Iselma elephantula, Pitzalis & Bologna, 2008

Pitzalis, Monica & Bologna, Marco A., 2008, Taxonomy and faunistics of the southern African genus Iselma, with the description of nine new species (Coleoptera: Meloidae: Eleticinae), Zootaxa 1876 (1), pp. 35-59 : 40-42

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1876.1.4


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Iselma elephantula

sp. n.

Iselma elephantula sp. n.

Diagnosis. A middle-large sized Iselma , black without metallic reflection, but elytra brown. Head elongate, antennae slightly subserrate, particularly in male, which has antennomeres IV–IX only slightly widened at apex; body setation yellow or with isolated longer black setae on head, pronotum and elytra; metatibial spurs shorter than half metatarsomere I; ventral margin of male gonostylus sinuate in the apical half in lateral view.

Description. Body black without metallic reflection, but elytra uniformly brown. Body setation dense and yellow; head, prothorax and coxae with short, dense and recumbent yellow setae mixed with longer, isolated, thicker, erected and truncate black setae; elytra with similar setation but the black isolate setae are few and distributed on base, sides and posterior third. Body length (apex of mandibles-apex of elytra): 9.5–15.0 mm; pronotum length: 1.8–3.0 mm; elytral width (greatest at posterior third): 2.8–4.5 mm.

Head slender and elongate, evidently longer than wide at eye level (excluding the mandibles), particularly in male; mandibles shorter than head capsule, particularly in female; head narrower at tempora than at eye level, but in female less slender, sides parallel behind eyes; front flat, frontal suture subarcuate; punctures dense and quite deep, intermediate surface shiny; labrum subequal in length to clypeus. Maxillary and labial palpomeres slender, last maxillary male palpomere about twice as long as penultimate. Antennae slender, extending to base of elytra, quite subserrate, particularly in male: antennomere I cylindrical, twice as long as II, slightly shorter than III; II very short, subglobose; III shorter than followings, IV–X subequal in length, III subtriangularly enlarged apically, IV–X subserrate, subtrapezoidal, largest at apex, particularly segments VI– VIII, IX–X less enlarged apically than the previous subserrate ones; XI one third longer than X, elongate, slender, conically narrowed in the apical third; antennomere I–III with normal elongate setae, IV–XI with dense microsetae.

Pronotum with sides slightly divergent from base to middle, evidently convergent to apex, slightly depressed longitudinally; punctures as on head; maximal width at middle, about 1.5 that of head at eyes. Mesonotum elongate, parallel on sides and subrounded at apex. Elytra elongate, convex, without tracks of venation, about twice as wide as pronotum at base; punctures vaguely subrugose. Legs slender, finely punctate; fore tarsi elongate, more robust in female, last tarsomere longer than III and IV together, and middle tibial spurs slander; hind spurs both massive and spoonlike, inner spur 1.2 longer than external, both shorter than half tarsomere I.

Last visible male abdominal sternite evidently curved on both external and internal margin, the nondepressed portion narrowed on the fore half. Ventral margin of male gonostylus sinuate in the apical half in lateral view; male gonostyli with a short basal appendix with a tuft of setae ( Fig. 2b View FIGURE 2 ).

Type material. Holotype female ( CB), 1 male and 11 females Paratypes (10 CB, 1 SAMC) “ South Africa, W. Cape, R62 8 km SW Ladismith 33.54679°S 21.22382°E 420 m a.s.l., 3.X.2005, M. Bologna & M. Pitzalis ” GoogleMaps ; 2 male and 1 female Paratypes ( CB) idem, but 3.X.2007; 6 females GoogleMaps Paratypes ( CB) “ R341 12.8 km E De Rust 33.48782°S 22.66632°E 533 m a.s.l., 2.X.2005, M. Bologna & M. Pitzalis ”. We added the labels “ Holotypus / Paratypus (female and male) Iselma elephantula sp. n. M. Pitzalis & M. Bologna des. 2008” GoogleMaps .

Types are in good condition except two Paratypes with damaged antennae.

Additional material. ( South Africa, Western Cape) 3 exx. “ R62 8 km SW Ladismith 33.54679°S 21.22382°E 420 m a.s.l., 3.X.2005, M. Bologna & M. Pitzalis ”; 1 ex. idem, but 28.IX.2007; 2 exx. “ R341 12.8 km E De Rust 33.48782°S 22.66632°E 533 m a.s.l. 2.X.2005, M. Bologna & M. Pitzalis ”. All these specimens are preserved in ethanol 95% or acetone ( CB) GoogleMaps .

Type locality. South Africa, Western Cape, R 62, 8 km SW Ladismith 33.54679°S 21.22382°E 420 m a.s.l. GoogleMaps

Etymology. The name of this species refers to the elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus (Shaw, 1800) ( Mammalia, Macroscelidea , Macroscelididae ). During the sampling of this new species one sociable specimen of elephant shrew climbed on the foot of one of us to be photographed.

Affinities. This species belongs to the group of I. kaszabi (see above). It differs from both I. audisioi sp. n. and I. kaszabi sp. n., which appear close to each other, by the antennomeres less widened apically and the gonostyli shape. Phenetically, I. elephantula sp. n. could be confused with I. piscatrix , which has antennomeres more serrate, hind spurs longer and the setation entirely yellow.


The CB Rhizobium Collection


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile