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Keys for the identification of British Staphylinidae

This is the largest family of beetles in the UK and includes over 1000 species.  It is divided into a number of subfamilies some of which are easily recognisable.  The subfamily key below can be used to start your identification.  Use the genus keys to take identification further.  The six subfamilies with a single representative in the British fauna are keyed in the subfamily key.

Subfamily Aleocharinae, keys in progress (I can send you bits on request - mikesinsectkeysATgmail.com) Click here for 

Subfamily Euaestetinae, key to species below
Subfamily Habrocerinae, one species - Habrocerus capillaricornis
Subfamily Micropeplinae, one genus in the UK - Micropeplus - key to species below
Subfamily Omaliinae, key to genus and many species below
Subfamily Oxyporinae, one species - Oxyporus rufus
Subfamily Oxytelinae, key to genus below
Subfamily Paederinae, key to genus below.  New edit, July 2017
Subfamily Phloeocharinae, one species - Phloeocharis subtilissima
Subfamily Piestinae, one species - Siagonium quadricorne
Subfamily Proteininae, key to species below
Subfamily Pselaphine, key to genus below
Subfamily Pseudopsinae, one species - Pseudopsis sulcata
Subfamily Scaphidiinae, key to species below
Subfamily Scydmaenidae, key to genus and species below New edit, January 2017
Subfamily Staphylininae, key to genus and some species below
Subfamily Steninae, see 
Lott & Anderson, 2011, Handbook for the identification of British Insects Vol.12 part 7 & 8
Subfamily Tachyporinae, key to genus below
Subfamily Trichophyinae, one species - Trichophya pilicornis

The derivation of the name Staphylinidae

I was asked about the derivation of the family name by a researcher and my first research seemed to indicate it came from staphule meaning a grape or a bunch of grapes.  Coiffait (1972) Coléoptères Staphylinidae de la Région Paléarctique Occidentale writes the following (my translation from the French):

"Aristotle in his Περὶ τὰ Ζῷα Ἱστορίαι (History of the Animals) written about 330 BC is probably the first author – at least the first whose writings have survived – who mentions insects termed staphulinos.  It is not possible to state definitively which insect is intended under that name.  What is more he used the same word to describe a plant. 

Littré (1873-1877), Dictionnaire de la langue française, derives the name staphylin from the Greek staphule, meaning a grape or a cluster of grapes.  This etymology is followed by authors of other dictionaries.  If this is accurate it is possible that Aristotle’s beetle was in fact Timarcha (Chrysomelidae).  The more or less spherical shape of this black beetle combined with the fact that it exudes red haemolymph when alarmed could suggest a comparison with a grape.

Carl von Linne, the creator of the binomial system of nomenclature, erected the genus Staphylinus in 1758 in his book Systema naturae, X. I, page 421.  He placed around twenty species into this genus, most of which are today placed in other genera in family Staphylinidae."

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Mike Hackston,
20 Feb 2016, 13:48
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Mike Hackston,
6 Jan 2013, 16:01
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Mike Hackston,
14 Apr 2017, 16:00
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Mike Hackston,
13 Feb 2015, 01:00
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Mike Hackston,
20 Feb 2016, 12:22
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
9 Jul 2017, 07:06
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
1 Jan 2013, 07:49
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
3 Jan 2013, 14:46
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
29 Oct 2016, 04:12
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Mike Hackston,
1 Jan 2017, 14:36
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
2 Aug 2015, 17:09
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Mike Hackston,
30 Sep 2013, 13:15
Ċ
Mike Hackston,
6 Jan 2013, 16:00
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