Mecyclothorax popotioaoa, Liebherr, James K., 2012

Liebherr, James K., 2012, The first precinctive Carabidae from Moorea, Society Islands: new Mecyclothorax spp. (Coleoptera) from the summit of Mont Tohiea, ZooKeys 224, pp. 37-80: 53-56

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Mecyclothorax popotioaoa

sp. n.

Mecyclothorax popotioaoa   ZBK   sp. n.


Within the Mecyclothorax globosus   group, this is the only species for which individuals lack dorsal elytral setae, resulting in a setal formula of 2101; one individual of the five type specimens has an asymmetrically positioned dorsal elytral seta at 0.24 × length on the left elytron, however this is considered a variant condition not characterizing the species. This species is also characterized by shallow elytral striae (Fig. 3B), and much reduced microsculpture across the entire dorsum. The most similar species in the group, Mecyclothorax hemisphaericus   Perrault, shares much reduced elytral striae, though in this species they are nearly obsolete. Mecyclothorax hemisphaericus   also exhibits reduced setation, though presence of a single dorsal elytral seta results in a setal formula of 2111. The new species can also be distinguished from Mecyclothorax hemisphaericus   by the more narrowly ovoid elytra, MEW/MPW = 1.43-1.48 (n = 4), versus more broadly ovoid elytra in Mecyclothorax hemisphaericus   , MEW/MPW = 1.61 (n = 2 paratypes, MNHN). Individuals of both species are of similar size; standardized body length for this species is 3.7-4.0 mm, versus 3.5-3.9 mm for Mecyclothorax hemisphaericus   , as determined from two examined paratypes (MNHN).


Head capsule withslightly sinuous frontal grooves, the two grooves approaching each other mesad a broad convexity near frontoclypeal suture, frons mesad grooves depressed and transversely wrinkled, groove bordered laterally by thin carina mesad anterior supraorbital seta; dorsum of head flat on frons in lateral view, neck convex; ocular lobe little projected, posterior portion meeting gena at >135˚, a narrow, shallow groove at juncture; eyes slightly more convex than ocular lobe, 14-15 ommatidia along horizontal diameter oriented to ventral margin of antennal articulatory socket; ocular ratio 1.36-1.42 (n = 4), ocular lobe ratio 0.74-0.76 (n = 4); labral anterior margin broadly, shallowly emarginate ¹�₆ of length; antennomeres 1-3 glabrous except for apical setae; antennae submoniliform, antennomere 8 length 1.75 × greatest breadth; mentum tooth with sides defining an acute angle, apex tightly rounded. Pronotum narrow, little transverse, distinctly cordate, the basolateral margins subparallel to slightly convergent for ¹�₉ pronotal length anterad projected, slightly obtuse hind angles (Fig. 3B), MPW/BPW = 1.67-1.76 (n = 4), MPW/PL = 1.12-1.16 (n = 4); median base slightly depressed relative to disc, 12-14 large punctures each side; basal margin broadly convex between hind angles; median longitudinal impression very shallow, finely incised, but traceable across disc, briefly extended as an elongate puncture at front of median base; anterior transverse impression very shallow, smooth, obsolete medially, finely incised in outer half of breadth each side; anterior callosity slightly convex, smooth but with very minute longitudinal wrinkles; front angles not protruded anterad, the margin perpendicular to longitudinal axis and curving posterad in a tight curve, APW/BPW = 1.13-1.19 (n = 4); lateral marginal depression very narrow, pronotal margin beaded throughout length to hind angle and posterad laterobasal depression; laterobasal depressions ill defined, punctate, coplanar with lateral portion of median base; proepisternum with ~10 very fine irregularities along hind margin; prosternal process narrowly depressed medially, sides broadly upraised mesad coxal cavities. Elytra narrowly subovoid (Fig. 3B), disc convex, sides distinctly sloped to near vertical; basal groove evenly curved anterad to angulate humerus, MEW/HuW = 2.2-2.3 (n = 4); parascutellar seta present; parascutellar striole 3-4 punctate, shallow but continuous; sutural interval slightly elevated at sutural juncture basally, moreso apically; striae 1-6 shallow on disc, indistinctly punctate, stria 7 obsolete but traceable, smooth; striae 1 and 7 deep and smooth apically, striae 2-6 shallower but traceable, though juncture of 5 and 6 is deeper; discal intervals slightly convex, lateral intervals less upraised, though convex due to curvature of elytron; interval 8 distinctly bulbous laterad stria 7, broadly subcarinate dorsal subapical sinuation; apical elytral seta present, subapical seta absent; lateral elytral setae (5-6) + (4-5); elytral marginal depression narrow with little upraised margin at humerus, slightly broader laterally, margin beaded anterad subapical sinuation. Mesepisternum densely punctate anteriorly, ~14 large punctures in 2-3 rows; metepisternum slightly longer than broad, width to length ratio 0.75; metepisternum separated from metepimeron by distinct suture. Abdomen with visible ventrites 1-5 irregularly wrinkled laterally, ventrites 3-6 with rounded depressions laterally; suture between visible ventrites 2 and 3 effaced laterally. Metatarsomere 4 indistinctly lobate, overall length including lobes 1.5 × median tarsomere length, both subapical and apical setae present; metatarsal dorsolateral sulci very shallow, lateral, median surface of tarsomere broadly convex. Microsculpture obsolete on frons, surface glossy, shallow isodiametric sculpticells in transverse rows on neck; pronotal disc glossy, micro- sculpture obsolete but indistinct transverse sculpticells, 3 –4× broad as long, discernible just outside areas of light reflection; pronotal median base with indistinct isodiametric mesh between punctures; elytral disc glossy, obsolete transverse mesh visible along edge of reflected light; elytral apex with shallow isodiametric and transverse sculpticells; metasternum with distinct transverse mesh; laterobasal abdominal ventrites covered with swirling isodiametric and transverse sculpticells. Coloration of head capsule rufous with slight piceous cast; antennomeres 1-3 rufoflavous, 4-11 slightly darker, the apical antennomeres rufobrunneous; pronotal disc dark rufous, pronotal margins with piceous cast, basal and apical edge slightly paler, rufobrunneous where narrowed in thickness; proepipleuron rufoflavous medially, dark dorsally, rufous with piceous cast ventrally to match proepisternum; elytral disc dark rufous, sutural interval rufous basally, rufoflavous apically; elytral marginal depression concolorous at humerus, rufoflavous in deepest portion laterally and to subapical sinuation; elytral apex broadly slightly paler, rufobrunneous; elytral epipleuron rufoflavous ventrad dark margin, rufobrunneous ventrally, metepisternum slightly darker, rufous with piceous cast; abdomen dark rufous basally, ventrites 4-6 paler, rufobrunneous, apical ventrite with apical third paler, rufoflavous; metafemur rufoflavous; metatibia rufoflavous with brunneous cast.

Male genitalia. (n = 1). Aedeagal median lobe evenly curved and of subequal diameter in basal half, narrowed apically to tightly rounded apex that extends little beyond apical ostial margin (Fig. 4E); internal sac lightly sclerotized, only flagellar plate visible in uneverted dissection, length of plate 0.33 × distance from parameral articulation to apex; right paramere short, apex extended toward apex 0.7 × distance from parameral articulation to apex, left paramere longer, extended 0.9 × that distance.

Female reproductive tract. (n = 1). Bursa copulatrix very short, present as a very short lobe situated dorsad the broad common oviduct (Fig. 5C); bursal apex extended beyond evident transverse fold at base of oviduct the same distance as that from transverse fold to a line drawn between bases of basal gonocoxites; bursal surface lightly sclerotized, as membranous as surface of median oviduct; spermatheca reniform, spermathecal gland connected to base of spermatheca by a short duct; basal gonocoxite 1 with apical fringe of 3-4 setae, and 10-11 smaller setae along mesal margin, spanning ventromedial to dorsomedial surfaces of gonocoxite (Fig. 6C); apical gonocoxite 2 narrow basally with tightly rounded apex, single dorsal and lateral ensiform setae and 2 apical nematiform setae.

Holotype male (MNHN) labeled: French Polynesia: Moorea / Tohiea summit el. 1080- / 1120 m 12-IX-2006 lot 09 / 17°33.07'S, 149°49.38'W / beating dead fern fronds / C.P. Ewing // HOLOTYPE / Mecyclothorax / popotioaoa / J.K. Liebherr 2012 (black-bordered red label).

Allotype female (MNHN): French Polynesia: Moorea / Tohiea summit el. 1120 m / 12-IX-2006 lot 08 / 17°33.07'S, 149°49.38'W / beating ferns C.P. Ewing // ALLOTYPE / Mecyclothorax / popotioaoa / J.K. Liebherr 2012 (black-bordered red label).

Other paratypes.

SOCIETY ISLANDS. Moorea: Tohiea summit, 1120 m el., S17°33.07', W149°49.38', 12-ix-2006 lot08, beating ferns, Ewing (CUIC, 1); 1120 m el., S17°33.07', W149°49.38' 12-ix-2006 lot 10, pyrethrin fog mossy log, deep gulch, Polhemus (NMNH, 1); gulch S of summit, 1160-1180 m el., S17°33.03', W149°49.36', 24-ix-2009, on fern frond, gulch wall, MBIO 5852, Ewing & Yang (EMEC, 1).


The species epithet is a compounding of the Tahitian word popoti, beetle or cockroach, and oaoa, the Tahitian adjective narrow (Wahlroos, 2002), signifying the constricted pronotal base and narrow body of adult beetles of this species. As oaoa is indeclinable, the epithet is to be treated as a noun in apposition.

Distribution and habitat. Four of the five specimens recorded for the species have been collected on fern fronds, either living or dead, in all such instances associated with individuals of Mecyclothorax mapo   . The fifth specimen was collected in association with Mecyclothorax mapo   and the single known Mecyclothorax menemene   by pyrethrin fogging of a mossy log complex in a deep, wet gulch.