Pterydrias pondolandensis Falin and Engel

Falin, Zachary H. & Engel, Michael S., 2016, Two New Species of Pterydrias Reitter (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae), Significantly Expanding the Biogeographic Range of the Genus, The Coleopterists Bulletin 70 (2), pp. 203-213: 207-210

publication ID 10.1649/0010-065X-70.2.203

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Pterydrias pondolandensis Falin and Engel

new species

Pterydrias pondolandensis Falin and Engel   , new species

( Figs. 5–9 View Figs )

Diagnosis. Male. Pterydrias pondolandensis   is most similar to Pterydrias ruzickai (Batelka and Hájek)   in that it is comparatively large, nearly unicolorous, and possesses a posteriorly elongate head and relatively large genae which converge evenly to the occipital ridge in dorsal view. The two species also have very similarly proportioned apical maxillary palpomeres (palpomere IV being very slightly longer than the combined lengths of palpomeres II and III). However, P. pondolandensis   differs from P. ruzickai   in being significantly larger (4.0 mm long as opposed to 3.0 mm) and having comparatively more parallel-sided, elongate elytra as compared to the pronotum (approximately 5.2X in the former, 3.3X in the latter). Despite its general similarity to P. ruzickai   , the following is a differential description as compared to that of P. cattieni   above; the diagnosis-only description of P. ruzickai   , while permitting its characterization as a distinct species, is of little comparative use.

Description. Male. Nearly twice size of P. cattieni   , otherwise similar in general form. Approximately 4.0 mm long in dorsal view from antennal bases to tip of more or less extended abdomen, 0.7 mm wide at base of pronotum; elytral length 2.6 mm, hind wing length approximately 3.1 mm. Integument shiny throughout (except antennae); body color nearly unicolorous brown with elytra very slightly darker brown and tarsi a lighter, tawny brown ( Figs. 5, 6 View Figs ). Antennomeres I–V same color as body, antennomere VI very slightly lighter, antennomeres VII–XI missing from holotype. Elytra more strongly sclerotized than in P. cattieni   (though still appearing “pliable”) ( Fig. 6 View Figs ). Hind wings similarly infuscate and with an iridescent sheen.

Head comparatively elongate in dorsal view; genae comparatively large and converging evenly to occipital ridge in dorsal view. Vertex only slightly convex behind compound eyes, otherwise nearly planar, sloping ventrally between antennal bases; ventral aspect of head also nearly planar, creating a roughly rhomboidal profile. Integument densely, coarsely punctured ( Fig. 8 View Figs ) with short, pale, suberect to erect setae dorsally; setae slightly shorter and decumbent ventrally. Compound eyes coarsely faceted with numerous, short, pale, erect setae; bulging, occupying large portion of lateral aspect of head, separated from occipital ridge posteriorly by a little more than 1/2 compound eye diameter ( Fig. 8 View Figs ), with only a thin strip of integument visible ventral to compound eye in profile ( Fig. 9 View Figs ), separated from antennal insertion anterodorsally by 2.5 times ommatidial width, and separated from maxillary insertion anteriorly by approximately 1/3 compound eye diameter. Frons a narrow, blunt longitudinal ridge from antennal to mandibular insertions ( Fig. 7 View Figs ), concavely sloping laterally to anterior margin of compound eyes and maxillary insertions.

Mouthparts reduced, apparently non-functional. Labrum absent. Mandibles clearly articulating with frons and well-sclerotized, but simple, arcuate, appearing vestigial ( Fig. 7 View Figs ). Labium obscured owing to position of holotype as glued to card. Maxillae reduced; palpi tetramerous, palpomere I minute, relative lengths of palpomeres II – IV as per diagnosis; palpomere IV laterally compressed, parallel-sided over much of length, apically tapering to bluntly rounded apex   .

Antenna incomplete in unique holotype, with basal 6 antennomeres preserved, filiform ( Figs. 5, 6, 9 View Figs ). Antennomere I broadest, subcylindrical, inner margin faintly convex; antennomere II only slightly shorter than antennomere I, succeeding antennomeres gradually longer, antennomere II approximately 2/3 length of individual lengths of antennomeres III and IV; antennomeres V and VI longer than antennomere IV; antennomeres generally dark brown except antennomere VI slightly lighter   .

Pronotal punctation similar in strength and density to that of vertex, with short, pale, suberect to erect setae. In dorsal view, pronotum slightly bellshaped ( Fig. 8 View Figs ); basal 1/3 evenly expanding posteriorly; median 1/3 parallel-sided; apical 1/3 evenly, strongly converging anteriorly. Anterior pronotal margin not overlain by occipital ridge of head, approximately equal in length to occipital width of head and less than distance between compound eyes in dorsal view. Posterior pronotal margin faintly bisinuate and dorsally produced medially ( Fig. 8 View Figs ); postero-lateral angles acute, slightly projecting ( Fig. 8 View Figs ) (angles not as prominently projecting as in P. loebli   or P. ruzickai   ). Lateral pronotal margins rounded, without bead, though posterior 1/3 of propleurae dorso-ventrally compressed giving a sharp appearance to margin. Pronotal disc irregularly convex, a faint longitudinal ridge occupying medial 1/4, strongest basally with thickened anterior ridge and posteriorly with thickened posterior margin. Propleurae slightly less punctate than pronotum, integument between punctures granulose, narrow, without invagination dorsal to procoxal insertions. Prosternum difficult to characterize given mounting used for holotype, apparently with punctures as on propleuron with scattered setae, transverse, narrowing slightly to articulation with propleuron anteriorly; anterior margin weakly concave, posterior margin apparently with short medial concavity laterally bordered by small callosities; prosternal disc weakly convex, without keel.

Mesonotal punctation similar to that of pronotum except smooth area medio-posteriorly, with posteriorly oriented, suberect setae; trapezoidal, anterior margin overlaid by posterior margin of pronotum, posterior margin straight; mesonotal disc roughly planar except for weak, longitudinal depression medially.

Metanotal configuration difficult to characterize, all but extreme medial aspect obscured by elytra and hind wings in holotype. Metaprescutum apparently absent; metascutellum delineated from postero-lateral lobes of metascutum by a pair of sulci apparently converging anteriorly; broad apical portion of metascutellar disc convex, narrow apical with medial depression, surface smooth, without setae. Metapostscutellum large, well-sclerotized, smooth, without setae, separated anteriorly from metascutellum by a strong sulcus, surface apparently lightly convex, posterior margin convex.

Lateral aspects of pterothorax more or less typical of subfamily; integument less densely and more finely punctate than nota, integument between smooth to finely imbricate, with scattered suberect setae. Mesepisternum apparently fused with mesosternum; mesepimeron appearing as a flange separated from mesepisternum by a deep, parallelsided, oblique groove. Metepisternum elongate, triangular, widest apically, tapering posteriorly; anterior margin convex in lower 2/3, thickened, dorsoanterior lobe absent, thickened area pale in color and contrasting with dark brown integument. Metepimeron obscured as holotype is mounted.

Legs typical for genus, long and slender ( Fig. 6 View Figs ); coxae, trochanters, femora, and tibiae irregularly punctate, with numerous, short, suberect, apically directed setae. Tibiae straight, cylindrical, tapered basally; apical spurs absent. Tarsal formula 5-5-4, all tarsomeres more or less cylindrical, tapered basally, truncate apically, progressively reducing in diameter. Protarsomere I slightly longer than protarsomeres II and III combined and slightly shorter than protarsomeres II–V combined, protarsomere IV shorter than preceding tarsomere and shorter than protarsomere V, protarsomeres III and V subequal; mesotarsomeres with similar proportions; metatarsomere I longer than metatarsomeres II and III combined and slightly shorter than metatarsomeres II–IV combined, metatarsomere III shortest, slightly shorter than metatarsomere IV, metatarsomeres II and IV subequal. Pretarsal claws small, simple, arched apically, otherwise basally straight; arolium absent.

Elytral punctation and setation similar to mesonotum with punctures shallower and slightly more spaced than on pronotum and with short, suberect to erect, pale setae. Elytra narrowly separated in basal quarter and then more widely separated ( Fig. 6 View Figs ), comparatively long, length approximately 5.2 times pronotal length, exceeding length of pterothorax. Lateral margins parallel over length, apex broadly and evenly rounded ( Fig. 6 View Figs ). Hind wings crumpled in preservation, venation impossible to discern.

Abdomen difficult to characterize due to mounting on card, apparently with 7 (II–VIII) visible tergites and 6 (III–VIII) visible ventrites (as viewed in profile), about as long as pterothorax as preserved, integument smooth, with sparse, suberect to erect, pale setae. Form and degree of sclerotization of tergites II–IV obscure; tergites V–VIII well-sclerotized, comparatively flat dorsally, tergites VI–VIII narrow, convex bands, latter with apical margin evenly convex. Ventrites obscured as mounted.

Genitalia of holotype hidden within abdominal tip.

Female. Unknown.

Immature Stages. Unknown.

Holotype. ♂; “ S. Africa / R. E. Turner / Brit. Mus. / 1923–398” // “Port St. John [31.6°S, 29.5°E] / Pondoland / July 10–31, 1923.” // “ HOLOTYPE / Pterydrias   / pondolandensis / Z.H. Falin & M. S. Engel ” // “ BMNH [E] 1269076”; deposited in the Natural History Museum , London, UK. GoogleMaps  

Etymology. The specific epithet is based on Pondoland, a coastal belt below the Great Escarpment and along the Indian Ocean in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and the former lands of the indigenous Pondo Kingdom (annexed by the colony in 1894). The region is known for, among other things, its considerable biotic diversity (a portion of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot: Forest et al. 2007; Padayachee and Procheş 2016). We name this species after the region to highlight its importance and biological distinctiveness, and the need for its conservation.

Comments. Pterydrias pondolandensis   is known only from the holotype specimen described above. Due to the specimen being ventrally glued to a card, it is not possible to determine the presence or absence of abdominal setal patches as found in P. cattieni   .

KEY TO THE SPECIES OF ADULT MALES OF PTERYDRIAS REITTER   (revised from Batelka and Hájek 2009, 2010)

1. Smaller species, body length about 2.5 mm or less...........................................................2

1′. Larger species, body length about 3.0 mm or greater......................................................5

2. Head short, distinctly transverse, temples nearly obsolete.............................................3

2′. Head elongate posteriorly, temples welldeveloped ................................................ 4

3. Pronotum roughly quadrate, postero-lateral

angles nearly right and not projecting ( Fig. 3 View Figs )

[ Vietnam] ........... Pterydrias cattieni Falin and 

Engel, new species

3′. Pronotum bell-shaped, postero-lateral angles acute and projecting [ India]........................... ........ Pterydrias loebli (Batelka and Hájek)  

4. Head noticeably darker than pronotum; posterolateral angles of pronotum obtuse [ Israel] ...... ................................ Pterydrias debilis Reitter  

4′. Head and pronotum unicolorous; posterolateral angles of pronotum acute [ Iran] ......... ..... Pterydrias jelineki (Batelka and Hájek)  

5. Head only slightly elongate posteriorly; maxillary palpomere IV shorter than palpomeres II and III combined [ Tajikistan]........... Pterydrias januschevi (Iablokoff-Khnzorian)  

5′. Head distinctly elongate posteriorly; maxillary palpomere IV slightly longer than palpomeres II and III combined............................................ 6

6. Larger, body length about 4.0 mm; elytra about 4X length of pronotum ( Fig. 6 View Figs ) [ South Africa] ....................... Pterydrias pondolandensis Falin and Engel   , new species

6′. Smaller, body length about 3.0 mm; elytra about 3.3X length of pronotum [ Pakistan].... ..... Pterydrias ruzickai (Batelka and Hájek)  


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile