Scolytocis difficillimus Lopes-Andrade

Lopes-Andrade, Cristiano, 2008, An essay on the tribe Xylographellini (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea: Ciidae), Zootaxa 1832 (1), pp. 1-110: 20-21

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1832.1.1

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scientific name

Scolytocis difficillimus Lopes-Andrade

sp. nov.

Scolytocis difficillimus Lopes-Andrade   sp. nov. ( Figs 36–38 View FIGURES 36–38 , 57 View FIGURES 57–59 , 64A View FIGURES 63–65 , 67A View FIGURES 66–68 , 71 View FIGURES 69–71 , 80 View FIGURE 80 )


The specific epithet is a reference to the difficulty in recognizing the species, mainly in distinguishing it from Scol. bouchardi   sp. nov.


The species belongs to the bouchardi   species-group, so it differs from the other Scolytocis   mainly by the triconcave prosternum. It differs from Scol. bouchardi   sp. nov., the most closely related species, by the comparatively smaller body (total length less than 1.3 mm) and small eyes (1.0X the basal width of scutellum).


Holotype. ( Figs. 36–38 View FIGURES 36–38 ) Measurements in mm: TL 1.16; PL 0.42; PW 0.53; EL 0.74; EW 0.53; GD 0.53. Ratios: PL/PW 0.80; EL/EW 1.40; EL/PL 1.75; GD/EW 1.00; TL/EW 2.20. Body dark brown; antennae, mouthparts and legs yellowish brown. Head with shallow, sparse, inconspicuous punctation; interstice between punctures finely microreticulate. Each antenna ( Fig. 64A View FIGURES 63–65 , paratype) with nine antennomeres (FL 0.078mm; CL 0.150mm; CL/FL 1.94); length of the antennomeres (in mm) as follows: 0.088; 0.040; 0.040; 0.013; 0.013; 0.013; 0.040; 0.038; 0.073. Eyes with greatest width 1.0X the basal width of scutellum. Pronotal punctation coarse, sparse, shallow; punctures separated by a distance of two to four punctures widths; interstice microreticulate; anterolateral margins slightly arched inwards; posterolateral angles broadly rounded; posterior margin without rugose border. Scutellum with some fine, sparse punctures; basal width 0.21X the EW. Elytral punctation confuse at base and subseriate at disc; punctures coarse, shallow, irregular; punctures without conspicuous border; interstice between punctures finely rugose; elytral apex subacute, declivity with weak concavity; cuticular globules very small, inconspicuous; elytral suture weakly margined at apical third. Each hindwing ( Fig. 57 View FIGURES 57–59 ) with apical area bearing one vague, incomplete pigmented line near the anterior margin. Prosternum triconcave, without longitudinal carina at midline; surface shiny, rugose. Metaventrite bearing small and sparse setae, with interstice finely microreticulate; discrimen one-fifth the length of the metaventrite at midline. Abdominal ventrites bearing small and sparse setae; interstice finely microreticulate. Each metatibiae ( Fig. 67A View FIGURES 66–68 ) broadly rounded, near 3.5X as long as broad; outer edge with spines (around 20) regularly distributed at apical two thirds and then getting sparser. Male genitalia (in a paratype). ( Fig. 71 View FIGURES 69–71 ) Apex of tegmen (sclerotized apical two-thirds) subtriangular; median lobe not observed, probably extremely membranous.

Type series

Holotype. (ANIC) Ecuador: /ECUAD: Pichincha Rio Palenque, 47Km.S Sto Domingo JULY 20-30, 1975 / S. & J. Peck Collectors / Rigidoporus sp.   / Scolytocis difficillimus Lopes-Andrade   HOLOTYPUS [printed on red paper] /. Paratypes. Ecuador: 4 specimens (2 ANIC, 2 LAPC), same data as holotype. All the paratypes with an additional label / Scolytocis difficillimus Lopes-Andrade   PARATYPUS [printed on yellow paper]/.


Measurements in mm (n = 2, including the holotype): TL 1.16–1.26 (1.21 ± 0.07); PL 0.42–0.42 (0.42 ± 0.00); PW 0.53–0.53 (0.53 ± 0.00); EL 0.74–0.84 (0.79 ± 0.07); EW 0.53–0.58 (0.55 ± 0.04); GD 0.53–0.53 (0.53 ± 0.00). Ratios: PL/PW 0.80–0.80 (0.80 ± 0.00); EL/EW 1.40–1.45 (1.43 ± 0.04); EL/PL 1.75–2.00 (1.88 ± 0.18); GD/EW 0.91–1.00 (0.95 ± 0.06); TL/EW 2.18–2.20 (2.19 ± 0.01).

Distribution Known only from the type locality in Ecuador ( Fig. 80 View FIGURE 80 ).

Host fungi Rigidoporus sp.   ( Meripilaceae   ).


I was a little bit reluctant in describing this species, due to its similarities to Scol. bouchardi   sp. nov. However, after a careful comparison of morphological features, I concluded that some specimens from Ecuador, from a single field collection, are quite distinct and cannot be adequately included in any of the new northern Neotropical species of Scolytocis   . After delimiting Scol. difficillimus   sp. nov., I found out that it was very similar to Scol. bouchardi   sp. nov. in the morphology of hindwings, tibiae, and prosternum (“triconcave”), which led me to define a morphological group for both species (the bouchardi   species-group).