Bolbaoeer abyssinicus, (MuEller)

Gussmann, S. M. V. & Scholtz, C. H., 2001, Systematic revision of the Afrotropical genus BolbaOEer Vulcano, Martinez and Pereira (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Bolboceratidae: Bolboceratinae), with descriptions of eight new species, Journal of Natural History 35 (7), pp. 1013-1084: 1079-1083

publication ID 10.1080/002229301300323910

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Bolbaoeer abyssinicus


BolbaOEer abyssinicus (MuÈller)  

(®gures 5a±d, 24a±h, 25)

Bolboceras abyssinicum MuÈller, 1941: 347   .

BolbaOEer abyssinicum (MuÈller)   : Krikken, 1984: 39.

Bolboceras bicorne MuÈller, 1944: 143   .

BolbaOEer bicorne (MuÈller)   : Krikken, 1984: 39. syn. nov. Description male

Body length 19.9±22.2 mm (5 specimens). Colour light to dark brown, head and pronotum slightly darker. Outer margin of mandible rounded. Clypeus with bituberculate, feebly arcuate transverse posterior carina; tubercles in line with antennal insertions; posterior carina as long as or slightly longer than anterior carina. Frons feebly concave behind posterior clypeal carina. Antennal club with glabrous area of basal segment slightly less than one-half of exposed surface. Pronotum with anterior margin medially raised and bituberculate / bihorned (®gure 5a±c), in dorsal view slightly projecting over head; with three to ®ve protuberance s along posterior margin, i.e. one pair of long, slightly inward inclined outer horns and one (major male as in ®gure 5a) or three small, tuberculate swellings (in intermediate and minor male as in ®gure 5b, c) between horns; disc with fairly densely spaced ®ne and large punctures, the large punctures becoming conūent and increasingly replacing ®ne punctures towards sides and along anterior margin of pronotum. Scutellum   with surface coarsely punctate. Elytron with strial punctures separated by four to six puncture diameters; intervals with approximately ®ve to six punctures between two striae. Protibia ®ve-to six-dentate. Protibial spur longer than ®fth tarsomere, acuminate. Metatrochanter of unmodi®ed shape; with dense, moderately long setation in basal half and along posterior margin but sparse in apical half. Metafemur in ventral view in posterior third with line of densely spaced, moderately long and long setae; with dense, moderately long and long setae in basal area and basal third along posterior margin; with fairly dense, long setae in anterior third and apical area; remaining areas with sparse, long setation. Metatibia in lateral view elongate, only slightly broadening apically; with subapical carina bilobed; with unmodi®ed spurs. Underside with sternites 4, 5 and 6 strongly modi®ed (®gure 24a±d), process on sternite 4 elongate and trispinose in posterior part of apex (®gure 24b, d); apex of pygidium narrow, pointed and with incision dividing apical third of pygidium (®gure 24a); the two halves of pygidium in basal two thirds fused to a clearly visible suture (stippled lines in ®gure 24a). Genitalia with aedeagus as in ®gure 24e±g; genital capsule apically with moderately long setation.

Description female

Body length 17.7±21.1 mm (4 specimens). Colour as in male. Outer margin of mandible as in male. Frons with strongly raised bituberculate, transverse carina; position of carina variable, from between eye-canthi to slightly posterior to posterolateral genal angle; carina straight and variable in length, from as long as to mostly slightly shorter than anterior clypeal carina. Pronotum with anterior margin medially raised, in frontal view slightly bisinuate, in dorsal view feebly arcuate; with transverse distinctly carinate swelling at median portion of disc; carina in frontal view medially slightly depressed as in ®gure 5d, in dorsal view feebly to distinctly bisinuate and medially constricted; area anterior to carina with very densely spaced, rather large, deep punctures; on feebly swollen areas lateral to densely punctate area and also along posterior margin with densely spaced, large punctures; otherwise with very densely spaced, partially conūent, large punctures. Scutellum   and elytron as in male. Protibia and protibial spur as in male. Metatrochanter of unmodi®ed shape; with dense, moderately long setation in basal third and along posterior margin; remaining surface asetose. Metafemur in ventral view in posterior third with line of fairly dense, moderately long and long setae; with fairly dense and long setae in anterior third and apical area; with fairly dense, moderately long setae in posterior third and along posterior margin; remaining areas with few isolated setae. Metatibia as in male. Underside with sternite 5 unmodi®ed; apex of sternite 6 truncate and with strongly sclerotized, in posterior view laterally distinctly thickened margin (®gure 24h); apex of pygidium rounded but medially with narrow incision dividing apical third of pygidium (®gure 24h); as in males, the two halves of pygidium in basal two thirds fused to a clearly visible suture (stippled lines in ®gure 24h).

Distribution (®gure 25). Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Type material examined. HOLOTYPE l[diss.], Bolboceras abyssinicum MuÈller   :`Aethiopia, ScireÁ [Soira?Ðsee comments], G.Brassavola leg.’ /` Bolboceras abyssinicus   m. [handwritten by MuÈller] det. G.MuÈller 940 [printed]’ /`Typus ’ [printed on faded pink label] /`Muse o Civico di Trieste’ ± [printed on faded pink label] (MCST); 2 PARATYPES: 1m,`Adi Caie [ Eritrea, Adõ Å K’ eyah, 14.51N 39.22E], 1935’

FIG. 25. Distributional records: B. mozambiquensis   (y); B. sasakii   (E); B. sebastiani   (_); B. namibiensis   (+); B. abyssinicus   ().

[ handwritten in pencil by unknown curator] /`Tigrai, Adi Caie, Mingotti 6.35’ [printed] /`atavu s Klb. sbsp. m [handwritten by MuÈller] det. G.MuÈller 941 [printed]’ ( MCST); 1m, same data and labels except no determination label attached ( MCST); HOLOTYPE l[diss.], Bolboceras bicorne MuÈller   :`Goggiam [ Ethiopia, Goja Å m Prov.], AzozoÁ [Azoza Å, 12.33N 37.26E]. m.2000., Strobele leg., VI.939.’ /`bicorne m [handwritten by MuÈller], det. MuÈller [printed]’ /`Typus ’ [printed on faded pink label] /`Muse o Civico di Trieste’ [printed on faded pink label] ( MCST). GoogleMaps  

Additional material examined (5 specimens). Ethiopia: 1 l[diss.],` Aethiopia. - AzozoÁ [12.33N 37.26E]. Goggiam. m.2000. vi.1939.-’ ( ISNB) GoogleMaps   ; 1 l[partially diss.], 1m,` Coll. RaOErey, Abyssinia’ /`Ex Museo N ± van de Poll’ /`MuseÂum Paris, 1938, Coll. A. Boucomont’ ( MNHN)   ; 1, Illubabor [Ilubabor] Prov. , Umgebung [surrounds of] Bedele [Bedele Å, ca 08.30N 36.20E], April 1994, Werner leg. ( NSCJ) GoogleMaps   ; 1,` Ethiopia , Sidamo Prov., near Dilla [ca 06.25N 38.19E], vi.1994, Werner leg.’ ( HAHC) GoogleMaps   ; 1m,`Abyssinia. Codjeb R. [ Gojeb Riv. , ca 07.10N 37.00E], KaOEa [Kefa Prov.], 2500 ft., 25.5.05, Ph. C. Zaphiro. 1906-78.’ ( BMNH) GoogleMaps   .

Comments. MuÈller (1944) noted that the male holotype of Bolboceras bicorne MuÈller   shares identical modi®cations on the underside and an identical aedeagus with the male holotype of the earlier described (MuÈller, 1941) Bolboceras abyssinicum   . He also suspected that the diOEerences in pronotal armature might be due to variation, as usually found between major and minor males. MuÈller did nevertheless refrain from reuniting the two species because the two males diOEer in the number of protibial denticles. In his opinion, this has justi®ably been used by PeÂringuey (1901) as an important character for species separation. But since it is now widely known and accepted that the number of protibial denticles is intraspeci®cally variable whereas modi®cations on the underside and the aedeagus are stable, hence very useful characters, we synonymize B. bicornis   with B. abyssinicus   . As tentatively indicated by MuÈller (1944), the holotype of B. abyssinicus   represents a minor male, the holotype of B. bicornis   a major male. The former has ®ve-dentate and the latter six-dentat e protibiae.

The two female `co-types’ of Bolboceras abyssinicum   described by MuÈller (1941) are, like the primary types, housed in MCST. Although both females bear no type labels, the locality label data conform with the information given in MuÈller’s description. The two specimens undoubtedly constitute the paratypes. Of interest is an additional label attached by MuÈller to one of the specimens, identifying it as`subspecies atavus Kolbe’. MuÈller seems to have misidenti®ed this female initially but omitted to remove the determination label when designating the very same specimen as one of the co-types of Bolboceras abyssinicum   . We are satis®ed that MuÈller correctly associated the two females with the male holotype. As outlined before, the sexes can often be linked by similarities in certain complex modi®cations. In the case of B. abyssinicus   , it is the narrow median incision in the apical third of the pygidium and the suture fusing the two lateral halves of the pygidium in the basal two thirds that both sexes have in common. The male / female association is also supported by distributional records. The female paratypes of B. abyssinicus   were collected at`ScireÁ’, a locality name that could not be traced with this spelling. We did, however, ®nd on an old map of`Africa Orientale Italiana’ a mountain by the name of`Soira’ in Eritrea. This mountain is in close proximity to the type locality of the holotype. Misspellings of place names as well as numerous o cial changes in spellings of place names, particularly in Arabic-inūenced countries, are frequent and might explain the above discrepancy in spelling. Less doubtful perhaps is a pair of B. abyssinicus   from MNHN with identical labelling (see under`Additional material examined’). Although only the country name`Abyssinia’ is stated as locality, the male and female were probably collected together at a single locality somewhere in Ethiopia.

In females of B. abyssinicus   the punctures in the area anterior to the pronotal carina are only slightly smaller compared to the punctures in other pronotal areas. By contrast, the diOEerence in size of the punctures is much more pronounced in the other female members of the B. abyssinicus   species-group. But as in all other females of the B. abyssinicus   species-group, those punctures are deep and very densely spaced.

So far, only B. princeps   is known to occur sympatrically with B. abyssinicus   but the two species cannot be easily confused. In both sexes they diOEer signi®cantly in sternal and pygidial modi®cations.


Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Trieste


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Bolbaoeer abyssinicus

Gussmann, S. M. V. & Scholtz, C. H. 2001

BolbaOEer abyssinicum (MuÈller)

KRIKKEN, J. 1984: 39

BolbaOEer bicorne (MuÈller)

KRIKKEN, J. 1984: 39