Prionus (Prionus) heroicus Semenov, 1908

Santos-Silva, Antonio, Nearns, Eugenio H. & Swift, Ian P., 2016, Revision of the American species of the genus Prionus Geoffroy, 1762 (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae, Prionini), Zootaxa 4134 (1), pp. 1-103: 76-80

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Prionus (Prionus) heroicus Semenov, 1908


Prionus (Prionus) heroicus Semenov, 1908 

( Figs. 143–157View FIGURES 143 – 149View FIGURES 150 – 157, 172, 177, 178View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171)

Prionus heros Fall, 1905: 274  ; Skinner, 1905: 291 (preoccupied).

Prionus heroicus Semenov, 1908: 259  ; Lameere, 1912 a: 241; Casey, 1912: 244; Lameere, 1913: 77 (cat.); 1919: 138; Bradley, 1919: 419; Linsley et al., 1961: 7 (distr.); Chemsak et al., 1992: 20 (checklist); Linsley & Chemsak, 1997: 424 (host); Barbour et al., 2011: 590.

Prionus (Prionus) heroicus  ; Casey, 1924: 212; Linsley, 1957: 8 (syn.); Linsley, 1962: 45 (females); Skiles, 1978: 412 (biology); Monné & Giesbert, 1994: 15 (checklist); Monné, 1995: 52 (cat.); Chemsak, 1996: 109 (females); Heffern, 1998: 6 (distr.); Monné & Hovore, 2005: 20 (checklist); 2006: 19 (checklist); Özdikmen & Turgut, 2009: 411; Bezark & Monné, 2013: 27 (checklist).

Prionus (Prionus) vastus Casey, 1912: 236  , 245; 1924: 213; Lameere, 1919: 138; Linsley, 1957: 8 (syn.); Lingafelter et al., 2014: 342 (type).

Prionus (Prionus) tristis Casey, 1912: 236  , 244 (Part: only paralectotype female); 1924: 212; Lameere, 1919: 138; Linsley, 1957: 8 (syn.); Lingafelter et al., 2014: 336 (type).

Prionus (Prionus) tetricus Casey, 1912: 237  ; 1924: 212; Lameere, 1919: 138; Linsley, 1957: 9 (syn.); Lingafelter et al., 2014: 332 (type).

Prionus tetricus  ; Alexander, 1958: 49 (distr.).

Male ( Figs. 143–148View FIGURES 143 – 149). Integument blackish; scape and pedicel reddish dark-brown; antennomeres lighter from III to XII; ventrites dark-brown, with apex of ventrites I –IV reddish; femora and tibiae more reddish; tarsi reddish. Head, excluding mandibles, about as long at central area as prothorax, notably elongate behind eyes (distance from posterior ocular edge to the prothorax 1.5 times as long as length of upper eye lobe). Longitudinal dorsal furrow distinct from clypeus to prothoracic edge. Area between antennal tubercles and middle of eyes deeply sulcate, coarsely, confluently punctate. Central area between posterior ocular edge and prothorax coarsely, abundantly punctate (punctures smaller than between eyes). Area behind upper eye lobes coarsely, confluently punctate (punctures smaller than between eyes). Area behind lower eye lobes with short, moderately abundant setae. Antennal tubercles coarsely, abundantly punctate on base, gradually sparsely punctate toward apex. Eyes proportionally large; distance between upper eye lobes 0.8 times length of scape; distance between lower eye lobes 1.2 times length of scape. Submentum trapezoid, punctate-vermiculate. Genae moderately finely, abundantly punctate. Antennae with 12 segments; attaining about distal one-third of elytra. Scape nearly attaining posterior ocular edge; moderately coarsely, abundantly punctate on base, gradually finer, sparser toward apex. Antennomere III 1.3 times longer than scape dorsally, distinctly enlarged toward apex (distal width equal to about 1.8 times basal width); on dorsal view, imbrication distinct, but not very projected; on ventral view, apex of imbrication somewhat emarginate; finely, sparsely punctate dorsally. Antennomere IV about as long as 0.7 times III; moderately finely punctate dorsally, more densely on base; imbrication dorsally as in III; in ventral view apical emargination deeper than in III. Antennomeres V –XI with imbrication as in IV. Antennomere XII slightly longer than XI; not appendiculate or partially divided.

Maximum prothoracic width 0.9 times elytral base; anterolateral angle slightly projected forward, rounded toward first lateral tooth; first lateral tooth small, rounded at apex, placed close to anterolateral angle; second lateral tooth large, acute at apex, slightly projected backwards, placed about middle of margin; margin between second tooth and posterolateral angle slightly concave; posterolateral angle obtuse, rounded at apex; basal margin sinuous; distal margin slightly sinuous centrally. Pronotum convex, distinctly explanate laterally; callosities distinct; disc moderately coarsely abundantly punctate centrally, coarsely, densely punctate laterally; glabrous. Prosternum moderately coarsely, abundantly punctate laterally, gradually sparser toward center; with moderately long, sparse setae. Prosternal process slightly narrowed centrally. Elytra moderately coarsely, abundantly punctate; each elytron with three distinct carinae, fused near apex; sutural spine absent. Metasternum about as long as ventrites I –II together; finely, abundantly punctate, less so centrally; with long, dense setae throughout (centrally sparser). Metepisterna with sculpture and setae as on sides of metasternum.

Ventrites I –IV finely sparsely punctate centrally; with distinct setae laterally; distal margin of ventrite V distinctly concave. Apex of meso- and metatibiae not spined, truncate ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 143 – 149). Pro- and mesotarsomeres I –III wide; metatarsomere I moderately narrow, elongate.

Female ( Figs. 150–155, 157View FIGURES 150 – 157). Dorsal side dark-brown; ventral side and legs mostly reddish-brown; antennae dark-brown, gradually reddish toward apex. Head, excluding mandibles, about as long at middle as prothorax. Sculpture on dorsal surface of head and area behind eyes similar to that in male, except for punctures between eyes smaller and sparser. Distance between upper eye lobes slightly shorter than length of scape; distance between lower eye lobes 1.2 times length of scape. Submentum as in male. Antennae with 12 segments, apex nearly reaching basal one-third of elytra. Scape more slender than in male, slightly surpassing posterior ocular edge. Antennomere III 1.2 times longer than scape; antennomeres III –XI without distinct imbrication, distinctly projected at outer distal side only after VII. Prothorax as in male. Metasternum only pubescent laterally. Metepisterna pubescent. Apex of meso- and metatibiae as in male.

Dimensions in mm (male/female). Total length (including mandibles), 42.0/ 48.8; prothoracic length at center, 6.5 / 7.5; greatest prothoracic width, 15.5 /18.0; humeral width, 18.0/20.0; elytral length, 32.0/ 35.5.

Geographical distribution. USA [Arizona ( Fall, 1905), New Mexico ( Casey 1912), Colorado (Chemsak 1996].

Type, type locality. Of Prionus heros  ( Figs. 143–157View FIGURES 143 – 149View FIGURES 150 – 157): Description based on a couple specimens from USA (Arizona), deposited at MCZAbout MCZ.

To maintain the stability of the species, we designated as the lectotype the male specimen ( Figs. 143–148View FIGURES 143 – 149) with the following labels ( Fig. 149View FIGURES 143 – 149):

White (Printed): H. C. FALL COLLECTION

White (Handwritten): heros  / TYPE

White (Handwritten): Arizona / (S. Sorby)

Red: M.C.Z. (Printed) / Type (Printed) / 24879 (Handwritten) Red and yellow (Printed; added by us): LECTOTYPE / Prionus heroicus  (= P. h ero s)

Of Prionus (Prionus) vastus  : Holotype female from USA (Arizona), deposited at USNMAbout USNM. Figured at Lingafelter et al. (2016).

Of Prionus (Prionus) tetricus  ( Figs. 172View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171): Holotype female from USA (New Mexico), deposited at USNMAbout USNM. Figured at Lingafelter et al. (2016).

Of Prionus (Prionus) tristis  (only female paralectotype ( Figs. 177–178View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171)). Syntypes from USA (New Mexico), deposited at USNMAbout USNM. Lingafelter et al. (2014) recorded: tristis Casey, 1912: 236  ( Fig. 173View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171 q, r), Holotype. However, according to Casey (1912): “Length (♂) 29.0, (♀) 46.0–47.0 mm.; width (♂) 11.8, (♀) 18.0– 18.2 mm.; length of prothorax (♀) 6.25 mm.; width of head (♀) 8.3–8.8 mm. Thus, there is no holotype because Casey (1912) did not designate one and he had at least three specimens (one male and two females). The female syntype figured at Lingafelter et al. (2016) as holotype of P. (P.) tristis  belongs to P. (P.) californicus  . As P. (P.) tristis  encompasses two species, we are herein designating as Lectotype the specimen figured by Lingafelter et al. (2014), and figuring the ventral side of this specimen ( Fig. 176View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171). The specimen has the following labels:

White (Printed): N. M

White (Handwritten): tristis Casey 

Red: TYPE USNMAbout USNM (Printed) / 36426 (Handwritten) Red and yellow (Printed; added by us): LECTOTYPE / Prionus tristis  (= P. californicus  )

Material examined. All types were examined.

Remarks. Lameere (1919), in doubt, indicated the following synonyms with P. heroicus  : Prionus (Prionus) tumidus  ; P. (P.) vastus  ; P. (P.) tristis  ; P. (P.) alutaceus  ; and P. (P.) tetricus  . Casey (1924) did not comment on Lameere’s doubts, and considered all them as distinct from P. heroicus  . Linsley (1957) formalized the synonyms indicated by Lameere (1919), but excluded Prionus (Prionus) alutaceus  (considered a synonym of P. californicus  ), and added Prionus (Prionus) fontinalis  , a species not mentioned by Lameere (1919).

According to Linsley (1957): “Casey had no specimens in his collection identified as this species [ P. heroicus  ].

His six examples, all females…” This statement encompasses two mistakes: P. (P.) fontinalis  was described based on a single male; and Casey (1912, 1924) listed seven specimens: 1 female of P. (P.) tumidus  ; 1 female of P. (P.) vastus  ; 1 male and 2 females of P. (P.) tristis  ; 1 female of P. (P.) tetricus  ; 1 male of P. (P.) fontinalis  .

According to Linsley (1962) and Chemsak (1996), in the key: “antennae with external processes well developed”—leading to P. californicus  ; and “antennae with external processes moderate”—leading to P. heroicus  . However, in the male lectotype of P. he ro i c u s, the processes are very similar to many specimens of P. californicus  , in which this feature is highly variable. The color, another feature used by those authors to differentiate these species, is also highly variable in P. californicus  .

Males of Prionus heroicus  differ from those of P. californicus  by the apex of meso- and metatibiae not spined at dorsal margin. Females of the former differ from the latter by the metasternum with distinct pubescence only laterally (usually throughout in P. californicus  ), and by the apex of meso- and metatibiae as in male.

Prionus (Prionus) vastus  and P. (P.) tetricus  ( Fig. 172View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171) are kept in synonymy with P. (Prionus) heroicus  , mainly by the shape of tibiae apex and by the metasternum centrally glabrous.

The redescription above was based on the male lectotype and female paralectotype of Prionus heroicus  .

Apparently, the types of P. heroicus  were not examined by Linsley (1962) and Chemsak (1996). Fall (1905) made clear a character that was not taken into account by those authors: the robust form of the body. The general appearance of the lectotype of P. heroi cus  is much more similar to P. laticollis  than to P. californicus  .

Linsley (1957) synonymized P. (P.) tristis  with P. (P.) heroicus  . However, the lectotype female and paralectotype male (the latter could not be located) belong to P. (P.) californicus  , because the apex of meso- and metatibiae are as in that species. Notwithstanding, we believe that the paralectotype female ( Figs. 177–178View FIGURES 170 – 178. 170 – 171) is a true P. (P.) heroicus  , because the apex of meso- and metatibiae clearly agrees with the paralectotype of P. (P.) heroicus  .


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Prionus (Prionus) heroicus Semenov, 1908

Santos-Silva, Antonio, Nearns, Eugenio H. & Swift, Ian P. 2016


Prionus tetricus

Alexander 1958: 49


Prionus (Prionus) heroicus

Bezark 2013: 27
Ozdikmen 2009: 411
Monne 2005: 20
Monne 1994: 15
Skiles 1978: 412
Linsley 1962: 45
Linsley 1957: 8
Casey 1924: 212


Prionus (Prionus) vastus

Lingafelter 2014: 342
Linsley 1957: 8
Lameere 1919: 138Casey 1912: 236


Prionus (Prionus) tristis

Lingafelter 2014: 336
Linsley 1957: 8
Lameere 1919: 138Casey 1912: 236


Prionus (Prionus) tetricus

Lingafelter 2014: 332
Linsley 1957: 9
Lameere 1919: 138Casey 1912: 237


Prionus heroicus

Linsley 1997: 424
Chemsak 1992: 20
Linsley 1961: 7
Bradley 1919: 419
Lameere 1913: 77
Lameere 1912: 241
Casey 1912: 244Semenov 1908: 259


Prionus heros

Fall 1905: 274Skinner 1905: 291