Only a single species and specimen of the staphylinid subfamily Micropeplinae has been reported previously for the State of Louisiana. Campbell (1968) recorded Micropeplus sculptus (LeConte) from Bayou Sara (West Feliciana Parish, an area now included in Tunica Wildlife Management Area) northwest of St. Francisville. Campbell also reported a single specimen of a second species, M. cribratus LeConte, from a locality near Beaumont, Texas, just west of the Louisiana border.
Left: Micropeplus cribratus LeConte and; Right: M. sculptus (LeConte)
Here I report new records for both of these species, a new state record for M. cribratus from Louisiana as follows: U.S.A., LA, West Feliciana Par., Feliciana Preserve, 30' 47N, 91' 15W.? Flight intercept trap. 1-25 Feb. 2001. Andrew Cline. Specimen code LSAM0001263. A second record: U.S.A., LA, Nachitoches Par., 1 mi. NNE Lotus, 31' 30N, 97' 7.5W. Flight intercept trap. 12 Apr.-3 Jul. 2002. A. Cline, S. Dash, M. Seymour. Specimen code LSAM 0017229.
We also have a single specimen of M. sculptus bearing label data: U.S.A., LA, West Feliciana Par., Feliciana Preserve, 30' 47N, 91' 15W. Flight intercept trap. 1-28 Apr. 2001. Andrew Cline. Specimen code LSAM0013518.
Habitat at the Feliciana Preserve locality is southern mixed mesophytic forest (beech, magnolia, yellow poplar and various oaks as co-dominants). Large numbers of mature trees in the immediate vicinity were blown over by a tornado during spring 2000, and a localized fire affected part of the area in fall 2000. A second order stream and riparian zone is also near the trap site.
Feliciana Preserve is a privately owned nature reserve and research area in the Tunica Hills area north of Baton Rouge. This area harbors disjunct populations of a number of mainly northern plant species, presumably as remnants of southerly range shifts during Pleisocene glaciation. Both Micropeplus species are predominantly northern in distribution, with a cluster of localities in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Thus, the few records from the southern U.S. either represent infrequent dispersal events or persistent populations from a period of cooler climates during the not-so-distant past.
Campbell, J. M. 1968. A revision of the New World Micropeplinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) with a rearrangement of the World species.? The Canadian Entomologist 100: 225-267.