Frolov, A.V. 1997. Contributions to the knowlege of genus Aphodius from North Palaearctic. II. A. circassicus and A. lederi (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Zoosystematica Rossica, 5(2): 277–280.

Contributions to the knowlege of genus Aphodius from North Palaearctic. II. A. circassicus and A. lederi (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

A.V. Frolov

Aphodius circassicus Reitter and A. lederi Harold, closely related species from the Caucasus, were known by single specimens so far. Redescriptions of these rare species are given. The taxonomic position the species is discussed.

A.V.Frolov, Zoology Department, Faculty of Biology, Belarus State University, Minsk 220050, Belarus.

In spite of numerous works, the beetles of the genus Aphodius from Caucasus are barely studied so far. Many species are known by single finds or by types only. A. circassicus Reitter and A. lederi Harold, are described from mountain of Caucasus. Original descriptions of these species are incomplete, many important characters, which allow to determine the taxonomic status of the species more exactly, not mentioned. Female of A. circassicus was unknown so far. In our work (Kabakov & Frolov, 1996) the subgenus Serraphodius Kabakov was established for these species and A. leisteri Medvedev, but, because of limited size of the paper, full redescriptions were not included. The purpose of this article is to fill this gap.

Aphodius (Serraphodius) circassicus Reitter (Figs. 1-7)

Male (fig.1). Head black medially, reddish brown toward lateral margins and apex of clypeus; anterior margin of clypeus feeble emarginate medially, anterolateral angles broadly rounded; genae auriculate, rounded. Head lacking frontoclypeal suture and any trace of tubercles, densely punctured, punctures separated by to once a diameter medially, becoming deeper toward anterior margin. Clypeus with long yellowish gray hairs.

Pronotum shiny, convex, black; anterior angles and lateral margins reddish brown; anterior margin unbordered, base and lateral margins bordered; punctures on disc dense, of same diameter, separated by to once a diameter (fig.2), becoming denser laterally; anterior and hind angles with small flattened areas, more distinct in large specimens; hind angles rounded.

Scutellum triangulate, moderately elongate, with rounded apex; anterior part feebly punctate, hind smooth.

Elytrae shiny, brightly chestnut, suture and sutural intervals not darken; striae simple, lightly impressed, strial punctures deep; intervals nearly flat, with fine netted microsculpture, sparsely punctured, punctures separated by to twice a diameter; elytrae laterally and apically sericeous with very short, feebly visible setae; shoulder teeth strongly developed; maximum width of elytrae in hind half.

Dorsum of the body chestnut, densely coarsely punctate (except abdomen), punctures separated by a diameter; prosternal process angulate, not tubercle-shape, without long hairs; mesosternal process broad, flat, with rounded margins, without striae and carinae (fig.3); border around middle coxae relatively broad and elevated, situated in the same plane with hind mesosternal process and anterior metasternal process.

Legs brown chestnut. Anterior tibiae lightly curved medially, their outer teeth strong and long, from above carinate (fig.4); apical spur wide, accuminate, as long as first tarsal segment, slightly curved and slightly turned down. Middle tibiae with lower spur truncate, half the length of upper. Hind margin of hind femora in male tuberculate (fig.5). Hind tibiae with upper spur 4/5 to 5/6 the length of first tarsal segment. Hind tarsi with basal segment slightly longer then two next together. Middle tarsi slightly longer then tibiae, anterior and hind as long as tibiae. Apex of middle and hind tibiae fringed with relatively short, unequal spines.

Aedeagus as in fig.6.

Aphodius circassicus
Figs 1–7. Aphodius circassicus (1-6, ♂; 7, ♀): 1, habitus; 2, 7, punctures on disc of pronotum (side of square 0.43 mm); 3, mesostemal process; 4, anterior tibia; 5, hind femur; 6, aedeagus.

Dimensions: width of pronotum 2.5—3.3 mm, width of elytrae 3.0—3.9 mm, length of pronotum 1.8—2.6 mm, length of elytrae 3.4—4.6 mm.

Female. May be separated from male by the following: elytrae more widened towards hind; pronotum comparatively small, with maximum width in hind half, more densely punctate (fig.7); outer teeth of anterior tibiae less strong, not carinate from above; middle tibiae with lower spur relatively slender and apically acuminate; hind margin of hind femur smooth.

Dimensions: width of pronotum 2.6—2.9 mm, width of elytrae 3.1—3.4 mm, length of pronotum 1.9—2.0 mm, length of elytrae 3.7—4.6 mm.

Aphodius (Serraphodius) lederi Harold (Figs 8-14)

Male (fig.8). Color of head brown-black medially, reddish toward lateral margins and apex of clypeus; anterior margin of clypeus feeble emarginate medially, anterolateral angles broadly rounded; genae broadly rounded. Head with frontal suture as fine stria, lacking any trace of tubercles, densely punctate, punctures unequal, separated by a diameter medially, becoming deeper toward anterior margin. Clypeus with long yellowish gray hairs.

Pronotum shiny, with distinct bronze tint, convex; color brown-black, anterior angles reddish. Anterior margin unbordered, base and lateral margins bordered. Punctures dense, unequal (large punctures four times bigger then little ones), large punctures separated by about to 3 times a diameter on disc (fig.9), becoming denser laterally; anterior angles with small flattened areas.

Scutellum triangulate, moderately elongate, smooth, brown.

Elytrae shiny, color brightly yellow-brown with brown spots, sutural intervals not darken; striae simple, moderately impressed, strial punctures deep, twice bigger then width of stria, separated by 1/3 to 1/2 a diameter; intervals smooth, feebly, toward apex more convex, with fine netted microsculpture; shoulder teeth strongly developed; maximum width of elytrae in hind half.

Dorsum of the body brown, with single coarse punctures; prosternal process angulate, not tubercle-shape, without long hairs; mesosternal process broad, flat, with rounded margins, without striae and carinae; border around middle coxae relatively broad and elevated, situated in the same plane with hind mesosternal process and anterior metasternal process; this border separated from the rest of metasternum by deep and wide furrow (fig.10).

Legs brown. Anterior tibiae slightly curved medially, their outer teeth strong and long, from above carinate; apical spur conical, accuminate, its apex curved medially (fig.11). Middle tibiae with lower spur truncate, shortened, 1/4 the length of upper. Hind margin of hind femur in male tuberculate (fig.12). Hind tibiae with upper spur 5/6 to 6/7 the length of first tarsal segment. Hind tarsi with basal segment longer then two next together. Apex of middle and hind tibiae fringed with relatively short, unequal spines.

Aedeagus as in fig.13.

Aphodius lederi
Figs 8-14. Aphodius lederi (8-13, ♂; 14, ♀): habitus; 9, 14, punctures on disc of pronotum (side of square 0.43 mm); 10, mesostemal process; 11, anterior tibia; 12, hind femur; 13, aedeagus.

 

Wdth of pronotum 1.7—1.9 mm, width of elytrae 2.0 — 2.2 mm, length of pronotum 1.3 — 1.5 mm, length of elytrae 2.6 — 2.8 mm.

Female. May be separated from male by the following: elytrae more widen toward hind; pronotum comparatively small, its maximum width situated in hind half, more densely punctate (fig.14); outer teeth of anterior tibiae less strong, from above not carinate; middle tibiae with lower spur relatively slender and longer 1/3 the length of upper; hind margin of hind femur smooth.
Dimensions: width of pronotum 1.6—1.8 mm , width of elytrae 2.1—2.3 mm, length of pronotum 1.3—1.5, length of elytrae 2.6—2.8mm.

Discussion.

A. circassicus and A. lederi constitute a group of very original species from Caucasus (according to G. Dellacasa (personal communication) A. lederi distributed in Turkey also). Some characters allow to consider these species related to species of subgenus Nimbus: 1) shape of body (maximum width of elytrae in hind half, even in large males, apices of elytrae not rounded together very broadly), 2) clypeus with long hairs, 3) shape of aedeagus similar, 4) middle tibiae in males with lower spur shortened and more or less truncate, 5) anterior tibiae distinctly curved medially and 6) most of species of these groups meet with in autumn in dung of cattle. A. lederi is more similar to Nimbus in the the type of coloration of elytrae and the type of punctures of pronotum (pronotum in most Nimbus species sparsely and finely punctate, but in some little species punctures coarse and unequal). The similarity of A. circassicus with some Amidorus Mulsant species (e.g. with A. obscurus), on the grounds of which the species has originally been placed to this subgenus, must be considered as convergent.

The distinguishing characters of the two species are given in the Table.

Table. Differences of Aphodius circassicus and A. lederi

A. circassicus

A. lederi

Elytra unicolourous, brightly chestnut Elytra brownish yellow with brown spots
Genae auriculate Genae broadly rounded, not auriculate
Pronotum on disc densely punctate; punctures equal, separated by 0.5 to 1.5 times a diameter Pronotum on disc coarsely punctate; punctures unequal, large punctures separated by about to 3 times a diameter
Elytra on disc punctate; punctures separated by twice a diameter Elytra on disc smooth
Frontal suture invisible in both sexes Fine frontal suture visible in both sexes
Apex of protibial spur not curved medially Apex of protibial spur strongly acuminate and curved medially
Ventrum of the body densely coarsely punctate (except abdomen), punctures separated by a diameter Ventrum of the body with single coarse punctures
Border around middle coxae separated from the rest of metastemum by deep and wide furrow Border around middle coxae not separated from the rest of metastemum by furrow

Acknowledgements

I should like to thank to A.I.Roubchenia, who collected and kindly offered the series of A.circassicus from Chedymskiy Ridge (Abhazia).

Reference

O. N. Kabakov and A. V. Frolov. A review of the beetles of the Aphodius Ill. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) considered to be close to the subgenus Acrossus Muls. of Russia and adjacent countries. Entomol. Obozr., 74(4): 865-883. (In Russian).

Received 1 April1996