Psalydolytta gessi Bologna

Bologna, Marco A., Amore, Valentina & Pitzalis, Monica, 2018, Meloidae of Namibia (Coleoptera): taxonomy and faunistics with biogeographic and ecological notes, Zootaxa 4373 (1), pp. 1-141: 38-40

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Psalydolytta gessi Bologna

sp. n.

Psalydolytta gessi Bologna  sp. n. ( Fig. 2RView FIGURE 2)

Type. Holotype male, labelled “ Namibia, Opuwa  , 18.03S- 13.91E, 25.iii.2004 F.W. & S.K. Gess; 03/04/242 to ligth” ( AMGAbout AMG).GoogleMaps 

Type locality. The official name of the type locality is Opuvo rather than Opuwa. This town is located in the northwestern Namibian Kaokaland, characterized by dry Mopane savannah.

Diagnosis. This s pecies belongs to the group of P. atripes (sensu Kaszab 1954b)  and is phenetically similar to P. bequaerti (Pic)  . It differs from this central African species (R.D. Congo and Zambia) because of male antennomeres more robust and less slender, antennomere III not twice but 1.5 times as long as IV, male temples converging posteriad and not parallel, elytral chestnut ground colour clearer and setation with less evident longitudinal stripe.

Description. Body black, but fore part of clypeus, labrum, maxillary and labial palpi, labium, galeae, and antennae orange, elytra uniformely clear chestnut ( Fig. 2RView FIGURE 2). Setation of whole body white, dense, robust and short, forming a scarcely distinguishable longitudinal stripe on pronotum and in middle, external margin and suture of each elytron; only ventral side of femurs unsetate. Body length (apex mandibles-apex elytra): about 22.5 mm.

Head transversely subrectangular, temples progressively and widely converging posteriad, largely rounded on vertex, about 1.2 as long as longitudinal diameter of eye. Eyes moderately large and only sligtly convex, below extended to maxillary stipes base, both anterior and posterior margins almost no emarginated. Frons posteriorly wider than anteriorly, about twice as wide as eye on posterior part, scarcely convex anteriorly and almost flat posteriorly, with a rounded unpunctate and shagreened area between eye and antennal base. Surface closely punctate, punctures very approached but not deep, intermediate surface microreticulate. Frontal suture largely concave in middle. Clypeus suboval, narrowed and depressed anteriorly; punctures similar than on front in posterior half; clypeus anteriorly shiny and almost unpunctate. Labrum cordiform, anteriorly emarginated; surface subrugose. Mandibles strong, inferiously bent, unpunctate dorsally on fore half. Maxillary palpi with segment II-IV progressively enlarged at apex, last one greatly subsecuriform and sligthly depressed at apex. Segment two of labial palpi very narrowed at base and strongly enlarged at apex, last segment subcylindrical; setae of both palpi finer than other of the body. Antennae almost elongate to middle of elytra. Antennomere I robust, about 2.5 times as long as II, narrowed only at base; II subcylindrical; III –XI cylindrical, slender; III more than twice as long as II, longer than IV –VIII, sligthly longer tha IX –XI; VI slightly curved on inner side; XI sligthly narrowed at apex.

Pronotum narrower than head, the maximal width on anterior third, sides a little widened from base to anterior third and afterward greatly narrowed toward anterior margin; basal margin not rebordered; surface scarcely depressed in middle of the base; anterior half depressed, particularly on sides; punctures finer than on head; setae more robust on fore third, sides, base and in middle. Prosternum posteriously not prolonged; scutellum suboval at apex; mesosternum very short, extended on sides; metasternum very large, unsetate on posterior and middle parts, with one oval basal lateral area. Elytra elongate, covering abdomen and wings, uniformly subrugose; metathorax wings normally developed. Femur, tibia and tarsi elongate and slender, meso- and metatibaie very slender in basal third and afterwards progressively widened; meso- and metatarsal segment I very elongate, twice as long as II, II longer than III, III –IV similar in length, V a little longer than II; tarsomeres not modified, with inferior pad of clear setae; claws smooth and slightly bent. Fore femur with inner depressed area covered by very thick and short yellow setae. Two spurs on tibiae; fore and middle tibial spurs both elongate and obtusely pointed, fore external spur slightly slender; metatibial external spur spatuliform and dorsally concave, not greatly enlarged, obtusely pointed at apex.

Abdomen elongate, slightly rugose; posterior margin of penultimate segment largely arcuated, that of last segment slightly emarginated in middle. Penultimate ventrite greatly arcuated; posterior margin of last ventrite Vemarginated in middle. Phallobase on ventral view quite large and short, parameres fused only on basal third, slender, more than two times as long as phallobase ( Fig. 8 AView FIGURE 8), afterward base slightly narrowed, apically convergently narrowed with one small terminal lobe; tegmen in lateral view with parameres subcylindrical and slender, narrowed at apex with terminal lobe elongate and obtuse ( Fig. 8BView FIGURE 8); aedeagus in lateral view with one apical hook slightly inclined and subobtuse ( Fig. 8BView FIGURE 8); endophallus hook very elongate and curved. Spiculum gastrale well sclerotized in middle, basally arcuated, lateral arms short.

Etymology. The new species is named after Dr Friedrich Wolfgang (Fred) Gess, hymenopterologist and Curator Emeritus at the Albany Museum ( South Africa), who discovered the larval biology of a few interesting southern African blister beetles ( Australytta, Ceroctis  , Zonitoschema  ) and collected the single specimen of the new species.

Remarks. The single specimen was collected at ligth and probably the species is nocturnal, as possible adaptation to dry habitat, while most other Psalydolytta  are diurnal.

Distribution. Northwestern Namibia  .

Psalydolytta lorigera (Gerstäcker, 1854)  ( Fig. 2SView FIGURE 2)

Lytta lorigera Gerstäcker, 1854 

Distribution. Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia  , Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Material examined and literature records. [Caprivi] Katima Mulilo Urban: Katima Mulilo , 17.5000°S 24.2667°E (CB). [Otjozondjupa] Tsumkwe : Bushmanland : Klein Dobe , 19.4167°S 20.35°E (MNB); Klein Dobe , 19.4333°S 20.5°E ( SMWNAbout SMWN)GoogleMaps  . Grootfontein: Grootfontein, 19.5667°S 18.1167°E (MNB). [Oshikoto] Guinas : Ghaub 47, 19.4551°S 17.7514°E ( SMWNAbout SMWN)GoogleMaps  . [Karas] Oranjemund: Skorpion Hill , 27.8253°S 16.5997°E ( SMWNAbout SMWN) [This record needs confirmation].GoogleMaps 

Other records: Otavitali (SMWN); Namib Sand Sea desert ( Seely 2012); Namibia  ( Kaszab 1954b; Selander 1988b; Bologna 1978, 2000a).

Remarks. Types of this species were not examined but specimens compared with them were studied at HMNHAbout HMNH.

Species belonging to the group “ lorigera  ”, as defined by Kaszab (1954b).


Albany Museum


State Museum


Hayashibara Museum of Natural History