Afroboganium wakefieldense, Jałoszyński & Ślipiński, 2021

Jałoszyński, Paweł & Ślipiński, Adam, 2021, Afroboganium wakefieldense sp. n. from KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (Coleoptera Boganiidae: Boganiinae), Zootaxa 4995 (2), pp. 382-388: 383-387

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Afroboganium wakefieldense

sp. n.

Afroboganium wakefieldense   sp. n.

( Figs 1–14 View FIGURES 1–2 View FIGURES 3–11 View FIGURES 12–13 View FIGURE 14 )

Type material. Holotype: Republic of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal): ♂, two labels   : “ RSA (E) KZN 1600 m / -29.465 / 29.879, 24.11.2019 / Wakefield Farm / grassy hills with Protea   / leg. P. Jałoszyński PJ#5” [white, printed], “ AFROBOGANIUM   / wakefieldense   / Jałoszyński & Ślipiński 2021 / HOLOTYPUS ” [red, printed] ( TMSA) GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: 6 exx (1 ♀ and 5 specimens of unknown sex), same data as for holotype ( MNHW, TMSA) GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. Body length 2–2.5 mm; mesanepisterna, mesepimera, metaventrite and abdomen nearly black, re- maining body parts yellowish brown; mesal margin of each mandible lacking pre-apical tooth; aedeagus conspicuously slender, in lateral view with distinctly dilated apex curved dorsad.

Description. Body ( Figs 1–2 View FIGURES 1–2 ) elongate and weakly convex; pigmentation yellowish brown, except for nearly black mesanepisterna, mesepimera, metaventrite and abdominal sternites, also eyes darker than head; BL 2.18–2.44 mm.

Head subtrapezoidal, broadest at eyes, HL 0.23–0.28 mm, HW 0.60–0.65 mm. Vertex and frons strongly trans- verse; supra-antennal tubercles distinctly elevated, elongate and slanting toward each eye, forming rounded carinae with mesal margins slightly impressed. Clypeus rectangular, slightly broader than long. Punctures on clypeus, frons and vertex distinct, large and dense, on clypeus indistinctly larger than those on sides of frons and vertex, spaces be- tween punctures subequal to their diameters or slightly shorter, median area on frons between eyes with smaller and sparser punctures, in some specimens nearly impunctate; setae short, sparse and suberect. Eyes large, in lateral view nearly circular, strongly convex and in dorsal view asymmetrical, most convex portion shifted behind middle of eye. Each mandible with basal half of mesal margin convex and distal half sinuate, lacking any trace of pre-apical tooth. Antennae much longer than head and pronotum together, with slender trimerous club; AnL 0.90–1.03 mm; scape about twice as long as broad; pedicel much narrower and slightly shorter than scape, about twice as long as broad; antennomere 3 indistinctly narrower and slightly longer than pedicel, about 2.5× as long as broad; 4–7 subequal in length and width, each slightly shorter than 3 and equally broad, about 2.2× as long as broad; 8 indistinctly shorter than 7 and equally broad, twice as long as broad; 9 much longer and nearly twice as broad as 8, strongly broadening distad and about 1.5× as long as broad; 10 slightly broader and distinctly shorter than 9, weakly broadening distad, about as long as broad; 11 longer than 10 but much shorter than 9 and 10 combined, about 1.6× as long as broad, with subcylindrical proximal half and subconical apical region. All antennomeres covered with sparse, long, erect setae.

Pronotum oval, transverse, broadest at posterior margin of lateral callosities near anterior third; PL 0.50–0.65 mm, PW 0.80–0.88 mm. Anterior margin broadly rounded and strongly convex at middle, with barely discernible, fine submarginal line; lateral callosities with porous fields lentiform and extending between anterior fourth and third of pronotal length; sides of pronotum behind callosities finely, indistinctly crenulate, weakly rounded and indistinctly convergent posteriad, with distinct lateral carina; posterior margin broadly rounded, its wide median portion unmargined. Punctures on disc distinct, large and dense, separated by spaces slightly wider than diameters of punctures; setae sparse, short and suberect.

Elytra together suboval, indistinctly rounded at sides in anterior half; EL 1.45–1.53 mm, EW 0.98–1.08 mm, EI 1.38–1.51; humeral callus weakly developed. Punctures on elytra slightly larger and distinctly denser than those on pronotum, separated by spaces subequal to their diameters; setae longer, thicker and more erect than those on pronotum, additional much sparser and much longer erect setae are distributed among basic vestiture.

Hind wings well developed, functional.

Legs short and robust, lacking any peculiar characters.

Penis ( Figs 3–6 View FIGURES 3–11 ) slender; PeL 0.63 mm; in dorsal view broadest near distal third and strongly tapering toward dilated and rounded apex; in lateral view penis strongly curved, with apical region dilated, rounded and curved dorsad. Tegmen ( Figs 7–8 View FIGURES 3–11 ) with subtriangular membranous distal region; sternite X with broad median portion demarcated by deep constriction.

Ovipositor ( Fig. 10 View FIGURES 3–11 ) with broad, subtriangular paraprocts; each gonocoxite subequal in length to paraproct and with distinctly delimited, very short and subtriangular distal lobe lacking gonostylus, with one long and several much shorter subapical setae. Sternite VIII of female ( Fig. 11 View FIGURES 3–11 ) strongly transverse, with slender and distally bifur- cate spiculum.

Distribution. South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal; A. wakefieldense   is the easternmost Afroboganium species   ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 ).

Etymology. Named after the Wakefield Farm, type locality of this species.

Remarks. Afroboganium   shows a considerable intraspecific variability in body pigmentation; within some species ranging from yellowish brown to nearly black. For this reason, and because there may still be undescribed species to discover, the primary diagnostic characters are those related to the shape of the penis. Afroboganium wakefieldense   has a conspicuously slender penis, with its apex in lateral view distinctly swollen and curved dorsad. Only A. transvaalense Endrödy-Younga, 1986   has the penis similarly long and slender in lateral view, but its apex is gradually and strongly tapering, and not dilated, neither curved. The only previously known Afroboganium species   with the apical region of the penis swollen in lateral view is A. elmeae Endrödy-Younga, 1986   ; however, the dilated region is symmetrical and not curved dorsad.

The natural history of Afroboganium species   and data concerning their feeding habits and preferences remain unknown. The only relevant information provided by Endrödy-Younga & Crowson (1986) is that some species have been collected from flowering dicotyledonous bushes or by beating shrubs. As specimens of A. wakefieldense   were collected by sweeping various plants on rocky hills with sparse Protea   L. shrubs and diverse grasses and other plants, and detected in preserved samples only after returning from the expedition, it is not possible to associate this species with a particular plant. Dissected male and female specimens have their hindguts tightly packed with pollen grains of various shapes ( Figs 12–13 View FIGURES 12–13 ), so at least it is clear that flowers are their food sources. It is unclear, however, whether they are pollenophagous, or the apparently intact pollen grains only accumulate in their hindguts and are eliminated after the primary meal of soft flower structures has been digested.


Transvaal Museum