Parochodaeus pixius Paulsen, 2011

Paulsen, M. J., 2011, A new species of Parochodaeus Nikolajev from the southwestern United States (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Ochodaeidae), Insecta Mundi 2011 (184), pp. 1-4 : 2-4

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.5161110

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scientific name

Parochodaeus pixius Paulsen

sp. nov.

Parochodaeus pixius Paulsen View in CoL , new species

( Figures 2, 4 View Figures 1-4 , 5)

Type material. Holotype male ( TAMU) labeled: a) “ USA: TEXAS: CULBERSON Co./ Pine Springs, UV light, N31.877º / W104.825º; 1763m; 19.VIII.2006 / MJ Paulsen, AD Smith, R Smith”; b) red holotype label “ Parochodaeus / pixius Paulsen ♂ / HOLOTYPE ” GoogleMaps . Allotype female ( TAMU) labeled: a) as holotype; b) red allotype label “ Parochodaeus / pixius Paulsen ♀ / ALLOTYPE ”. 12 paratypes deposited at CMNC, FMNH, FSCA, MJPC, PKLC, UNSM labeled: a) as holotype; b) yellow paratype label “ Parochodaeus / pixius Paulsen / PARATYPE ” .

Type locality. USA: Texas: Culberson County: Pine Springs.

Description, holotype male. Length: 3.5 mm. Width: 1.7 mm. Color: Reddish brown, shiny. Head: Surface lacking tubercles or carinae, punctate; punctures fine to coarse, with short setae. Clypeus sub- trapezoidal, short (length equal to 1/5 width). Antennae with ten antennomeres. Mandibles rounded externally, apices acute and each with 1-2 peg-like internal teeth ( Fig. 4 View Figures 1-4 ). Mentum broadly concave for entire length (anteriorly emarginated in P. biarmatus ). Pronotum: Surface shiny, tuberculate, punctate between tubercles; tubercles weak, setose; punctures fine ( Fig. 2 View Figures 1-4 ), lacking setae. Elytra: Surface shiny, slightly wrinkled. Striae with elongate, moderate punctures. Intervals with 2-3 irregular rows of small, setose tubercles; setae short, erect. Legs: Metafemur with posterior margin entire (not toothed in distal half). Metatibia straight, narrow (>4× longer than wide) expanding gradually to apex. Abdomen: Sternites 1-5 shiny, sparsely punctate in basal half only; punctures setose; setae decumbent. Sternite 6 more densely punctate. Posterolateral margin of sternites contiguous with pleurite, not expanded (sternites lacking lateral flange that contacts elytral margin as in ‘ P. biarmatus- complex’). Stridulatory peg narrow, not strongly sclerotized. Male genitalia: Internal sac with groups of small spinules only, lacking hooks, barbs, or serrate plates sensu Carlson (1975).

Description, allotype female. Length: 3.5 mm. Width: 1.7 mm. Differs from male holotype in the following external characters: Head: Clypeus longer, length about equal to ¼ width. Abdomen: Sternite 6 shiny, less densely punctate.

Description, variation in paratypes. Length: 2.6 – 4.0 mm. Width: 1.5 – 1.8 mm. Differs from holotype in the following external characters: Head: Mandibles occasionally with 1 inner tooth reduced.

Distribution. UNITED STATES: TEXAS: Culberson Co.: Pine Springs (13).

Temporal Distribution. August (13).

Diagnosis. Adults of P. pixius , although externally nondescript (Fig. 5), can be separated from the ‘ P. biarmatus- complex’ by the lack of teeth on the hind margin of the metafemur and the fine, rather than coarse, punctures scattered between the setose punctures of the pronotum ( Fig. 2 View Figures 1-4 ). In addition,

the abdominal sternites lack the lateral flange that reaches the elytral margin as in P. biarmatus .

Etymology. The name is a Latinized form of the English word ‘pixie’, meaning small, and is mascu- line in gender.

Remarks. Specimens are known only from a single collecting event on HWY 62 near the Guadalupe Mountains. Two subsequent attempts to collect specimens at the same locality in August 2010 produced none. I have not located additional specimens in other collections studied thus far, including most major North American collections. This argues that the species is either temporally or geographically restricted. If the species is geographically restricted to a small, relatively dry area with high seasonality it could suggest that adult activity is strongly influenced by recent precipitation events. As such, it is possible that the species may be active for only a short period and the timing of the 2006 collecting event was coincidental. However, this specificity is not found with most Parochodaeus species , which are generally widespread and active from late spring until early fall. Another possibility is that the area sampled is not ideal and the actual habitat is located Figure 5. Dorsal habitus of P. pixius . Scale bar = within the nearby Guadalupe Mountains National 2 mm. Inset with actual size of Parochodaeus spp. from the type locality, from left: P. pectoralis, P. Park , potentially at higher elevation. Due to the biarmatus , and P. pixius . park’s protected status, these higher elevations were not investigated and the species’ distribution within the park remains unknown. As for all other Nearctic ochodaeines larvae remain unknown.


Field Museum of Natural History


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology


University of Nebraska State Museum













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