Cheilonycha chalybea ( Dejean, 1825 ), Dejean, 1825

Moravec, Jiří, 2019, Taxonomic and nomenclatorial revision within the Neotropical genera of the subtribe Odontocheilina W. Horn in a new sense- 22. Genus Cheilonycha Lacordaire, 1842 (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae), Zootaxa 4700 (4), pp. 501-534: 505-507

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Cheilonycha chalybea ( Dejean, 1825 )


Cheilonycha chalybea ( Dejean, 1825)  

Cicindela chalybea Dejean, 1825: 38   .

Type locality. “partie méridionale du Brésil ”   .

Cicindela janthina Lucas, 1857: 32   , synonymy by Fleutiaux: 1892: 129.

Type locality. “ Brésil intérieur” (but labelled as below)   .

Cheilonycha chalybea: Lacordaire   : 1842: 28 (1843: 92).

Odontochila chalybea: Horn 1910: 203   (in “gruppe V Chilonycha   ”).

Odontochila (Chilonycha) chalybea chalybea: Horn 1934: 124   .

Cheilonycha chalybea: Wiesner   : 1992: 84.

Type material of Cicindela chalybea Dejean.   Lectotype (designated here), ♀ in MNHN labelled: “ ♀ ” [small square green label] // “Muséum Paris / Coll. Chaudoir 1874 [greenish, printed] // “ Lectotype / Cicindela   / chalybea Dejean, 1825   / design. J. Moravec 2019 ” [red, printed]. Paralectotype. 1 ♀ in MNHN: “Muséum Paris / Coll. Chaudoir 1874 [greenish, printed]. The type specimens labelled: “ Cheilonycha   / chalybea / ( Dejean, 1825) / det. Jiří Moravec 2019 ” [printed].

Type material of syn. Cicindela janthina Lucas.   Holotype (by monotypy), ♂ in MNHN, labelled: “99/45” [on opposite side of plain green circular label] // “Muséum Paris / Amerique / de Castelnau 1845 // “Campus Geraes” // “ Holotype (by monotypy) / Cicindela   / janthina Lucas, 1857   / det. Jiří Moravec 2019 ” [red, printed] // “ Cheilonycha   / chalybea ( Dejean, 1825)   / det. Jiří Moravec 2019 ” [printed].

Note. Although Lucas (1857) based his original description of C. janthina   on single female, there is only one male specimen in MNHN which bears the same green circular label with “99/45” on its opposite side as attached to other specimens coming from the journey by Castelnau from which Lucas described his new taxa. As it is possible that Lucas (1857) stated wrongly the sex in his original description, the male is considered here to be the holotype of this taxon. Such confusions with sex sometimes happened also to other old authors, such as to Reiche (1842) in the description of Pentacomia cupriventris   based on Cicindela cupriventris Reiche, 1842   .

Other material examined. Historical data. 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀ in MNHN: “ Muséum Paris / Coll. Chaudoir 1874” [greenish, printed]   . 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in MNHN: “ Muséum Paris / 1952 / Coll. R. Oberthür ” // “Collection / de Bonvouloir”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN: “ Brésil ” // “ chalybea Dej.   ” // “ Muséum Paris / 1952 / Coll. R. Oberthür ”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN: “ Belo Horizonte / Minas ” // “ Muséum Paris / Coll. E. Gounelle ”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN: “chalybea / Dej. / Brésil ” // “Collection / de Bonvouloir”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN: “Ex Musaeo Mniszech”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN: “S. Paulo”   . 2 ♂♂ in NHMW   , 1 ♀ in SDEI: “N. c. / Y.” [greenish, handwritten, meaning: “leg. Natterer in Ypanema”] // “ Cicindela   / chalybea Dej.   / Ypanema” [the latter label only in the two males]   . 1 ♀ in NHMW: “ N 8 View Materials / Year” [? illegible]   . 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀ in MFNB: “ Hist. Coll. ( Coleoptera   ), Nr. 260 / Cheilonycha chalybea Dej.   / Brasilia von Olfers / Zool. Mus. Berlin”   . 1 ♂ in MFNB: with same label and: “260” // “chalybea / Dej. / Brasil von Olfers”   . 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀ in SDEI: “ Brasil ” // “ Coll. Baden ”   . 1 ♀ in SDEI: “ Brasil ” // “Ex Coll. Fleutiaux”   . 1 ♂ in BMNH: “ Cheilonycha   / chalybea C.I. Dej.     . 1 ♂ in BMNH: “ Brazil ” // “ Cheilonycha   / chalybea / arm: Dej.”   . 1 ♀ in SDEI: “ Minas Gerais ” // “Coll. v. de Poll”. Other data   . 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀ in BMNH: “ Brazil ”   . 1 ♂ in MFNB   , 1 ♀ in SDEI: “Brasilia”   . 2 ♂♂ in IRSNB: “ Brésil ”   . 1 ♀ in MNHN   , 1 ♂ in SDEI: “Est Sao Paulo ”   . 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in BMNH: “9574” // “ Rio Grande ”   . 1 ♂, 1 ♀ in BMNH: “2756 / b” and “2756 / c”. Recent data   . 1 ♀ in RLHC: “ Brazil: Minas Gerais / Estação Ecológia de / Pirapitinga, West of / Belo Horizonte ” // “ 5.Dec. 2003 / leg. R. L Viana ”   . 1 ♂, in DZRJ: “ Maringa—Minas Gerais XI.1946, JHCG cols”   . 1 ♂ in CDCL: “ Brazil: Minas Gerais / Lavras , 30.X. 20021 / Malheiros, C. / Coll. Dheurle ”   .

Differential diagnosis. Immediately recognizable by the uniformly coloured body, mostly black-blue, cyaneous-blue, with faint purple-violet tinge, or deep violet-blue (as usual some old specimens faded to obscure black with only faint bluish tint); elytra forming mutually almost ovoid shape, punctation much finer and denser than in other taxa of the genus; besides the constant difference in the body coloration, the basoventral spur within the internal sac ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1–6 ) of the examined aedeagi of Ch. chalybea   notably differs from the spur in all other taxa of Cheilonycha   recognized here.

Redescription. Body ( Figs 1 – 3 View FIGURES 1–6 ), elongate, but with rather stout elytra, particularly in female, length 10.0 – 13.5 (LT 11.5) mm, width 3.50 – 4.60 (LT 4.10) mm, coloration as in “Differential diagnosis” above.

Head ( Fig. 7 View FIGURES 7–18 ) with distinctly bulged eyes but markedly narrower than body, 2.70–3.30 mm wide, concolorous with body.

Frons, moderately or more distinctly convex when sloped towards clypeus, black with faint violet or green lustre, with extremely fine longitudinally running wrinkles, a few slightly more distinct striae on lateral areas adjacent to supraantennal plates which are small, elongate-triangular, black-blue, often with purple-violet lustre; median frons-vertex area arcuate-convex, metallic black with faint violet lustre, extremely finely asperate, fluently passing into vertex.

Vertex dully black, either throughout or with faint violet iridescence, alternatively vividly blue, very rarely with indistinct, defusing green lustre, rather wide with thin juxtaorbital edges moderately conically narrowed towards supraantennal plates; anteromedian area almost flat or slightly convex, extremely finely asperate (sculpture passing from frons), rugae on median area become coarser, finely vermicular and more stria-like an finely wavy when running posteriad, particularly on sublateral areas; juxtaorbital areas finely parallel-striate, striae usually irregular and fragmented, but coarser, parallel zigzag-wavy on temporal area when running towards genae; occiput moderately convex, very irregularly and finely vermicular-rugulose, occipital-median area often very finely asperate.

Genae metallic black or black-blue with changeable purple-violet lustre, with dense and very fine parallel striae, coarser on posterior area passing from temples, or almost smooth in middle.

Labrum primarily 4-setose, occasionally with additional discal seta, anomalously with two additional setae (as in the female lectotype Fig. 10 View FIGURES 7–18 ); smooth, metallic-black or mostly blue with faint violet, very rarely greenish reflections, moderately convex in middle, sexually dimorphic: male labrum ( Figs 8–9 View FIGURES 7–18 ) rather short, 0.60–0.75 mm long, 1.10–1.25 mm wide, with mostly acute basal teeth, roundly indicated or entirely effaced lateral teeth, and moderately anteriad-prolonged tridentate anteromedian lobe with teeth almost in the same level; female labrum ( Figs. 10–11 View FIGURES 7–18 ) longer, 1.05–1.20 mm long, 1.50–1.60 mm wide, with acute basal teeth, rounded or only indicated lateral teeth, and prolonged tridentate median lobe with protruding median tooth between obtuse or rounded anterolateral teeth.

Clypeus mostly aliform, black-blue or vividly iridescent blue, surface finely irregularly wrinkled.

Mandibles ( Fig. 7 View FIGURES 7–18 ), normally shaped with arcuate lateral margins, rather long and comparatively robust, subsymmetrical, each mandible in both sexes with four teeth (and basal molar), inner teeth gradually smaller towards basal molar; coloration metallic black (in old specimens faded to black-brown) with very faint violet or green iridescence and rather wide, whitish or ochraceous basolateral area which is in males expanded anteriad.

Palpi ( Fig. 7 View FIGURES 7–18 ). Maxillary palpi entirely metallic black, with blue, or mahogany or purple-violet lustre, particularly on longest palpomeres, normally shaped with terminal palpomeres gradually dilated towards apex; labial palpi with penultimate (longest) palpomere elongate and narrow, only slightly enlarged towards apex; all palpomeres metallic-black except for setose side of the penultimate (longest) palpomere which is usually paler, brownish.

Antennae ( Figs 1–3 View FIGURES 1–6 , 7 View FIGURES 7–18 ) rather short, passing elytral quarter; antennomeres 1–4 metallic black with faint or strong blue or purple-violet lustre, with scattered setae; antennomeres 5–11 smoky blackened with usual greyish micropubescence; scape with only one apical seta.

Thorax. Pronotum ( Figs 12–15 View FIGURES 7–18 ) glabrous, notably wider than long, length 1.90–2.60 mm, width 2.10–2.70 mm, lateral margins of disc mostly distinctly convex, dully black with blue, cyaneous or violaceous iridescence on disc; posterior lobe more shiny metallic; both anterior and posterior sulcus deep, giving the disc almost subcordiform shape; anterior lobe narrower than disc and mostly distinctly wider than posterior lobe, surface very finely and irregularly vermicular-rugulose; disc with distinctly convex lateral margins of dorsally visible proepisterna, notopleural sutures mostly barely visible from above as running tightly parallel with the proepisternal margins ( Figs 13, 15 View FIGURES 7–18 ) or visible but running parallel with the margins ( Figs 12, 14 View FIGURES 7–18 ); discal surface extremely finely and densely vermicularwavy to zigzag-wavy striate-rugulose, usually more coarsely in females; median line mostly indistinct, sometimes almost merging with the discal surface sculpture; posterior lobe with distinct posterior rim, surface on wide median area with coarser but very irregular wavy rugae, dorsolateral bulges almost smooth; all ventral and lateral thoracic sterna glabrous, metallic black-blue with strong purple-violet or blue, rarely greenish lustre; proepisterna smooth and shiny; mesepisterna smooth with slightly sinuous longitudinal furrow, in females undistinguishable from the furrow in males, without recognizable coupling sulci; metepisterna indistinctly wrinkled.

Elytra ( Figs 16–18 View FIGURES 7–18 ) immaculate, 6.20–8.00 mm long, mutually almost ovoid, widest before anteapical angle which is widely arcuate and oblique towards widely rounded apex which is shallowly indented from small sutural spine; elytral surface almost even, humeral impression indistinct, discal impression shallow or absent; anteapical impression shallow or more distinct; elytral disc gradually convex behind elytral middle, with moderate to distinct posterior declivity towards apex; whole surface covered with almost regular comparatively fine and dense punctures with thin intervals, on elytral disc commonly anastomosing in fine chains, becoming much shallower but still dense on posterior declivity, but again coarser and often forming irregular or irregularly reticulate ornamentation on elytral apex (punctation on posterior declivity appears changeable upon different angle of light; elytral surface glabrous, coloration mostly black-cyaneous with only indistinct and diffusing greenish iridescences, or with purple-violet lustre, or deep blue or violet-blue; old specimens faded to obscure black with only faint bluish tint.

Legs generally shaped and coloured as in other species of the genus, the metallic-black coloration usually faded to brownish in old specimens.

Abdomen metallic black-blue, usually with strong purple-violet, blue or greenish lustre, surface of ventrites glabrous except for irregularly spaced whitish setae at margins of the visible ventrites.

Aedeagus ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–6 ) 2.80–3.20 mm long, 0.50–0.55 mm wide, widest in middle, conically attenuated towards rounded, slightly ventrally directed apex; internal sac ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1–6 ) well-armed, upper sclerites mostly membranous and indistinctly delineated including central tooth and voluminous upper-ventral piece and basoventral piece; other two basal pieces more distinctly sclerotized, consisting of basal-central characteristic piece with acutely triangular base, prolonged into elongate-ovaliform upper portion ( Fig. 5a View FIGURES 1–6 ); the internal sac in examined males differs from that in other species due to very different ventral spur with dilated base and apical spike.

Distribution and biology. Known only from Brazil. The type locality is not exactly specified, Dejean mentioned it as “partie méridionale du Brésil ” and M. Saint-Hilaire as the collector. The examined specimens of Ch. chalybea   listed above come from the southeastern states of Minas Gerais (old spelling “Geraes”) and São Paulo. Horn (1926a) also mentioned only these two Brazilian states for this species. The specimens (NHMW, SDEI) collected by Natterer and bearing his above-cited, rather weird handwritten label “N. c. / Y.”, come from Floresta Nacional de Ipanema (old spelling “Ypanema”) in the state of São Paulo). Judging from the same labels, Ch. chalybea   is sympatric in Ipanema with Odontocheila nitidicollis ( Dejean, 1825)   —see Moravec (2018b). One male of Ch. chalybea   bears the same label “Campus Geraes” (= Gerais) as the female holotype of the synonymous Cicindela janthina Lucas   , and both are deposited in MNHN, coming from the journey by Castelnau. However, Lucas (1857) clearly based his description of the synonymous Cicindela janthina   on female sex and only one specimen.

Little is known about the habitat and behaviour of adults of this species. Erwin & Person (2008) mentioned that adults are ground-dwelling on tall active termite mounds often shaded by isolated tree crowns, but the authors did not refer to any source for such habitat. The recently caught adults labelled Maringá come from the Atlantic Rainfor- est (Bioma Mata Atlantica) in the Itatiaia massif on the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain chain in the state of Minas Gerais. Unfortunately, the Atlantic Rainforest is one of the most threatened biomes of the world, and due to continu- ous deforestation with only 11−12 % of its original cover ( Roza & Mermudes 2015), the species of Odontocheilina from the biome are mostly known only from old specimens ( Moravec 2016b, Roza & Mermudes 2017).

Three specimens in DZRJ from Serra da Canasta (Minas Gerais but Bioma Cerrado) were according to the col- lecting data caught on a termite nest (André Silva Roza, DZRJ, Rio De Janeiro, pers. com.). Therefore, and also in accordance with Arndt et al. (1996), Ch. chalybea   occurs on termite mounds, a biotope common for all other taxa of this genus.

Remarks. Dejean (1825) in his original description of Cicindela chalybea   described female sex only, but he did not indicate the number of specimens. The female ( Fig 1 View FIGURES 1–6 ) from the Dejean-Chaudoir collection, donated to MNHN in 1874 is designated here as the lectotype in order to fix the identity of the taxon. It bears a small square green label ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1–6 ) with a symbol of female sex, the only label usually attached by Dejean to type specimens of taxa described by him. One other female ( Fig. 3 View FIGURES 1–6 ) from the same collection and label data may be considered a syntype (see “Historical data” in “Other material examined” above).


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale


Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique














Cheilonycha chalybea ( Dejean, 1825 )

Moravec, Jiří 2019

Odontochila (Chilonycha) chalybea chalybea:

Horn, W. 1934: 124

Odontochila chalybea: Horn 1910: 203

Horn, W. 1910: 203

Cicindela janthina

Lucas, P. H. 1857: 32

Cicindela chalybea

Dejean, P. M. F. A. 1825: 38