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Beetles of Michigan

William G. Ruesink1, Gary L. Parsons2, and Robert A. Haack3

Various lists of Michigan beetles (Coleoptera) have been published since the late 1800s, but most of those dealt with only one family. The first, and until now, only attempt to compile a state-wide list for Michigan was published by Hubbard and Schwarz in 1878, over 140 years ago! At that time, they listed 2,073 species in 78 families. In this online paper, we have greatly expanded that initial list and as of August 1, 2023, our list includes 4,179 species that we accept as fully reliable records for the state plus an additional 210 species which, although reported in less reliable sources, we feel are very likely to be here. These 4,389 species represent about 18% of the U.S. total of nearly 25,000 beetles.

The Michigan State University collection contains Michigan representatives of about 75% of those 4,389 species, but the percentage varies greatly by family. Among the 20 largest Michigan families, the MSU collection does best with the Cantharidae, Cleridae, and Elateridae, with about 90% of the known species represented. It does the poorest with the Leiodidae with only 40% representation.

Among those same 20 large families, Michigan is home to as many as 53% of the total U.S. species for Hydrophilidae and 40% for Nitidulidae. At the other extreme is Tenebrionidae with only 8%, followed by Scarabaeidae with only 11%. Of the 118 beetle families known to occur in Michigan, those 20 large ones account for 80% of all the Michigan species, while there are 30 families for which we know of only a single species in the state.

In the individual family lists, for each species we give the currently accepted scientific name as well as selected source references. These lists also include species that have been reported in the literature as occurring in Michigan but which we consider unlikely to be here but possible. Appended at the end of each family list you will find species reported for Michigan that we consider to be either adventive, misidentifications, or other errors.

1 Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL (emeritus); email: wruesink@ruesink.org 

2 Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, Natural Science Building, 288 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824; email: parsonsg@msu.edu; homepage: https://www.canr.msu.edu/people/gary_parsons 

3 USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Lansing, MI (emeritus); email: robert.haack@usda.gov or haack@msu.edu; homepage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/about/people/haack 

Last Update: 2023-08-05