Ceracis tzotzilicus,

Souza-Gonçalves, Igor & Lopes-Andrade, Cristiano, 2020, Ceracis tzotzilicus sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea: Ciidae) from Guatemala and Mexico, Zootaxa 4780 (2), pp. 379-386: 380-385

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Ceracis tzotzilicus

sp. nov.

Ceracis tzotzilicus  sp. nov.

Figs 1–22View FIGURES 1–8View FIGURES 9–15View FIGURES 16–18View FIGURES 19–21View FIGURE 22


Type locality. San Cristóbal de las Casas, coordinates 16º44’N 92º38’W (Chiapas, Mexico)GoogleMaps  .

Type material. Holotype: ♂ ( CNC) “ MEX., HIS., 3 mi. N. S. Cristobal de las Casas 12.VI.1969 E.E. Lindquist \ Bracket fungi \ Ceracis tzotzilicus Souza-Gonçalves & Lopes-Andrade  HOLOTYPUS [red paper]”  . Paratypes: 121 ♂♂ and 78 ♀♀ as follows: 105 ♂♂ (35 CELC, four dissected; 3 CMN; 67 CNC) and  69 ♀♀ (22 CELC, two dissected; 1 CMN; 46 CNC) same data as the holotype  ; 2 ♂♂ (1 CMN; 1 CNC) “ MEX., HIS., 3 mi. N. S. Cristobal de las Casas 12.VI.1969 E.E. Lindquist \ Bracket fungi \ Ceracis  sp. Det. J.F. Lawrence ”  ; 15 ♂♂ (8 CELC, one dissected; 7 FMNH) and  9 ♀♀ (5 CELC; 4 FMNH) “ Finca Monserat , W. slope Volcan Acatenango, Município Yepocapa, Chimaltenango, V:17:1948 GUAT. R.D. Mitchell leg. 214.7100 ft., ex dry polypore fungus \ CHICAGO 

NAT. HIST. MuSEUM [sic], Guatemala Zool. Exped. (1948)”. All paratypes additionally labeled “ Ceracis tzotzilicus Souza-Gonçalves & Lopes-Andrade  PARATYPUS [yellow paper]”  .

Diagnosis. Ceracis tzotzilicus  sp. nov. can be distinguished from other species in the genus by the following characteristics: Antennae 9-segmented ( Fig. 5View FIGURES 1–8). Males with anterocephalic edge produced and elevated forming a wide lamina, which is broadly emarginate apically ( Figs 1, 3View FIGURES 1–8), and pronotum deeply emarginate forming two triangular plates ( Figs 1, 3, 4View FIGURES 1–8). C eracis tzotzilicus  sp. nov. resembles Ceracis bicornis (Mellié)  in the fine and sparse pronotal punctation, but in the latter species the male anterocephalic lamina is straight at apex and female ovipositor has conspicuous gonostyli.

Description, male holotype ( Figs 1–4View FIGURES 1–8). Adult, fully pigmented and in good condition, but lacking the left antenna. Measurements in mm: TL 1.67, PL 0.64, PW 0.67, EL 1.04, EW 0.72, GD 0.67. Ratios: PL/PW 0.95, EL/ EW 1.44, EL/PL 1.63, GD/EW 0.93, TL/EW 2.33. Body elongate, convex; dorsum and venter reddish dark brown; antennae yellowish brown, club dark brown; palpi and tarsi yellowish brown; dorsal vestiture single, consisting in minute suberect setae, barely visible at high magnifications (>50x); ventral vestiture of fine decumbent setae easily discernible at high magnifications (>50x). Head with the anteriormost portion visible from above; dorsum concave, with a conspicuous, short protuberance on vertexal disc; punctures fine, shallow, separated from each other by two punctures-widths or less; surface glabrous; interspaces, finely microreticulate; anterocephalic edge produced and elevated, forming a wide lamina with broadly emarginate apex. Antennae ( Fig. 5View FIGURES 1–8, left antenna from paratype) 9- segmented, lengths as follows (in mm, right antenna measured): 0.08, 0.04, 0.03, 0.02, 0.02, 0.01, 0.05, 0.06, 0.07 (FL 0.08 mm, CL 0.17 mm, CL/FL 2.04). Eyes coarsely facetted; each bearing about 90 ommatidia; GW 0.16 mm. Maxillae ( Fig. 8View FIGURES 1–8, right maxilla in paratype) with distinctly articulated galea; lacinia more or less fused to stipes; apical maxillary palpomere pyriform, 1.5X as long as wide, widest near base and narrowly rounded at apex. Mandibles ( Fig. 6View FIGURES 1–8, from paratype) as long as wide. Labium ( Fig. 7View FIGURES 1–8, from paratype) with rounded contour of apical portion of prementum in lateral view; labial palpi each with three palpomeres. Gula 0.32x as wide as head. Pronotum ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1–8) finely, shallowly punctate; punctures of one size, with the exception of median impunctate line beginning around eight puncture-widths of base until disc; punctures scattered, separated from each other by 2–3 puncture-widths; interspaces microreticulate and shiny; vestiture single, consisting of minute, pale yellowish setae (<0.01 mm); anterior pronotal edge deeply emarginate forming two short triangular plates, slightly divergent and with acute apex; lateral edges not crenulate, not explanate and not visible when seen from above. Scutellar shield triangular, bearing few punctures and few minute setae; BW 0.10 mm, SL 0.07 mm. Elytra with non-seriate, dual punctation; megapunctures finer and closer than those on pronotum, shallow, about twice as large as micropunctures, separated from each other by 1–2 megapuncture-widths; interspaces, smooth and shiny; vestiture single, consisting of minute pale yellowish setae (~ 0.01 mm) arising from megapunctures. Metathoracic wings developed, apparently functional. Hypomera with fine, shallow punctation; each puncture bearing one fine decumbent seta; interspaces microreticulate. Prosternum in front of coxae concave; interspaces, microreticulate. Prosternal process laminate, as long as prosternum at midline; acute at the apex. Protibiae ( Fig. 9View FIGURES 9–15, left protibia from paratype) with maximum width of about one-fourth of its length, expanded at apex. Meso- and metatibiae ( Figs 10–11View FIGURES 9–15, left meso- and metatibia from paratype) each with spines in apical edge. Metaventrite with fine, shallow punctures; interspaces, microreticulate; discrimen indiscernible. Abdominal ventrites with fine, shallow punctures, separated from each other by one puncture-width or less, each bearing one fine decumbent pale yellowish seta; interspaces, microreticulate; length of ventrites (in mm, from base to apex at the longitudinal midline) as follows: 0.25, 0.08, 0.06, 0.07, 0.10; first abdominal ventrite with large circular, setose sex patch posteriorly, not margined, transverse diameter of 0.08 mm. Male terminalia (from paratype) ( Figs 12–15View FIGURES 9–15): Sternite VIII ( Fig. 12View FIGURES 9–15) with posterior margin slightly emarginate medially; corners broadly rounded, bearing long and short setae; lateral margins diverging; anterior margin biconcave, sub-rounded, heavily sclerotized medially forming short strut ( Fig. 12View FIGURES 9–15, big black arrow). Tegmen ( Fig. 14View FIGURES 9–15) 2X as long as wide, widest near apex, apical portion deeply and broadly emarginate; lateral edges angulate near apex; outer apical edge broadly rounded. Basal piece ( Fig. 13View FIGURES 9–15) subtriangular, 1.4X as long as wide. Penis ( Fig. 15View FIGURES 9–15) elongate, 0.8X as long as tegmen, 4.9X as long as wide; lateral edges sclerotized forming two struts converging near apex; lateral edges slightly angulate near apex ( Fig. 15View FIGURES 9–15, small black arrows); apex rounded.

Females ( Figs 16–18View FIGURES 16–18). Anterocephalic edge anteriorly truncate, barely convex; vertex convex. Anterior pronotal edge rounded. Otherwise like males, but devoid of head and pronotal ornamentations, and abdominal sex patch. Female terminalia ( Figs 17–18View FIGURES 16–18) with spiculum ventrale ( Fig. 17View FIGURES 16–18) 1.7X as long as gonocoxites; ovipositor ( Fig. 18View FIGURES 16–18, distorted after compression between slide and cover slip) presenting reduced paraprocts, shorter than gonocoxites and barely discernible; each baculus of paraprocts bowed and completely fused to respective proctigeral baculus ( Fig. 18View FIGURES 16–18); gonocoxites without ventral lobes and gonostyli.

Variation. Males, measurements in mm (n= 11, including the holotype): TL 1.58–1.78 (1.67 ± 0.07), PL 0.55– 0.68 (0.62 ± 0.04), PW 0.63–0.70 (0.67 ± 0.02), EL 0.95–1.18 (1.05 ± 0.07), EW 0.65–0.75 (0.71 ± 0.03), GD 0.63–0.70 (0.65 ± 0.04), PL/PW 0.85–1.00 (0.93 ± 0.05), EL/EW 1.36–1.59 (1.48 ± 0.07), EL/PL 1.41–1.96 (1.70 ± 0.18), GD/EW 0.88–0.93 (0.91 ± 0.02), TL/EW 2.23–2.43 (2.36 ± 0.06). In some males, the pronotal plates are short ( Fig. 19View FIGURES 19–21) or the plate of head is short and pronotal edge is rounded ( Figs 20–21View FIGURES 19–21). Females, measurements in mm (n= 10): TL 1.45–1.73 (1.63 ± 0.08), PL 0.53–0.63 (0.58 ± 0.06), PW 0.55–0.70 (0.64 ± 0.05), EL 1.00–1.10 (1.05 ± 0.04), EW 0.63–0.78 (0.70 ± 0.05), GD 0.58–0.70 (0.65 ± 0.04), PL/PW 0.82–1.00 (0.91 ± 0.05), EL/EW 1.37–1.68 (1.50 ± 0.10), EL/PL 1.64–2.22 (1.82 ± 0.17), GD/EW 0.83–0.97 (0.93 ± 0.05), TL/EW 2.13–2.52 (2.32 ± 0.11). In both males and females, coloration can range from reddish brown to reddish dark brown. In specimens from Guatemala the pronotal punctation is slightly sparser than in the Mexican specimens.

Host fungi. Unknown.

Etymology. The species epithet is a combination of the terms “tzotzil” and the Greek noun “ikos” (=belonging to), both in the genitive singular. The name is a reference to the Tzotzil, an indigenous Maya people from the central Chiapas highlands in southern Mexico, which is also the native name of the type locality.

Distribution. Ceracis tzotzilicus  was collected in two localities over 2000 m above sea level: Central Highlands region of Chiapas ( Mexico) dominated by Coniferous Forest vegetation, and in the stratovolcano Acatenango close to Antigua ( Guatemala) ( Fig. 22View FIGURE 22).

Comments. Currently, four species-groups are recognized within Ceracis  (number of species between parentheses): the cucullatus  (10), furcatus (4), furcifer (4) and singularis  species-groups (3). This arrangement leaves 32 species (including Cer. tzotzilicus  ) without species-group assignment within the genus. The cucullatus- group was revised by Antunes-Carvalho & Lopes-Andrade (2011, 2013), with four new species from Australia added by Lawrence (2016). Within the cucullatus  -group, Cer. bicornis (Mellié)  is the unique species that was not redescribed yet and may be a species complex. The furcatus- group was established by Lopes-Andrade (2002) and may include possible synonyms ( Lawrence 1967); it is in urge of a taxonomic revision. The furcifer- group was recently revised by Pecci-Maddalena & Lopes-Andrade (2017). The singularis  group was established by Lopes-Andrade et al. (2002) and its species seem to be well defined. Although Cer. tzotzilicus  resembles Cer. bicornis  (see Diagnosis), we prefer not to assign it to either the cucullatus  or any other species-group within Ceracis  . We are currently conducting a phylogenetic analysis and major taxonomic propositions will be provided in forthcoming works.


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Canadian Museum of Nature


Field Museum of Natural History