Copelatus deccanensis

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: 237-243

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Copelatus deccanensis

sp. nov.

Copelatus deccanensis  sp. nov.

( Figs 1–2 View Figure , 17–18 View Figure )

Type locality. India, Maharashtra, Pune district, ca. 4 km SSW of Lonavala village, Bhushi dam, 18°43.2-4′N, 73°23.7-24.0′E, ca. 640 m a.s.l. 

Type material. Holotype ♂ (NMPC), labelled: "INDIA W, 24.–28.ix.2005, / Maharashtra st., 4 km S of / Lonavala, Bhushi dam env., / 500 m, J.Bezděk leg. [printed] // HOLOTYPE / COPELATUS  / deccanensis  sp. nov. / S. Sheth et al. det. 2016 [red label, printed]". Paratypes: 14♂, 13♀, same label data as holotype (BMNH, JSCL, NHMW, NMPC, UWPC, ZSMG); 10♂, 10♀, labelled: "INDIA occ. Maharashtra st. / Bhushi Dam env. 24–28.ix. / 4 km S of Lonavala 2005 / leg.F.&L.Kantner 500 m [printed]" (NMPC, SMNS); 1♂, 1♀, labelled: "INDIA W, 7.–11.x.2005 / Maharashtra state, / 40 km W of Pune, / Mulshi env. / J. Bezděk leg. [printed]" (NMPC); 1♂, 2♀, labelled: "INDIA, Maharashtra / Pune Distr., Mulshi at / Mulshi Lake, 7–8 X 2005 / at light, leg. L. Borowiec [printed]" (NMPC); 3♀, labelled: "INDIA occ., 7–11.x.2005 / Maharashtra state / MULSHI env.F.Kantner leg. / 40 km W of Pune [printed]" (SMNS); 1♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Tamhini, Kalubai Mandir / 18°27′38.95″N, 73°24′41.89″E, 570m / 27.VIII.2013 / coll. S. D. Sheth [printed]" (HVGC); 4♂, 7♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Tamhini, 18°26′41.50″N, 73°25′39.72″E, 625m / 29.X.2014 / coll. S. D. Sheth [printed]" (HVGC); 2♂, 1♀, labelled: "INDIA, Maharashtra / TAMHINI / 18°23′54.6″N 73°23′47.3″E / 29.x.2014 [printed]" (HVGC); 1♂, 1♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Tamhini, Dongerwadi stream / 18°27′38.95″N, 73°24′41.89″E, 570m / 1.X.2015 / coll. S. D. Sheth [printed]" (HVGC); 7♂, 6♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Harishchandragad fort / 19°23′26.37″N, 73°46′15.09″E, 1213m / 20.X.2013 / S.D. Sheth leg. [printed]" (HVGC, NMPC); 4♂, 5♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Alanggad fort / 19°34′59.88″N, 73°39′39.26″E, 1175m / 9.I.2014 / coll. N. Modak [printed]" (HVGC); 2♂, 2♀, labelled: "India / Maharashtra st., / Madangad fort / 19°35′23.48″N, 73°38′57.63″E, 1151m / 10.I.2014 / coll. N. Modak [printed]" (HVGC); Each paratype provided with the respective red printed label.

Description of male holotype. Habitus ( Fig. 1 View Figure ) elongate oblong oval, nearly parallel sided with continuous outline, broadest in 1/3 of elytral length, slightly convex. Dorsal surface shiny.

Coloration. Head rufous, darker (almost blackish) around eyes and medially between eyes, lighter on clypeus, labrum and medially on vertex. Pronotum rufous, infuscate on disc, lighter laterally. Elytra testaceous, somewhat darker in striae; numerous dark punctures present along basal and apical parts of elytral striae 1–5, and along sides of elytra. Ventral part rufous; abdomen dark. Appendages testaceous.

Head. Moderately broad, ca. 0.7× width of pronotum, transversely elliptical. Labrum emarginate medially. Anterior margin of clypeus slightly concave. Antennae with antennomeres slender, club-shaped, antennomere I longest. Eyes emarginate anterolaterally. Reticulation consisting of fine, well impressed isodiametric polygonal meshes. Numerous short, deep and isolated strioles present between eyes. Punctation double; several large setigerous punctures present in fronto-clypeal depressions, frontal depressions at level of anterior margin of eyes, and in depressions along inner margin of eyes; very fine and sparsely distributed punctures placed among meshes of microreticulation.

Pronotum. Transverse, broadest at posterior angles. Anterior angles acute, posterior angles rectangular. Sides slightly and evenly curved, with lateral beading very thin and indistinct. Anterior margin straight, posterior margin nearly straight with only indistinct sinuation medially. Reticulation similar to that of head, but slightly less impressed. Disc of pronotum with numerous deep irregular strioles of variable length. Punctation double; row of coarse setigerous punctures presents along anterior margin, basal margin (except medially), and laterally close to sides; fine punctures placed among meshes of microreticulation, denser than on head. Scutellar shield broadly triangular.

Elytra. Elytral striation consisting of twelve discal striae: stria 1 shorter, ending at ca. 4/5 of elytral length; stria 2 longest; striae 7, 9 and 12 shorter apically, ending at ca. 3/4–4/5 of elytral length; stria 11 shortest, beginning more posteriorly than other striae and present only in basal third of elytral length. Surface reticulation consisting of fine, shallowly impressed isodiametric polygonal meshes. Punctation double; few large setigerous punctures present along elytral striae, but predominantly along lateral margin of elytra; very fine, sparsely distributed punctures placed among meshes of microreticulation, similar to those on pronotum.

Legs. Protibia modified, angled near base, distinctly broadened anteriorly, club shaped. Pro- and mesotarsomeres 1–3 distinctly broadened, ventrally with adhesive setae.

Ventral side. Prosternum sinuate anteriorly, obtusely keeled medially. Prosternal process shortly lanceolate, in cross-section convex, apex obtuse; process distinctly bordered laterally; reticulation almost effaced except some superficial meshes apically. Metaventrite with microsculpture consisting of polygonal meshes; numerous short, oblique, deep strioles present laterally but absent medially; lateral parts of metaventrite ('metasternal wings') tongue-shaped, slender. Metacoxal lines well impressed, nearly complete—absent only close to metaventrite. Metacoxal plates covered with long, deep longitudinal strioles; reticulation consisting of extremely elongate, longitudinal polygonal meshes. Metacoxal processes rounded and incised at posterior margin. Abdominal ventrites I–II with longitudinal strioles; ventrites III–IV with oblique strioles laterally. Tuft of setae present antero-medially on ventrites III–V; ventrite VI with setigerous punctures laterally on either side. Abdominal reticulation consisting of elongate polygonal meshes, longitudinal on ventrites I–II, oblique on ventrite III and transverse on ventrites IV– VI. Punctation consisting of fine, sparsely distributed punctures.

Male genitalia. Median lobe in lateral aspect broad in basal 3/4, then narrowing to pointed apex; almost evenly curved except at base ( Fig. 17 View Figure ). A fold present till subapical region. Parameres 'D'-shaped, apex very narrow and long; apical lobe long ( Fig. 18 View Figure ).

Female. Females do not differ in external morphology from male except for nearly straight, apically less broadened protibia, and slender pro- and mesotarsi without adhesive setae. Additionally, we have studied two females with elytral stria 11 absent, thus they have only eleven striae on each elytron.

Variability. The specimens of the type series vary in coloration, especially infuscation of head and pronotum (from rufous to nearly black) and elytra (from testaceous to reddish brown). A form with longitudinal striolation on elytra occurs in both males and females of this species ( Fig. 2 View Figure ): strioles long, often confluent, distinctly less impressed than striae; present between all striae, but missing in apical fourth of elytral length. Striolate form differs from the typical specimens also in strioles on the pronotum, which are usually longer and denser than those in nonstriolate form.

Measurements (N = 31). TL: 5.3–6.9 mm (holotype: 6.1 mm); Tl-h: 4.8–6.4 mm (holotype: 4.9 mm); MW: 2.0–3.0 mm (holotype: 2.7 mm).

Differential diagnosis. Based on the presence of 11–12 dorsal elytral striae and absent submarginal stria, the new species can be classified within the Copelatus nigrolineatus  species group sensu Guéorguiev (1968). This group so far contains only five species ( Nilsson & Hájek 2018): C. flavicans Guignot, 1952  and C. luctuosus Guignot, 1939  occurring in the Neotropical region, C. nigrolineatus Sharp, 1882  from Australia, C. zimmermanni Gschwendtner, 1934  distributed in China and Japan, and C. schuhi Hendrich & Balke, 1998  known so far only from Maharashtra ( India).

The new species differs from C. schuhi  by its large size, 5.3–6.9 mm (body length ranges between 4.0– 4.5 in C. schuhi  ); elytral striae extending apically (elytral striae are missing the in apical third in C. schuhi  ); pale basal transverse elytral band absent (broad and distinct pale band present in C. schuhi  ); and the different shape of the median lobe, which is in lateral view, broad in the basal 3/4, then narrowing to a pointed apex ( Fig. 17 View Figure ), and almost evenly curved except at the base (median lobe of C. schuhi  is unevenly curved in lateral view, its outer margin is slightly sinuate; subapically broad; abruptly pointed at apex, see Fig. 19 View Figure ).

Etymology. The new species is named after the Deccan plateau, a large volcanic basalt plateau in southern India, which covers most of the territory of Maharashtra state. Mani (1974) referred to Maharashtra as the 'Deccan Lavas Country'. The specific epithet is an adjective in the nominative case.

Collecting circumstances. This species appears to inhabit isolated, clean water bodies. The specimens were collected in a side pool of a stream ( Fig. 40 View Figure ), an ephemeral puddle with decaying leaves ( Fig. 41 View Figure ) and muddy substrate, in remnant pools with pebbles as substrate formed in drying streams ( Fig. 39 View Figure ); also in nearly permanent man-made tanks and small puddles ( Fig. 42 View Figure ) on basaltic rocks. The physicochemical parameters of water bodies range as follows: pH: 6.2 to 9.0, temperature 18 to 25 0C and salinity 23 to 115 ppm.

Distribution. The species was found in Pune, Nashik, Ahemadnagar districts of Maharashtra ( Fig. 45 View Figure ). Collected within an altitude range of 500–1,215 m a.s.l.