Micraspis unicus Poorani

Poorani, J., 2019, A new species of Micraspis Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India, Zootaxa 4559 (1), pp. 189-192: 190

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Micraspis unicus Poorani

sp. nov.

Micraspis unicus Poorani  , sp. nov. ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1)

Diagnosis: This species can be separated from its Indian congeners by its medium-large size, uniform yellow-orange body, small scutellum, epipleuron at its widest almost half as wide as metaventrite, and the distinctive male genitalia. It is similar to two other Oriental species, Micraspis quichauensis ( Hoàng, 1982)  (from China and Vietnam) and M. yunnanensis Jing (1985)  (from China) in having broadly explanate elytral margins, but the latter two have a much more strongly convex and almost hemispherical body outline, a pronotum with a posterior black border, and the elytra have reddish discal markings with the suture and lateral margins bordered black, and the male genitalia differ as follows. In M. yunnanensis  , the penis guide of the tegmen is progressively narrowed along its entire length in ventral view and in lateral view, it is distinctly curved and much narrower in the posterior half. In M. quichauensis  too, the penis guide of the tegmen is posteriorly distinctly narrowed and curved in lateral view and the inner process of penis capsule is shorter than outer process (in M. unicus  sp. n., penis guide is cylindrical and subparallel for nearly four-fifths of its length and in lateral view, it is not apically curved; the penis has a more elongate capsule and a narrower, pointed apex). The spermatheca of female genitalia in M. unicus  has a robust cornu and an elongate, tubular ramus, but in M. quichauensis  , the cornu of spermatheca is regularly curved with a much shorter ramus.

Description: Holotype, male: TL: 3.33 mm; TW: 3.05 mm; TL/TW: 1.10; PL/PW: 0.47; EL/EW: 0.93. Body outline ( Fig. 1bView FIGURE 1) broad oval to almost round, nearly as long as wide, broadest around middle of elytra and apically narrowed; dorsum convex and glabrous except head with white hairs around clypeal margin. Head creamy white-yellow, rest of dorsum and ventral side yellowish, pronotum with an indistinct pale yellowish-brown median marking, pronotum and elytra with lateral margins transparent. Head 0.46 × as wide as pronotum, with deep, prominent antennal canthus ( Fig. 1cView FIGURE 1), interocular distance 2.11 × as wide as eye, punctures very fine, shallow and widely separated, interspaces between punctures with strong, reticulate microsculpture. Pronotum with fine punctures, very shallowly impressed, denser and closer around posterior margin, irregular and widely separated on disc, more confused and somewhat obsolete on lateral sides, interspaces between punctures with reticulate microsculpture weaker than that on head. Elytra with punctures fine, shallow, but slightly larger, more deeply impressed and denser than those on pronotum, separated by 2–3 diameters, interspaces between punctures smooth, shiny. Prosternal intercoxal process ( Fig. 1fView FIGURE 1) tubular, with a pair of fine carinae not reaching beyond middle of process. Mesoventrite anteriorly very shallowly emarginate. Epipleuron ( Fig. 1dView FIGURE 1) unusually wide, nearly half as wide as metaventrite at widest. Intercoxal process of abdomen anteriorly triangularly produced. Abdominal postcoxal line ( Fig. 1eView FIGURE 1) short, incomplete laterally, not reaching posterior margin of ventrite 1. Posterior margin of ventrite 5 truncate, ventrite 6 very shallowly emarginate. Tarsal claws appendiculate. Male genitalia ( Figs 1g –jView FIGURE 1) with penis guide of tegmen in ventral view ( Fig. 1hView FIGURE 1) elongate-cylindrical and subparallel up to four-fifths of its length, thereafter narrowed rather abruptly to a short tubular projection with a truncate apex; parameres ( Fig. 1hView FIGURE 1) broad, apically with a hook-like projection, lateral and inner apical margins densely pubescent; penis guide in lateral view ( Fig. 1gView FIGURE 1) gradually narrowed from anterior, apically inwardly produced acutely with parameres medially distinctly narrowed. Penis ( Figs 1i, jView FIGURE 1) with well-developed capsule with inner and outer processes subequal, penis apex ( Fig. 1jView FIGURE 1) produced into an acutely pointed projection ( Fig. 1iView FIGURE 1).

Female: Externally similar to male ( Fig. 1aView FIGURE 1). Posterior margin of ventrite 5 medially slightly produced, that of ventrite 6 arcuate. Spermatheca ( Fig. 1kView FIGURE 1) with a short nodulus and much more elongate, tubular ramus, cornu robust, crescent shaped; sperm duct short; infundibulum prominent, bottle shaped; coxites club-handle like.

Type material: Holotype, male: INDIA: Arunachal Pradesh: Mayodia , 2463 mts, 28 o 16’47.4”N 0 95 o 54’44.9”E, ii. ix.2014, Sweep net, Ramani, SGoogleMaps  .; Paratype: one female with same data ( NBAIR)GoogleMaps  .

Etymology: The specific epithet is a Latin adjective and refers to the unique / singular features of this species such as unusually broad epipleuron and the male genitalia, which stand out from other Indian and Oriental Micraspis  spp.

Taxonomic notes: This species is related to Micraspis quichauensis ( Hoàng, 1982)  and Micraspis yunnanensis Jing, 1985  in having outwardly flat elytra. Specimens of these two species could not be examined and the differential diagnosis given here is based on the descriptions and illustrations provided by Hoàng (1982), Yu (2010), and Ren et al. (2009). The male genitalia of M. unicus  sp. n. are closer to those of M. quichauensis  and to a lesser degree, to M. yunnanensis  , but the shape of the penis guide and penis apex illustrated by Hoàng (1982) and Ren et al. (2009) for the latter two species are different. The spermatheca of the female genitalia in M. quichauensis  is also different from that of M. unicus  in having a regularly curved, less robust cornu and a shorter ramus. Micraspis quichauensis  was originally described as Mononeda quichauensis Hoàng, 1982  from Quichau, Vietnam, who subsequently also noted that it was close to Micraspis  and established a new subgenus Mononeda (Paramicraspis) Hoàng, 1983  to place this species ( Hoàng 1983). Mononeda Crotch 1874  , a South American genus, has little in common with this species except for its explanate elytral margins and differs in having a much wider scutellum. Yu (2010) transferred Mononeda quichauensis  to Micraspis  and provided the habitus illustrations of both M. yunnanensis  and M. quichauensis  . Ren et al. (2009) illustrated the habitus and male genitalia of M. yunnanensis  .