Periphanesthes aurora ( Motschulsky, 1858 )

Qiu, Jian-Yue, Xu, Hao & Chen, Li, 2014, Redescription and distribution of the rare flower chafer, Periphanesthes aurora (Motschulsky, 1858) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae), Zootaxa 3847 (2), pp. 259-266 : 261-265

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Periphanesthes aurora ( Motschulsky, 1858 )


Periphanesthes aurora ( Motschulsky, 1858)

( Figs. 1 View FIGURES 1 – 13 –23)

Macroma aurora Motschulsky, 1858: 57 View in CoL (type locality: Amboina ?), plate 1, fig. 13; Westwood 1874: 14.

Periphanesthes aurora (Motschulsky) : Kraatz 1880: 213; Schenkling 1921: 357; Krajčik, 1999: 39; Sakai & Nagai 1998: 240 ( China: Hainan), plate 63, fig. 698– 1 ♂, 698–2 ♀; Smetana 2006: 303; Krajčik 2011: 21 ( Vietnam: Sa Pa).

Coryphocera blanda Jordan, 1895: 266 View in CoL (type locality: China: Jiujiang).

Heterorrhina blanda ( Jordan) : Schenkling 1921: 53; Paulian 1960: 38 ( Vietnam: Tam Dao).

Bonsiella blanda ( Jordan) : Ruter 1965: 206, fig. 15 parameres; Mikšić 1974: 756; Mikšić 1977: 213 ( China: Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong), fig. 30 ♂, plate 4, fig. 7; Ma 1992: 445 ( China: Hunan), fig. 1364 ♀; Ma 1995: 72 ( China: Anhui), fig. 52a–d; Krajčik, 1998: 19. Synonymized by Krikken 1977: 312.

Redescription. General: Length: 19.0–23.0 mm; width: 8.5–11.0 mm (female usually larger than male). Body dark brown to black, with several fluorescent, orange red to olive markings; most areas of dorsal surface evenly clad with dense, small setiferous punctures ( Figs. 1–3 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ). Head: Orange red, vertex slightly convex. Clypeus subquadrate, flat; margin black, raised. Eye canthus black, narrow. Antenna simple; a cluster of yellow setae on scapus; antennomeres 2–7 with several long setae; club slender. Mentum black, with sparse, long setae. Gula subrectangular, brown, with long yellow setae on lateral and anterior margins. Pronotum: Subtrapezoidal, widest near posterior margin; midline, lateral margin and small area on posterior margin in front of scutellum without punctures; posterior margin with a slight emargination in front of scutellum. Three orange red markings: a band along each lateral margin; the other one spatuliform, in the middle, connected with anterior margin. Scutellum: Triangular, orange red, glabrous, both sides with several small punctures. Elytron: Gradually narrowed posteriorly; setiferous punctures (setae short, indistinct) gradually transformed to short sinuous striolae (without setae) from mediodiscal area to apicosutural angle ( Figs. 4–5 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ); sutural costa gradually convex posteriorly, without punctures; apicosutural angle pointed; posterior margin serrated, a short seta inserted behind each small tooth ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ). With 2 orange red markings: 1 dumbbell-shaped, near the middle; 1 kidney-shaped, covering anteapical umbone, connected with posterior margin. Mesepimeron: The visible area orange red, with several small punctures. Sternum: Almost black, surface sparsely punctate with long, golden setae. Metasternum with 2 round, orange red to olive markings on both sides, and a deep midline. Mesometasternal process short, rounded, flat, orange red to olive ( Figs. 7–8 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ). Pygidium: Surface strongly convex, rugose, with numerous short, sinuous striolae, both sides orange red; some stout yellow setae along posterior margin ( Fig. 9 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ). Abdomen: With 7 sternites, 6 sternites visible, an indistinct or inconspicuous longitudinal groove between abdominal sternites 3–5 (abdomen distinctly convex in female); clad with sparse punctures; sternites 3–6 with middle portion and both sides orange red to olive in some individuals; posterior margin of sternites 6 and 7 with row of sparse, golden setae. Legs: Clad with setiferous punctures and short, sinuous striolae. Procoxa and mesocoxa black; metacoxa orange red to olive. Trochanters black; protrochanter with small, blurred orange red to olive area. Femora black; anterior margin of profemur, posterior margin of mesofemur and posterior margin of metafemur with a row of thick setae ( Figs. 11–12 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ); anterior margin of profemur, posterior margin of mesofemur, and near-basal and near-apical portion of metafemur orange red to olive. Each tibia with distal portion orange red, proximal portion and apex black; protibia short and thin (slightly wider in female), with 2 teeth along outer margin and a row of thick setae along inner margin of dorsal surface and mid line of ventral surface respectively ( Fig. 10 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ); mesotibia and metatibia with a small, blunt spine near the middle of outer margin and a row of thick setae along ventral surface and a row of brush-like, golden setae along inner margin. Tarsi black, slender. Parameres: Elongate, simple; apex curved, rounded ( Fig. 13 View FIGURES 1 – 13 ).

Type material examined. Lectotype of Macroma aurora Motschulsky, 1858 is here designated and labeled: “ Macroma aurora Motsch , amboina [handwritten in black ink in rectangular yellow label]/ LECTOTYPUS ♀, Macroma aurora Motschulsky, 1858 , Qiu Jy design., 2014 [printed in black ink in rectangular red label]” (female, ZMUM, Figs. 15–19 View FIGURES 14 – 22 ).

Comments on type material. This species was originally described from an unspecified number of specimens, but the measurement was not mentioned as a range but only as a single value; most of Motschulsky’s collection is currently housed in ZMUM and ZIN, but only one female was found in his collection in ZMUM with an identification label probably handwritten by Motschulsky. It was suggested this female is the only primary type, and the lectotype designation fixes primary type status on this only known original specimen. The type locality is “Amboime” in Motschulsky's publication while “ Amboina ” in the lectotype label ( Fig. 18 View FIGURES 14 – 22 ). The head, right proleg, and all tarsi of the female lectotype are missing, and the pronotum is detached from the body.

Material examined (10♂, 12♀). CHINA: Jiangsu: 1♀ ( CWFC), 27.VII.2014, Nanshanzhuhai, Daibu, Liyang, Cong-Wu Feng leg. Anhui: 1♂ ( NJAU), 10.VIII.1936, Mt. Hwangshan [Mt. Huangshan], K.-F. Chen leg. Zhejiang: 1♀ ( SHNU), 20.VIII.2004, Mt. Tianmushan, Lin’an, Li-Zhen Li leg.; 1♂ ( SHNU), 15~ 28.VIII.2003, Mt. Tianmushan, Lin’an, Jia-Yao Hu & Liang Tang leg.; 1♂ ( QCCC), VIII.2006, Mt. Tianmushan, Lin’an, Yong- Xiang Wu leg.; 1♂ ( QCCC), 6.IX.2011, Qiandashan, Zhuji, alt. 300m, Tie-Xiong Zhao leg. Fujian: 1♂ ( NJAU), 21~ 22.VIII.2009, Sandiejing National Forest Park, Minhou, Fuzhou, alt. 400 m, Hai-Tian Song leg.; 1♂ ( QCCC), 26.VI.2014, Meilie, Sanming, alt. 220m, Xing Hu leg. Hunan: 1♀ ( HFCS), 3.VII.1981, Hengdong, Hengyang, Dong-Hua Luo leg./ Bonsiella blanda ( Jordan) det. Ma Wen-Zhen [white label with a black border; scientific name handwritten in black ink but common name in red; “det. Ma Wen-Zhen” printed in black ink in Chinese]; 1♀ ( HFCS), 25.VII.1981, Caojiaxi, Xupu, Huaihua, collector unknown; 1♂ ( HFCS), 1980, Mt. Hengshan, collector unknown. Jiangxi: 1♂, 1♀ ( RMNH), Kiukiang, China [Janson’s handwriting]/ Pratt [Janson’s handwriting]/ Museum Leiden verz. F.T. Valck Lucassen ( O. E. Janson) [printed]; Guangdong: 1♀ ( ZSIC), 20.VII.2009, Mt. Wuguishan, Yat-sen reservoir, Zhongshan, alt. 30m, Yu-Shan Zhang leg.; 1♀ ( CWZC), 13.VI.2009, Boluo, Huizhou, Chao-Wu Zheng leg.; 1♀ ( CHZC), 5~ 10.VII.2006, Nanling National Nature Reserve, Shaoguan, Cheng- Hui Zhan leg.; 1♂ ( SYSM, No. En-398920), 25.V.1986, Heishiding, Fengkai, De-An Lan leg.; 1♀ ( SYSM, No. En-398922), 30.V.2000, Tongle Timberland, Yu’nan, Zhen-Yao Chen leg.; 1♀ ( SYSM, No. En-398923), 1.VI.2000, Tongle timberland, Yu’nan, Qiu-Jian Li leg.; 1♀ ( SYSM, No. En-398925), 3.IX.1992, Mt. Dadongshan, Lianxian, Yun-Hua Wang leg. Hainan: 1♂ ( SYSM, No. En-398921), 20~ 24.IV.1935, Hainan Is. China. Tai-pintsuen. Lam-ka-heung. Lai-mo-ling (Mt. Range) Kiung-shan District [a collecting route: Taipingdong–Mt. Lingmushan–Qiongshan], F. K. To leg.; 1♀ ( SYSM, No. En-398924), 3.V.1975, Mt. Jianfengling National Nature Reserve, Li-Zhong Hua leg.

Distribution. China: Jiangsu (new record), Anhui, Zhejiang (new record), Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Hainan; northern Vietnam.

Natural history. The natural history of Periphanesthes aurora is poorly known, but the adults are presumed to feed on sap of living trees and juices of ripening or overripe fruit like other adult Goliathini. A female was observed feeding on sap of Populus sp. (Salicales: Salicaceae ) in Jiangsu (Mr. Cong-Wu Feng, personal observation, July 2014), and a specimen was collected from Zhejiang by Mr. Tie-Xiong Zhao (personal communication) who suspended a trap in a grove using bananas as bait ( Figs. 21–22 View FIGURES 14 – 22 ).

Remarks. Paulian (1960) reported Periphanesthes aurora in northern Vietnam for the first time, and subsequently it was recorded by Sakai & Nagai (1998) and Krajčik (2011). Research on Chinese cetoniines was summarized by Ma (1995), but was mostly rejected by Smetana (2006), due, it is believed, to her frequent misidentification of specimens. Periphanesthes aurora was reported from Hunan and Anhui by Ma (1992, 1995) without any specimen data; fortunately we found one female specimen with an identification label of Ma in HFCS ( Fig. 20 View FIGURES 14 – 22 ); this particular species was not misidentified, and its occurrence in Anhui was represented by one male specimen from Mt. Huangshan in NJAU. The previous report of Hainan by Sakai & Nagai (1998) is also confirmed by examination of two specimens in SYSM.

Mikšić (1977) examined several specimens from southern China: “Yen-Ping”, “Pingshiang (Südchina)”, “Ganton”, and “Fokien, Yun-ling-shan”. It is well known that the last two are “Guangzhou” and “Fujian, Mt. Yunlingshan” respectively, but the former two are unknown to most scholars. “Yen-Ping” is Yanping)( Chen & Wong 1935), previously known as “Yanping Fu” between 1368–1912, a prefecture-level region in central Fujian, but modern Yanping is a district of Nanping, which a prefecture-level city in the north Fujian. “Pingshiang” is the transliteration of Chinese “ (Pingxiang), a city in west Jiangxi Province, adjacent to Hunan Province ( Yuan & Zhang 2010). It is the type locality of many species collected by German naturalist Martin Kreyenberg (1872–1914), such as Gymnostoma kreyenbergii Regan, 1908 ( Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae ), Coptolabrus divus Roeschke, 1908 ( Coleoptera : Carabidae ), Stenomutilla chinensis Zavattari, 1922 ( Hymenoptera : Mutillidae ), Anthophora pingshiangensis Strand, 1913 ( Hymenoptera : Apidae ), and Amara pingshiangi Jedlička, 1957 ( Coleoptera : Carabidae ) ( Regan 1908; Roeschke 1908; Strand 1913; Lelej 1996; Hieke et al. 2012). Kreyenberg collected many insect and fish specimens along the coast of China and Jiangxi Province between 1905–1908 ( Kreyenberg & Pappenheim 1908; Luo 2005), but Strand (1913) mistakenly thought “Pingshiang” was near the border between China and Vietnam: there is a same pronunciation place name (Pingxiang in Guangxi province.

According to the distribution map (Fig. 23), we believe that southern Guizhou, western Yunnan, and Guangxi provinces are the potential distribution for P. aurora . This rare but widely distributed species is known from south China and north Vietnam, but Motschulsky (1858) indicated the type specimen of P. aurora came from “ Amboina ”, an island of Indonesia. However, Amboina appears unlikely as the type locality, because it is too far from the known distribution, and the species has not been reported from the region since. Moreover, this species was described together with others which were from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and China (Shanghai and Beijing) ( Motschulsky 1858). Hence, it is presumably simply mislabeled.

The type specimen of Coryphocera blanda was collected from “Kiukiang” (i.e., Jiujiang) in 1887 by Antwerp Edgar Pratt (1850–1920) ( Jordan 1895), an extraordinary naturalist who collected specimens in China between 1887–1890. Pratt arrived in Jiuiang in April and stayed four months collecting enormous amounts of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera , and other animals ( Pratt 1892; Luo 2005). There are two conspecific specimens in O.E. Janson’s collection (part of F. T. Valck Lucassen’s collection) in RMNH which were also collected from the same place by Pratt. As an insect dealer, Janson probably exchanged (or purchased) several cetoniines specimens with Pratt, including these two specimens.


Zoological Museum, University of Amoy


Russian Academy of Sciences, Zoological Institute, Zoological Museum


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


Zoological Survey of India














Periphanesthes aurora ( Motschulsky, 1858 )

Qiu, Jian-Yue, Xu, Hao & Chen, Li 2014

Bonsiella blanda ( Jordan )

Krajcik 1998: 19
Ma 1995: 72
Ma 1992: 445
Miksic 1977: 213
Krikken 1977: 312
Miksic 1974: 756
Ruter 1965: 206

Heterorrhina blanda ( Jordan )

Paulian 1960: 38
Schenkling 1921: 53

Coryphocera blanda

Jordan 1895: 266

Periphanesthes aurora

Krajcik 2011: 21
Smetana 2006: 303
Krajcik 1999: 39
Sakai 1998: 240
Schenkling 1921: 357
Kraatz 1880: 213

Macroma aurora

Westwood 1874: 14
Motschulsky 1858: 57
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