Staphylinidae and Rhizophagidae

Several workers who published on burial fauna often observed two families within Coleoptera: Staphylinidae and Rhizophagidae. Staphylinidae family is almost always represented in a burial environment. Genus Philonthus sp. was identified by Megnin (1894). Vanlaerhoven and Anderson (1999) listed on average three different species within the same genus. Philonthus sp. was mainly identified at 10 and 30 cm deep by Gaudry et al. (2006). At deeper layers of soil (25-50 cm), Lundt (1964) reported that the genus Atheta sp. dominated. Rhizophagus paralellocolis (Gyllenhal) (Rhizophagidae) is placed in Megnin's fourth wave 2 years after the death (exposed above-ground corpses). Smith (1986) associated the genus Philonthus sp. (Staphylinidae) and Rhizophagus sp. (Rhizophagidae) with buried human corpses, although these small beetles are rather predators of larvae of Diptera. Other authors linked the presence of Rhizophagus paralellocolis (Gyllenhal) to the presence of fungi present on cadavers (Hakbijl 2000). Such findings may be interesting for further studies associating development data of fungi to those of this species to indicate a period for time of death.

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