Coprophanaeus (Metallophanaeus) saphirinus ( Sturm, 1826 )

Edmonds, W. D. & Zidek, J., 2010, A taxonomic review of the neotropical genus Coprophanaeus Olsoufieff, 1924 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae), Insecta Mundi 2010 (129), pp. 1-111 : 29-31

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Coprophanaeus (Metallophanaeus) saphirinus ( Sturm, 1826 )


Coprophanaeus (Metallophanaeus) saphirinus ( Sturm, 1826)

Fig. 50, 59 View Figure 50-61 , 62 View Figure 62 , 69-74 View Figure 69-74

Phanaeus saphirinus Sturm, 1826: 65

Phanaeus chabrillaci Thompson, 1857: 117 (syn. by Harold 1869: 65)

Metallophanaeus saphirinus (Sturm) (recomb. by Blackwelder 1944: 209)

Phanaeus machadoi Pereira and d’Andretta, 1955: 257 , New Synonymy

Coprophanaeus saphirinus (Sturm) (recomb. by Edmonds 1972: 841)

Type. P. saphirinus holotype male, Zoologische Staatssammlung, Munich ; P. chabrillaci – unknown to us; P. machadoi – holotype male, Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo .

Diagnosis. General – Paraocular areas (genae) mostly smooth, at most only weakly convex, not carinate lateral to eyes. Pronotum smooth posteromedially, otherwise weakly granulorugose; posterior angle flattened, slightly explanate, basal fossae and inner portions of sulcus paralleling posterior margin effaced. Anteromedian angle of metasternum (seen in profile, Fig. 59 View Figure 50-61 ) rounded, not salient; angle capped with elongate thickening (bead) usually visible from below as broad V. Elytral interstriae flat; striae (x5) simple, very fine, superficial, not at all impressed (x5); bases of striae 1-4 distinctly fossate, fossae progressively larger laterally. Ventral surface of protibia lateral to longitudinal carina paralleling inner margin entirely punctatorugose ( Fig. 50 View Figure 50-61 ). Pygidium lacking basal groove. Length 12-22 mm. Color ( Fig. 69-74 View Figure 69-74 ) shining metallic blue, violet, red or rarely green.

Male ( Fig. 69-71 View Figure 69-74 ) – Head with evenly tapering long horn, base not abruptly swollen. Pronotum with pair of closely set, apically convergent processes near posterior margin, separated by strong concavity; disk anterior to processes with deep, round concavity on each side, otherwise slightly convex, rarely with pair of closely set small acute tubercles about midway to anterior margin. Pronotal sculpturing limited to weak rugosity on lateral margins; otherwise surface nearly smooth. Apical processes of parameres rounded.

Female ( Fig. 73-74 View Figure 69-74 ) – Pronotum with small, weakly trituberculate crest adjacent to anterior margin followed by weak concavity bounded posteriorly by pair of weak tumosities near middle of disk. Pronotum finely granulorugose on disk and sides, punctate posteromedially.

Specimens examined – 381.

Distribution. Paranaian subregion ( Fig. 62 View Figure 62 ).

Collection Records. ARGENTINA: Chaco – Miraflores (Apr). Misiones – Posadas (Dec) ; Coñapirú (Dec); Garuhapé (Oct); Mocona (Dec); Dorado (Apr); Aristóbulo del Valle [Depto. Cainguas] (Dec) ; Dos de Mayo (Sep, Nov) ; Santa María; Parque Nacional Iguazú , 200 m (Jan-Feb, Dec) ; Cosapiel (Nov); Loreto (Dec). Tucumán – Tucumán (Feb). BRAZIL: Bahia – Entre Rios. Espiritu Santo – Timbuhy (Dec). Minas Gerais – Virginia , 1500 m (Nov) ; Poços do Caldas [Morro da Ferra] (Feb). Paraná – Londrina

(Dec); Lapa (Mar) ; Curitiba ( Feb , Apr, Oct – Dec) ; Bariqui (Apr). Rio de Janeiro – Itatiaia (Jan, Mar, Nov) ; Floresta da Tijuca (Oct, Dec) ; Ilha Grande (Apr) ; Petropolis (Nov-Dec) ; Nova Friburgo (Jan) ; 17 km E Nova Friburgo, 22 o 23’04”S 42 o 33’30”W, 750 m (Jan, Mar). Rio Grande do Sul – São Borja (Dec). Santa Catarina – Pinhal (Dec) GoogleMaps ; Rio das Antas ; Corupá (Jan, Oct-Nov) ; Nova Teutônia, 27 o 11’S 52 o 23’W (Sep-Nov, Jan) GoogleMaps ; Rio Vermelho (Feb) ; São Francisco (Nov). São Paulo – 50 km SE Mogi das Cruzes [Serra do Mar Biological Station “ Boraceia ”], 800-900 m (Apr) ; São Bernardo (Jan) ; São Paulo (Mar) ; Cantareira (Dec) ; Campos do Jordão (Dec) ; Tremembé (Mar). PARAGUAY: Alto Paraguay – Bella Vista (Dec). Caazapá – Parque Nacional Caaguazú [San José Cristal] (Oct, Dec). Cordillera – Naranjo (Dec). Guairá – Paso Yobai (Sep) ; Villarrica (Nov) ; Colonia Independencia (Nov) ; Colonia Natalicio Talavera (Dec) ; Colonia Nueva Talavera; Yoveré [Cordillera Ybytyruzu] (Jan). Itapúa – Yatai [San Rafael Reserve], 26 o 38’13”S 55 o 39’50”W (Sep). Paraguarí – Paraguarí (Nov) GoogleMaps .

Comments. Coprophanaeus saphirinus is one of the most common species of the genus and by far the most common in the subgenus. Its range is broad; and while it prefers forest habitat, it does venture into the more open Chaco formations of northeastern Argentina. The color of this species varies more than in any other member of the genus. Dark metallic blue predominates. A red form ( Fig. 71 View Figure 69-74 ), described as Phanaeus chabrillaci and sometimes regarded as a subspecies, occurs sporadically in the southern part of its extensive range; and a green form ( Fig. 71 View Figure 69-74 ) occurs most commonly in populations in the coastal forests of Rio de Janeiro. The bright colors of this species are associated with diurnal activity ( Medina-Hernandez 2002).

Concerning Phanaeus chabrillaci , we echo Harold’s (1869) sentiments, “Das typische Stück [of C. chabrillaci ] ist nichts als eine schön kupfrigrothe Varietät [of C. saphirinus ]”, and we agree with his synonymy. This morph of C. saphirinus occurs widely and in populations dominated by the bluish-violet form; it is not a distinct taxon in our opinion. Fernando Vaz-de-Mello (pers. comm.) has observed that the red form tends to occur more frequently in populations at somewhat higher elevations than does the blue form, and only in the southern portion of the species range. Thomson’s species was originally spelled “ chabrillacii ”, and in the literature it commonly appears so written. He named it for the collector of the type series, François Chabrillac. Harold (1869), followed by Blackwelder (1944), emended the name to “ chabrillaci ”.

The elytral striae (more frequently the lateral ones) of this species are often micropunctate (x10), but they are never carinulate. Pereira and d’Andretta’s (1955) description of C. machadoi was based on a single male with stronger strial and interstrial puncturing than typical C. saphirinus and with curious modifications of the pronotal disk. Fernando Vaz-de-Mello (pers. comm.) reports that coastal populations of this species (“ machadoi ”) in Rio de Janeiro, Espiritu Santo and some adjacent regions of Minas Gerais differ from populations in the main range of C. saphirinus . These populations, which include blue and green individuals, present a weak, midlongitudinal ridge on the anterior (declivitous) portion of the pronotum and stronger elytral striae that at times appear punctured (as in C. punctatus ). Other large male variants exist; we have observed one with a pair of acute tubercles along the midline of the pronotal disk.

Pereira (1949) reported observing dimorphic males of C. saphirinus . Besides those bearing a tapering head horn, he described small males with a bituberculate swelling of the kind also observed in the palaeno group of Phanaeus and in Oxysternon . In none of the smallest males observed by us have we seen a bituberculate swelling; the minimum condition has been only a small bump or an obsolete tubercle.

Martínez (1959) cited C. saphirinus as strictly necrophagous, but it is regularly collected also from human feces.














Coprophanaeus (Metallophanaeus) saphirinus ( Sturm, 1826 )

Edmonds, W. D. & Zidek, J. 2010

Coprophanaeus saphirinus (Sturm)

Edmonds, W. D. 1972: 841

Phanaeus machadoi Pereira and d’Andretta, 1955: 257

Pereira, F. S. & M. A. V. d'Andretta 1955: 257

Metallophanaeus saphirinus (Sturm)

Blackwelder, R. E. 1944: 209

Phanaeus chabrillaci

Harold, E. 1869: 65
Thompson, J. 1857: 117

Phanaeus saphirinus

Sturm, J. 1826: 65
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