Microplinthus schmidti Meregalli

Meregalli, Massimo, 2020, Revision of the Nepalese genus Microplinthus Zherichin, 1987 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Molytinae), with description of 25 new species, Zootaxa 4794 (1), pp. 1-63: 47

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Microplinthus schmidti Meregalli

n. sp.

Microplinthus schmidti Meregalli   n. sp.

http://zoobank.org/ urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:E1FC82DE-C7BF-49E5-9148-1B669B70F44A

Fig. 24 View FIGURE 24

Material examined. Holotype ♀: “ Nepal, Manaslu Mts / 15–17.IV.2003 / Dudh Pokhari Lekh // upper Dordi Khola / valley, 2600–2800m / NN [28°20’N 84°35’E], leg. J. Schmidt ” ( NMEG). GoogleMaps  

Diagnostic description. Length 4.68 mm. Body oblong-elliptical, integument dark ferruginous, moderately glossy. Vestiture composed of slender straight setae, on elytra vertically inserted, erected, prominent in lateral view, particularly on declivity. Rostrum relatively slender, moderately broadened apicad, in lateral view weakly and regularly curved from base to apex, slightly gibbose at antennal insertion, junction to head continuing curvature of base; in dorsal view sides slightly curvilinear convergent, interantennal width 3/4 than width at base, dorsum with dense and deeply impressed punctures, irregularly aligned, transverse interspaces glossy, in part broadened, median longitudinal line absent, dorso-lateral lines present, narrow, apex smooth, glossy from before antennal insertion. Head with irregular sculpture with longitudinal lines and punctures. Antennal scape thickened only apically, with 1–2 setae directed forwards; funicle antennomere 1 robust, short, barely longer than wide, 2 conical, 1.5x as long as wide, 3–7 globose, 3 slightly smaller, 7 slightly bigger, but not transverse; club oval. Eye large, oblong, slightly convex, with about 35 ommatidia. Pronotum subcylindrical, longer than wide, sides very weakly curvilinear to apical quarter, then more strongly convergent apicad; median line narrow, moderately raised from basal quarter to near apex; surface densely and irregularly sculptured, punctures irregularly shaped, larger and more dense towards base, interspaces narrow, linear, in part more raised externally. Elytra oblong, intervals regular, slightly convex and with very low humps, more evident laterally and on declivity, striae as wide as intervals, with dense series of punctures, regularly impressed. Femur thickened medially, with a strong tooth, strongly narrowed before articulation with tibia; tibia slender, barely sinuate internally, with dense raised setae, apex with margin long obliquely extended on outer margin of tibia. Tarsomere 3 small, lobes scarcely developed, claws simple. Ventrites regularly narrowed from 3 to 5, 1 and 2 densely and regularly punctured, 3–4 smooth, with a series of small punctures, 5 short, shallowly punctured. Female sternum VIII with a very short apodeme, arms narrow, slightly curved outwards, divergent at 60°, branches very slender and long, directed slightly downwards, lamina wider than long, lateral sclerotization uniform.

Differential remarks. Microplinthus schmidti   was found near the locality where M. brevipennis   is found. This species differs in the shorter and more convex elytra and the setae recumbent against the integument. More north, and at higher elevations, M. setulosus   , a closely related species that shares the erect setae on elytra with M. schmidti   , is found. It mainly differs in the subtrapezoidal and as long as wide pronotum, with the sides broadened from the base and sharply narrowed at the apex. See description of M. ganesha   for the differences from the most morphologically similar species.

Origin of the name. This species is named after its collector J. Schmidt.

Distribution. Western Nepal, mountains north of the upper part of the Marsyandi river valley ( Fig. 30 View FIGURE 30 ).