Luprops tristis ( Fabricius, 1801 ), Fabricius, 1801

Sabu, Thomas K., Merkl, Ottó & Abhitha, Prabhakar, 2007, A new Luprops species from Western Ghats with redescriptions and identification key to the species of Indian Peninsula and Sri Lanka (Tenebrionidae: Lagriinae: Lupropini), Zootaxa 1636, pp. 47-58: 51-53

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Luprops tristis ( Fabricius, 1801 )


Luprops tristis ( Fabricius, 1801)  

( Figs 1 View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 , 5 View FIGURES 4 – 8 , 9 View FIGURES 9 – 12 , 13 View FIGURES 13 – 14 , 18 View FIGURES 17 – 21 )

Lagria tristis Fabricius, 1801: 70   .

Lyprops   piceus Fairmaire, 1894: 24. Described from “Indes orientales”. Synonymized by Gebien (1941: 826 [681]).

Description. Blackish brown, lower surface of body, mouthparts, antennae and legs reddish brown to dark brown ( Fig. 18 View FIGURES 17 – 21 ). Upper surface of body with short sparse and completely decumbent setae. Fronto-clypeal suture distinct. Clypeus distinctly raised with large punctures. Frontal region depressed and vertex slightly raised up with coarse punctures. Genae less prominent, with a few setigerous punctures. Eyes partially divided by genal canthus. In dorsal view, eye diameter longer than or at least as long as length of temple ( Fig. 9 View FIGURES 9 – 12 ); laterally, width at narrowest point of eye equal to 8–10 ommatidia ( Fig. 13 View FIGURES 13 – 14 ). Second antennomere distinctly shorter; rest longer than wide; terminal antennomere nearly twice as long as wide. Gula triangular.

Pronotum strongly transverse, nearly twice as wide as long, broader anteriorly than posteriorly, widest just before middle. Lateral margins of pronotum smooth, weakly or not sinuate before posterior angles. Anterior angles completely rounded; posterior ones distinctly pointed. Punctures on pronotum dense, larger than those on elytra. Propleura punctured. Scutellum converging posteriorly, and punctured entirely.

Elytra simple, evenly convex with smooth margins, without striae, elongated, about twice as long as wide, widest behind middle. Humeral angles of elytra well-developed. Punctures of elytra uniform in size, not as deep and dense as those on pronotum.

Prosternal process wide, flat, truncated posteriorly and with irregular punctures. Epipleura strongly punctured, broader in the middle and abruptly narrowed beyond metacoxal region. Posterior border of mesosternum with a sharp edged, low median cut. Metasternum with punctures sparser and smaller at centre than laterally. Abdominal ventrites with more punctures and setae than metasternum. Legs short with only the very apex of middle and hind femora extending beyond elytral margin. Aedeagus with apicale slightly longer than wide, nearly parallel-sided in basal 2 / 3, then narrowed in straight line ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 4 – 8 ).

Measurements (in mm; n = 20): total length 7.0– 8.5, maximum width of elytra 3–3.3, maximum length of pronotum 1–1.2, maximum width of pronotum 1.6 –2.0, maximum length of elytra 4.9–5.9.

Specimens examined (not sexed). INDIA. Andhra Pradesh: Visakapattanam, buildings, hand picking, 10. V. 2007, A. S. Raju (5, SJC); Karnataka: Bangalore, 20. IV. 1936, unknown collector (2, HNHM). – Kerala: Anchal, buildings, hand picking, 5. XI. 2006, P. G. Sheeja (5, SJC); Calicut, rubber plantation litter, 8. IV. 2005, K.V. Vinod (4, SJC); Chemberi, rubber plantation litter, 10. III. 2006, P. J. Vineesh (4, SJC); Kulamavu- Idikki, buildings, hand picking, 27. XII. 2006, T. K. Sabu (2, SJC); Cherupuzha, rubber plantation litter, 2. III. 2004, T. K. Sabu (4, SJC); Kurumannu-Palai, 11. III. 2005, rubber plantation litter K. V. Vinod (5, HNHM, 10, SJC, 2, NPC); Payyannur, rubber plantation litter, 14. II. 2006, K.V. Vinod (1, SJC); S. Malabar, Walayar Forest, X. 1955, collector unknown (1, HNHM); Thamarassery, rubber plantation litter, 6. III. 2005, K. V. Vinod (4, SJC), 18. IV. 2006, K. V. Vinod (5, HNHM); Thekkumkutty, rubber plantation litter, 30. X. 2004, K. V. Vinod (5, HNHM); Vazhachal, forest litter, 100 m, 17. IV. 2006, T. R. Shiju (4, SJC); Sikkim: Dikchu, 2300 ’, 12. VIII. 1959, F. Schmid (1, HNHM); Tamil Nadu: Coimbatore, XI. 1956, P. S. Nathan (2, HNHM); Coimbatore, 440 m, 22. XI. 1972, Besuchet, Löbl & Mussard (5, HNHM); Madras, IX. 1984, Pokorny (2, HNHM); Madurai, 2. XI. 1972, Besuchet, Löbl & Mussard (2, HNHM); Shetumadai, 34 km of Pollachi, singled from cattle dung and under stones, 26–28. III. 1980, Gy. Topál (48, HNHM), Trichinopoly [= Tiruchchirappalli], unknown collector (4, HNHM); SRI LANKA. Central Province: Kandy District, 5mi NW Mahiyangana, black light at Hasalaka, Irrigation bungalow, 30. III.– 9. IV. 1971, P. & P. Spangler (2, HNHM); Matale District, Dambulla, 3. II. 1896, Madarász (1, HNHM). – Eastern Province: Batticaloa District, Kalkudah, 28. VIII. 1953, F. Keiser (1, HNHM). – North Central Province: Anuradhapura District, Anuradhapura, black light trap, 9–16. IX. 1975, D. M. Davies, S. Kaunaratne & D. W. Balasooriya (3, HNHM); Anuradhapura District, Hunuwilagama, Wilpattu, Wildlife Soc. Bungalow, 200 ft, 10–19. III. 1970, Davis & Rowe (1, HNHM); Anuradhapura District, Kalawewa, 13. II. 1996, Madarász (9, HNHM); Anuradhapura District, Padawiya, 180ft., Irrigation Bungalow, 27. II.– 9. III. 1970, Davis & Rowe (2, HNHM); Anuradhapura District, Wilpattu Nat. Park, Manikkapola Uttu, 20. III. 1976, Ziegler & Zöllig (1, HNHM); Kurunegala District, Kurunegala, Athugala, (Elephant Rock), 24–25. I. 1975, K. V. Krombein, P. B. Karunaratne, P. Fernando & N. V. T. A. Weragoda (4, HNHM). – North Western Province: Puttalam District, Wilpattu Park, 100 ’, Talawila, at black light, 9–10. IV. 1973, Baumann & Cross (1, HNHM). – Sabaragamuwa Province: Ratnapura District, Panamure, 500 ’, 15–21. X. 1970, O. S. Flint, Jr. (1, HNHM); Ratnapura District, Udawalawe, Dam Site, 250 ’, 19.

X. 1970, O. S. Flint, Jr. (2, HNHM). – Southern Province: Galle District, Kottawa Forest Reserve, Hiniduma, 11. III. 1972, K. V. Krombein & P. B. Karunaratne (1, HNHM); Hambantota District, Hambantota, 10. XII. 1979, V. Mahler (1, HNHM). – Uva Province: Monaragala District, Monaragala, black light trap, 6. VI. 1975, S. L. Wood & J. L. Petty (1, HNHM); Uva Inginyagala, 2. IX. 1953, F. Keiser (1, HNHM).

Distribution. India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala-rubber plantation belts, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh; Sikkim); Sri Lanka.

Remarks. This species is closely allied to Luprops   curticollis (Fairmaire)   but differs in having eye diameter longer or at least as long as length of temple in dorsal view; laterally the width at the narrowest point of eye is equal to 8–10 ommatidia whereas 4–6 ommatidia in L. curticollis   .

Habits. This species is immensely abundant in rubber plantation litter during January to April, until the onset of summer showers and thereafter in old wooden buildings and thatched sheds close to the plantations in the South Indian state of Kerala ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). Two different colour forms (reddish brown and blackish brown) exist in natural populations without other morphological variations ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). Though generally referred as detritivorous, L. tristis   is a voracious feeder of wilted green leaves and feeds on dry leaves in the absence of the former. Unlike the soil-dwelling Nepal-Himalayan species of the genus, L. tristis   is present in litter floor with nocturnal surface activity and diurnal passivity in lower layers. Larvae and adults have a strong preference for dry litter conditions. Adults enter into nine months’ dormancy in residential buildings and crevices below huge boulders with the onset of summer showers and subsequent return to the litter floor for breeding during summer.


Hungarian Natural History Museum (Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum)


National Pusa Collection


Serengetti Research Institute














Luprops tristis ( Fabricius, 1801 )

Sabu, Thomas K., Merkl, Ottó & Abhitha, Prabhakar 2007


Fairmaire 1894: 24


Fabricius 1801: 70