Beetles of the Family Staphylinidae comprise one of the most diverse insect families known. Among the staphylinids, members of the genus Platydracus are large and conspicuous predators on fly larvae and a variety of forest-dwelling invertebrates. As such, they play an important role in the ecology of tropical forests. Dr. Alfred Newton proposes completion of a taxonomic monograph of the New World representatives of the genus, including description of 70 new species and production of an identification key. Evolutionary relationships will be reconstructed using cladistic analysis, and the geographic distribution of species will be compared to their evolutionary relatedness. The proposed monograph will find a wide and keenly interested audience among forest ecologists, systematic and economic entomologists, biogeographers, and evolutionary biologists. Specifically, ecologists will use the monograph as an identification guide in their studies of community structure; entomologists may want to pursue possible natural control mechanisms within the genus, biogeographers will use the group as a further test of the Pleistocene refugium hypothesis, and evolutionary biologists will use the monograph as a platform on which to study the evolution of ecological specializations.