Sciacharoides maipotonensis (Franz)

Jałoszyński, Paweł, 2014, ' The curse of Horaeomorphus ': taxonomy of misplaced Australian Cyrtoscydmini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Scydmaeninae), Zootaxa 3828 (1), pp. 1-76: 63-64

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Sciacharoides maipotonensis (Franz)

comb. n.

Sciacharoides maipotonensis (Franz)  comb. n.

( Figs. 141–147View FIGURES 141 – 144View FIGURES 145 – 147, 162, 166View FIGURES 160 – 167, 172– 173View FIGURES 168 – 173, 197View FIGURES 193 – 198 c)

Horaeomorphus maipotonensis Franz, 1975: 143  , Fig. 121View FIGURES 121 – 128.

Type material studied. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: ♂: six labels ( Fig. 166View FIGURES 160 – 167): "Umg. [i.e., env.] Maipoton [sic!] / Queensld., Austr. / lg. H. Franz 1970 " [white, printed], " Horaeomorphus  / maipotonensis  / m. / det. H. Franz" [white, handwritten and printed], " Typus " [red, handwritten], "♂" [white, printed], " SAMAAbout SAMA Database / No. 25 - 037018" [white, printed], " SCIACHAROIDES  / maipotonensis ( Franz, 1975)  / det. P. Jałoszyński, 2014 " [white, printed] ( SAMAbout SAM).

Additional material (5 exx.). 4 ♂♂, Queensland, Mt. Spec, 875-880 m, flight intercept trap, 6.xii. 1995, leg. M. Cermak; 1 ♂, same data except for 9.iii. 1995, Malaise trap ( ANICAbout ANIC, cPJ).

Revised diagnosis. Male and female: BL 1.70–1.85 mm; pronotum with complete antebasal transverse groove, without internal pair of pits; mesanepisterna with dense rod-like setal brushes projecting anteriorly.

Redescription. Body of male ( Fig. 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) strongly convex, elongate but relatively stout, with long appendages, BL 1.70–1.85 mm (mean 1.77 mm); cuticle glossy, body uniformly light brown, vestiture yellowish.

Head ( Figs. 141View FIGURES 141 – 144, 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) in dorsal view rounded, broadest at eyes, HL 0.30 mm, HW 0.33–0.35 mm (mean 0.35 mm); tempora slightly longer than eyes, strongly curved posteromesally; vertex weakly convex with rounded and convex posterior margin; frons subtrapezoidal. Eyes moderately large and weakly projecting laterally from the head silhouette, finely faceted. Punctures on head dorsum fine but dense, separated by spaces comparable to diameters of punctures; setae short, on frons and anterior part of vertex sparse and suberect, tempora and posterior margin of vertex with moderately dense bristles directed posteriorly and slightly posterolaterally. Antennae ( Fig. 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) slender, with five terminal antennomeres forming indistinct club, AnL 0.83–0.93 mm (mean 0.90 mm), proportions of antennomeres slightly variable in the studied sample (see remarks below); in holotype antennomeres I–II distinctly elongate, III barely noticeable longer than broad, IV–X about as long as broad, XI only slightly longer than X, about 1.6 x as long as broad, with blunt apex; in males with longest antennae antennomeres I–II and V–VI are distinctly elongate, III–IV and VII–VIII slightly or barely noticeably longer than broad, IX–X about as long as broad, and XI about 1.7 x as long as broad.

Pronotum ( Fig. 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) strongly elongate and strikingly narrow in relation to elytra, broadest near anterior fourth, PL 0.43–0.45 mm (mean 0.43 mm), PW 0.33–0.38 mm (mean 0.34 mm); anterior and lateral margins rounded; sides in posterior 3 / 4 nearly straight and strongly convergent posteriorly; posterior margin shallowly bisinuate; base of pronotum with narrow and sharply marked transverse groove slightly deepened at each end, without pits. Punctures on pronotal disc fine and inconspicuous; setae sparse, thin, short and suberect, sides of pronotum with moderately dense bristles.

Elytra ( Fig. 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) oval, broadest near middle, EL 0.98–1.13 mm (mean 1.04 mm), EW 0.73–0.80 mm (mean 0.76 mm), EI 1.33–1.41 (mean 1.36); basal impressions short but distinct; elytral apices separately rounded. Punctures on elytral disc much more distinct than those on pronotum but not particularly conspicuous, unevenly distributed and separated by spaces 0.5– 2 x diameters of punctures; setae longer than those on head and pronotum, moderately dense, curved and suberect. Hind wings well developed, about twice as long as elytra.

Legs ( Fig. 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) long and slender, without modifications.

Aedeagus ( Figs. 172–173View FIGURES 168 – 173) in all available specimens variously distorted (see remarks below), in holotype partly erected ( Fig. 172View FIGURES 168 – 173), AeL 0.38 mm (including everted internal sac), in ventral view drop-shaped with subtriangular apical region; erected internal armature composed of large H-shaped and microdenticulate structure protruding distally, median lobe subapically with subtrapezoidal component of internal sac with its surface densely covered with denticles; the same structures can be recognized in not erected, but slightly distorted aedeagi of nontype males ( Fig. 173View FIGURES 168 – 173); they are shorter than the erected copulatory organ (AeL 0.30 mm), the H-shaped structure is located subapically and components of the subtrapezoidal structure are in fact two separate parts, one located more basally and the other one more distally. Parameres slender, each with three-four apical setae.

Female. Externally indistinguishable from male; BL 1.73 mm; HL 0.28 mm, HW 0.33 mm, AnL 0.90 mm; PL 0.43 mm, PW 0.35 mm; EL 1.03 mm, EW 0.73 mm, EI 1.41.

Distribution ( Fig. 197View FIGURES 193 – 198 c). South-eastern Australia: Queensland.

Remarks. The name "Maipoton" on the locality label (and used to derive the specific epithet from) is misspelled Mapleton. The original description of this interesting species ( Franz 1975) is an excellent example how hopeless are attempts to identify Australian species basing only on the available literature. The most striking character, the rod-like bunches of setae protruding from beneath the humeri and well-visible in dorsal view ( Figs. 147View FIGURES 145 – 147, 162View FIGURES 160 – 167) were not even mentioned by Franz (1975). Moreover, the pronotum is described as devoid of antebasal transverse groove (clearly present in the holotype; Fig. 145View FIGURES 145 – 147), but in the middle in front of the basal margin with a blunt keel and on the sides near corners with a pit―neither of these actually present. The illustration of the aedeagus ( Franz 1975, Fig. 121View FIGURES 121 – 128) shows a partly erected internal sac. Sciacharoides maipotonensis  is one of the most remarkable and easily identifiable Australian cyrtoscydmines, but when new specimens are confronted with the Franz's monograph it is not possible to even suspect that this may be the same species.

The variability found in the proportions of antennomeres among studied specimens requires farther attention and a morphometric analysis of a larger material. It seems that smaller specimens have shorter antennomeres while the largest ones have more elongate antennae. The variability was found among specimens collected in the same locality (Mt. Spec) and the possibility of a co-existence of cryptic species seems rather low, but the small available sample does not allow drawing any firm conclusions.

All available non-type specimens come from flight intercept traps and the dry-mounted males all had the aedeagi protruding entirely or partly from the genital opening, with distorted walls of median lobes ( Fig. 173View FIGURES 168 – 173). This is probably an effect of a preservative used in the traps. The general shape of the median lobe is therefore not possible to describe in this species. However, the components of the relatively complicated internal armature of the aedeagus between the partly everted copulatory organ of the holotype and those of the non-type males seem identical, which supports the determination of all specimens as conspecific.


South Australia Museum


South African Museum


Australian National Insect Collection














Sciacharoides maipotonensis (Franz)

Jałoszyński, Paweł 2014


Horaeomorphus maipotonensis

Franz 1975: 143