During the years 1950-51 work was begun on a study of the Coleoptera by the author. In 1955, due to the lack of a workable set of keys to the Coleoptera of Utah, a study was undertaken to find a way to more easily classify the beetles of the state to their respective families. The collection of Brigham Young University was used as the basis for determining the families of beetles actually found in Utah. Then a thorough search of the literature was made to find positive records of Utah families not represented in that collection. It was found that of the one hundred two families of Coleoptera (less Rhyncophora) listed for North America by Leng (1920) sixty-nine of them are definitely represented in Utah, with the possibility of adding more to the list when more extensive collecting is done. While two authors studied (Comstock, 1949 and Essig, 1948) place the families of Coleoptera into groups called series of superfamilies according to various structural similarities, few attempts have been made to break down the order into smaller groups for taxonomic work. Even though they mention the superfamilies, no attempt has been made to make keys to these groups. Inasmuch as the order is so large, it would seem advisable to construct a more workable group of keys to the Coleoptera. This would undoubtedly be very beneficial to the beginning Coleopterists, for it breaks an otherwise unwieldy group down into more workable divisions. Also, by limiting this problem to the Coleoptera of Utah, some thirty-one families will be eliminated for, according to records available to the author, they are not represented in this state. Illustrations are used extensively to make it easier for the student to understand the characters used to separate the families or groups of families.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences



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Entomology Commons