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Onthophilinae is a relatively small group of histerids, and its members are by and large poorly known. The mainly Holarctic Onthophilus contains the bulk of the described species, with 37. Most of these have been recently treated, at least over limited areas (North America: Helava, 1978; Japan: Ohara, 1986; China: Zhou & Lou, 2001). Peploglyptus contains a couple of American species (Kanaar, 1981), and one in Malaysia (Caterino, 2004). But the remaining genera are largely restricted to the Old World Tropics. (Although Glymma was described from Belgium the genus is almost certainly native to Africa.) Epiechinus is relatively widespread from Africa through southeast Asia to Australia, and may prove more diverse than Onthophilus.

Onthophilus is highly varied biologically, with some species generally attracted to decaying materials from dung to compost, while others are found only associated with fungus or with the nests of specific vertebrates. Epiechinus biologies are less well known although a similar range appears likely. The species of Peploglyptus all possess trichomes and are probably myrmecophilous.


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