Coleoptera families

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Fri Nov 17 15:10:48 CST 2000

Fortunately for those who want a precise answer, there is a wonderful
complete modern compendium on the Beetles of the World.  According to
Lawrence et alia there are 173 families.

Beetles of the World (Lawrence, Hastings, Dallwitz, Paine & Zurcher, 1999,
CSIRO Publishing, Canberra) is the first example of a digital monographic
revision. On a single CDROM using DELTA software one has illustrations (more
2500), interactive digital key  and diagnoses to 945 taxa (families,
subfamilies and many lower taxa). In short, everything you need to know
about beetles generally.

This is the model that at least I would like to see for treatments of large
diverse groups, like insect orders. And I would have liked to see it on the
WWW, but CSIRO got to make a profit which is the only objection I have with
this work.  (that is, sell it cheap so every beetle lover would buy one as
well as other who may just be interested in playing with it. But as is only
a few will fork over the almosts $200 US for it).

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at
visit our Diptera site at

>>> Ken Kinman <kinman at HOTMAIL.COM> 11/17 1:59 PM >>>
      Of course, the number of families recognized would be different for
lumpers and splitters.  But I think most workers would recognize 160-170
families of beetles.
>From: Prirodoslovni muzej Split <primust at ST.TEL.HR>
>Reply-To: Prirodoslovni muzej Split <primust at ST.TEL.HR>
>Subject: Coleoptera families
>Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 12:23:29 +0100
>Dear Friends, thanks to all that responded to my first question about
>ground beetles taxa.
>I forgot to ask how many coleoptera families were still present in the
>World, please?
>Is that number 140 or much more than that?
>Thanks in advance!
>Bo+e Kokan
>Prirodoslovni muzej i zoolo ki vrt Split
>21 000 Split
>primust at
>tel/fax: ++385/21/460-989

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