Nephus (Nephus) alyssae Golia and Golia, 2014

Golia, Vince & Golia, Austin, 2014, New Species of Nephus Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Florida, Insecta Mundi 2014 (372), pp. 1-3 : 1-2

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Nephus (Nephus) alyssae Golia and Golia

n. sp.

Nephus (Nephus) alyssae Golia and Golia , n. sp.

Figures 1, 4, 5 View Figures 1-6. 1

Diagnosis. The small size, elytron with single golden central spot, and dorso-ventrally flattened body distinguishes N. alyssae from any other US species of Nephus .

Description. Scymnini . Female. Body 1.47–1.87 mm long; width 0.88–1.15 mm (holotype length 1.65 mm; width 1.00 mm). Body oval, elongate ( Fig. 1 View Figures 1-6. 1 ), dorsoventrally flattened ( Fig. 5 View Figures 1-6. 1 ); entirely dark brown to black with head and legs brownish-yellow and each elytron with single golden central spot ranging from 0.66–0.95 mm on apical 2/3; dorsum of body covered with yellow and white, short semi-erect hairs. Head not concealing prosternum; antennae 11-segmented with a small, symmetrical club. Prosternum lacking coxal lines, flattened, punctate. Abdominal sternite I with post coxal lines long, curving forward laterally, but not attaining lateral or basal margins. Female spermatheca shortened, truncate ( Fig. 4 View Figures 1-6. 1 ), similar to that of N. ornatus ( Gordon 1985) . Male unknown.

Distribution. Known only from south Florida.

Type material. Holotype, female with label data “ Florida, Palm Beach Co., Lake Worth , Hypoluxo, Hypoluxo Scrub N.A.; November 10, 2009; Vince Golia; ‘sweeping’, 26.566642, -80.056759 ” deposited in FSCA. GoogleMaps

Paratypes. Nine females total: Florida. Palm Beach County. Lake Worth, Hypoluxo Road & Edisto Drive. August 29, 2006, Vince Golia ; ‘ sweeping’, 26.571885, -80.161352 (1 female; USNM). FLORIDA. Palm Beach County. Lake Worth, Hypoluxo Road & Lyons Road, September 16, 2011, Vince Golia GoogleMaps ; ‘ sweeping’, 26.568505, -80.191304. (1 female; FSCA). Florida, Broward Co., Fort Lauderdale , Macintosh Road GoogleMaps ; July 12, 2013; Stephen Beidler ; ‘ sweeping’, 26.08179, -80.126356 (2 females; FSCA). Florida, Broward Co., Fort Lauderdale , Macintosh Road GoogleMaps ; October 17, 2013, Vince Golia; ‘ sweeping’, (26.077443, - 80.124391) (4 females; ABSC; FSCA; VGIC). Florida. Dade County, Miami. NW 2 nd Avenue & NW 161 Street. April 10, 2010, Vince Golia GoogleMaps ; ‘ sweeping’, 25.922244, -80.203580, (1 teneral female; FSCA) GoogleMaps .

Remarks. In North American Nephus and Scymnobius , the shortened truncate female spermatheca is similar only to that of N. ornatus . Even without males, N. alyssae is readily distinguishable from all North American species of Scymnini . Nephus alyssae , with a single spot on each elytron, is readily distinguished from N. ornatus which has two spots on each elytron. In the US, Scymnobius species are not dorsoventrally flattened ( Fig. 6 View Figures 1-6. 1 ), and are easily distinguished from N. alyssae based on that character alone. In comparison with other Florida species of Scymnobius , S. bivulnerus (Horn) has one red spot on each elytron and red a pronotum and S. intrusus (Horn) is completely brown in color. Scymnobius flavifrons (Melsheimer) can be confused with N. alyssae , and can be found at the same locality. In S. flavifrons , the body is not dorsoventrally flattened and the golden to reddish-orange elytral spots vary from a small spot near the apex ( Fig. 3 View Figures 1-6. 1 ) to occupying 2/3 of the elytra ( Fig. 2 View Figures 1-6. 1 ) as in N. alyssae . However, the spots in N. alyssae are always the same size and golden, and the body is distinctly flattened ( Fig. 1, 5 View Figures 1-6. 1 ).

All ten specimens of Nephus alyssae were collected while sweeping plants along roadsides where the land is disturbed in three counties known to have many exotic species. As with Nephus (Sidis) binaevatus (Mulsant) in California ( Gordon 1976, 1985), N. alyssae may yet be recognized as an immigrant species. It is believed that all Nephus spp. are predators of mealy bugs.

Etymology. We name this species after my daughter and Austin’s sister, who fondly remembers the joy of finding her first lady bug. Naming this species for Alyssa will allow her to remember that joy forever.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology