Copelatus neelumae Vazirani, 1973

Sheth, Sayali D., Ghate, Hemant V. & Hájek, Jiří, 2018, Copelatus Erichson, 1832 from Maharashtra, India, with description of three new species and notes on other taxa of the genus (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Copelatinae), Zootaxa 4459 (2), pp. 235-260: 248

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Copelatus neelumae Vazirani, 1973


Copelatus neelumae Vazirani, 1973 

( Figs 9–11View FIGURES 9–12, 27–28View FIGURES 23–30)

Copelatus neelumae Vazirani, 1973: 224  .

Type locality. India: " Tamilnadu: Ottokovil, Tiruchirapally District ". 

Type material. Copelatus neelumae  : Holotype ♂, deposited in Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, India (not studied).

Additional material examined. India: Maharashtra: 1♂, 4 km S Lonavala, Bhushi dam env., 500 m, 24.– 28.ix.2005, J. Bezděk lgt.  ; 1♂, 40 km W of Pune, Mulshi env., 7.–11.x.2005, J. Bezděk lgt.  ; 1♀, Pune Distr., Mulshi at Mulshi Lake , 7.–8.x.2005, L. Borowiec lgt. (all NMPCAbout NMPC)  . Goa: 1♂, NW of Panaji, Baga Beach, 26.–28.v.2000, D. Hauck lgt. ( NMPCAbout NMPC)  . Karnataka: 1♂, Udipi Distr. , E of Bhatkal, Kollur, 26.–29.v.2006, Z. Kejval lgt. ( NMPCAbout NMPC)  .

Diagnosis. Medium sized (TL: 5.1–5.6 mm), oblong oval species. Species highly variable in elytral coloration: elytra of type specimens largely yellow with only blackish, oval sutural spot extending to elytral stria 3, but not reaching base or apex of elytra ( Vazirani 1973); specimens from Karnataka similarly coloured, but with dark spot extended to elytral base and apex as narrow dark band along suture ( Fig. 9View FIGURES 9–12); specimens from Goa and Maharashtra darker, with yellow coloration confined to elytral base, interval between striae 3–4 and laterally from stria 5, and elytral apex ( Figs 10–11View FIGURES 9–12). Elytral striae well impressed: stria 1 starting subbasally, striae 2, 3 and 5 shorter than striae 1 and 4—not reaching apex of elytra; stria 6 shortest, ending approximately in apical fifth of elytral length; submarginal stria long, starting at about elytral midlength and terminates in approximately apical fifth of elytral length. Female with few short strioles in middle third of elytra between striae 4–6 ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 9–12). Median lobe sickleshaped in lateral view, almost uniformly broad throughout, with broad, obtusely pointed apex ( Fig. 27View FIGURES 23–30). Parameres moderately broad, 'C'-shaped; apex short and broad; apical lobes long, club-shaped ( Fig. 28View FIGURES 23–30).

Comments on classification. The species was described from the holotype only, and remained enigmatic for a long time. Although Holmen & Vazirani (1990) keyed the species and published the first record of C. neelumae  from Sri Lanka, and Rocchi (2001) mentioned the species from Nepal, none of these authors provided additional diagnostic characters and thus all researchers were referred to rather sketchy illustrations of elytral coloration and median lobe ( Fig. 27aView FIGURES 23–30). We have based our interpretation of the species on a specimen from Karnataka in which dorsal coloration is similar to the figured holotype and also the shape of the median lobe more or less agrees with the original illustration. Subsequently, we also assigned darker specimens from Goa and Maharashtra, based on the same shape of the median lobe, to C. neelumae  .

On the other hand, we had the possibility to study specimens from Sri Lanka (deposited in ZMUCAbout ZMUC), identified as C. neelumae  by T.G. Vazirani, and published by Holmen & Vazirani (1990: 27). However, the male genitalia (although the tip of the median lobe is broken) of specimens from Sri Lanka do not agree with the figure in the original description. We believe that this material belongs to another species, known to us across the Indian subcontinent, and similar to the widely distributed Afrotropical C. pulchellus (Klug, 1834)  .

Collecting circumstances. Unknown.

Distribution. Southern India (Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu) ( Fig. 45View FIGURE 45). The records from Sri Lanka and Nepal need to be verified.


National Museum Prague


Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen














Copelatus neelumae Vazirani, 1973

Sheth, Sayali D., Ghate, Hemant V. & Hájek, Jiří 2018


Copelatus neelumae

Vazirani, 1973 : 224