Gromphas jardim Cupello

Cupello, Mario & Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z., 2015, A new species and the phylogeny of the South American genus Gromphas Brullé, 1837 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Phanaeini), Journal of Natural History 50, pp. 943-969: 946-953

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2015.1091099

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Gromphas jardim Cupello


Gromphas jardim Cupello   and Vaz-de-Mello sp. nov.

( Figures 1 – 7 View Figure 1 View Figure 2 View Figure 3 View Figure 4 View Figure 5 View Figure 6 View Figure 7 )

Gromphas lacordairei: Hamel-Leigue et al., 2006: 6   , fig. 49,50; Hamel-Leigue et al., 2009: 61 (part), 49 (part), fig. 14 (part), figs 27,28.

Gromphas amazonica: Cupello and Vaz-de-Mello 2013: 463 View Cited Treatment   (all the fifth paragraph of ‘ Intraspecific variation and taxonomic discussion ’ section).

Type specimens

Holotype: BOLÍVIA: BENI: Moxos, Río Ichiguita , 155 m, 15°08 ’ S, 65°18 ʹ W, 20.V.2005, C. Hamel and T. Vidaurre cols. – male ( OUMNH) [“ BOLIVIA: Beni, Rio Ichiguita, 155 m., 15º08 ʹ S 65º18 ʹ O, 20.v.2005, Sabana. Trap. cebo heces humano. prep./col.: C. Hamel, T. Vidaurre ”, “ Gromphas lacordairei Brullé, 1834   det. A. C. Hamel. OUMNH-2006-097 ”, “ Trap 7 ”, “ HOLOTIPO ”, “ HOLOTYPE. Gromphas jardim   sp. nov. Cupello & Vaz-de-Mello des. 2014 ♂ ”] ( Figure 1A – D, F View Figure 1 ). Aedeagus extracted and genital capsule glued in a triangular label and internal sac placed in a microvial with glycerine, all pinned with the holotype. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: BRAZIL: MATO GROSSO: Cáceres, 10 October 2008, E   . Silva col   . – 1 female ( CEMT; specimen identified in Cupello and Vaz-de-Mello (2013, pp. 463 – 464) as G. amazonica   )   . BOLÍVIA: BENI: Moxos, Río Ichiguita , 155 m, 15°08 ’ S, 65°18 ʹ W, 19 May 2005, C GoogleMaps   . Hamel and T   . Vidaurre cols   . – 1 female ( MNRJ) and 1 female ( OUMNH)   . COCHABAMBA: Territory of the Yuracaré people (“ Juacares Indians ”), north side of the Cordillera de Cochabamba (“ Cortillera de Cochabamba ”), without date and collector (probably collected by Alcide d ’ Orbigny in 1832; see comments below) – 1 male ( BMNH)   .


The specific name, a noun in apposition, is a patronym honouring Arlindo da Silva Jardim (1923 – 2014), Brazilian aviator and grandfather of the first author. Having grown up in the small, rural village of Dom Viçoso, Minas Gerais, Arlindo Jardim achieved his childhood dream and flew professionally worldwide for over four decades. He will remain as a source of inspiration for MC.


Colour. Anterior region of clypeus black; remainder of head and pronotum with dark olive green and copper metallic reflections. Elytra, metasternum, ventral surface of legs and pygidium dark olive green with metallic sheen and silky appearance. Ventrites entirely black or black with week metallic green reflections.

Head. Margin of clypeus with four lobes ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ) and distinctly upturned. Genae and frons completely granulate, including region adjacent to eyes ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ). Cephalic projection a raised carina with converging sides and emarginate apex in major specimens ( Figure 1G View Figure 1 ); apex narrower than distance between apices of apical lobes of clypeus ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ).

Thorax. Pronotum convex; lateral region with dense granulation reaching the posterior margin ( Figure 3A View Figure 3 ), density of granulation decreasing posteromedially; posteromedian region smooth or with strongly effaced granulation ( Figures 1A, E View Figure 1 , 4 View Figure 4 ); posterior fossae apparent only as two very shallow and sometimes only weakly indicated impressions removed from the pronotal posterior margin ( Figures 1E View Figure 1 , 4 View Figure 4 ). Posterior margin of pronotum rounded.

Mesosternum with dense pilosity. Metasternum with fine and sparse punctation at centre. Anteromedian angle of metasternum convex and with globose apex; area in front of anteromedian angle with evident setae.

Legs. Protibia slightly narrower in males than in females ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ); in ventral view, longitudinal carina simple in both sexes ( Figure 2A View Figure 2 ). Space between protibial lateral teeth deeper in males than in females ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ). Protibial spur with apex strongly expanded and curved downward ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ). Inner apical angle of protibia with a tuft of setae longer and denser in males than in females; in males, tubercle of inner apical angle developed as a short and tapered spur independent of apical tuft of setae ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ). Apical protarsomere with a long, distal spiniform prolongation. Mesotarsi and metatarsi with apical tarsomere slightly curved at apex. Metatibia very broad and robust. Metatibial spur with apex distinctly curved.

Elytra. Striae very fine and, especially striae 1 – 4, carinulate from base to half or apical two-thirds of elytra. Sutural margin glossy and only sparsely punctate; basal half of sutural margin with sheen extending laterally onto first or second interstria.

Abdomen. Pygidium lacking basal margin and with irregular sculpture. Groove of propygidium extending to base of pygidium. Abdominal sternites microsculptured and sparsely punctuated.

Aedeagus. Apex of phallobase, in ventral view, with membranous area expanded triangularly in the middle ( Figure 1C View Figure 1 ). Medial sclerite only slightly curved, almost flat.

Measurements (four specimens: two males and two females)

TL: AV: 15.2; MX: 16.3; MN: 13.9. PL: AV: 12.3; MX: 13; MN: 11.7. PW: AV: 8.5; MX: 9; MN: 8.

Intraspecific variation and taxonomic discussion

At a first glance, G. jardim   resembles superficially G. amazonica   and, to a lesser degree, G. inermis   , and, in fact, has been confused with these species both in collections and recent publications. Deposited at the BMNH, the oldest specimen known to us bears four labels with different identifications ( Figure 4 View Figure 4 ): an older, which by the calligraphy we assign to Charles O. Waterhouse, former curator of entomology at the BMNH, has written ‘Gormphas amazonicus Bates ’, while the other two more modern labels identify that specimen, respectively, as G. amazonica   and ‘ G. lacordairei Brullé, 1834   ʹ, an unavailable name referring to G. lacordairii Burmeister, 1874   , junior synonym of G. inermis   (see more in Cupello and Vaz-de- Mello 2013). The fourth label has handwritten the word ‘Coproides’, but the remaining information is effaced and completely unreadable. d ’ Olsoufieff (1924) examined a specimen of G. amazonica   in the Muséum national d ’ Histoire naturelle, Paris, labelled ‘coproides Dej. Cayenne (coll. Mniszech) ’ and probably the unavailable name ‘coproides’ was used before the description of G. amazonica   by Bates (1870) as a name in litteris to refer to this species. The three specimens found in OUMNH, in turn, including the holotype, are part of a large series of dung beetles recently collected in Bolivia and the basis for the works of Hamel-Leigue et al. (2006, 2009); they were identified and illustrated in these publications as ‘ G. lacordairei Brullé   ’. The geographical distribution and probably the other information present for ‘ G. lacordairei Brullé   ’ in Hamel-Leigue et al. (2006, 2009) have mixed data belonging in fact to G. jardim   and G. inermis   . Similarly, as said in the Introduction of the present work, in Cupello and Vaz-de-Mello (2013), we provisionally identified the specimen (now paratype) from Cáceres as a G. amazonica   . Now, in possession of a greater number of specimens, the differences between G. jardim   , G. inermis   and G. amazonica   became much clearer.

Gromphas jardim   shares only with G. amazonica   , G. inermis   and G. dichroa   the characters: genae and frons granulated adjacent to eyes ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ), absence of pronotal prominence, protibiae narrower in males than in females ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ), and protibial spur expanded at apex ( Figure 2 View Figure 2 ); only with G. amazonica   and G. inermis   , G. jardim   shares the character margin of clypeus with four lobes ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ). Probably this last characteristic, which is an apomorphy shared by them (see the phylogenetic analysis below), was the main cause for the past misidentifications.

Yet G. jardim   is easily differentiated from G. inermis   by having metatibial spur distinctly curved apically (straight in G. inermis   ), posterior margin of pronotum rounded (projected at middle in G. inermis   ), elytral striae carinulate (simple in G. inermis   ), and metasternum and sutural margin of elytra with fine and sparse punctation (dense punctation in G. inermis   ); furthermore, pronotal hump and sutural margin of elytra raised are present in major specimens of G. inermis   but absent in G. jardim   ( Figure 1B View Figure 1 ). On the other hand, the medial sclerite of the internal sac of G. jardim   is very similar to that of G. inermis   and no significant difference between them was found ({fig. 59}).

From G. amazonica   , G. jardim   is differentiated most easily by the shape of the apical tubercle of male protibia, which, although much more developed in G. jardim   than the tiny and almost imperceptible tubercle of the other four species of Gromphas   , is still much smaller than that of G. amazonica   ; in G. jardim   , the tubercle has the shape of a tapered spur and is separated from the apical tuft of setae, which rests adjacent to the spur ( Figure 2A,B View Figure 2 ); in G. amazonica   , the spur is long, laterally flattened and curved and has the tuft of setae on its dorsal surface as a row of setae. The shape of the cephalic projection of G. jardim   is similar to that of G. inermis   , i.e. it is narrower than the distance between the apices of the apical lobes of clypeus ( Figure 1F View Figure 1 ), while that of G. amazonica   has the equivalent width of that distance. Other differences between G. jardim   and G. amazonica   are: the colour, which is dark olive green and has metallic reflections in G. jardim   , but black, dark blue, dark green or reddish-brown and never has metallic reflections in G. amazonica   ; and the pronotal granulation, which penetrates more the posterior portion of the pronotum and, in lateral view, reaches the posterior margin in G. jardim   ( Figure 3A View Figure 3 ), whereas in G. amazonica   the granulation is restricted to the anterior portion of the pronotum and never reaches the posterior margin ( Figure 3B View Figure 3 ). The form of the granules of the head and pronotum is also distinct between the two species, being wider and flattened in G. amazonica   and more rounded and smaller in G. jardim   (this second form is very similar to that of G. inermis   ). Finally, the longitudinal carina of the ventral surface of protibia is simple in both sexes of G. jardim   , resembling G. aeruginosa   and G. lemoinei   , but is distinct to that of G. amazonica   , G. inermis   and G. dichroa   , which, in males, has a row of tubercles on its basal half and, in females, is simple. The constant presence of the posterior pronotal fossae in G. jardim   also distinguishes this species from G. inermis   and G. amazonica   , in which these fossae are usually absent.

The spiniform projection at the apex of apical protarsomere was not observed in one of the three females of G. jardim   examined by us, and we believe that this is due to the wear, as happens in some G. amazonica   , the only other species of Gromphas   that has this kind of apical protarsomere ( Cupello and Vaz-de-Mello 2013). On the other hand, the nature of the posterior pronotal fossae varies: in the two males observed, the fossae are clearly marked and easily visible to the naked eye, whereas those of the three females are much less marked and almost imperceptible. Whether this is a case of individual or sexual variation is difficult to say until the examination of a larger number of specimens of both sexes.

Geographic distribution

Brazilian subregion: South Brazilian dominion: Rondônia province   . BRAZIL: MATO GROSSO: Cáceres   . BOLÍVIA: BENI: Moxos   . COCHABAMBA: ‘ Territory of the Yuracaré people, north side of the Cordillera de Cochabamba ’ ( Figure 5 View Figure 5 ).


While the holotype and the three female paratypes of G. jardim   were collected in the 21st century and have label information detailed enough to permit an easy understanding of their origin, the male paratype is much older and has a puzzling history. Only one of the five labels attached to this specimen before our work has information about its provenance ( Figure 4 View Figure 4 ). This label is circular and has ‘ Bolivia ’ written on one side and ‘ 46/76 ʹ, on the other side. According to Max Barclay (pers. comm.), ‘ 1846 – 76 refers to a collection, all with the same data, acquired in 1846 and including 325 Coleoptera   and 250 Lepidoptera ’, and these collecting data are ‘ Territory of Juacares Indians (north side of the Cortillera (sic) de Cochabamba) ’. We believe that ‘ Juacares Indians ’ refers to the Yuracaré, an indigenous people resident on the north side of the Cordillera de Cochabamba, in the department of Cochabamba, Bolivia. To our knowledge, the only European naturalist who crossed this remote region before 1846 was the French zoologist and explorer Alcide d ’ Orbigny (1802 – 1857), who visited a Yuracaré village on May 28 1832 and stayed there for 4 days ( Papavero 1971). Indeed, d ’ Orbigny described and illustrated in detail this people in his great work Voyage dans l’ Amérique Méridionale (d ’ Orbigny 1835 – 1847). So we believe he was the probable collector of the male paratype of G. jardim   . This finding is also interesting because, if correct, it indicates that not all insects collected by Alcide d ’ Orbigny are deposited in the Muséum National d ’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France, as suggested by Horn and Kahle (1936) and Evenhuis (1997).


The label data indicate that the holotype and the two paratypes from Beni, Bolivia, were collected in traps baited with human faeces in open habitats   . These specimens also had some unidentified phoretic mites attached to their legs, especially to the metatarsi   . The recorded months for G     . jardim are May and October.


Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro














Gromphas jardim Cupello

Cupello, Mario & Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z. 2015

Gromphas amazonica: Cupello and Vaz-de-Mello 2013: 463

Cupello M & Vaz-de-Mello FZ 2013: 463

Gromphas lacordairei:

Hamel-Leigue AC & Herzog SK & Mann DJ & Larsen TH & Gill BD & Edmonds WD & Spector S 2009: 61
Hamel-Leigue A & Mann DJ & Vaz-de-Mello FZ & Herzog SK 2006: 6