Microplinthus durga 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: 20

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Microplinthus durga Meregalli

n. sp.

Microplinthus durga Meregalli   n. sp.

http://zoobank.org/ urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:5432B71D-DFF4-4D7C-AF8A-DCFAC5002A3A

Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8

Material examined: Holotype ♀: “Umg. Goropani [=Ghorepani, 28°24’N 83°42’E] / w. Pokhara / [back] Pa 112 // Zentral-Nepal / Sept.–Okt. 1971 / lg. H. Franz ” ( NHMW) GoogleMaps  

Diagnostic description. Length 3.53 mm. Body oblong, integument dark ferruginous, moderately glossy. Vestiture composed of few sparse relatively thick slender setae, not spatulate, on elytra appressed to integument. Rostrum robust, dorsal margins weakly broadened basad, slightly curvilinear and very feebly narrowed towards antennal insertion, in lateral view curved in basal part, then almost rectilinear, dorsal surface in basal part with large seriate punctures longitudinally aligned, with poorly delimited longitudinal lines, apical half in median part glossy, smooth, punctures on dorso-lateral part reaching antennal insertion, apical part glossy, smooth, with very shallow minute punctures. Antennal scape thickened at apex, with some narrow setae; funicle antennomeres 1 and 2 conical, 1 broader than 2, 3–7 globose, 7 barely larger than 6; club oblong. Eye oblong, with more than 40 ommatidia. Pronotum as long as wide, sides sublinearly broadened to apical third, then sharply convergent apicad; dorsum with high glossy median keel, almost extended along the entire length, sculpture very irregular, dense, with punctures generally merged in pits, interspaces raised, narrow, irregularly curved, generally higher and angular on external sides. Elytra oblong, convex, odd intervals with dense high oblong tubercles, even intervals with sparse, smaller tubercles; striae irregular, with poorly differentiated punctures. Femur thick, enlarged medially, with a sharp inner tooth; tibia distinctly sinuate internally, apex narrowed and rounded, tarsomere 3 with broad lobes, claws with tiny inner teeth. Ventrites strongly cuvilinear narrowed from 1 to 5, 1 with dense punctures rather regularly impressed, 2 with punctures more spaced, 3–4 smooth, 5 long, with shallow punctures. Female sternum VIII with arms joined basally, straight, lamina subquadrate, with narrow straight lateral sclerification, branches slender, distinctly curved upwards.

Differential remarks. There are several other species of the genus in the valleys south of the Annapurna range. Mcroplinthus annapurnae   , the easternmost species in this area, has elytra with raised setae and lacking isolated tubercles; M. kaskianus   is relatively similar, but has untoothed claws, sides of pronotum feebly and regularly converging apicad, rostrum with sharp longitudinal lines and ventrite 1 with two large submedian punctures; M. parbatensis   has reddish integument, and elytra lacking tubercles and with erect setae; M. kaligandaki   has elongate elytra, lacking tubercles and with large, regular punctures.

Origin of the name. This name derives from Durga, a principal and popular form of the Hindu Goddess. She is the warrior form of Parvati, and combats evils and demonic forces that threaten peace and prosperity. Durga is also a fierce form of the protective mother goddess, who unleashes her divine wrath against the wicked for the liberation of the oppressed.

Distribution. Western Nepal, southern slopes of the Annapurna Himal ( Fig. 28 View FIGURE 28 ).


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien