Length: 3 mm
Some members of the family Leiodidae (those in the subfamily Leiodinae) go by the common name Round Fungus Beetles, while others (in subfamily Cholevinae) are called Small Carrion Beetles. The beetles shown above were photographed on a deer carcass in West Virginia on 25 March 2005.
The various genera and species in this family can differ quite a bit from each other. Some of these beetles are very convex, while others are somewhat flat in profile. Some are glabrous but others have hairs. Some are elongate but some ovoid. The tarsal formulae can be 5-5-5, 5-5-4, 5-4-4, 4-4-4, or 3-3-3. On each side of the head there may be three ocelli, but in some species there are 5, 2, 1, or 0 on each side. Some genera even lack compound eyes, while others lack flight wings.
The life histories of the different groups are also quite varied. Writing in American Beetles (2001) Stewart B. Peck notes that some groups feed on fungi (some specialize in subterranean fungi), while others live in mammal nests and may even be found on the bodies of their mammal hosts. Some feed on carrion, while other Leiodids live out their lives in leaf litter. Peck even refers to one genus found only in ice caves in the northwest part of North America. A good summary may be that Leiodid beetles are generally found in or near "moist decaying matter."