Monteithocanthon Gunter & Weir

Gunter, Nicole L. & Weir, Thomas A., 2017, Two new genera of Australian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) with the description of six new species and transfer of six described species, Zootaxa 4290 (2), pp. 201-243 : 223

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Monteithocanthon Gunter & Weir

new genus

Monteithocanthon Gunter & Weir   , new genus

Type species. Lepanus arator ( Matthews, 1974)  

Etymology. Named in honour of Geoff Monteith for his contribution to the taxonomy of Australian dung beetles.

Diagnosis. Small, total length 2.1–3.2 mm. Elytra with 8 striae, 7 on disc and one on edge of epipleura ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 A). Seventh elytral striae obsolete ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 A). Pygidium with transverse groove at the base not reaching basal angle ( Fig. 9 View FIGURE 9 ). Head without basal carina. Dorsal parts of eyes narrow, 2–5 facets wide; narrowest at base of head; eye canthus dividing or nearly dividing eye. Antennae with 3-antennomere club with club antennomeres of approximately equal width. Protibiae of male with comb of stiff setae and ventral brush of setae at inner apex; apical spur small, inconspicuous ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 C–D). Protibiae with 3 teeth on outer edge, not equidistant with apical 2 slightly closer together; serration between teeth and proximal to them ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 D–F). Each tooth has 1 group of setae dorsally ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 D). Distal edge of protibiae straight and trochantofemoral anterior pit absent ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 B). Trochanter excavated dorsally for reception of inner apical edge of protibia. Protarsi with 5 tarsomeres, tarsomere 5 the longest. Metatarsomere 1 wider than 2–5, metatarsomere 2 equal to tarsomere 5 in length ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 J). Male mesotibiae with dense setae on inner edge ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 I). Claws toothed ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 C). Male metatibiae generally bent with an extension but almost straight in M. peckorum   ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 ). Mesometasternal suture procurved to strongly procurved. Mesepimera impunctate. Aedeagus with parameres asymmetrical, right paramere apically bent downwards and more-or-less expanded apically as in Fig. 9 View FIGURE 9 . Hind wings fully developed, reduced, or absent.

Remarks. Matthews (1974) retained the genus Lepanus   for practical purposes noting that adhering to a strict generic concept in such a morphologically diverse genus would lead to fragmentation into several small, difficult groups. All species of Monteithocanthon   share many morphological affinities with Lepanus   so it is unsurprising that M. arator   and M. glaber   were originally described within the genus Lepanus   . A new genus is established here primarily on the basis of genetic results, with the two Monteithocanthon   species sequenced to date always distinct from the clade containing the majority of Lepanus   species. The phylogenetic grouping and the establishment of a new genus are supported by morphology. The six species assigned here to Monteithocanthon   share a number of morphological features in combination, although many of these diagnostic characters are also individually found in other Australian ‘deltochiline-like’ genera and species.

Distribution. The genus is known only from Australia. Four species occur in northern Queensland primarily in the Wet Tropics, one species is distributed at high altitude in southeastern Queensland, and one species in southeastern Western Australia ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 ).