Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840

Chani-Posse, Mariana, 2010, Revision of the southern South American species of Philonthus Stephens (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) 2595, Zootaxa 2595, pp. 1-70 : 65-66

publication ID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840


Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840

( Smetana 1994: Figs. 12–17)

Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840: 469 ; Guérin – Méneville, 1855: 583 (catalog); Solsky, 1868: 135 (rev.); Sharp, 1885: 416 (rev.); Fauvel, 1891: 115 (syn. of longicornis ); Fauvel, 1903: 271 (syn. of longicornis ); Bernhauer and Schubert, 1914: 337 (catalog); Bruch, 1915: 444 (catalog); Scheerpeltz, 1933: 1349 (syn. of longicornis ); Blackwelder, 1943: 410 (syn. of longicornis ); Blackwelder, 1944: 133 (list), 134 (list, syn. of longicornis ); Smetana, 1958: 189 (syn. of longicornis ); Smetana, 1994: 346 (characters; lectotype designation: Colombia; valid species); Herman, 2001b: 2821 (catalog); Chani-Posse, 2004: 230 (list).

Diagnosis. Philonthus feralis may be identified by the distance separating medial interocular punctures on frons more than four times as large as distance separating medial punctures from lateral punctures, and the abdominal terga moderately punctuate at basal area, with a distance separating punctures about equal as diameters of punctures. It differs from P. aeruginosus by the infraorbital ridge reaching postgenal ridge, the antennal segment 2 shorter than the preceding segment, and the coloration at abdominal segments, shiny, not iridescent.

Redescription. Length of the body 8.0–10.0 mm. Coloration. Head and thorax black; elytra piceousblack; abdominal segments piceous-black to castaneous-piceous at last abdominal segments, shiny but not iridiscent; antennae, palpi and legs castaneous-brunneous.

Head about as long as wide (HW/HL= 1.1) and at basal third as wide as distal third in both sexes, moderately to distinctly narrower than pronotum (HW/PW= 0.79–0.68); dorsal surface coarsely and moderately punctate, with three to four postocular punctures and three to four epicranial punctures; distance separating medial interocular punctures on frons more than four times as large as distance separating medial punctures from lateral punctures; infraorbital ridge present, reaching postgenal ridge. Eyes moderately longer than temples (EL/TL= 1.5–1.4) seen from above. Antennae with segment 1 slightly shorter than segments 2 and 3 combined, segments 2 shorter than segment 3, segments 4–10 elongate. Maxillary palpus with segment 2 not swollen, no more than twice as long as its maximum width; last segment fusiform, about 1.5 times longer than segment 3. Submentum about 1.5 times as long as mentum. Labial palpus with last segment 1.4– 1.8 times as long as preceding segment. Neck more than 0.5 times as wide as head at widest point (NW/HW= 0.7).

Pronotum slightly longer than wide (PW/PL= 0.90–0.85), distinctly narrowed anteriad; dorsal surface of pronotum with two rows of punctures, each with five punctures. Hypomeron not visible in lateral view. Basisternum with medial longitudinal carina moderately developed, bulbous. Metasternum with circummesocoxal ridge broadly rounded medially. Elytra at sides moderately to distinctly longer than pronotum at midline (EtL/PL=1.4–1.2), distinctly longer than elytra along suture (EtL/Etl= 1.8–1.6); transverse distance between punctures about as large as to distinctly smaller than diameters of punctures. Both front and middle tarsi as long as front and middle tibiae; first segment of hind tarsus as long as segments 2 and 3 combined, and longer than last segment (S1/S5= 1.4). Abdominal terga moderately punctuate at basal area, distance separating punctures about equal as diameters of punctures; terga 2 and 3 with elevated area between basal lines punctuate, posterior basal line straight medially. Male sternum 7 with apical margin straight. Tergum 8 in both sexes with posterior margin truncate.

Male genitalia. Sternum 8 deeply emarginate medio-apically. Tergum 10 subacute medio-apically, with two long subapical macrosetae and 2–6 short apical setae. Sternum 9 with a moderate triangular emargination apically, four long subapical macrosetae and three apical setae at each side. Aedeagus with median lobe gradually narrowed from base of paramere; apex of median lobe subacute (in dorsal view) and simple in its apical fourth (in lateral view); paramere elongate and entire, leaf-like, reaching two thirds of median lobe length, with two lateral rows of sensory peg setae at distal third and joined at apex. Internal sac without sclerotized structures.

Female genitalia. Tergum 10 similar to that of male, with two long subapical macrosetae and three to four short apical setae. Second gonocoxite with 2–5 strong setae along its outer margin, and stylus with two long apical setae.

Notes on geographical distribution. Philonthus feralis was cited from Argentina (Buenos Aires and Misiones) by Bruch (1915) and Blackwelder (1944). As stated by Smetana (1994), P. feralis was placed in synonymy with P. longicornis Stephens, 1832 by Fauvel (1891) and the synonymy was accepted by most subsequent authors, including Blackwelder (1943). According to the recent catalog of Herman (2001b), P. feralis is cited from Central and South America, up to Brazil. After examining southern South American material of Philonthus from different collections, I found two specimens from the Richter collection at the MLPA, determined by Bernhauer as “ Philonthus ferialis Erichs. ” from Buenos Aires, Argentina, which are in fact Philonthus aeruginosus Nordmann. I found another five specimens with the same locality data as above from the Bernhauer collection at the FMNH. These were first labeled as “ ferialis det. Bernhauer”, and later relabeled as “ aeruginosus det. Bernhuer” which is correct. Additionally, there are two specimens from Cali, Colombia at the FMNH which were first determined by Bernhauer as " ferialis Er. vgl. Typus in Mus. Berlin", and later relabeled as “ longicornis det. Bernhuer” which is also correct. There is no information about the date in which all these specimens were determined as “ ferialis ” by Bernhauer, and then properly identified as a different species. Thus, it is possible that at the moment Bruch published his list in 1915, he based his records on specimens that were not reviewed by Bernhauer. Those records were later considered by Blackwelder in his catalog (1944) but not in his previous work ( Blackwelder, 1943). Additionally, I found no specimen under this name from Misiones, Argentina or from any other southern South American locality. Based on the available information, I conclude that the occurrence of P. feralis in southern South America is rather doubtful.

Bionomics. Unknown.

Type material. Lectotype: ♂, with labels: “Columbia Moritz” (green label), “6109”, “ Philonthus feralis Er. ” (white label), “Zool. Mus. Berlin ”, “ LECTOTYPE Philonthus feralis Erichson des. A. Smetana 1991” (red label) ( MNHUB) . Paralectotypes: two specimens with same original data as the lectotype and additional red label “ PARALECTOTYPUS Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840 labelled by MNHUB 2006” ( MNHUB) .














Philonthus feralis Erichson, 1840

Chani-Posse, Mariana 2010

Philonthus feralis

Herman, L. H. 2001: 2821
Smetana, A. 1994: 346
Smetana, A. 1958: 189
Blackwelder, R. E. 1944: 133
Blackwelder, R. E. 1943: 410
Scheerpeltz, O. 1933: 1349
Bruch, C. 1915: 444
Bernhauer, M. & Schubert, K. 1914: 337
Fauvel, A. 1903: 271
Fauvel, A. 1891: 115
Sharp, D. S. 1885: 416
Solsky, S. 1868: 135
Erichson, W. F. 1840: 469