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Our original classifications of beetles

After a long contemplation the editorial board of the site decided to maintain two different classifications of the order Coleoptera. These two classifications pursue essentially different purposes and one cannot substitute for the other. Given below are their brief characteristics.

A complete system of the order Coleoptera will be developed by A.G. Kirejtshuk. This classification includes all known families and subfamilies of Coleoptera of the Earth, i.e. recent and extinct. In includes a maximally complete synonymy for each name and for all taxa - ranges of their existence in time. Moreover, all taxa are provided with notes about their presence in the Palearctic and in Russia. The new system is based upon classification of the prominent coleopterist of the 20th century R.A. Crowson (1981) including numerous corrections and amendments based upon the most recent data and original unpublished data of the project author and his colleagues.

A second simplified classification has double significance. On the one hand it should reflect the recent scientific ideas about systematics of Coleoptera. On the other hand it is of purely utilitarian significance and should serve as a basis for manuals, faunal lists available keys, lists of beetles to be protected, textbooks and popular books. Therefore we will try to avoid extreme innovations and cardinal changes, particularly as regards generally accepted families of practical importance. For the same reason absolutely every taxon is provided with recommended Russian names (as a result of an abrupt increase of the number of publications of popular zoological literature unification of Russian names of beetle families becomes more important). The classification is based upon the most complete system of the order (Lawrence & Newton, 1995). But it includes and should include alterations reflecting our own ideas and results of our colleagues the author will be the curator. Its simplification in comparison with the previous system is as follows: 1) only recent families known for the Palaearctic region are included; 2) the main synonymy only is included; 3) for the most part subfamilies are omitted (except for those cases when it is necessary to explain the limits of the family); 4) Authors of the names of taxa are omitted. The completeness of the previous system allows to obtain missing information when necessary. I would like to emphasize once again that the simplified system is not a "summary" of the complete system. Interpretations of their composition and rank of many groups of Coleoptera may be essentially different in these two systems.

We invite coleopterists to participate actively in improving both systems and send their comments and suggestions on improvement of our classifications.

A.L. Lobanov, June 2000