Harpalinae is a large, monophyletic subfamily of carabid ground beetles containing more than 19,000 species in approximately 40 tribes. The higher level phylogenetic relationships within harpalines were investigated based on nucleotide data from two nuclear genes, wingless and 28S rDNA. Phylogenetic analyses of combined data indicate that many harpaline tribes are monophyletic, however the reconstructed trees showed little support for deeper nodes. In addition, our results suggest that the Lebiomorph Assemblage (tribes Lebiini, Cyclosomini, Graphipterini, Perigonini, Odacanthini, Lachnophorini, Pentagonicini, Catapiesini and Calophaenini), which is united by a morphological synapomorphy, is not monophyletic, and the tribe Lebiini is paraphyletic with respect to members of Cyclosomini. Two unexpected clades of tribes were supported: the Zuphiitae, comprised of Anthiini, Zuphiini, Helluonini, Dryptini, Galeritini, and Physocrotaphini; and a clade comprised of Orthogoniini, Pseudomorphini, and Graphipterini. The data presented in this study represent a dense sample of taxa to examine the molecular phylogeny of Harpalinae and provide a useful framework to examine the origin and evolution of morphological and ecological diversity in this group.