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Introduction

The small family Agyrtidae is temperate in distribution, extending into mountainous areas of Mexico and Asia. Seven of the eight genera are restricted to the northern hemisphere, and the eighth is endemic to New Zealand. Although Agyrtidae was first recognized as a separate family by Thomson (1859), most authors placed its current members in a broadly defined Silphidae until Lawrence and Newton (1982) resurrected it as a family closely related to Leiodidae rather than Silphidae. Newton (1991) reviewed the scanty knowledge of agyrtid larvae and later (1997) presented the present classification into three subfamilies along with a review of the morphology, relationships, biology, and distribution of the group.

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