ISSN 1911-2173


Platydracus mysticus (Erichson 1840)

Figure 7.6.2 Platydracus mysticus (Erichson), dorsal view of forebody, showing incomplete impunctate line of pronotum.

7.6.3 P. mysticus, dorsal habitus. 7.6.4 P. mysticus, right antenna.


Platydracus mysticus can be recognized by the combination of small eyes (much smaller than the temple) (Fig. 7.6.3), elytra without elongate dark spots, pronotum without an impunctate median line (Fig. 7.6.2), abdominal tergites lacking distinct patches of golden setae, and first antennomere distinctly bicoloured (Fig. 7.6.4). The darkest individuals resemble P. tomentosus, but that species has eyes that are subequal in length to the temple.


This species ranges over most of northeastern North America: southern Ontario and Quebec, southwest to central Texas. Its range in ECAS is given by Map 19.  Specimens reported by Klimaszewski et al. (2005) as P. mysticus were later found to be misidentified P. viridanus (A. Smetana pers. comm.). Thus P. mysticus does not occur in the Maritime Provinces of Canada as far as known. Platydracus mysticus is newly recorded from Michigan and Maine.

57 specimens. ME: Penobscot Co., Orono, 44.8833 -68.6667, 24-V-1948, 1 (UAIC).

Eastern Canada: ON, QC

Adjacent U.S.: MI, IN, OH, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME (All ECAS states)

Platydracus mysticus has been collected in ECAS in March to December, with a relatively early peak in abundance in April-May.



This species is typically found under rocks and logs in forested or field habitat, although the vast majority of specimens lack label data. It may also be found on beaches and shoreline in ‘washup’ and under drift. Newton (1973) suggested that Platydracus mysticus may generally be cursorial and surface active; the fact that most collections are made singly and many labels state ‘on ground’ or ‘on path’ (or similar) supports this. This species is a competent flier as it has been collected by a flight intercept trap (Watrous 2008). Platydracus mysticus is common in collections until about 1960 and later records are increasingly less numerous, suggesting that this species is in decline over much of its range in ECAS, especially in densely populated areas; focused collecting is needed to verify this. Possible factors contributing to this apparent decline include urbanization and competition with introduced species of nearly identical adult habits (i.e. Tasgius spp.).