Philonthus merops, Hromádka & L, 2011

Hromádka, L. & L, Sierra, 2011, Two new species of the genus Philonthus from the Afrotropical region (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Staphylininae: Philonthina), Linzer biologische Beiträge 43 (2), pp. 1345-1350: 1346-1347

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Philonthus merops


Philonthus merops   nov.sp. ( Figs 1-4 View Figs 1-4 , Map 1 View Map 1 )

T y p e m a t e r i a l: Holotype: " GHANA: Ashanti region Kwadaso 320 m, N6 42 - W 1 39, Nr. 200, black light, 6.ii.1968, // Philonthus merops   sp.nov. Hromádka det., 2011 (HNMH)". Paratypes: 4, 3: same label data as holotype (HNMH, cHro), 1, Nordhern region, Banda-Nkwanta 150m, N 8 22 – W 2 08, Nr. 47, light trap, 26.-31.vii.1965, Dr. S. Endrödy-Younga (HNMH), 1, Ashanti region, Kumasi, Nhiasu 330m, N 6 43 – W 1 36, Nr. 290, light trap, 10.xii.1967, Dr. S. Endrödy-Younga (HNMH), 1, Norther region, Tamale, No. 51, Lichfalle/Quarz/, 27.viii.1970, leg. Dr. S. Endrödy, (cHro), 1, Northern region, Tamale, No. 51, Lichtfalle/Quarz/, 26.viii.1970, le. Dr. S. Endrödi (cHro), Sierra Leone, 1, Western Ares, Base Picket Hill, 9.i.1997, W. Rossi (cHro).

D e s c r i p t i o n: Body length 11.5-11.7 mm. Coloration: head black, pronotum, scutellum, elytra and abdomen orange-yellow, maxillary and labial palpi, antennomeres 1-2 and legs yellow-brown, mandibles dark brown, abdomen slightly bluish-yellow iridescent.

Head wider than long (ratio 45: 34), very slightly narrowed posteriad. Posterior angles markedly rounded, bearing one long and several short black bristles. Four punctures between eyes arranged in straight line, distance between medial and lateral punctures four times as large as distance between medial and lateral puncture. Eyes slightly convex, longer than temples (ratio 12: 10), posterior margin with three coarse punctures. Temporal area with many varying large punctures. Surface with microsculpture consisting of transverse waves and with many microscopic dots.

Antennae long and stout, reaching posterior margin of pronotum when reclined. Antennomeres 1-4 and 11 longer than wide, antennomeres 5-10 wider than long, slightly serrate. Antennomere 1 longer than antennomere 11, antennomere 2 slightly shorter than antennomere 3.

Pronotum wider than long (ratio 50: 42), parallel-sided, anterior angles conspicuously deflexed, obtusely rectangularly rounded, bearing several bristles, posterior angles markedly rounded. Each dorsal row with four fine approximately equidistant punctures, each sublateral row with two punctures, puncture two distinctly shifted to the lateral margin. Sides bearing several varying long bristles. Surface with very fine microsculpture consisting of transverse waves.

Scutellum very densely and finely punctured, diameter of punctures slightly larger than eye-facets, separated by one puncture diameter or slightly smaller. Setation brownyellow.

Elytra wider than long (ratio 55: 50), parallel-sided, punctation very fine and dense, diameter of punctures as large as that on scutellum, transverse interstices between punctures as large as diameter of one puncture. Surface without microsculpture; setation yellow-brown.

Legs: Metatibia shorter than metatarsus (ratio 32: 30), metatarsomere 1 longer than metatarsomere 5, as long as metatarsomeres 2-3 combined.

Abdomen wide, parallel-sided. First three visible tergites with two basal lines, elevated area between lines finely and densely punctate. Punctation of all tergites finer and much denser than on elytra. Surface without microsculpture; setation similar to that on elytra.

Male: Protarsomeres 1-3 very strongly dilated and sub-bilobed, each covered with modified pale setae ventrally, protarsomere 4 smaller than preceding ones, heart-shaped. Sternite IX ( Fig. 4 View Figs 1-4 ), aedeagus ( Figs 1-3 View Figs 1-4 ).

Female: Protarsomeres 1-3 less dilated than in male, protarsomere 4 small, all protarsomeres covered with modified pale setae ventrally.

C o m p a r a t i v e n o t e s Philonthus merops   nov.sp. is similar to. P. graphiurus   nov.sp., but differs in having narrower head, slightly longer elytra. From P. dionysiae LEVASSEUR 1962   it can be distinguished by the smaller size and narrower head. And from both these species, P. merops   differs in the shape of the aedeagus.

E t y m o l o g y: Tha name of this species, a noun in apposition, is the Latin generic name of the African swallow-tailed bee-eater Merops hirundineus A.H. LIECHTENSTEIN, 1793.

D i s t r i b u t i o n: Ghana,SierraLeone.