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Saprininae is one of the two ‘big’ subfamilies of Histeridae (along with Histerinae). However, while the two are similar in numbers of species as well as ecological diversity, Saprininae exhibit very little morphological diversity by comparison. Such taxonomic comparisons can only be taken so far, but the contrast is interesting. Saprininae contains over 600 species in about 40 genera. While all the major continents have their own unique lineages, some genera (or groups of closely related genera), such as Hypocaccus and Saprinus are virtually cosmopolitan.


Saprininae exhibit a diverse array of habits. Many species are common dung and carrion specialists. Others specialize in various vertebrates’ nests and burrows. A few genera have become obligate myrmecophiles. Saprininae are especially diverse in sandy habitats. Some genera are restricted to inland dunes, while others are found in sandy riparian and beach habitats. Hypocaccus, mentioned above, has species on nearly all the world’s beaches.


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