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Most of the Abraeinae have informally been referred to as the ‘microhisteridae’. This designation indicates the fact that many of the species of the group are tiny, with adults frequently <2mm in length. These include most members of the Abraeini, Acritini, Acritomorphini, and Plegaderini. However, species in the Teretriini and especially Trypanaeinae (still considered a subfamily, although undoubtedly a subordinate member of this group) can be much larger. Altogether this group contains about 500 described species. But given their small size, undoubtedly many remain to be discovered.
Most species of the group are associated in some way with rotting vegetation. Many species are found under the bark of dead and dying trees (especially Plegaderini and Acritini). Many are found in leaf litter. The Teretriini and Trypanaeinae are mainly cylindrical forms associated with the galleries of various woodboring beetles. A few species are known to be associated with ants’ nests. All are predaceous as far as is known.