Cercopeus alexi O’Brien, Ciegler and Girón, O'Brien, Ciegler and Giron, 2010

O’Brien, Charles W., Ciegler, Janet C. & Girón, Jennifer C., 2010, Weevils of the genus Cercopeus Schoenherr from South Carolina, USA (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae), Insecta Mundi 2010 (141), pp. 1-29: 5-7

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Cercopeus alexi O’Brien, Ciegler and Girón

new species

Cercopeus alexi O’Brien, Ciegler and Girón   , new species

( Fig. 1, 2 View Figure 1-5 , 17 View Figure 16-23 , 24, 28, 34, 40)

Diagnosis. Body elongate-oval to broad-oval; integument shining, dark reddish brown to black; clothed with black, brown, and few whitish tan to white, oval to elongate-oval, recumbent scales; some with scales predominantly grayish white with large basal black and brown elytral macula; and with moderately dense, distinct, subrecumbent, moderately coarse setae.

Description. Holotype female. Length, pronotum and elytron: 5.30 mm. Width, elytra: 3.00 mm. Rostrum weakly curved, dorsal line scarcely curved in lateral view, basal 1/3 flattened, middle 1/3 convex, weakly curved, and apical 1/3 weakly depressed; dorsomedian area flattened, weakly narrowly impressed from base to apical 1/3; basal 2/3 densely clothed with scales not completely concealing large punctures; raised margins of elongate contiguous punctures evident among scales; apical 1/3 subglabrous with coarse, substriate punctures and moderately sparse, elongate golden brown, suberect setae; with nasal plate sharply defined, not carinate or punctate. Head with frons strongly transversely impressed, with shallow median fovea; densely clothed with large elongate gray to brown scales, nearly concealing substriate punctures; punctures behind frons striate, smaller, with smaller sparse scales; eyes broadoval, moderately strongly convex. Antennae moderately stout; scape moderately clavate, with moderately dense, elongate, recumbent scales and moderately dense, long, coarse, suberect setae; funicular antennomere 1 oval, about 0.11× longer than 2 and 0.17× wider, 3, 6, and 7 subequal in length, 0.50× as long as 1, 4-5 subequal in length, 0.40× as long as 1; club short, broad-oval (Fig. 28). Prothorax not transverse, 0.97× as wide as long, widest at basal 1/4; at apical 1/4 sides suddenly strongly obliquely divergent from moderately strong subapical constriction, thence in relatively straight line to basal 1/4, then suddenly narrowed to carinate truncate base; disc on median 3/4 striate, with large and small contiguous deep substriolate punctures, with brown recumbent scales not concealing punctures, median few striae raised higher and forming slightly elevated carina-like smooth median line from apex to middle; with basal, triangular, median, subacute, short process; laterally with denser round recumbent tan to white scales, nearly concealing all punctures, except few seta-bearing punctures; disc becoming moderately strongly curved laterally; lateral margins of disc in lateral or anterior view forming distinct rounded edge; sides rugosely, granularly coarsely punctate with dense, grayish and brownish, round to oval, recumbent, plumose scales, paler on inflexed pleuron; disc with moderately dense, long, coarse, subrecumbent setae. Elytra elongate broad-oval, broadest at basal 1/4 behind rounded humeri with sides roundly evenly narrowed to rounded apex; median area of disc mottled dark brown and black, bordered by narrow dark brown fascia and pale tan to brown uneven broad fascia of scales covering entire declivity and apex; lateral inflexed areas moderately densely clothed with elongate, moderately fine, seta-like, recumbent scales and some recumbent setae; strial punctures shallow, elongate and indistinct, nearly concealed by dense scales, separated by one or two diameters of puncture; intervals uneven in width, flat, each with one to three rows of moderately fine, subrecumbent and suberect setae, and dense, round to oval, imbricate recumbent scales, intervals 9-10 glabrous above middle and hind femora. Legs stout; femora strongly clavate; with dense, recumbent scales and suberect, fine setae; foretibia externally apically roundly expanded, with nine spines and stout acute mucro; nearly straight with moderate sinuate inner curvature; inner margin not denticulate; hind tibia with two blunt stout anterior apical spines, and outer margin with 15 moderately long coarse sharp pale spines becoming longer posteriorly. Venter with dense to sparse noncontiguous recumbent plumose scales on pro-, meso-, and metasternum, and on articulating surfaces of all coxae; medial area of metasternum and all abdominal sterna with moderately dense, fine, recumbent setae; same areas with dense, coarse punctures; abdominal sternum I transversely impressed between hind coxae, strongly convex behind, 0.83× as long as II; II very weakly convex, and 1.25× as long as subequal weakly convex III + IV; V subequal in length with II and moderately concave in apical third. Genitalia: Tergum VII ( Fig. 40a View Figure 40-48 ) 1.2× wider than long, with anterior margin rounded, 1.4× wider than posterior margin, lateral margins nearly straight, apical margin emarginate, surface with setae on apical fourth; in lateral view, dorsal outline straight. Tergum VIII ( Fig. 40b View Figure 40-48 ) 1.8× wider than long, with anterior margin emarginate and lateral margins convergent, nearly straight; posterior margin rounded, with setae on apical third. Sternum VIII ( Fig. 40c View Figure 40-48 ) 0.6× length of sterna I-V together, spear-shaped, with lamina 1.7× longer than wide, rounded at apex and corners, with apicolateral area and median basilongitudinal region more sclerotized than basilateral regions, with three lateral submarginal setae. Coxites + styli ( Fig. 40d View Figure 40-48 ) slightly shorter than lamina of sternum VIII; coxites with one apical and one pre-apical pair of setae; styli apically inserted, 1.7× longer than basal width, with two apical groups of setae. Genital chamber 0.8× length of sternum VIII. Spermatheca ( Fig. 40e View Figure 40-48 ) 1.7× longer than wide, jshaped; cornu straight; corpus slightly swollen between cornu and collum; ramus apically truncate, laterally rounded; collum apically rounded, duct inserted near ramus; surface reticulate.

Allotype male. Same as female holotype except: Length, pronotum and elytron: 4.20 mm. Width, elytra: 2.20 mm. Prothorax narrower, 0.91× as long as wide; with sides more evenly rounded, widest at middle, medial 1/4 of disc substriate, with narrow nearly straight to slightly curved ridges formed by coalescent to contiguous punctures. Elytra elongate-oval, broadest behind rounded humeri at basal 1/5, then sides subparallel to just anterior of declivity, and evenly narrowed to rounded apex. Legs with midfemur with subapical, strong, blunt, internal tooth; foretibia more slender and less sinuate, swollen moderately in basal 1/3, there strongly narrowed and internally strongly curved to apex, internal margin flattened and shallowly grooved with small blunt tuberculate denticles on anterior margin along curve; apical margin narrowly rounded with seven short subacute to blunt spines; midtibia with subapical, interior, large, long, blunt spine; hind tibia with one stout, anterior, apical spine and outer margin with seven short, blunt, pale spines, and seven posterior, longer, moderately coarse, subacute, pale spines. Venter with abdominal sternum I broadly very deeply impressed, impression scarcely continuing on basal edge of weakly convex sternum II; sternum V evenly weakly convex; abdominal sterna with short to long, sparse, fine, recumbent setae on basal area, with fine sparse punctures; apical areas glabrous and more finely punctate. Genitalia: Tergum VIII ( Fig. 34a View Figure 34-39 ) nearly as wide as long, with anterior margin rounded, mesally acutely emarginate, 1.4× wider than posterior margin, lateral margins convergent from basal third, posterior margin slightly rounded, surface lightly sclerotized on basal region, with setae in posterior half; in lateral view ( Fig. 34b View Figure 34-39 ), dorsal outline sinuate. Sternum VIII forming entire membranous plate, 0.5× width of posterior margin of tergum VIII, with apodeme (spiculum relictum) bean-like, distally 1.8× wider than long, darkened. Sternum IX (spiculum gastrale, Fig. 34c View Figure 34-39 ) with basal plate bifurcate, forming two opposed rhombi, nearly 2.2× longer than wide each; apodeme nearly 0.6× width of aedeagus in lateral view, 1.6× length of aedeagus. Tegmen ( Fig. 34d View Figure 34-39 ) with tegminal apodeme slightly shorter than aedeagus; basal piece connate with tegminal plate; tegminal plate with mesal narrow triangular projection, posteriorly directed. Aedeagus in dorsal view ( Fig. 34e View Figure 34-39 ) 2.8× longer than its mesal width, lateral margins subparallel; apex ( Fig. 34f View Figure 34-39 ) rounded; in lateral view ( Fig. 34g View Figure 34-39 ) dorsally convex, 4.3× longer than mesal width. Endophallus with pair of sub-apical sclerotized plates closing the ostium. Aedeagal apodemes 1.4× length of aedeagus.

Intraspecific variation. The length (pronotum and elytra) ranges from 3.1 to 5.3 mm, the width from 1.6 to 3.0 mm. The pronotum may or may not have a glabrous median line or carina. The scale pattern of the male specimens ranges from two incomplete rows of pale scales on the elytra and a lateral row on the pronotum ( Fig. 1 View Figure 1-5 ), to solid dark scales with pale scales only on the base of the fifth elytral interval and a corresponding short line on the base of the pronotum; the median area of the elytral disc may have dark or light brown scales. Females do not vary much in the color or pattern of scales. The midfemur of the male generally has one spine, but some specimens have a second small spine closer to the apex; the large spine may be slender and pointed or wide and blunt.

Remarks and comparative notes. Males of this species are unique in having tubercles on both the midfemur and midtibia. Females are similar to C. paulus   but differ in having a basal process of the pronotum and they are very similar to females of C. skelleyi   which lack the strongly striolate pronotum.

Range. Known only from three localities in South Carolina in both the Southern Coastal Plain and the Piedmont.

Materials examined. On hand for this study were 72 specimens, 36 males and 36 females.

Holotype female (deposited in CASC, on long-term loan to CWOB) and 2 paratypes: “ USA SC CALHOUN CO NR St. Matthews Dolin Hill 33 o 40.18’N, 80 o 43.30’E 324’ el 5Ap08 J.Cornell,BGregory,DWessinger, siftberldebr W/ Cladonia rangifer”.  

Paratypes. Same holotype except, berlsoil, litter20’’d pineStumphole 36’’ deep (1). S[outh]C[arolina]: Calhoun Co., Wannamaker Nat [ure] Pr [eserve], St. Matthews , In Leaf Litter, Apr. 2, 2010 (1)   ; same except 16-IV-2010, N33 o 38.447', W80 o 42.567' / J. C. Ciegler, berlese, sifted, near logs (4); same except N33 o 38.498', W80 o 42.786' / beech, oak, tulip (1); same except 21-IV-10, N33 o 38.447', W80 o 42.567' / near logs (5); same except N33 o 38.498', W80 o 42.786' (41)/ beech, oak, tulip (41); same except 29-V-10 (3); S[outh] C[arolina]: Charleston Co., Santee Coastal W [ildlife] M[anagement] A[rea], 23-IV-07, N33 o 09.315’, W79 o 22.093’ / J. C. Ciegler, berlese, sifted, base of live oak (ALLOTYPE MALE) GoogleMaps   ; same except 3-II-2008, N33 o 09.296', W79 o 22.083' (1); same except N33 o 09.278', W79 o 22.085' (11); same except N33 o 09.280', W79 o 22.059' (2). Paratypes also are in the following collections: BMNH, CASC, CMNC, CUAC, CWOB, FSCA, JCCC, JFCC, SCSM, and USNM.

Etymology. This species is named in honor of the late Dr. Alex Ciegler, scientist, naturalist, conservationist and beloved husband of second author, Mrs. Janet Ciegler.


Clemson University Arthropod Collection


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology


South Carolina State Museum


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History