Nama erikae, Borovec, R. & Meregalli, M., 2013

Borovec, R. & Meregalli, M., 2013, Soil insect research in South Africa. 1. A new genus of terricolous weevils with four new species from the Richtersveld National Park (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae: Trachyphloeini), Zootaxa 3646 (5), pp. 501-515 : 511-515

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Nama erikae


Nama erikae n.sp.

Figs 31 –40 View FIGURES 31 – 40 , 44, 48, 52, 56 View FIGURES 41 – 56 .

Holotype: 3, South Africa, Northen Cape, Richtersveld National Park, 5.5 km N of Helskloof Pass, 28 ° 17.211 'S 16 ° 59.378 'E, 22.ix. 2012, 570 m, M. Meregalli lgt. (TMSA).

Paratypes: same data as holotype, 6 exx. (4 MER, 2 BOR).

Description: Body length (rostrum excluded): 1.88–2.06 mm, holotype 2.06 mm.

Entire body densely covered with irregularly, angular appressed scales, finely longitudinally striate, covering integument. Elytra with a dense row of semi-erect setae, intervals 5 and 7 with two irregular rows of setae. Setae short, spatulate, almost rounded, only slightly longer than wide, about as long as 1 / 3 to 1 / 4 of one interval width, only slightly longer than the length of one appressed scale. Pronotum and head with rostrum with setae similar to those on elytra, irregularly scattered, on pronotum erect and distinctly prominent. Pronotum with dorsal anterior fringe of setae, setae short, directed anteriad. Body dark brownish to blackish, elytra with irregular small spots of greyish scales, pronotum with two greyish longitudinal stripes, rostrum greyish.

Rostrum very short, 1.9–2.1 times wider than long. Dorsum at base as wide as at apex, with concave sides, flat, with hardly visible, very narrow longitudinal median stria extended from apex to head and reaching anterior border of pronotum. Frons not separate from epifrons, short, squamose. Antennal scrobes in dorsal view visible as a short narrow furrow in apical half of rostrum, in lateral view short, distinctly widened distad, with ventral and dorsal border feebly curved, ventral border directed towards ventral margin of eye but not reaching it, dorsal border directed slightly above dorsal margin of eye. Scrobes separated from eye by a squamose stripe. Rostrum in lateral view convex. Eyes small, convex, in dorsal view not protruding from outline of head, in lateral view placed in dorsal third of head. Vertex flat. Temples in lateral view visibly longitudinally striate below eye.

Scape in basal part very slender, feebly S-shaped, in apical two thirds straight, gradually widened apicad, widest at apex, 1.2 times wider than club and 1.4 times wider than middle of protibia. Funicles with segment 1 2.1– 2.3 times longer than wide and 1.6–1.7 times longer than segment 2, which is 1.9 –2.0 times longer than wide; segments 3 and 4 isodiametric, segment 5 1.1 times, segment 6 1.2 times and segment 7 1.5 times wider than long. Club spindle-shaped, twice longer than wide.

Pronotum 1.4–1.5 times wider than long, widest at basal third, slightly constricted behind anterior margin, with rounded sides, base arcuate; in lateral view flat.

Elytra oval, 1.3–1.4 times longer than wide, with rounded sides, widest at midlength, base arcuate, apically broadly rounded, in lateral view convex. Striae distinct, narrow, intervals wide, almost flat, first stria curved laterad at base, sutural interval widened at base.

Protibia short, apex with slightly widened lateral and mesal edge, dull, with 5 scarce, slender, fine yellowish spines and one hook-shaped, long spine at mesal angle. Tarsi short, segment 2 1.5–1.6 times wider than long; segment 3 1.5–1.6 times wider than long and 1.4–1.5 times wider than segment 2, segment 5 moderatey widened apicad, 2.3–2.4 times longer than wide and 2.0– 2.2 times longer than previous segment, at apex narrower than segment 2.

Ventrites densely squamose, 1.0– 1.1 times longer than wide. Ventrite 1 slightly longer than ventrites 3–4 combined. Ventrite 2 longer than ventrites 3 and 4 combined. Ventrite 5 subtruncate at apex. All sutures straight, suture between ventrites 1 and 2 fine, other sutures deep and broad.

Penis short, 2.2 times longer than wide, widest at base, narrowed towards apex, apex tapered.

Female genitalia. Sternite VIII with apodeme moderately long and slender, 4.0 times longer than plate, extending into plate, with terminal part ill-defined. Caput small, indistinct. Plate small, oval, basal border not clearly delimited from membranes, distinctly narrowed apicad, translucent. Gonocoxites flat, triangular, translucent, tapered apicad, styli apical, cylindrical, setose. Spermatheca with wide and almost straight cornus, indistinct corpus and robust straight ramus, twice as long and wide as curved nodulus, this inserted perpendicularly to ramus.

Collection circumstances. The specimens were collected sifting soil under shrubs and stones, together with specimens of other species of the genus.

Etymology. Nama erikae , very similar to N. iuliae , is named after Erika Borovcová, R. Borovec's daughter. In the same way as these two species of Nama, Giulia Meregalli and Erika Borovcová resemble each other in age, figure and overall interests in life. In forming the species epithet, the name Erika is not latinised to Erica to avoid the implication that Nama erikae is associated with plants of the genus Erica , frequent in South Africa.

Differential diagnosis. Nama erikae sp. n. is very similar to N. iuliae sp. n., see key and description of the latter for the discriminating characters.

Key to the species of Nama

1. Funicles 5 -segmented. Elytral setae limited to odd intervals. Appressed scales scarce, not overlapping, star-shaped. Sternite VIII of female with constricted triangular plate. Length 1.6–1.9 mm ............................. N. pentamera sp. n.

- Funicles 7 -segmented. Elytral setae present on all intervals. Appressed scales dense, covering integument, angular or rounded. Sternite VIII of female with oval plate..................................................................... 2

2. Larger species, length 2.7–3.4 mm. Dorsum of rostrum with U-shaped longitudinal furrow. Eyes in dorsal view protruding from outline of head. Suture between ventrites 1 and 2 strongly arcuate...................... N. richtersveldiana sp. n.

- Smaller species, at most 2.1 mm in length. Dorsum of rostrum at most with a narrow median longitudinal stria. Eyes in dorsal view not protruding from outline of head. Suture between ventrites 1 and 2 straight................................ 3

3. Elytra long-oval, more than 1.4 times longer than wide, in lateral view flat. Elytral setae almost as long as half width of interval, distinctly longer than wide and longer than one appressed scale length. Scapes strongly S-shaped in basal third. Length 1.9–2.1 mm .............................................................................. N. iuliae sp. n. Elytra oval, less than 1.4 times longer than wide, in lateral view convex. Elytral setae almost rounded, only slightly longer than wide, about as long as 1 / 3 to 1 / 4 of one interval width, only slightly longer than one appressed scale length. Scapes feebly Sshaped in basal third. Length 1.9 –2.0 mm...................................................... N. erikae sp. n.

Remarks. The facts that these four species of Nama represent three distinct morphological groups and that the very similar N. iuliae and N. erikae occur less than 10 km apart, in a very small and marginal part of the Richtersveld ( Fig. 57 View FIGURE 57 ), are remarkable. It seems that this previously unknown genus may have undergone an intense diversification in this area and reached a high level of differentiation, with each species apparently being quite localised. Greater exploration and more research of these small terricolous weevils in the vast territory of the Richtersveld is required to gain a better knowledge of this genus and properly delimit the distribution of all its species and recognise phylogenetic lineages among them. The fauna of Trachyphloeini of north-western South Africa and southern Namibia seems to be very rich and varied, and this study only scratches the surface of an apparently large diversity of species of the region. Several other taxa of Trachyphloeini have recently been collected by the authors in the Northern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa and in southern Namibia, some probably also referable to Nama . These taxa will be the subject of further papers.


We are grateful to the following colleagues for the loan of type material of South African Trachyphloeini : Max Barclay (Natural History Museum, London, UK), Roy Danielsson (Museum of Zoology, Lund, Sweden), Eva Sprecher (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Switzerland) and Bert Viklund (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden). We wish to thank Ruth-Mary Fisher, Hugo Bezuidenhout and Nicholas DeGoede (SANParks) for the kind assistance in obtaining the collecting permits for the Richtersveld National Park, and are indebted to Ruth Müller (TMSA) for her continuous support of our research on South African weevils. A very sincere acknowledgement also goes to the staff of the park for their really friendly welcome during our visit. We shared the pleasure of the researches in the Richtersveld with our friends Laura Guglielmone and Nestor Vinals. Chris Lyal (Natural History Museum, London) and Rolf Oberprieler (CSIRO, Canberra) have kindly checked the English language of the manuscript and provided very useful suggestions to improve the text.


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