Cercyon nigriceps (Marsham, 1802),

Arriaga-Varela, Emmanuel, Seidel, Matthias, Deler-Hernandez, Albert, Viktor Senderov, & Fikacek, Martin, 2017, A review of the Cercyon Leach (Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae, Sphaeridiinae) of the Greater Antilles, ZooKeys 681, pp. 39-93: 56-57

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Cercyon nigriceps (Marsham, 1802)


Cercyon nigriceps (Marsham, 1802)  Figures 3 d–f, 6 i–k, 13 c–d

Dermestes nigriceps  Marsham, 1802: 72.

Cercyon nigriceps  Stephens (1829: 151). = Dermestes atricapillus  Marsham, 1802: 72 (synonymized by Gemminger and Harold 1868: 498; precedence of C. nigriceps  over C. atricapillus  determined by Stephens 1939: 97, see also Hansen 1999: 284). = Cercyon striatus  Sharp, 1882: 108 (synonymized by Fikáček 2009: 354). = Cercyon panamensis  Hansen, 1999: 286 (replacement name of C. striatus  Sharp; synonymized by Fikáček 2009: 354). For complete synonymy see Smetana (1978) and Hansen (1999).

DNA barcode.




Figures in Flick.


Type locality.

“Britannia” [= Great Britain, without specified locality].

Specimens examined.

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Cayman Brac: black-light trap, 06.vi.2008, lgt. R.H. Turnbow & B.K. Dozier (3 spec.: FSCA); Agricultural Exp. Sta. S. Of Songbird Dr., black-light trap, 04.vii.2013, leg. M.C. Thomas (3 spec.: FSCA); CUBA: Cienfuegos: Cumanayagua municipality, 22°7'18.44"N, 80°19'35.26"W, 722 m, 21.v.2013 (1 spec.: NMPC). Guantánamo: El Yunque, 0.5-1.0 km W of Campismo Popular, 20°20.1'N, 74°33.6'W, 40-50 m. 10.vi.2012, leg. Deler-Hernández & Fikáček (MF01) (8 spec.: NMPC). Holguín: Mayarí municipality, Feltón, 20°43'7.92"N, 75°37'59.19"W, 23.iii.2013, leg. Deler-Hernández (28: NMPC). Santiago de Cuba: El Vivero, 1.6 km E of Dos Caminos, 20°10.8'N, 75°46.4'W, 150 m, 20-21.vi.2012, leg. Deler-Hernández & Fikáček (MF18) (54 spec.: NMPC) [DNA extract: MF604]; San Luis Municipality, Dos Caminos, 20°10'57.82"N, 75°46'40.84"W, leg. Deler-Hernández (16 spec.: NMPC). Artemisa: Cañon de Santa Cruz, Río de Santa Cruz, 22°45'1.29"N 83°08'56.36"W, 199 m a.s.l., 16.vii.2016, leg. A. Deler-Hernández (8 spec.: NMPC) [DNA extraction: MF1750]. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Samaná: Samaná, dam 2.5 km N of Samaná, in older cow excrements dampered by recent rains at the grassy bank of a reservoir, 19°13.70'N, 69°19.85'W, 58 m a.s.l., 5.ix.2014, leg. Deler, Fikáček & Gimmel (DR35) (3 spec.: NMPC); MN Salto El Limón 2.8 km SSW of El Limón, secondary vegetation and tiny remnants of forests among coffee plantations and pastures, cow excrements, 19°16.56'N, 69°26.47'W, 2.ix.2014, leg. Deler-Hernández, Fikáček & Gimmel (DR29a) (1 spec.: NMPC). La Altagracia: Nisibon, Black-light trap, 03.v.1978, lgt. R.E. Woodruff & G.B. Fairchild (2 spec.: FSCA); La Vega: 7.0 km W of Manabao, side of a stony stream in a valley with scattered houses and plantations surrounded by montane forest, in cow excrement, 19°04.56'N, 70°51.46'W, 1185 m a.s.l., 23.viii.2014, leg. Deler-Hernández, Fikáček & Gimmel (1 spec.: NMPC). Monseñor Nouel: PN La Humeadora; 11.6 km SSW, of Piedra Blanca, in horse excrement in moist broad-leaf forest in a valley of a small stony stream, 18°44.92'N, 70°21.63'W, 636 m a.s.l., 8.ix.2014, leg. Deler, Fikáček & Gimmel (DR41) (2 spec.: NMPC). Monte Cristi: 8.2 km. N Villa Elisa, 01.vi.1994, leg. R. Turnbow (1 spec.: FSCA). San Pedro de Macoris: Juan Dolio, at light, 10.-18.xii.2005, leg. Fencl (15 spec.: NMPC). HAITI: Artibonite: Montrouis, black-light trap, 05.vii.1977, leg. J.H. Frank (2 spec.: FSCA). PUERTO RICO: Naguabo: El Yunque National Forest (southern part), 3.45 km N of Río Blanco at road PR191, in horse excrements on exposed small pasture on the slope of El Yunque massive, 18°14.8'N, 65°47.9'W, 170 m a.s.l., 24.vi.2016, leg. Deler-Hernández, Fikáček & Seidel (PR2a) (17 spec. NMPC) [DNA extraction of one specimen: MF1732]; El Yunque National Forest (southern part), 4.9 km N iof Río Blanco, margin of the rainforest in an area with many flowering Etlingera elatior  plants, FIT, 18°15.8'N, 65°47.3'W, 495 m a.s.l., 24.vi.-2.vii.2016, leg. Fikáček & Seidel (PR11)(1 spec.: NMPC). Arecibo: small settlement in Bosque Estatal Río Abajo, small settlement in the middle of the lowland forest, horse excrement, 18°19.7'N, 66°42.1'W, 340 m a.s.l., 27.vi.2016, leg. Deler-Hernández, Fikáček & Seidel (PR15) (13 spec.: NMPC). Cabo Rojo: Boquerón, black light, 18°13.11'N, 67°10.96'W, 5-6.x.2011, leg. A. Segarra (7 spec.: UPRM). Rio Grande: El Verde Biological Station, at light, 26.v.1994, leg. R. Turnbow (2 spec.: FSCA). Lesser Antilles: ANTIGUA: Christian valley, blacklight trap, 19.viii.1991, leg. FAO insect survey (1 spec.: SBP); same locality and collector, 26.vii.1991 (1 spec.: SBP); same locality and collector, 29.x.1991 (3 spec.: SBP); same locality and collector, 14.-15.ix.1991 (1 spec.: SBP). GRENADA: St. Andrew, Mirabeu Agriculture Lab, light trap, 9.iv.1990, leg. J. Telesford (1 spec.: SBP). SAINT LUCIA: Vieux Fort, horse dung sifting, 13°43.9'N 60°53.9'W, 3 m a.s.l., 12.vii.2007, S & J. Peck (07-60) (2 spec.: SBP); Mon Repos, Fox Grove lnn, UV light, 13°51.8'N, 60°54.4'W, 90 m a.s.l., 8.-18.vii.2007, leg. S. & J. Peck (07-50) (1 spec.: SBP). Soufriere, Rechette Pt. 11.VII.1980, leg. L.S. Mahunka (59 spec.: HNHM). SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENADINES: St. Vincent: Emerald Valley Hotel E of Layou, horse dung, 13°12.0'N, 61°14.8'W, 20 m a.s.l., 24.viii.2006, S. & J. Peck (06-120) (3 spec.: SBP); same locality, UV light at forest edge, 27.-29.viii.2006, leg. S. & J. Peck (06-123) (1 spec.: SBP). Union Island: Chatham Bay, Water Rock Reserve, UV traps in tall forest, 12°36.18'N, 61°26.59'W, 125 m a.s.l.,16.viii.2009, leg. S. Peck (09-64) (2 spec.: SBP); Campbell Miss Irene Reserve, high canopy thorn forest, 12°35.44'N, 61°27.34'W, 85 m a.s.l., 18.viii.2009, leg. S. Peck (09-66) (1 spec.: SBP).

Published records from the Caribbean.

CUBA: Matanzas: Cárdenas (as C. centrimaculatum  , Gundlach 1891); without precise locality (as C. centrimaculatum  , de la Sagra 1857). JAMAICA: without precise locality ( Leng and Mutchler 1917). Trelawny: Good Hope; Duncans ( Fikáček 2009). DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Pedernales: 4 km W of Oviedo ( Fikáček 2009). GUADELOUPE: without precise locality ( Leng and Mutchler 1914); Peck et al. 2014). MONTSERRAT: without precise locality ( Peck et al. 2014).


Body size 1.0-2.1 mm; dorsal surface of head black; pronotum (Fig. 3d) reddish brown, rarely with a vaguely darker central area; elytra uniformly reddish-brown, rarely with a vaguely darker central area; mesoventral plate (Fig. 13c) narrow, ca. 6 × as long as wide; metaventrite (Fig. 13d) with complete femoral lines; first abdominal ventrite without spiniform process of both sexes; apex of fifth ventrite without a triangularly bulged projection in both sexes; aedeagus with parameres twice as long as phallobase (Fig. 6i), median lobe (Fig. 6j) continuously acuminate, with long narrowly acute apex, without spines.

This species was assigned to C. nigriceps  group (= C. atricapillus  group) by Smetana (1978). Cercyon nigriceps  can be distinguished from other species in the region by its small size and the presence of complete femoral lines on the metaventrite. It may be confused with representatives of the genus Oosternum  by the small body size and coloration, but differs from them by presence of femoral lines (absent in Oosternum  ), absence of anterolateral ridge on mesoventrite (present in all Oosternum  ) and by very narrow mesoventral plate (1.7 –2.8× as long as wide in Oosternum  , see Deler-Hernández et al. 2014).


This is an adventive species currently distributed in all zoogeographical regions. In Greater Antilles widespread in all islands: Cayman Islands, Cuba (Artemisa, Cienfuegos, Guantánamo, Holguín, Matanzas, Santiago de Cuba; Gundlach 1891), Dominican Republic (La Altagracias, La Vega, Monte Cristi, Samaná, San Pedro de Macoris; this paper), Haiti (Artibonite, this paper), Jamaica (Trelawny; Fikáček 2009) and Puerto Rico (Naguabo, Arecibo, Cabo Rojo). It is also widespread in the Lesser Antilles (Antigua, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; this paper) (Fig. 16b). Based on the record by de la Sagra (1857), the species was introduced to the Greater Antilles no later than the first half of the 19th century.


A terrestrial species collected in cow and horse dung and in decaying plant matter (e.g., compost piles). It is also frequently collected at light.