Cryptocephalus (Cryptocephalus) socotrensis, Schöller, 2014

Schöller, Matthias, 2014, Cryptocephalus socotrensis sp. nov., the first representative of the genus from Socotra Island (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cryptocephalinae), Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 54, pp. 269-275: 270-274

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cryptocephalus (Cryptocephalus) socotrensis

sp. nov.

Cryptocephalus (Cryptocephalus) socotrensis   sp. nov.

( Figs 1 View Figs 1–4 –7)

Type locality. Yemen, Socotra Island, Hagher Mountains, Scand Mountain env., 12°34.6′N, 54°01.5′E, 1450 m a.s.l.

Type specimen. HOLOTYPE: ♀: ‘ YEMEN, SOCOTRA Island / Hagher Mts. , SCAND Mt. env. / montane evergreen woodland / / 12°34.6′N, 54°01.5′E, 1450 m [w] // SOCOTRA expedition 2012 / J. Bezděk, J. Hájek, GoogleMaps  

V. Hula, / P. Kment, I. Malenovský, / J. Niedobová & L. Purchart leg. [w] // Collection / National Museum / Prague

( NMPC) [w] // Cryptocephalus socotrensis   sp. nov., / des. Matthias Schöller [r]’.

Diagnosis. A small species with yellow pronotum with blurred brown glasses-shaped marking, yellowish brown elytra with a black irregular transverse sinuose band at apical third, basal margin of pronotum at posterior angles with a deep incision followed by a toothless section, and simple claws.

Description of holotype. Measurements. Body length 3.65 mm, width of elytra at humeri 2.00 mm; length of elytra 2.65 mm; length of pronotum 1.10 mm and width 1.95 mm.

Head. Shiny, dark brown with yellow and medium brown markings as in Fig. 2 View Figs 1–4 . Surface of frons with broad round depression and with longitudinal furrow in middle; pair of small depressions above antennal sockets, sparsely punctured with distinct setigerous punctures, with short white setae. Clypeus with pair of triangular yellow spots apically. Labrum brown with yellowish brown margin; short, transverse, almost impunctate, anterior angles rounded, anterior margin shallowly convex, with row of short setae. Mandibles dark brown. Terminal palpomere of labial palpi acute. Eyes medium-sized, upper lobes distant, therefore distance between upper lobes 1.1 times eye length in lateral view; eyes evenly convex, canthus deep. Antennae inserted low on frons, 0.56× body length. Antennomeres medium brown, slightly darker from antennomere V onwards; scape club-shaped; pedicel cylindrical; antennomeres III and IV elongate, narrow; antennomere V similar to IV, but more widened at apex; antennomeres VI to IX distinctly widened; antennomere XI with pointed tip.

Thorax. Pronotum yellow with blurred brown glasses-shaped marking reaching basal margin ( Figs 1–4 View Figs 1–4 ); shiny and practically impunctate (at 70× magnification very small and shallow puncturation detectable), but wrinkled at anterior angles. Pronotum transverse, 1.77 tarsomeres as follows: 1.2: 1: 1.2: 1.6; metatarsomere V broad, less than half its length projecting out of lobes of metatarsomere III, claws simple.

Abdomen. Ventrites dark brown, their margins and egg-hollow lighter brown, ventrites and pygidium with short white setae; puncturation of ventrites fine, coarser on pygidium; egg-hollow deep, its margin regular; pygidium black with lateral margins contrasting yellow ( Fig. 4 View Figs 1–4 ), swollen. ‘Kotpresse’ (i.e. rectal apparatus for forming the faecal pellets covering the eggs, see SCHÖLLER 2008) with dorsal sclerites doubled, anterior sclerites fused to sclerotisation of the lateral fold, and posterior sclerites situated near the edge of dorsal chitinous area (Fig. 5), ventral sclerite a single crosswise band; apodemes small, slightly wider than rectum, ventral sclerotisations of lateral fold present (Fig. 6). Spermatheca 0.35 × 0.30 mm, light brown, slightly darker at apex, narrow, hook-shaped; pump almost as long as reservoir; spermathecal duct emerging from cone-shaped extension of spermatheca, narrow and densely coiled up close to spermatheca, but not spiral, only getting wider at very base, light brown except for darker area at base (Fig. 7), ca. 3.6 mm long.

Differential diagnosis. The colouration of Cryptocephalus (Cryptocephalus) socotrensis   sp. nov. is similar to that of Cryptocephalus   in the ‘ undulatus   ’ species group sensu WARCHAŁOWSKI (2010), characterised by a glasses- or M-shaped dark pattern on a yellowish brown pronotum, and elytral patterns forming one to three blurred or wavy (sometimes criss-cross) transverse bands. WARCHAŁOWSKI (2010) cumulated 15 species into ‘ undulatus   ’ group within subgenus Asionus Lopatin, 1988   , although part of species belongs to Cryptocephalus   s.str. (compare with LOPATIN et al. 2010). However, Cryptocephalus undulatus Suffrian, 1854   has four large teeth of similar size, and consequently four large notches in the basal pronotal margin at posterior angles, the spermathecal ductus is spiral, the dorsal sclerites of the ‘kotpresse’ are simple, and the ventral sclerite is doubled (M. Schöller, unpubl. data). Cryptocephalus fasciatointerruptus Berti & Rapilly, 1979   has four notches in the basal pronotal margin at posterior angles, and a spiral spermathecal ductus, too. In C. augustalisi Pic, 1913   these pronotal teeth are regularly increasing in size. In Cryptocephalus monilis Weise, 1890   , these pronotal teeth are of almost equal size, and the pronotum is strongly punctate. Cryptocephalus curtissimus Pic, 1907   has three notches in the basal pronotal margin and coarse puncturation on the pronotum. Finally, the geographically closest species of this group, Cryptocephalus subdeserticola Berti & Rapilly, 1979   from North Yemen differs in the coarse and dense puncturation of the head and pronotum.

The key by MEDVEDEV (1996) to Cryptocephalus species   of Arabia keys out to C. petraeus Suffrian, 1854   , but this species is larger (body length 4.3–5.0 mm), has four large teeth of similar size on the basal pronotal margin at posterior angles, and large micropunctures on the elytral interstices.

No Afrotropical species with a similar colour pattern is known.

Etymology. The species name is an adjective referring to the collecting site, Socotra Island.

Collecting circumstances. Swept from the vegetation in Leucas hagghierensis   - Pittosporum viridiflorum   type of woodland ( DE SANCTIS et al. 2013) with dominant plants being Leucas hagghierensis Al-Gifri & Cortés-Burns   ( Lamiaceae   ), Pittosporum viridiflorum Sims   ( Pittosporaceae   ), Hypericum scopulorum Balf.   f. ( Hypericaceae   ), Euryops arabicus Steudel   ( Asteraceae   ), and Coelocarpum haggierense A. G. Miller   ( Verbenaceae   ).

Distribution. So far known only from the type locality, the Skand area, Socotra, Yemen, the highest part of the Hagher mountains which is reaching 1,500 m a.s.l.


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


National Museum Prague