Australycra similis, Lawrence, 2019

Lawrence, John F., 2019, Australian Nitidulinae: general review with descriptions of new genera and species (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), Zootaxa 4657 (2), pp. 261-290: 272-275

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Australycra similis

sp. nov.

Australycra similis   , sp. nov.

( Figs 4 View FIGURES 1–12 , 44 View FIGURES 31–46 , 60 View FIGURES 47–62 , 65 View FIGURES 63–78 , 82, 88, 92 View FIGURES 79–92 )

Diagnosis. Differing from the closely related A. obscura (Blackburn)   in the somewhat larger size (3.20–6.00 (4.53 ± 0.53) mm, n = 83) mm, elytral megasetae and microsetae differing less in length, inclined rather than decumbent, with megasetae not strongly overlapping, so the rows are less obvious, pronotal punctation is somewhat coarser and denser with smooth interspaces, the vertexal line is incomplete at middle, and the elytral pits are more regular. Male genitalia differ from those of A. obscura   in the tegmen being more than 3 times as long a wide with a narrowly incised apex ( Figs 88–89 View FIGURES 79–92 ), the penis apex as in Fig. 82 View FIGURES 79–92 , and both doubly curved in lateral view ( Fig. 92 View FIGURES 79–92 ).

Description. Length = 3.20–6.00 (4.53 ± 0.53) (n = 83) mm. Body oblong, moderately convex: BL/EW = 1.61–1.77 (1.68); GD/EW = 0.58–0.67 (0.64). Colour of dorsal and ventral surfaces usually black, but sometimes varying from light brown to chestnut-brown. Dorsal vestiture consisting of longer and shorter inclined or subdecumbent setae.

Head about as long as wide. Eyes 0.37 times as long as head width. Temples reduced, about 0.32 times as long as eye, slightly curved. Vertexal line incomplete at middle. Labrum about 0.32 times as long as wide, with sides broadly rounded and apex angulately emarginate with small, deep notch at middle. Antennal scape 1.67 times as long as wide and 2.08 times as long as pedicel; antennomere 3 about 1.45 times as long as 4; club 0.87 times as long as antennomeres 3–8 combined and 1.43 times as long as wide. Terminal antennomere 0.80 times as long as wide. Antennal grooves sinuate and slightly converging, extending to just behind eyes; genal ridges weakly developed anteriorly, barely concealing parts of the grooves; genal lobes irregularly emarginate. Apical maxillary palpomere about 2.2 times as long as wide, almost parallel-sided with narrowly rounded apex. Mentum 0.50 times as long as wide; apex without mesal lobe and with rounded lateral lobes; apical labial palpomere 2.0 times as long as wide with narrowly rounded apex.

Pronotum 0.51–0.58 (0.55) times as long as wide, widest at posterior fourth; anterior edge straight or barely emarginate; anterior angles not produced forward; sides not explanate, with narrow marginal beads barely visible for their entire lengths from above and finely ciliate, beads continuing onto lateral portions of anterior and posterior edges; posterior angles slightly obtuse and rounded; posterior edge weakly sinuate; disc moderately, evenly convex; punctation coarse and dense, punctures about twice as wide as an eye facet and usually separated by half a puncture diameter and interspaces not or finely sculptured and shiny; setae inclined or decumbent and appear to be uniform in length and thickness. Pronotal punctation consisting of transverse, somewhat bean-like pits, each about 0.6 times as wide as an eye facet, usually separated by 2.0 diameters or more, with a posteriorly incomplete raised rim enclosing a seta and usually three pores. Prosternum 0.67 times as long as mid length of procoxal cavity, slightly tumid; prosternal process 0.45 times as wide as mid length of procoxal cavity, distinctly curved behind coxae; sides slightly expanded subapically and apex broadly subangulate, with oblique wall. Scutellar shield 0.32 times as wide as pronotum, with narrowly rounded apex. Elytra 1.11–1.21 (1.15) times as long as wide and 1.97–2.30 (2.16) times as long as pronotum; humeri very weakly developed and outer basal angles more or less rounded; disc moderately convex with relatively steep sides; vestiture dual and subseriate, with 10 regular rows of smaller, denser punctures each bearing a slightly longer, inclined or subdecumbent seta overlapping the one behind it, alternating with 10 irregularly double rows of larger, sparser punctures, each associated with a shorter, finer, subdecumbent seta; interspaces relatively smooth and slightly shiny. Elytral punctation consisting of circular pits about as large as those on pronotum with raised rim incomplete posteriorly, usually enclosing two pores and microsetae arising in front of margin; megasetae not associated with pit, but often surrounded by as many as four pores. Anterior edge of mesoventrite on slightly different plane than metaventrite, with small, broadly triangular prosternal rest and no median carina; posterior edge slightly elevated and narrowly, angulately emarginate; punctation very fine and sparse. Mesocoxae separated by 0.2 times longest longitudinal diameter of mesocoxal cavity. Metaventrite moderately convex, except for posterolateral crural impressions, and with anterior lobe slightly declined and broadly rounded at apex; discrimen 0.83 times as long as ventrite; postcoxal lines each narrowly separated from edge mesocoxal cavity from near base of anterior lobe to lateral fifth of coxal rim, then curving posteriorly and extending to about middle of ventrite, forming small, impunctate axillary spaces; punctation very fine and sparse, except for transverse row of larger pits just behind mesocoxae and just in front of metacoxae; apex of ventrite between metacoxae more or less angulate. Metacoxae separated by about 0.5 times mid length (shortest diameter) of metacoxa. Ratio of distances between procoxae, mesocoxae and metacoxae about 2.00: 1.00: 2.00. Protibia gradually expanded, widest at apex; outer edge densely lined with short, stout, blunt spines, outer apical angle with fixed tooth and apex with several stout, acute spines. Mesotibia and metatibia distinctly expanded to subapex, which is angulate but without fixed tooth; outer edge densely lined with long, slender, acute hyaline spines and fine setae; oblique apical edge lined moderately long, acute, slightly darker spines. All tarsomeres densely setose beneath, but only basal protarsomeres slightly expanded.

Abdomen with intercoxal process narrowly rounded; postcoxal lines on ventrite 1 absent or barely removed from coxal rim; apex of ventrite 5 distinctly biemarginate in both sexes. Ventral punctation: mentum, postmentum, prosternum, most of metaventrite and all abdominal ventrites covered with relatively small pits and their associated setae, with larger oval pits mostly bordering transverse precoxal lines of metaventrite and transverse abdominal carinae; postcoxal processes and mesal portions of hypomera impunctate; mesoventrite impunctate; axillary spaces mostly impunctate with linear microsculpture. Apex of pygidium broadly rounded or very weakly subangulate in both sexes. Genital capsule in male with apex angulate with subapical carina incomplete at middle and struts sinuate and extending from basolateral angles to midline and continuing as short median carina; ventral plate about 0.8 times as long as wide with outer lobes 0.50 times as long as outer lobes, each of which is 3.0 times as long as wide and broadly rounded and sparsely setose at apex; spiculum gastrale slightly curved and abruptly curved at apex. Tegmen 3.35 times as long as wide, sides parallel to about middle, then slightly converging to narrowly rounded apex with deep median incision; tegminal strut 0.57 times as long as body of tegmen, gradually narrowing to narrowly rounded apex. Penis 1.15 times as long as tegmen and 5.56 times as long as wide; sides subparallel to apical third,

then slightly converging to form narrow apical lobe with acute apex; penile strut 0.81 times as long as body of penis, slightly expanded and truncate at apex. Tegmen and penis doubly curved in lateral view. Ovipositor about 2.8 times as long as wide, somewhat flattened; paraprocts 1.42 times as long as gonocoxites, which are 2.19 times as long as their combined widths, widest at base, gradually narrowing to well separated, bifurcate apices; gonostyli reduced, lateral, shorter than wide and setose.

Types. Holotype, ♂, “ 11.45S 142.35E, Heathlands, QLD, 15–26 Jan. 1992, T.A. Weir, I.D. Naumann, at light” ( ANIC No. 25-067890). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes. QLD: Archer Creek (17°39’S, 145°21’E), 700m, open forest, 8–9.ii.1999, 2179, fungus pitfall, G.B. Monteith, D.J. Cook (3, QMB, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Balgal Beach (19°01’S, 146°24’E), 5m, open forest, 4–12.ii.1998, 1735, fish pitfall, Black Mt. Rd., nr. Kuranda , 21.i.1962 (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Bridge Creek (11°13’S, 142°23’E), 19.xi.1992, at light, A, Calder, P. Zborowski (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Byfield, Pistol Gap (22°50’S, 150°40’E), dry sclerophyll, 10.i.1970, at light, Britton, Holloway, Misko (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Cairns dist. F. P. Dodd (2, SAM)   ; Cardstone , 26.xi.1966, J. G. Brooks (1, ANIC)   ; Cowley Beach , 1 km W (17°42’S, 146°06’E), 5m, open forest, 5–11.ii.1998, 1762, fish pitfall, Monteith & Cook (1, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; Granite Gorge, via Mareeba , 29.i.1989, at light, R. I. Storey (2, QDAF)   ; Hann River (15°11’S, 143°52’E), 14.i.1994, at light, P. Zborowski, E. D. Edwards (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Hann River (15°11’S, 143°52’E), 14.i–21.ii.1994, Malaise trap, P. Zborowski, G. Turner (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Heathlands (11°45’S, 142°35’E), 1.ii.1992, at light, A. Ewart (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Heathlands (11°45’S, 142°35’E), 15–26.i.1992, at light, T.A. Wier, I.D. Naumann (2, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Heathlands (11°45’S, 142°35’E), nr. gravel pit, 9.xii.1992, at light, W. Dressler, P. Zborowski (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Heathlands , 12 km SSE (11°51’S, 142°38’E), at light, T. A. Weir, I. D. Naumann (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Holroyd River , 12 mi. S of Coen, 29.xi.1974, M. Walford-Huggins (1, ANIC)   ; Horn Island , 1 km WSW King Pt. (10°34.5’S, 142°18.0’E), 5m, open forest, 1–8.i.2008, 15476, dung & fungus trap, G. Monteirh, K. Aland (1, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; Horn Island , quarry (10°36.0’S, 142°18.2’E), 60m, open forest, 1–8.i.2008, 15473, G. Monteith, K. Aland (2, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; Holts Creek , 8 km N of Musselbrook Mining Camp (18°33’S, 138°11’E), open forest with spinifex, sandy soil, 10–20.v.1995, ANIC FIT 1915, T. Weir (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Jowalbinna ,? km NNW (15°45’S, 144°15’E), 7.i.1994, at light, P. Zborowski, E. D. Edwards (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Julatten , ii.1996, at light, B. P. Moore (1, ANIC)   ; Julatten , 23.i.1997, 23.i.1997, agaric, B. P. Moore (2, ANIC)   ; Julatten , 26.xi.2004, at light, B. P. Moore (1, ANIC)   ; Kuranda , 2.xii.1920, F. P. Dodd (1, SAM)   ; Kuranda, 5 mi. S, Speewah Rd. , 12.i.1967, D. K. McAlpine, G. Holloway (1, AMS K 536322)   ; Kuranda , 13 km NW, 6.xii.1982, J. T. Doyen (1, ANIC)   ; Longreach , 11 km NWbyN (23°11’S, 144°04’E), 10.v.1973, M. S. Upton (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Mareeba , 6 km SE, 16.xii.1990, at light, S. Defaveri (2, QDAF)   ; Mareeba , 8 km SE, 12.ii.1993 ,, ex fungus, S. Defaveri (2, QDAF)   ; Mareeba , 20 km N, 26–30.iii.1990, mushroom bait trap, S. Defaveri (2, QDAF)   ; Maryborough, E. W. Fischer (2, SAM)   ; Mission Beach , 7 km SSW (17°55’S, 146°04’E), 10m, ti-tree swamp, 4–12.ii.1998, 1754, fungus pitfall, Monteirh & Cook (1, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; Moorehead River , N of Laura, 2.i.1990, Fay & Halfpapp (2, QDAF)   ; Mundoolin Estate (27°52’S, 153°04’E), open forest, 13–16.iv,2001, 8346, dung trap, G.B. Monteith (2, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; North QLD, W. Lightfoot (1, ANIC)   ; Pappan Creek (12°39’S, 142°01’E), 18.ii.1994, at light, P. Zborowski (2, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Pine Island , site 3 (18.44’SW, 146.35’E), 50m, open forest, 20–22.ii.2001, 8324, G. B. Monteith (1, QMB)   ; Prnce of Wales I. (10.42.3’S, 142.13.5’E), camp, 10m, 3–7.i.2008, 15460, G. B. Monteith, K. Aland (1, QMB)   ; Rochford Scrub , site 4 (20°07.1’S, 146°37.4’E), 270m, bendee, 11.xii.2006 – 11.ii.2007, 14596, pitfalls, Monteith & Cook (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Rollingstone , 2 mi ENE, 26.iv.1969, I. F. B. Common, M. S. Upton (1, ANIC)   ; South Percy Island, NW Bay (21°45’S, 150°18’E), 26.xi.1992 –mid. iv.1993, intercept traps, Monteith, Thompson, Cook, Janetzski (1, QMB) GoogleMaps   ; Station Creek , c. 17 km N of Mt. Molloy, 2.xi.1970, at light, J. G. Brooks (1, ANIC)   ; Station Creek , 12 km N Mt. Molloy, 24.ii.1972, Walford-Huggins (1, ANIC)   ; Tolga , var. dates   . 1985–1986, light trap, J. D. Brown (12, QDAF)   ; Tolga , 7 km NE, var. dates   , 1987–1988, light trap, Storey & e Faveri (6, QDAF)   ; Townsville, Pallarenda , 6.i.1975, R. Barrett (1, ANIC)   ; White Mountains N. P. (20°27’S, 144°49’E), 2.5km W of RGSQ/AG, base camp, 4.iv.2000, at light, T. Weir (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   . WA: Cane River HS, 17 km NbyE (21°56’S, 115°39’E), 27.iv.1971, Upton & Mitchell (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   . NT: Black Point, Cobourg Pen. (11°09S, 132°09E), 30.i & 3.ii.1977, E. D. Edwards (2, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Black Point, Cobourg Pen. (11°09S, 132°09E), 15–23.ii.1977, T. A. Weir (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Darwin, G. F. Hill (3, SAM)   ; Gosses Bluff , 3 km NE (23°48’S, 132°21’E), 7.iv.1969, H. Pelz (1, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Katherine , 9.ii.1968, at light, J. A. L. Watson (1, ANIC)   ; Katherine , 6–10.ii.1968, E. Matthews (1, ANIC)   ; Koongarra (12°52’s, 132°50’E), 6–10.iii.1973, M. S. Upton (3, ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; Tindal (14.31’S, 132.22’E), 1–20.xii.1967, light trap, W. J. M. Vestjens (8, ANIC)   . PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Mt. Lawes , 1300 ft., Port Moresby, 5.iii–121. v.1963, W. W. Brandt (1, ANIC)   .

Distribution. Widely distributed throughout QLD, but not yet recorded from NSW. Also occurring in Papua New Guinea, NT (both northern and southern) and coastal WA, near Onslow.

Biology. Adults have been collected at light, in flight intercept traps and in pitfall traps baited with various fungi and dung.

Etymology. The specific epithet is from the Latin similis   , like, referring to the similarity of this species to Australycra obscura   .


Australian National Insect Collection


Queensland Museum, Brisbane


South African Museum