapur, (West Bengal). [Stored Grain pests].


Masataka Sa!o, Biological Sato, Biolo~icallaboratory, Nagoya Women's University, No. 3¬40, Shisji-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, 467 (Japan). [Hydrophilidae, Dryopidae, Elmidae, Georyssidae, Ptilodactylidae]. H. Coif fait, Universite' Paul Sabatier;-Laboratoire de Zoologie, 118, route de Narbonne F¬31077 Toulousse Cedex. [Staphylinidae]. I. LObI, Museum d' Histoire t-Jaturelle, Rte de Malagnou, 1211 Geneve (Switzerland). [Scaphidiidae]. Wolfgang Schawaller~ Institut fur Zoologie, Joh. Gutenberg-Universitat, Saarstabe 21, 0-6500 Mainz. [Silphidae]. Claude Besuchet, Museum d' His to ire Naturelle Casepostale 434, CH -1211 Geneva 6, (Switzerland). [pselaphidae]. Carolus Holzschuh, Forstliche Bundes Ver Suchs anstatt,.Institut fUr Forstschutz, A-1131 Wien (Austria). [Cerambycidae]. J. Decelle, Muse'e Royal de I Afrique, Centrale, Section Entomologie, B-1980 Tervuren (Belgique). [Bruchidae]. Michel Brancucci, Museum d, Histoire Naturelle, Entomologie, Augustinergasse 2, CH-400 1 Bale. [Dytiscidae, Cantharidae]. H. Franz, Dep. Ing. Jakob Thomastra Be Zb. A-2340 Modling. [Scydmaenidae]. Jean The 'rond', 41, riue Seguiex, Nimes (France). [Histeridae] . J. Jelinek, National Museum Entomology, Kunraticew 1, 14800 Praka CSSR. (Czeckoslovakia). [Nitidulidae]. Takizawa, H., Biological Research Centre, Japan Tabacco Inc., 23, Nagoki Kanagawa 257 (Japan). [Chrysomelidae). Garhard Scherer, Zoologische Staatssamlung, Munchhausen Strasse 21, D-8000, Minche 60, (Germany). [Chrysomelidae]. S. Kimoto, Biological Laboratory, Dept. of General Education, Sch. Medicine, Karume University, Mii-machi, Kurume 830, (Japan). [Chrysomelidae].

Selected References

Arnett, R. H. 1968. The Beetles of the United States. The American Entomological Institute, Michigan, U.S.A. : xii + 1112 pp. Beeson, C. F. C. 1941 (Reprinted 1961). The Ecology and Control of the Forest Insects ofIndian and the neighbouring countries. Govt of India Publication: 767 pp. Crowson, R. A. 1955. The Natural classification offamilies of Coleoptera. Nathaniel Lloyd and Co. Ltd., London: 187 pp. Crowson, R. A. 1983. The biology of the Coleoptera. Academic Press. London: xii + 802 pp. Fauna ofBritish India series [now Fauna ofIndia], 19~1984. General Introduction of Coleoptera, Cicindelidae, Rhysodidae, Paussidae (by Fowler, 1912), Carabidae (by Andrews, 1929, 1935), Staphylinidae (by Cameron, 1930-1939), Scarabaeidae (by Arrow 1910,1917, 1931), Lucanidae and Passalidae (by Arrow, 1949), Erotylidae, Languriidae and Endomychidae (by Arrow, 1925), Chrysomelidae (by Jacoby 1908, Maulik 1919, 1926, 1936), Cerambycidae (by Gahan 1906), Curculionidae (by Marshall, 1916) and Gyrinidae and Haliplidae (by Vazirani, 1984). Lefroy, H. M. 1909 (Reprinted 1971). Indian Insect life. Thaker, Spiilk &Co., Calcutta: xii + 786 pp. Schenkling, S. (Editor) 191~1940. Coleopterarum Catalogus, 170 pars, 31 vols. W. Junk. Berlin. Stebbing, E. P. 1914. Indian/orest insects of economic importqnce. Eyre and Spottiswoode, Ltd. London: xvi + 648 pp.

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