ISSN 1911-2173


Dinothenarus capitatus (Bland 1864)

Figure 3.4.2 Dinothenarus capitatus (Bland), habitus. 4.1.1 D. capitatus, darkened specimen habitus. 11.3.1 D. capitatus, from carrion trap.


Dinothenarus capitatus is easily distinguished from other Staphylinina by its reddish-orange head and darker body (Fig. 3.4.2). Specimens with heads secondarily darkened due to chemical killing agents or drying (Fig. 4.1.1) can be identified to Dinothenarus using the characters in the key, and distinguished from D. badipes (LeConte) by the variegated pattern of light and dark setae on the dorsal pronotum, and the dark tibiae (Fig. 3.4.2).


This species is transcontinental in Canada and occurs as far south as West Virginia in the eastern United States. Its range in ECAS is given in Map 6.

Eastern Canada: ON, QC, NB, NL, NS

Adjacent U.S.: MI, OH, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME

Dinothenarus capitatus is collected in ECAS from April to November, with peaks in abundance in May and August-September.



This forest-inhabiting species has been collected primarily on the dung of various mammals or on carrion, but sometimes occurs on decaying fungi. It can be sifted from forest litter and, although it has occasionally been collected in disturbed areas as it disperses between forest patches, it is a strong indicator of undisturbed forest conditions (Klimaszewski et al. 2008) and many specimen labels bear the words “mature” or “old growth forest”. The current range of Dinothenarus capitatus in ECAS appears to be shrinking relative to its historical distribution, especially near developed areas.