Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884,

Moravec, Jiří, Brzoska, David & Huber, Ronald, 2017, Taxonomic and nomenclatorial revision within the Neotropical genera of the subtribe Odontocheilina W. Horn in a new sense— 18. Six Mexican and Central American species related to Odontocheila , Zootaxa 4231 (4), pp. 451-499: 489-492

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Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884


Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884  stat. restit

( Figs 177–207View FIGURES 177 – 181View FIGURES 182 – 192View FIGURES 193 – 207, 208View FIGURE 208).

Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884: 260  .

Type locality. Panama: Chiriqui province, Volcan de Chiriqui. Odontochila exilis: Fleutiaux 1892: 123  ;

Odontochila ignita exilis: Horn 1922: 102  , 103; 1926: 120. Odontocheila ignita exilis: Wiesner 1992: 78  .

Type material. Lectotype (designated here) ♂ in BMNH, labelled: “Type” [circular with red frame, printed] // “Bugaba / Panama / Champion” // “B. C. A. Coll., I (1). / Odontocheila  / exilis  ” [printed] // “ Odontocheila  / exilis  / Bates” [handwritten] // “Lectotype ♂ / Odontocheila  / exilis Bts.  / by Erwin 76” [printed/handwritten] // “The lectotype label / by Erwin is invalid / (unpublished)” [printed]; “Lectotype / Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884  / design. Jiří Moravec 2012” [red, printed]. Paralectotypes. 1 ♂ in BMNH with same second and third label. 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀ in MNHN: “Bugaba / Panama / Champion” [printed] // “H. W. Bates / Biol. Cent. Amer” [printed] // “Muséum Paris / 1952 / Coll. R. Oberthür” [greenish, printed] // “ Odontocheila  / exilis  / Bates” [handwritten]. 2 ♂♂ in MNHN [Fleutiaux Hist. Coll.] with same label data. 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in BMNH: “Bugaba, / 800–1,500 ft. / Champion” // “Co- / type” [circular with yellow border, printed] // “B. C. A. Coll., I (1). / Odontocheila  / exilis  ” [printed] “F. Bates Coll. / 1911-248” [printed]. 4 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in BMNH: “Bugaba, / 800–1,500 ft. / Champion” // “B. C. A. Coll., I (1)” [printed]. 1 ♂ in BMNH: “Type” [circular with red border, printed] // “V. de Chiriqui / 2–3000 ft / Champion” [printed] // “sp. figured” // “B. C. A., Coll., I (1). / Odontocheila  / exilis  ” [printed] // “ Odontocheila  / exilis  / Bates” [handwritten]. 1 ♀ in SDEI: “Bugaba, / 800–1,500 ft. / Champion” // “Mus. Berolin” [handwritten] / / “Type! / Coll. W. Horn / DEI Eberswalde” [printed] // “f. / exilis  / Bates” [greenish with black border, handwritten] // “ Odontocheila ignita exilis  / Bates Type (DEI-Eberswalde / borrowed by D. L. Pearson / 23 Oct.1996 (drawer # 58)” [printed]. 2 ♂♂, in MFNB with same first label. 1 ♀ in MFNB with same firs label and: “73895” // “ Odontocheila  / exilis Bates  ”. 1 ♂ in IRSNB: “Coll. R. I. Bc. N.B / Panama:” [dark violet, printed] // “Bugaba 800–1500 ft / Champion”[small, glued onto the large label, printed] // “ Odontocheila  / exilis, Bates  / Biol. Centr. Amer. / 18484, 2: 260, 1” // “Paratype” [sic!, orange with black border, printed]. All paralectotypes labelled: “Revision Jiří Moravec 2012 (2013 or 2014 respectively): “Paralectotype, Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884  ! [red, printed].

Other material examined. Historical data. 1 ♂ in MNHN: “ Turrialba [sic!] / Costa Rica ”// “ Muséum Paris / Ex Coll. M. Maindron / Coll. G. Babault 1830”. Other data  . 2 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in FCCR: “Progreso Panama / Chiriqui Prov. / 16–23.IV.1923 / F.M. Gaige ”  . 1 ♂ in MNHN: “ Peninsula / Costa Rica ”. Recent data  . 1 ♂ in KCBC: “ Panama Chiriqui Prov. / Bunca Peninsula / Reserve El Chirogo , 700 m / 8°18.05´N, 83°58.18´W / 10–11.VII.2009, L. Sekerka & D.Windsor lgt.”GoogleMaps  . 2 ♂♂ in DBCN: “ Panama—Coclé / 7.2km NNE—El Copé / P.N. Omar Torrijos / D. Brzoska 20-V-1995 ”  . 2 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in NMPC: “ Panama, Coclé prov., El Copé / P.N. Omar Torrijos, 300–850 m / 0.8°40.083´N, 80°35.551´W / 4–7.V.2015, individual collection / L. Sekerka & k. Štajnerová lgt.”  . 1 ♂ DDCP: “ Panama, Coclé province, El Copé , 5.X.2003 / leg. Daniel Duran ”  . 1 ♂ in DBCN: “ Panama Bocas Del Toro / Almirante Rd. km 14 / 09°000.1´N, 80°15.9´W / D. Brzoska, 10-VI-1994 ”  . 9 ♂♂ in DBCN, 1 ♂ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / Tiskita Lodge—Punta Banco / D. Brzoska / 15-VI-1997 ”  . 41 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀ in DBCN: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / Manuel Antonio N.P. / D. Brzoska 24-VI-1990 ”  . 24 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀ in DBCN: ibid., except for: “ 20-V-1993 ”. 1 ♀ in CMNH: “ Costa Rica, Puntarenas / Prov., Golfito / 21–26-VII-1981 / H.W. Weems, Jr, G.B. Edwards / forest edge”  . 2 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in DBCN: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / NE- Golfito Airport / D. Brzoska 26-V- 1989 ”  . 1 ♀ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica, Puntarenas / Ref. Nac. de Fauna / Silvestre Golfito / D. Brzoska, 28.V.1993 ”  . 1 ♂ in DBCN, 1 ♀ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica, Puntarenas / 7 km NE / Potrero Grande / D. Brzoska 13-VIII-1992 ”  . 3 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in DBCN, 1 ♀ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / 21.3 km S+ W P. Jimenez / Osa Peninsula / D. Brzoska 16-V-1996 ”  . 44 ♂♂, 3 ♀♀ in DBCN: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / Osa Peninsula / Morenco B.S. / D. Brzoska 23-VI-1990 ”  . 32 ♂♂, 11 ♀♀ in DBCN: Costa Rica: Puntarenas / P.N. Piedras Blancas / Esquinas Lodge / D. Brzoska 15-V-1996 ”  . 28 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀ in DBCN: ibid., except for: “ 17-VI-1997 ”. 1 ♂ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica, Puntarenas Prov. / (Golfito) La Gamba, 220m / Tropical Research Station / 8°42.46´N  ;83°12.9´W; Ocelot Trail / 18.V.2013, leg. Jiří Moravec”. 12 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀ in DBCN, 2 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀ in CCJM, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in CJWB: “ Costa Rica: Puntarenas / Wilson Botanical Garden / Gamboa Annex (Forest Trail) / D. Brzoska 13-VI-1997  . 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in CCJM: “ Costa Rica, Puntarenas Prov. / Wilson Botanical Garden , 1420m / (Las Cruces) 8°47´N  ;82°57´W / 13.V.2013 leg. Jiří Moravec”. 1 ♂ in RLHC: “ Costa Rica: Osa Peninsula / Corcovado Nat. Park. / 22.VIII.1977 / D.L. Pearson ”  . 1 ♂ in RLHC: “ Costa Rica Pts. / nr Palmar Sur / & Hy to Cerro / 18.VIII.1965 / D.F. Veirs ”  . 1 ♀ in RLHC: “ Costa Rica: / Puntarenas Prov. / Rincon de Osa / pitfall in forest / 14–26.VII.1969 / T. Schuh, J. Crane ”. 

Differential diagnosis. O. exilis  has been commonly considered to be a subspecies of O. ignita  . However, although the external characters of these two species are similar, namely the dense and commonly anastomosing elytral punctures, O. exilis  can be distinguished from O. ignita  by its generally larger body size, longer labrum and almost subacute elytral apices in both sexes; moreover, females of O. exilis  have reticulate-punctate sculpture on the elytral discal area. Males are immediately distinguished from other species by the different apex of their aedeagi, which is ventrally rounded, but curved dorsad, with dorsal margin blunt or more or less sharpened (cusped); ( Figs 197–207View FIGURES 193 – 207), in contrast to the capitate apex of the aedeagus in O. ignita  ( Figs 161–176View FIGURES 158 – 176).

O. exilis  is in collections rarely confused with O. iodopleura  with which it shares similar, dense and irregular elytral punctation and rather small whitish maculae, but the elytral punctures in O. exilis  are even denser, and in females forming almost reticulate sculpture. The pronotal disc in O. exilis  is more iridescent-coloured and notably narrower than the mostly dully coloured and wider, almost subglobose pronotal disc in O. iodopleura  . Males of O. iodopleura  are immediately distinguished by the very different apex of their aedeagi ( Figs 105–120View FIGURES 100 – 107View FIGURES 108 – 121). For differences of other species treated in this paper see under the taxa above.

Odontocheila camposi W. Horn, 1925  which occurs in Ecuador, possesses somewhat similar apex of its aedeagus, but the apex is longer and more convex ventrally, of a somewhat transiting shape to the aedeagus of O.

margineguttata (Dejean, 1825)  . Moreover, O. camposi  , is immediately distinguished from O. exilis  by its pronotum with coarser and markedly zigzag-wavy rugae on the pronotal disc. Rivalier (1969), due to the somewhat similar shape of the aedeagi, and because O. camposi  was unknown to him, tentatively considered specimens from Ecuadorian Chimbo to be “ O. margineguttata pavida Erichson, 1844  ”. The specimens from Chimbo, arranged in MNHN under “ O. m. pavida  ”, and examined by the first author, proved to be conspecific with O. camposi  .

Unfortunately, some females of O. exilis  are barely recognizable from females of O. salvini Bates, 1874  . Both species are partially sympatric in Panama. Although O. exilis  does not occur in south-eastern Panamanian provinces, identification problems may arise with individually caught females in central Panama where both species occur. Females of O. salvini  may be distinguished merely by their generally larger size, almost entirely black mandibles (pale lateral stripe is very reduced) and almost entirely metallic black legs, but although the coloration of femora may vary in both species, trochanters in O. salvini  are darkened, meso- and metatrochanters black. However, old specimens have all their leg segments faded to testaceous, such for instance one of the specimens standing in the historical Fleutiaux collection ( MNHN) as “ O. secedens Steinheil  ”, which, except for its aedeagus characteristic of O. salvini  , strongly resembles O. exilis  . A better, more constant difference is in the shape of the elytral apices which are in females of O. salvini  rounded, and rugae on the pronotum denser and zigzag wavy. Males of O. salvini  are immediately recognizable by a very different and much narrower apex of their aedeagi, and their mandibles with conspicuously arcuately emarginate inner subapical margin of terminal teeth.

Redescription. Body ( Figs 177–180View FIGURES 177 – 181) of very variable size independent of sex, 8.10–11.2 (LT 9.60) mm long, 2.60–3.50 (LT 2.90) mm wide.

Head ( Fig.182View FIGURES 182 – 192) with notably pronounced eyes, notably large, as wide as body or slightly smaller, 2.70–3.40 mm wide, all head portions glabrous.

Frons, vertex, genae and clypeus basically as in O. ignita  with similar pattern and size of the striae and rugae on the surface of vertex, but vertex almost flat in middle.

Labrum 4-setose; distinctly bicoloured; male labrum ( Figs 183–186View FIGURES 182 – 192) basically shaped as in O. ignita  , but notably longer, length 0.65–0.80 mm, width 1.10–1.25 mm, and its anterior margin is either shallowly emarginate in middle, or with small, or only indicated median tooth); female labrum ( Fig. 187View FIGURES 182 – 192) 1.20–1.35 mm long, 1.25–1.50 mm wide, of similar shape as in females of other species of this complex, with prominent, acutely tridentate median lobe with protruding median tooth.

Mandibles ( Fig.182View FIGURES 182 – 192) variably brownish to metallic-black (faded to brown in old specimens), with distinct or diffusing, ivory-yellow lateral stripe (more extended in male), normally shaped and with teeth as in preceding species.

Palpi ( Fig. 182View FIGURES 182 – 192) shaped as in O. ignita  , ivory-yellow to ochre-testaceous, terminal palpomeres in both labial and maxillary palpi metallic black; penultimate palpomeres of maxillary palpi variably (independent of sex) yellow-ochre to brownish-darkened, or black.

Antennae ( Figs 177–180View FIGURES 177 – 181, 182View FIGURES 182 – 192) notably long, in male surpassing elytral half, in female shorter, but almost reaching the elytral half; scape with only apical seta; coloration of antennomeres 1–4 ( Fig. 182View FIGURES 182 – 192) as in O. iodopleura  and O. ignita  .

Thorax. Pronotum ( Figs 193–196View FIGURES 193 – 207) glabrous, coloured and shaped as in O. ignita  , but even more distinctly longer than wide particularly in male, length 1.80–2.35 mm, width 1.70–2.10 mm; sulci well pronounced; anterior lobe slightly wider than posterior lobe and slightly narrower than disc; surface generally as in O. ignita  ; disc normally shaped (even narrower than in O. ignita  ) with only moderately convex or subparallel lateral margins of dorsally visible proepisterna; dorsally visible notopleural sutures are narrower and mutually subparallel, in female mostly slightly attenuated posteriad; medial line usually distinct, or almost merging with the surface sculpture; surface of the disc and posterior lobe sculptured as in O. ignita  ; all ventral and lateral sterna generally as in O. ignita  .

Elytra ( Figs 188–192View FIGURES 182 – 192) elongate, length 5.60–7.60 mm, in male with rounded humeri which are subquadrate in female; lateral margins subparallel, outer margin only very slightly dilated in female, anteapical angles arcuate, then obliquely running towards apices which are subacute towards small sutural spine; dorsal elytral surface and pattern of commonly anastomosing punctures as in O. ignita  , with cristulate pattern on elytral disc in male, but in female (rarely also in male) the thin intervals of the punctures form almost regularly punctate-reticulate sculpture; elytral coloration as in O. ignita  , the green-blue lateral stripe is sometimes less distinct; whitish elytral maculation in both sexes as in O. ignita  , but the humeral macula in male mostly smaller and in female very reduced, never visible from above or entirely missing.

Abdomen as in O. ignita  .

Legs as in O. ignita  , metatrochanters in some females blackened, and femora generally darker, particularly in female almost black (faded in old specimens).

Aedeagus ( Figs 197–207View FIGURES 193 – 207) voluminous in middle, 3.30–3.50 mm long, 0.90–0.95 mm wide, apex conspicuously shaped, ventrally rounded, curved dorsad and the dorsal margin blunt or more or less sharpened (cusped); internal sac ( Fig. 200View FIGURES 193 – 207) as in the preceding species and other species of this complex.

Variability. Apart from the insignificant variability in brightness of the body coloration comparable to that in O. ignita  , the subacute elytral apex is slightly variable in shape, but always differs from the widely rounded apex in the elytra of O. ignita  and O. salvini  . The dense elytral sculpture with thin intervals is in females, rarely in males, rather punctate-reticulate than cristulate. The apex of the aedeagi somewhat varies in shape, as demonstrated in Figs 197–207View FIGURES 193 – 207; but only one aedeagus ( Fig. 203View FIGURES 193 – 207) possessing somewhat intermediate shape between O. exilis  and O. ignita  has been found among the numerous aedeagi examined within this revision (see also under O. ignita  above). Coloration of legs in old specimens is markedly faded.

Biology and distribution. The type locality of O. exilis  in the Panamanian province of Chiriqui, the Volcan de Chiriqui, is now named Volcán Barú (3 474 m) and is situated in the Volcán Barú National Park.

This species occurs in southeastern Costa Rica, in most of the province of Puntarenas including the Osa Peninsula, spreading towards the Panamanian border and to the neighbouring Panamanian provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas Del Toro. Individual specimens of O. exilis  come from the central Panamanian province of Coclé where it is sympatric with O. salvini  , which, in contrast to O. exilis  , is spread through the southeastern Panamanian provinces, including the province of Darien, to Colombia and Venezuela.

One historical male specimen (missing its aedeagus) in MNHN (ex collections Maindron and Babault), labelled “Turrialba, Costa Rica ” (see “Other Material examined” above), possesses its external characters as those in O. exilis  , but the specimen was obviously mislabelled (it has passed through different collections and the locality is additionally added in handwriting onto the same, printed label with “Heine”). The occurrence of O. exilis in Turrialba  in the Costa Rican province of Cartago, where only O. iodopleura  commonly occurs, was not confirmed within this revision. As also mentioned under O. ignita  above, the records of O. exilis  (and O. ignita  respectively) from Colombia and Venezuela were based either on a few confused or mislabelled specimens (see under O. ignita  above), or belong in fact to O. salvini  , while some other records from Costa Rica (outside of the province of Puntarenas) belong in fact to O. iodopleura  . Werner (1993: 24, plate 12, fig. 90) published a colour photograph of “ O. ignita exilis  ” from Pandora in the Costa Rican province of Limón, but either the label data or the specimens were confused with those of O. iodopleura  , which is common in the province of Limón (the identity of the species is impossible to recognize from the small figure by Werner).

Mandl (1961) listed this species (under O. ignita exilis  ) from El Salvador (“San Salvador”), but his specimens were obviously misidentified and belong probably to O. ignita  . They were not found in the NHMW or the other collection listed in the acronyms in the “Material and methods” here.

As no other specimens of O. ignita  and O. exilis  with locality labels outside of their confirmed occurrence have been found in collections except for the only few specimens mentioned under the taxa above, they are considered here mislabelled. It is noteworthy that the occurrence of mislabelled specimens (some old ones and mostly those spread by insect dealers) has been confirmed in collections also during previous revisions of tiger beetles from other regions (see Moravec 2002, 2007 and 2010).

Remarks. The name Odontocheila exilis  was not mentioned by Rivalier (1969) in his brief revision, as he probably confused it with O. ignita  (see under O. ignita  above).

As mentioned in the “Introductory” above, O. exilis  was considered as a subspecies of O. ignita  by Horn (1922, 1926) and following authors including Mandl (1961), Boyd (1982), Wiesner (1992), Werner (1993), Johnson (1996), Cassola & Pearson (2001) and most recently by Erwin & Pearson (2008). However, particularly because of the different shape of the apex of its aedeagus, it is treated here as a separate species, thus restored to its original species status.

A schematic, but rather appropriate shape (in reverse view) of the aedeagus of O. exilis  was for the first time illustrated by Horn (1929, figs 24–25).


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


National Museum Prague


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Odontocheila exilis Bates, 1884

Moravec, Jiří, Brzoska, David & Huber, Ronald 2017

Odontochila ignita exilis:

Wiesner 1992: 78
Horn 1922: 102

Odontocheila exilis

Bates 1884: 260