Hycleus aridus 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: 86-87

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Hycleus aridus Bologna

sp. n.

Hycleus aridus Bologna  sp. n. ( Fig. 5IView FIGURE 5)

Types. Holotype female, 2 females paratypes ( SMWN) and 1 female paratype (CB), labelled “ 6 km N Arandis , 22°22’S 14°59’E, 12 Feb –11 March 1985, J. Irish- H. RustGoogleMaps  . 1 female paratype (SMWN), idem, but 10 April –8 May 1984 J. Irish H. Liessner. 1 female paratype (SMWN), 1 male and 1 female paratypes (CB), idem, but 3–31.VII.1984, J. Irish H. Liessner. 1 male paratype ( SMWN), labelled “ Lower Ostrich Gorge, 22°30’S 14°58’E, Swakopmund district , 11March –9April 1985, J. Irish- H. RustGoogleMaps  . 1 female paratype (SMWN), idem, but 13 March –9 April 1984 J. Irish H. Liessner. 1 male and 2 females paratypes ( SMWN), labelled “ Upper Ostrich Gorge, 22°29’S 14°59’E, Swakopmund distr. , 13 March –10 April 1984 J. Irish H. LiessnerGoogleMaps  . 1 male paratype (SMWN), idem, but 12 Feb –11 March 1985, J. Irish- H. Rust. 1 female paratype (SMWN), idem, but 11 March –9April 1985, J. Irish- H. Rust. 1 male paratype ( SMWN), labelled “ Unjab River bank, 11 km upstream from pump house, Skeleton Coast Park, 20°08’S 13°18’EGoogleMaps  . 1 male paratype ( SMWN), labelled “ Namibia, Brandberg, Hungorob  ravine at: 21°13’25”S 14°31’03”E, 21.iv. 2000, 700 m, K.Meakin / Raleigh Int., yellow paint trap row 3, Bberg pan 48GoogleMaps  . 1 female paratype ( SMWN), labelled “ Betw. Hunkab and Hoanib Rivers at 19°38’S 13°31’E, Skeleton Coast Park, 5 April 1979, S. Louw, R. Wharton ”.GoogleMaps 

Type locality. All localities are located in the Namib Desert biome, but with different ecological characteristics. The type locality and two others, very close (Upper and Lower Ostrich gorge), are located in the Erongo region, in areas with dense ground; another (Hungarob) on the Brandberg volcan, along a temporary river bank in a mountain valley. The remaining two sites are located in the Skeleton Coast Park (Kunene Region, Sesfontein and Khorixas districts, respectively), along temporary river banks surronded by rocky hills (Hoanib) or sand dunes (Unjab).

Diagnosis. One Hycleus  species with mesosternum of the Mesoscutatus type, close and similar to H. dvoraki  , with 11 antennomeres, the middle ones subserrate, aedeagus with one single distal hook at apex; distinct by H. dvoraki  because of the very distintive elytral pattern ( Fig. 5IView FIGURE 5), smaller mesosternal scutum, wider and shorter male protarsomeres, narrower apical part of male gonoforcesps.

Description. Body shiny and unicolor black, elytra brown-yellow, with black pattern ( Fig. 5IView FIGURE 5) with narrow apex partially extended on the sutura, two spots on fore third, external spot subtrasverse, one middle undulate fascia, one isolated pre-apical middle spot oblique. Body setae black, denser and longer on ventral side; elytra with setiform punctures variable in size and depth and sparse short setae, quite longer on posterior third. Maximal body length: 8.5–13 mm.

Head distinctly transverse, subrectangular, temples parallel, short, distinctly shorter than longitudinal diameter of eye, smaller than maximum width at the level of eyes; punctures deep, wide and scattered, denser on frons, intermediate surface shagreened; frons transversely depressed, occiput almost flat; eye subglobose, bulging, with antero-dorsal margin sligthly emarginated. Clypeus narrower than interocular width, subparallel on sides, convex and with same punctures that on frons, smooth anteriorly; fronto-clypeal suture well visible; labrum about as long as clypeus, fore margin slightly emarginated, punctures as on clypeus. Maxillary palpomeres subcylindrical, with black setae on the external side of apex of each palpomere, except last one; male maxillae and labial palpomeres not modified with stipes narrow and elongate in lateral view; mandibles robust, curved in fore half, sharp at apex, longer than labrum. Antennae ( Fig. 16CView FIGURE 16) with 11 antennomeres, I –III shiner, IV –XI subopaque and microsetate; I as long as II –III together, II subglobose; III slender and subcylindrical, distinctly longer than IV; IV cylindrical short; V –IX trapezoidal, progressively widened at apex; VI –IX subserrate and apically widened on external side, increasing in width and length from V to X; XI at base as wide as X but two times longer, apical half distinctly and abruptly conical and obtuse.

Pronotum widely campaniform, about as long as wide, as wide as maximal width of head on eye, sides parallel from base to fore third, and then slowly narrowing anteriad; fore portion with one distinct transverse deep depression, almost divided in two lateral portions; middle furrow extended only in middle, base with a round depression in front of mesonotum; punctures similar to that on head, but denser. Elytra parallel, dorsally convex, punctures subrugose on black parts, wider, very scattered and setiform on brown-yellow parts, with distinct black setae, in some paratypes appearing more approached and less distinct. Mesosternum ( Fig. 16DView FIGURE 16) of the Mesoscutatus types, with a middle sized triangular fore modified area; fore margins of mesepisterna with a narrow furrow. Legs slender; male protarsomeres short and sligthly widened; male protibiae and protarsomeres with dense robust setae which in female are also mixed with longer setae; both tibial spurs on all legs slender, external metatibial spur obtuse; ventral blade of claw regularly developed and scarcely curved.

Male last ventrite narrowly emarginated. Gonoforceps slender in both ventral and lateral views ( Fig. 16 A 16BView FIGURE 16), sinuate at base, widened at middle and then suddendly greatly narrowed; in lateral view apical lobes short; gonocoxal plate very wide; aedeagus ( Fig. 16BView FIGURE 16) with one single distal hook at apex, slightly elongate and sharp.

Etymology. The name of this species (from the Latin adjective aridus  = arid, very dry) refers to the aridity of the area were it lives.

Remarks. The elytral pattern of this species is very distinctive. We assume possible relationships with H. dvoraki  (see above) because of the shape of antennae, pronotum and aedeagus.

Distribution. NW Namibia  .