Laemosaccus vaurieae Hespenheide

Hespenheide, Henry A., 2019, A Review of the Genus Laemosaccus Schönherr, 1826 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Mesoptiliinae) from Baja California and America North of Mexico: Diversity and Mimicry, The Coleopterists Bulletin (MIMICRY AND LAEMOSACCUS In an earlier paper (Hespenheide 1996), I presented the hypothesis that species of Laemosaccus of the L. nephele group with red humeral spots on the elytra were Batesian mimics of members of the Chrysomelidae in the subfamily Clytrinae. There is no evidence that Laemosaccus species are distasteful, and what is either L. nephele and / or L. obrieni have been reported as prey items of birds (Beal 1912). In Cave Creek Canyon, Cochise County, Arizona, 21 forms (species and “ subspecies ”) of Clytrinae were hypothesized to be the primary models of 22 species of mimics in the families Anthribidae (one species), Bruchidae (two species), Buprestidae (four species), Chrysomelidae, subfamily Cryptocephalinae (three species), Coccinellidae (six species), Curculionidae, subfamily Baridinae (one species), and Laemosaccus (five species). Of these, the coccinellids and the cryptocephaline chrysomelids are probably distasteful Mullerian co-mimics. Ecologically, the species of Laemosaccus co-occurred with their clytrine models on both desert legumes and canyon oaks, although more clytrine species occurred in the desert and more Laemosaccus species occurred in the canyons. Species of clytrines showing the mimetic pattern are common throughout Mexico (Bellamy 2003, who renamed the Mexican buprestid genus Acherusia Laporte and Gory, 1837 as Mimicoclytrina Bellamy to reflect their resemblance to clytrines), but decline in numbers of species and in the proportion of the clytrine fauna through Central America to Panama (Hespenheide 1996, fig. 2). Laemosaccus seems to follow a similar pattern. Mimicry is more common in large faunas, especially in wet tropical areas (Hespenheide 1986, 1995); because the largest clytrine fauna is in Mexico, the clytrine mimicry complex is also larger there (Hespenheide 1996). This complex has more members than I first enumerated and deserves further study. The evolution of mimicry produces resemblances between unrelated species (Laemosaccus and other putative mimics, with clytrines and perhaps other Chrysomelidae and Coccinellidae as models; see Hespenheide 1976, 1996) and selects against the divergence of related species. In Batesian mimicry - hypothesized to be the form of relationship between Laemosaccus and clytrines - the selection for precision of mimicry is stronger on the mimic (Laemosaccus), so that resemblances among them should be closer, regardless of ancestry. Close morphological resemblances based on ecology rather than ancestry may be termed mimetic homoplasy (Hespenheide 2005) and can make recognition of species difficult (as in Laemosaccus) or complicate phylogenetic analyses. I have speculated (Hespenheide 1996) that the sympatric “ subspecies ” of the clytrine models (Moldenke 1970) may in fact be reproductively isolated sibling species. It will be interesting to see whether or not genomic studies show the closeness of relationships among Laemosaccus species that the morphology suggests) 73 (4), pp. 905-939: 931

publication ID 10.1649/0010-065X-73.4.905

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Laemosaccus vaurieae Hespenheide

new species

Laemosaccus vaurieae Hespenheide   , new species ( Figs. 16 View Figs , 27 View Figs )

Description: Holotype Male. Length 5.15 mm, width 2.25 mm ( Fig. 16 View Figs ). Robust, subcylindrical from above and in cross section, broadly rounded behind, more narrowly so in front, black except each elytron with large, oval, red-orange spot half elytral length from posterior edge of humerus and just above lateral margins to elytral interval 3; pronotum and elytra glabrous, except for pronotal collar, thorax and abdomen ventrally with punctures each with a silvery seta, setae nearly obscuring surface, head with inconspicuous setae on sides of rostrum between eyes and antennal insertions and behind eyes, setae sparser on metafemora, more slender and erect on basal half of femora, tibiae and profemora inconspicuously setose, setae dense, hair-like, and erect on tergite 8; tergite 7 with small, scale-like setae on basal margin, otherwise appressed and hairlike. Head hemispherical, 1.20 mm wide, rostrum rounded-terete, finely punctate 0.90 mm long, antennae inserted at middle. Pronotum globose, relatively flattened in cross section and in lateral view, moderately rounded at lateral and anterior margins, conspicuously constricted before anterior margin, 1.70 mm long, 1.95 mm wide, broadest just before middle, with lateral margins more strongly rounded in front than behind, finely, evenly punctate, punctures rounded longitudinally, confluent on apical half, with indistinct medial carina on basal third. Elytra slightly wider than pronotum at base, 3.30 mm long, 2.25 mm maximum width near apical 3/4, elytral striae much narrower than intervals, striae finely punctate, intervals rounded-angulate, interval 3 strongly toothed on middle third, interval 5 strongly toothed on apical half. Abdominal ventrite 1 slightly concave along midline, with dense, short, semi-erect setae. Profemora with strong, nearly perpendicular, acute ventral tooth beyond middle; meso- and metafemora each with small tooth. Genitalia as in Fig. 27 View Figs ; aedeagus 1.60 mm long.

Allotype Female. As male but 4.95 mm long, 2.10 mm wide, rostrum subcylindrical, shiny, finely punctate, 1.4 mm long; pygidium weakly convex, coarsely punctate, setae inconspicuous, hair-like and appressed on tergite 7, semi-erect and denser only at apex.

Specimens Examined. Holotype: Arizona: Cochise Co., Pinery Cyn., Chiricahua Mts., below Onion Saddle , 7200’, 31°56’N 109°16’W, 25.06.1999, H. A. Hespenheide, on leaves of Quercus gambelli Nutt. (USNM)   GoogleMaps   . Allotype: Arizona: Cochise Co., Chiricahua Mountains, Onion Saddle , 7600’, 31°56’N 109°16’W, 22.07.1981, H. A. Hespenheide, Quercus (USNM)   GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: USA: Arizona: Cochise Co., Chiricahua M., 15.06.1939, D. J. & J. N. Knull (1, OSU)   ; Chiricahua Mts. , 6000’, 29.06.1958, C. W. O’ Brien (3, ASUHIC)   ; Chiricahua Mts., Salsbury Trail , 6.06.1978 (1, SWRS)   ; Chiricahua Mts., Price Cyn. , 11.07.1968, V. D. Roth (1, SWRS)   ; same data as Holotype (5, BMNH, CHAH) GoogleMaps   ; Chiricahua Mtns., Rustler Park , 27.07.1987, W. F. Barr, beating Quercus   (1, WFBM)   , Rustler’ s Park , 27.07.1987, G. H. Nelson, on Pinus chihuahuana   (1, ASUHIC)   ; Chiricahua Mts., Pinery Canyon , 24.07.1999, F. W. Skillman Jr. (3, ASUHIC)   ; [Coconino Co.], Williams , “19.9,” Barber & Schwarz (1, USNM)   ; [Gila Co.?], Base Pinal Mts. , 4000’, 07, D. K. Duncan, Parker (1, CASC)   ; Graham Co., Graham Mts. , 8000’, 1.08.1957, C. W. O’ Brien (1, ASUHIC)   ; [Maricopa Co.], Phoenix, C. Palm (1, AMNH)   ; Yavapai Co., Mingus Mt. , 28.06.1966, R. L. Westcott (1, WFBM)   ; 6 mi S Prescott , 29.06.1964, G. H. Nelson (6, FSCA)   . New Mexico: Grant Co., Mimbres Mts., Gila Natl. For. , 1.06.1971, R. W. Hamilton, T. J. Pilat & D. J. Witt (1, CHAH)   ; [Grant/ Sierra Co.], nr. Kingston, Mimbres Mts. , Emory Pass , 8,178 ft, 19.06.1948, H. S. Barber (1, USNM)   .

Hosts. Adults have been collecteld on Q. gambelli   and undetermined oaks, and on Pinus chihuahuana Engelm.   (= Pinus leiophylla Scheide & Dieppe var. chihuahuana (Engelm.) E. Murray   ( Pinaceae   ).

Etymology. This species is named in honor of the late Patricia Vaurie of the American Museum of Natural History, a Coleopterist who included weevils among her studies ( Patricia_Vaurie).

Discussion. With L. howdenae   , L. vaurieae   is one of the largest species in the L. nephele   group. Males vary in length from 3.90 to 5.20 mm (mean = 4.58 mm, n = 14); females vary from 4.35 to 6.15 mm (mean = 4.98 mm, n = 15). The rostrum of both sexes is unusually long for the genus, those of females being about one-fifth longer than that of males. Unlike L. howdenae   , L. vaurieae   is glabrous dorsally, has strong teeth on elytral intervals 3 and 5, and males have unusually robust genitalia.


Oklahoma State University, Collection of Vertebrates


Southwestern Research Station


W.F. Barr Entomological Collection


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


American Museum of Natural History


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology