Under Construction


Hodoxenus sheasbyi

James S. Ashe (1947-2005) and Christian Maus
Only a single species of Hodoxenus is known.
Containing group: Aleocharini


The subtribe Hodoxenina is comprised of a single genus and species, Hodoxenus sheasbyi Kistner, the members of which are inquilines in the nests of the termite Microhodotermes viator (Hodotermitidae). They are only known to occur in the Cape Province of South Africa.


Members of the subtribe Hodoxenina can be distinguished from all other Aleocharini by the combination of: elongate head (longer than wide); unusually large abdominal tergum II (extended well beyond elytra); the "trilobed" abdominal tergum IX with modified setae on the medial portion; and their occurrence with the termite Microhodotermes viator (from Kistner 1970). The single known species is dark reddish-brown, almost black, throughout. Kistner (1970) provides a detailed description of the genus Hodoxenus and its included species, with photographic illustrations of habitus and structural characteristics. Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) provide additional illustrations of habitus and structural features and report that the setae covering the body are bifurcated or branched.


Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) provide observations of the behavior and host interactions of Hodoxenus sheasbyi. The beetles antennate worker termites and offer the tips of their abdomens to the workers. At times the termites run their mandibles down the abdomen of the beetles and linger at the tip as though drinking. The beetles were also observed to imbibe proctodeal fluid produced by the termites following antennation by the beetles. Kistner and Abdel-Galil (1986) reported a high degree of integration of Hodoxenus sheasbyi within the termite society, and they provide photographs of interactions between ther termites and adults of Hodoxenus sheasbyi.

Other Names for Hodoxenus sheasbyi


Kistner, D. H. 1970. New termitophilous Staphylinidae from Hodotermitidae (Isoptera) nests. Jour. New York Entomol. Soc. 78: 2-16.

Kistner, D. H. and F. A. Abdel-Galil. 1986. A review of the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) found with the Hodotermitidae (Isoptera) with notes on their behavior and relationships. Sociobiology 12(2): 249-284.

About This Page

Development of this page made possible by National Science Foundation PEET grant DEB 95-21755 to James S. Ashe and a DAAD grant D/97/05475 from the German Government to Christian Maus.

All images on this page copyright © 1997 James S. Ashe.

James S. Ashe (1947-2005)
University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Bayer CropScience AG, Institute for Ecotoxicology, Monheim, Germany

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to James S. Ashe (1947-2005) at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Ashe (1947-2005), James S. and Christian Maus. 1998. Hodoxenina. Hodoxenus sheasbyi. Version 11 September 1998 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hodoxenus_sheasbyi/9876/1998.09.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Leaf Page.

Each ToL leaf page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a leaf at the tip of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a leaf and a branch of the Tree of Life is that a leaf cannot generally be further subdivided into subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box

Hodoxenus sheasbyi

Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page