Epironastes abruptus Carne, 1957

Hutchinson, Paul M. & Allsopp, Peter G., 2020, Revision of Epironastes Carne, 1957 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae Pentodontini: Pseudoryctina) with description of the female, behaviours, and habitats, Zootaxa 4852 (4), pp. 428-448: 430-435

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Epironastes abruptus Carne, 1957


Epironastes abruptus Carne, 1957  

( Figs. 1–18 View FIGURES 1–2 View FIGURES 3–10 View FIGURES 11–16 View FIGURES 17-18 , 56 View FIGURE 56 )

Epironastes abruptus Carne, 1957: 127   (Figs. 327, 329 ♂ genitalia; Fig. 333 ♂ head; Map 17); Endrődi 1974: 38, 65 ( Fig. 50 View FIGURES 43–50 ♂ parameres); Endrődi 1985: 382 (Fig. 1397 ♂ parameres); Cassis & Weir 1992: 400; Dechambre 2005: 68, map.

Type series. Holotype ♂ (by original designation): 43-565 Salmon Gums [32.9813°S, 121.6440°E] // Type // Holotype ♂ Epironastes abruptus   mihi P.B. Carne det. 1952 // Western Australian Museum Entomology Reg. No. E88679 View Materials // genitalia on card [in WAM, examined] ( Figs. 1–2 View FIGURES 1–2 ). GoogleMaps  

The type locality was given by Koch (1980) as “43-565, A.K. Brown; col. 8.vii.1943; Salmon Gums, W.A., 32°59’S, 121°39’E ” and in the WAM specimen register entry for 43-559 to 43-567 [559th to 567th specimens entered for 1943] states “Mrs A.K. Brown Salmon Gums, a fly (9)” [9 specimens donated including #565], but collector and date not given on labels ( Fig. 2 View FIGURES 1–2 ).

Other specimens examined. AUSTRALIA. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1♂, 106 km E. of Lake King [32.7048°S, 120.6479°E] W.A. 3.Feb.1999 P. Hutchinson // PMH Coll # Dyn 0468 [in PMH] GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, Moir Rd, 8 km S. of Ravensthorpe W. Aust. [33.6463°S, 120.0407°E] 13.Feb.2011 P. Hutchinson | Epironastes abruptus   GoogleMaps   ♂ in roadside puddle // PMH Coll # Dyn 0471 [in QM]   ; 2♀, Moir Rd , 8 km S. of Ravensthorpe W. Aust. 16.Feb.2011 P. Hutchinson   | ♀ crawling on track 0830-1100hrs // PMH Coll # Dyn 0466 [in WAM], 0468 [in PMH]   ; 1♂, Moir Rd , 8 km S. of Ravensthorpe W. Aust. 16.Feb.2011 P. Hutchinson   | ♂ flying 0815 hrs // PMH Coll # Dyn 0465 // genitalia on card [in PMH]   ; 1♂, Moir Rd , 8 km S. of Ravensthorpe W. Aust. 16.Feb.2011 P. Hutchinson   | ♂ crawling on track 0815-1100 hrs // PMH Coll # Dyn 0470 [in PMH]   ; 1♀, Moir Rd, 8 km S. of Ravensthorpe West. Aust. 19.Feb.2008 P. Hutchinson | walking on sand beneath mallee heath // PMH Coll # Dyn 0464 [in PMH]   .

Redescription. Male holotype. Body with dorsal surfaces ( Fig. 3 View FIGURES 3–10 ) and abdominal sternites ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 3–10 ) black, sometimes with red tinge, ventral surfaces and legs brown, 15 mm long, 9.3 mm wide. Mentum strongly reflexed at apex; ligula narrow, truncate apex. Antennal club ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 3–10 ) slightly longer than shaft, inner face setose, shallowly foveate in apical third, outer face bitexturous with dorsal portion black and ventral quarter chestnut brown. Clypeus ( Figs. 3, 7 View FIGURES 3–10 ) strongly curved downwards from antennal angles, very short, narrowed abruptly to short reflexed apex, surface transversely rugose; clypeofrontal suture obliterated. Frons ( Figs. 3, 6–7 View FIGURES 3–10 ) concentrically rugose; ocular canthi with anterior margin arcuate and bearing stout orange-yellow setae. Pronotum ( Figs. 3, 5–6 View FIGURES 3–10 ) with anterolateral angles forming right angles, widest in anterior half slightly before midlength, anteromedian horn stout, erect, preceding transverse impression confined to anterior half, continued over basal convexity by shallow depression, surface sparsely and finely punctate, punctures becoming coarser, denser and confluent towards margins and transversely elongate in anterior impression. Scutellum ( Fig. 3 View FIGURES 3–10 ) bearing moderate punctures becoming finer towards apex. Each elytron ( Figs. 3, 5 View FIGURES 3–10 ) with sutural striae linear-punctate, elytral disc with large simple punctures forming distinct striae, intervals impunctate with apical declivity rugulose. Pygidium ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 3–10 ) scarcely convex, shallowly and concentrically rugose, sides sparsely setose, almost glabrous across middle of base, without a smooth apical zone, apical ridge not narrowed in middle. Abdominal sternites 2–5 ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 3–10 ) sparsely setose at midlength laterally, glabrous across middle, last sternite with sparse posterior border of long orange-yellow setae. Coxae ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 3–10 ) bearing orange-yellow vestiture; metatibiae slender, basal carinae bearing long, acute setae; distal carinae bearing combination of long, fine, widely set ciliae and setae on outer surface; tibial spurs of metathoracic legs ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 3–10 ) unequal length, broad, subspatulate with longer spur slightly curved. Genitalia as in Figs. 9–10 View FIGURES 3–10 .

Male variation. Body 12.9–18.3 mm long. Antennal club non foveate, dorsal portion of outer face dark brown. Clypeal surface coarsely punctate; clypeofrontal suture distinct, medially posteriorly arcuate.

Female. Differs from male in the following characters: body 16.4–17.5 mm long, 9.9–10.6 mm wide. Antennal club shorter than shaft, inner face convex and sparsely setose, outer face unitexturous. Clypeal apex ( Figs. 11, 14– 15 View FIGURES 11–16 ) narrower. Pronotum ( Figs. 11, 13–16 View FIGURES 11–16 ) with anterolateral angles slightly acute, anteromedial tubercle absent, impression as small flattened area with trace of impression over basal convexity but not distinctly interrupting pronotal convexity in lateral view. Scutellum ( Fig. 11 View FIGURES 11–16 ) bearing moderate punctures near margins. Elytral surfaces ( Figs. 11, 13 View FIGURES 11–16 ) bearing sparse punctures in intervals, apical calli obsolete with elytra evenly sloping to apex. Pygidium bearing short setae across base. Abdominal sternites 2–5 and last sternite ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 11–16 ) bearing long setae on entire surface and across middle. Protibial denticles ( Figs. 11–12 View FIGURES 11–16 ) broader; metatibiae ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 11–16 ) longer and apex wider, distal carina bearing very small ciliae, longer spur straight; metatarsomeres ( Figs. 11–12 View FIGURES 11–16 ) shorter than tibial length.

Diagnosis. Epironastes abruptus   is recognised by having: body dorsally black with brown legs and ventral surface (except sternites), orange-yellow vestiture; 12.9–18.3 mm long; clypeus short to very narrowly reflexed apex; pronotal impression continued over basal convexity; pygidium glabrous across base (setose in females), surface without impunctate apical zone. It differs from E. nigrisetosus   by having orange-yellow vestiture, from E. demarzi   by the base of the pygidium and the apical ridge without setae, and from E. limbatus   by the larger size, a deeper pronotal impression that continues over the basal convexity, and the pygidium being glabrous across the base.

Habitat and behaviour. Epironastes abruptus   appears to be associated with mallee ( Eucalyptus   species that grow to a height of 2–9 m and have many stems arising from a swollen woody base, the lignotuber) in sandy areas within the hinterland of the southern central coast mallee-heath area from Ravensthorpe to Salmon Gums that has a 350–430 mm average annual rainfall ( Figs. 17–18 View FIGURES 17-18 , 56 View FIGURE 56 ).

This species is diurnally active with males and females being recorded from about 08:30–11:00 hr, emerging in response to summer rainfall (January–March). On 3 February 1999, a male was captured in flight at the end of a road culvert at 10:15 hr in low mallee heathland east of Lake King. On 19 February 2008, near Ravensthorpe, a female was found walking on a track. The weather conditions were mostly overcast, cold, windy with some light rainfall, but the previous day was 35 °C with thunderclouds developing and very humid. On 13 February 2011, also near Ravensthorpe, a male was found alive in a roadside storm puddle; light trapping at dusk that day yielded no adults. On 16 February 2011 from 08:15–11:30 hr in the same area, the conditions were very overcast with a cool breeze. One male was collected actively flying at 08:30 hr, whilst three males and two females were collected walking on the ground alongside a track with several ant nests on a roadside grading pile adjacent to dense mallee heath ( Fig. 17 View FIGURES 17-18 ) (a male and a female had ants attached). Several mallee stumps were dug from the white sandy-loam with gravel to about 15 cm over rocky clay (solid, as impenetrable with a pick-axe, Fig. 18 View FIGURES 17-18 ) without signs of larval frass, larvae or adult remains.


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Epironastes abruptus Carne, 1957

Hutchinson, Paul M. & Allsopp, Peter G. 2020

Epironastes abruptus

Dechambre, R-P. 2005: 68
Cassis, G. & Weir, T. A. 1992: 400
Endrodi, S. 1985: 382
Endrodi, S. 1974: 38
Carne, P. B. 1957: 127