Hesiodus piceus (Laporte and Brullé, 1831) Spiessberger & Ivie, 2018

Spiessberger, Erich L. & Ivie, Michael A., 2018, Revision of the West Indian Cyrtosoma Perty (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Cnodalonini), with Descriptions of Three New Species, The Coleopterists Bulletin 72 (4), pp. 825-837 : 834-835

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.1649/0010-065X-72.4.825

publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Hesiodus piceus (Laporte and Brullé, 1831)

new combination

Hesiodus piceus (Laporte and Brullé, 1831)   , new combination

( Figs. 13–14 View Figs )

Platydema picea Laporte and Brullé, 1831: 362   ; Soldati and Touroult, 2014: 96.

Platydema piceum   ; Fleutiaux and Sallé 1889: 424(74); Marcuzzi and D’ Aguilar 1971: 84; Marcuzzi 1984: 89; Peck et al. 2014: 83; Peck 2016: 158.

Cyrtosoma piceum   ; Gebien 1911: 489, 1942: 314 (712); Marcuzzi and D’ Aguilar 1971: 93; Marcuzzi 1984: 102, 1991: 250; Peck et al. 2014: 86; Soldati and Touroult 2014: 104; Peck 2016: 164; Bousquet et al. 2018: 299.

Cyrtosoma   ? piceum   ; Leng and Mutchler 1914: 463.

Cyrtosoma picea   ; Blackwelder 1945: 538.

Hesiodus caraibus Fleutiaux and Sallé 1889: 424   ; Blackwelder 1945: 534; Gebien 1911: 437, 1941: 337 (632); Leng and Mutchler 1914: 463; Marcuzzi and d’ Aguilar 1971: 91; Chalumeau 1982: 191; Hopp and Ivie 2009: 3; Soldati and Touroult 2014: 104; Peck et al. 2014: 86; Peck 2016: 162; Bousquet et al. 2018: 302. New synonymy.

Type Material. SYNTYPE ♀: Guadeloupe / 60/ Cyrtosoma   ; picea   [corrected to piceum   ] Cast. [elnau] Br[ullé] mm [messieurs]; p. 362 Platydema   ; Guadulpia [Latin name of Guadeloupe] F. l’ Herminier; Pointe à Pitre/ Muséum Paris;1906/ coll. L. Fairmaire/ SYNTYPE / SYNTYPE; Platydema   ; picea Laporte de Castelnau   ; & Brullé, 1831/ MNHN; EC9 175 ( MNHN). Material in square brackets inserted for clarity.

Remarks. This species has a confused history with a surprising ending. Originally described from Guadeloupe in Platydema Laporte and Brullé, 1831   , the type was said to be in the Louis Alexandre Auguste Chevrolat (1799–1884) collection, the tenebrionid portion of which is housed today in the collection of Léon Marc Herminie Fairmaire (1820–1906) in the Muséum national d’ Histoire naturelle, Paris (Horn and Kahle 1935). This specimen has not been reported on since the original description, in spite of the fact that the tenebrionids of Guadeloupe have been treated four times (Fleutiaux and Sallé 1889; Marcuzzi and d’ Aguilar 1971; Chalumeau 1982; Soldati and Touroult 2014).

Fleutiaux and Sallé (1889) treated it as a Platydema   , but only cited its description, adding nothing to indicate they knew the species. The species appeared without explanation in Cyrtosoma   in Gebien’ s (1911) catalog. If it was moved earlier than that, we have been unable to find the reference. Zoological Record has no mention of this action, and Soldati and Touroult (2014) were also unable to find the origin of this transfer. After Gebien’ s (1911) catalog, it was listed under Cyrtosoma   with varying levels of doubt several times (e.g., Leng and Mutchler 1914). It even appeared a few times as two species, being included under both genera (e.g., Marcuzzi and d’ Aguilar 1971; Peck et al. 2014; Soldati and Touroult 2014).

Marcuzzi (1991) included it in his key to Cyrtosoma   , and he acknowledged the BMNH as the source of “all the present material.” A search of the collection there did not unearth any specimen with that name (Maxwell Barclay, in litt.), and, from the characters in the key, it would appear its inclusion is based on the original description, not a specimen. As such, apparently no specimen attributed to P. picea   has been seen by anyone publishing on this species since its original description.

Judging from the description, Laporte and Brullé’ s species is simply not a Guadeloupe Cyrtosoma   . Antoine Mantilleri located the type of P. picea   at our request, and provided photographs ( Figs. 13–14 View Figs ), in fact revealing that it is conspecific with Hesiodus caraibus Fleutiaux and Sallé, 1889   . It is unfortunate, but unavoidable, that the older and poorly known name must replace the well-established one, but its recent use as a valid name requires us to retain the junior synonym under Art. (ICZN 1999).

The first label with the specimen ( Fig. 14 View Figs ) is in the hand of Ferdinand Joseph L’ Herminier (1802–1866). The third label appears to be in the hand of Chevrolat. Thus, the specimen matches the information in Laporte and Brullé’ s (1831) description. The use of the name Cyrtosoma   by Chevrolat apparently predates the description as a manuscript name, and this third label could be the source of Gebien’ s placement, even though Chevrolat’ s concept associated with that manuscript name differed from what was eventually published.

The question of the specimen’ s status as the holotype or a syntype is unclear. Clearly, the syntype label was added long after the original description. ICZN (1999) Recommendation 73F suggests that an assumption of holotype status be avoided in the absence of a clear statement of a singleton in a description before 2000. Other than the fact there is only a single measurement in the description of P. picea   , there is nothing to definitively say there was only a single type specimen. We feel the curators in Paris have acted correctly in considering this specimen a syntype. Since we are not revising Hesiodus   , we will not designate this specimen as a lectotype, leaving that for a future reviser. In a similar case, Laporte and Brullé (1831) also named Nesocyrtosoma virens (Laporte and Brullé, 1831)   in Platydema ( Hopp and Ivie 2009)   , and Nesocyrtosoma   is a close relative of Hesiodus   .

Distribution. Guadeloupe. For details, see Soldati and Touroult (2014).


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Hesiodus piceus (Laporte and Brullé, 1831)

Spiessberger, Erich L. & Ivie, Michael A. 2018

Platydema piceum

Peck, S. B. 2016: 158
Peck, S. B. 2014: 83
Marcuzzi, G. 1984: 89

Cyrtosoma picea

Blackwelder, R. E. 1945: 538

Hesiodus caraibus Fleutiaux and Sallé 1889: 424

Bousquet, Y. & Thomas, P. & Bouchard, A. D. & Smith, R. L. & Aalbu, A. M. & Steiner, Jr. 2018: 302
Peck, S. B. 2016: 162
Peck, S. B. 2014: 86
Hopp, K. J. 2009: 3
Chalumeau, F. 1982: 191
Blackwelder, R. E. 1945: 534
Gebien, H. 1941: 337
Gebien, H. 1911: 437

Cyrtosoma piceum

Bousquet, Y. & Thomas, P. & Bouchard, A. D. & Smith, R. L. & Aalbu, A. M. & Steiner, Jr. 2018: 299
Peck, S. B. 2016: 164
Peck, S. B. 2014: 86
Marcuzzi, G. 1991: 250
Marcuzzi, G. 1984: 102
Gebien, H. 1942: 314
Gebien, H. 1911: 489