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Complete classification of extinct and recent Coleoptera

A complete system of Coleoptera which is represented below is based on the interpretation proposed by R.A. Crowson (Crowson, 1981), but with further additions and corrections, made by different coleopterists and explained in the below appendix. The most radical changes were done in accordance with propositions by A.G. Ponomarenko (1969, 1973 and unpublished materials from his databases), J.F. Lawrence and A.F. Newton (1995), O.L. Kryzhanovskij (1983), A.G. Kirejtshuk (1992). The groups recorded in fauna of the Palaearctic region and Russia are indicated by abbreviations "Pal", and "Rus". The extinct groups are indicated with a traditional sign "+". The limits of findings in time for each taxon are given as abbreviations of stratigraphical codes within square brackets according to the geochronological scale.

In the system of Crowson (1981), there is only a general division of the order, but the text of this book has no comprehensive comments on arrangements of extinct groups. In the classification here proposed the extinct groups are mostly recognized in the interpretation by A.G. Ponomarenko made in a computer database, although a general division of the order is taken from Kirejtshuk (1992).

A naturalness of classification in here recognized in the sense which was contributed in this term by R.A. Crowson, i.e. a taxonomic fixation is defined not only by structural features, but also peculiar characters of bionomy, ontogenesis and ecology, which appeared as a sequence of peculiar historical fate of each group. Different ranks are here accepted in accordance with a principle of correlation of character of all peculiarities of each group in hierarchic system with those of other groups of the same rank as well as according to the principle of common ancestry (excluding all polyphyletic taxa, but admiting a paraphyly as one of ways of formation of a taxonomic syndrome). The classification is constantly in preparation and frequently changed - changes are made after well grounded propositions of specialists and recently published materials. A strict fixation of all changes with registration of authors and argumentation for each change will be included in order to make possible to examine sources and reason for modification of the system. The taxon touched by a change will be provided with active indication to the comments in the appendix (mention of references will be given in the end of lines in fugure brackets). Recommendations and proposals of coleopterists to improve our classification, which can be a topic of a discussion for many specialists, are welcome.

A.G. Kirejtshuk, June 2000


Crowson R.A. 1981
The Biology of the Coleoptera. London, Academic Press. 802 p.

Kirejtshuk A.G. 1992
Evolution of mode of life as the basis for division of the beetles into groups of high taxonomic rank. In: Advances in Coleopterology (Eds. M.Zunino, X.Belles, M.Blas). Barcelona. P. 249-262.

Kryzhanovsky O.L. 1983
Beetles of suborder Adephaga: families Rhysodidae, Trachypachidae; family Carabidae (introduction and review of USSR fauna) // Fauna of USSR. Coleoptera. Vol. 1, N 2. Leningrad. 341 pp.

Lawrence J.F., Newton A.F. 1995
Families and subfamilies of Coleoptera (with selected genera, notes, references and data on family-group names) // In: Biology, Phylogeny, and Classification of Coleoptera. Eds. J. Pakaluk and S.A. Slipinski. Warszawa, 1995: 779-1006.

Ponomarenko A.G.
Istoricheskoe razvitie zhestkokrilih- arhostemat. - Tr. Paleont. in-ta AN SSSR - 1969 - T. 125 - 233 ss.

Ponomarenko A.G. 1973
About division of order Coleoptera to suborders. In: Doklady pamyati N.A.Kholodkovskogo (1971). Leningrad. P. 78-89.

Ponomarenko A.G. 1983
Istoricheskoe razvitie zhestkokrilih nasekomih. Avtoref. diss. st. dokt. biol. nauk - M. - 1983 - 47 ss.