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Discolomatidae is a family of small to moderately-sized (2-4 mm) beetles whose members have generally been considered mycophagous or saprophagous, although little is known about their specific biology. The family includes 16 genera and ~400 species arranged within 5 subfamilies: Aphanocephalinae, Cephalophaninae, Discolomatinae, Notiophyginae and Pondonatinae. Discolomatids are distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with greatest diversity in the Afrotropics and southeastern Asia.

Adults and larvae are most often collected from under bark (Lawrence 1982, Cline and Gillogly pers. obs.). However, Parafallia and Holophygus have also been recovered from leaf litter (Cline and Ślipiński in press), Aphanocephalus and Fallia have been collected feeding on the surface of fungi, and Notiophygus and Discoloma species have been recorded from lichens (Lawrence 1991, Cline & Ślipiński in press).

Within Discolomatidae, several instances of myrmecophily are known. Cline and Ślipiński (in press) reviewed these associations and discussed some of the morphological adaptations in discolomatids likely exhibited by ant inquilines. At least 3 genera have been recorded in association with ants (Notiophygus, Katoporus and Holophygus). Cassidoloma has also been collected in association with ants (Shockley and Robertson pers. comm.). In addition, several other taxa (e.g., Aphanocephalus, Parafallia) possess features which suggest they may also be myrmecophiles; however, no specific associations have been reported.


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