Dichotomius (Luederwaldtinia) malyi, Maldaner, Maria E., Nunes, Rafael V. & Vaz-De-Mello, Fernando Z., 2015

Maldaner, Maria E., Nunes, Rafael V. & Vaz-De-Mello, Fernando Z., 2015, Taxonomic revision of the Dichotomius speciosus (Waterhouse, 1891) species group (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae), Zootaxa 3986 (5), pp. 549-560: 556-559

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Dichotomius (Luederwaldtinia) malyi

new species

Dichotomius (Luederwaldtinia) malyi  , new species

( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5)

Specimens studied. Holotype: ♂. BRAZIL: São Paulo, no additional locality data [ CEMT]. Paratype: ♀, same data as holotype [ VMCP].

Diagnosis. Within the group, D. malyi  is the only species that bears a single cephalic tubercle in both sexes, lacking carinae, horns, depressions, projections or other ornaments both on head and pronotum ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5 A, B). It is also the only species within the group bearing ocellate punctures on the pronotal disc, in a manner similar to that of the species assigned to the batesi  species group ( Nunes &Vaz-de-Mello 2013). To avoid misidentifications, one should consider the males fore calcar ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 B, 1 C), which is falciform (simple in batesi  ) and its Atlantic Forest distribution ( batesi  species group are all Amazonic).

Holotype. Male: Length: 12mm. Width (pronotum): 6mm. Dorsal and ventral surface barely shinny, dark blue. Head: Clypeal surface almost entirely smooth, bearing punctures only on gena and near eyes. Cephalic process almost absent, consisting of single tubercle. Clypeo-genal junction rounded. Pronotum: Simply convex, lacking knobs, anterior declivity or excavations. Pronotal disc with ocellate punctures evenly spaced, mainly concentrated at the center of it, anterior angles and along posterior pronotal border. Anterior angles rounded. Hypomeron: With dense lateral setae, similar to that found on metasternum and femora. Mesosternum: Smooth, shinny, lacking setae or punctures, expanded medially. Metasternum: Bearing dense setae at sides and near borders of the anterior lobe. Setae similar to those on hypomeron, femora and mesepisternum. Elytra: Striae deeply impressed with conspicuous points. Punctures separated by their diameter. Interstriae smooth and lacking strong reflections, with very fine punctures (30 x). Legs: Ventral surface of anterior femur with strong ocellate punctures all over its extension. Middle and hind femora with few setigerous points. Anterior and posterior borders of all femora bearing dense setae, as those on the hypomeron, metasternum and mesepisternum. Middle tibiae with green sheen. Abdomen: setae restricted to the sides of the abdominal ventrites, these with ocellate punctures following the anterior margin. Pygidium: As long as wide and lacking punctures or reflections. Paramera: dorsal view: with a rounded and divergent apexes. one lateral view, gradually tapering to apex, having an acute angle ( Fig 5View FIGURE 5 C, D).

Variation. Female: Very similar to male. As in other species of the group, females of D. malyi  bear a plain straight fore calcar and their 6 th abdominal ventrite has the same medial width as the others.

Distribution. Unknown, probably São Paulo state, Brazil.

Etymology. Named after Vladislav Malý, Czech scarabaeoidologist, in whose collection the only known specimens have been found, and who has been so kind to donate the only known male to CEMT to be designated as the holotype.

Remarks. According to the key by Nunes & Vaz-de-Mello (2013), this species could be diagnosed as belonging to the Dichotomius batesi  species group, because it bears a knob/tubercle on the head and its pronotal disc bears ocellate setose punctures. However, unlike the species in the batesi  group, males of D. malyi  bear an apically curved and falciform fore calcar, setae restricted to the sides of the abdominal ventrites and are blue on the ventral surface (some species in the D. batesi  complex do have bluish reflections, but in that case, the integument is dark grey or black).

Distribution and conservation.

Species of the Dichotomius speciosus  group (locality data unknown for D. malyi  ) are restricted to the highlands (above 1000 m) of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest domain. The group’s geographical distribution comprises three mountain ranges: Serra da Bocaina in São Paulo state ( Dichotomius alvarengai  ); Serra da Mantiqueira on the limits of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo states ( Dichotomius speciosus  ); and Serra Geral including parts of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Paraná states ( Dichotomius opalescens  ) ( Fig. 7View FIGURE 7). Species with known localities are all allopatric, and their occurrence is limited by lower areas. Other Atlantic forest mountain ranges that reach similar altitudes are: the Caparaó range, on the border between Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo states; and the Serra dos Órgãos range, in Rio de Janeiro state. Both ranges (mainly Serra dos Órgãos) have been collected extensively and no specimens of the speciosus  group have been found in either one so far. For Dichotomius malyi  , São Paulo is given as the type locality, which may refer to the state or not, unfortunately no more information is available; and no localities named São Paulo are known in the other two mountain ranges cited for the group.

The southeastern and southern regions of Brazil have the best known dung beetle faunas in Brazil because the earliest entomological collections were done in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo states (Vaz-de-Mello 2000) and those areas thus have a long and extensive collection history. Therefore, we have long term records available for some species of the speciosus  group, which allows us to draw some conclusions on their conservation. The conclusions are based mainly on distributional records, because natural history data are almost nonexistent. We base our conservation status assessments on the extent of occurrence (B 1 criteria), which is predicted by drawing a polygon using the points where the species were recorded ( IUCN 2015). D. malyi  n. sp. is promptly discarded from this analysis due to the lack of distributional information, thus we considered this species as Data Deficient (DD).

Dichotomius alvarengai  n. sp. can be classified as Critically Endangered (CR), criteria B 1 (a,b)—which means an occurrence extent (OE) of less than 100 km ², its habitat is severely fragmented (Ribeiro et al. 2000), and there is only one locality (nl) attributed to the species ( IUCN 2015). Following the same criteria, Dichotomius speciosus  (OE= 2,398 km ², nl= 4) and D. opalescens  (OE= 1,965 km ², nl= 5) shall be considered as Endangered (EN), as they have more recorded localities and consequently a wider OE. These three species join a vast list of Atlantic Forest species that are in danger of extinction ( IUCN 2015).

Conservation of populations of the species treated here will require the conservation of their habitats. Because there is almost no recorded natural history data for these species, alternative conservation measures such as reintroduction or ex-situ raising are not currently possible. Some of the higher altitude remnants of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest are protected by conservation units including Itatiaia National Park, where Dichotomius speciosus  occurs, São Joaquim National Park, Aparados da Serra National Park, and São Francisco de Paula National Forest, where D. opalescens  occurs. Outside of these reserves, despite protection measures, the higher areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest have been severely fragmented, which may have caused local extinctions ( Ribeiro et al. 2009). We strongly hope an extant population of D. malyi  may be found somewhere, perhaps in some unexpected region.