Smicronyx similis, Haran, Julien M., 2021

Haran, Julien M., 2021, The Smicronychini of southern Africa (Coleoptera, Curculionidae): Review of the tribe and description of 12 new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 735, pp. 34-73: 49-50

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Smicronyx similis

sp. nov.

Smicronyx similis   sp. nov.

Figs 1G View Fig , 3G View Fig , 5F View Fig ; Table 1 View Table 1

Differential diagnosis

Smicronyx similis   sp. nov. is mostly similar to S. guineanus Voss, 1956   , a species widely distributed in tropical Africa. The two species can be distinguished by their general appearance, which is more robust in S. similis   sp. nov. The second segment of the funicle is isodiametric in S. similis   sp. nov. while it is distinctly longer than wide in S. guineanus   , the elytra are wider in S. similis   sp. nov. than in S. guineanus   (ratio w/l: 0.68 and 0.58 respectively), and the integument of the prothorax of S. similis   sp. nov. is more coarsely punctate than in S. guineanus   . The body of the penis in S. similis   sp. nov. is also thicker and less narrowed in the middle than in S. guineanus   . In southern Africa, S. similis   sp. nov. is closest to S. gracilipes   sp. nov., but the latter species has distinctly longer legs and rostrum and a finely punctate prothoracic integument (coarsely granulate in S. similis   sp. nov.).


The species name ʻsimilisʼ refers to the similar appearance of this species with S. guineanus   , which is a very widespread and abundant species in tropical Africa.

Material examined

Holotype REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA • 1 ♂; “S.Afr.; N Cape Prov.; Tswalu Nat. Res. 1162m; 27.18S- 22.26E ” / “ 14.2.2005; E-Y [Endrödy-Younga leg.]; 3644; general [collecting] at Gosa lodge; Leg. M. Burger, R. Müller ” / “HOLOTYPE; Smicronyx similis   ; Haran 2021”; SANC. GoogleMaps  

Paratype ZIMBABWE • 1 ♀; Sebakwe ; 1903; D. Dods leg.; SAM-COL-A073093; SAMC   .


BODY LENGTH. 2.5 mm.

COLOUR. Body integument black, shiny, antennae and legs reddish; vestiture of elytra with scattered, recumbent, brownish and whitish, rounded or elliptic scales, forming two ill-defined series on each interstria.

HEAD. Rostrum slightly longer than head capsule + prothorax, moderately downcurved in lateral view, slightly longer and more downcurved in ♀ than in ♂, covered with scarce whitish scales dorsally (♂) or scales only in basal ¼ (♀), shiny and slightly punctate at apex (♂) or at apical ¾ (♀); antennae inserted slightly after middle of length (♀) or at apical ⅓ (♂); transverse furrow at base of rostrum shiny, with two spots of whitish semi-erect scales on sides near eyes; head capsule glabrous, with slight cover of scales near transverse furrow; eyes flat, subcontiguous ventrally, distance between eyes equal to the width of 1–2 ommatidia; antennal scape slightly bisinuate at base, moderately clavate at apex, segment 1 of funicle elongate, slightly longer than 2 + 3, 4–7 wider than long.

PROTHORAX. Isodiametric (w/l ratio: 1), widest before middle, sides strongly rounded, narrowed in apical 1/4; integument densely and strongly granulate, shiny.

ELYTRA. Sides slightly convex, widest near middle of length (w/l ratio: 0.68); humeri raised; interstriae flat, shiny, ½–⅓× as wide as striae, interstria 5 with a moderate declivital callosity near apex, followed by a slight depression; scutellum small but visible.

ABDOMEN. Underside mostly covered with non-overlapping greyish scales, twice as long as wide.

LEGS. Femora clavate, armed with a small ventral tooth in middle; tibiae straight, unarmed; claws equal in length.

GENITALIA. Body of penis elongate (w/l ratio: 0.23), 2× longer than apodemes, sides sub-parallel in basal ⅓, narrowed near middle of length, spatulate in apical ⅓, apex slightly acuminate, curvature in lateral view regular ( Fig. 5F View Fig ).

Life history



Republic of South Africa (Northern Cape Province), Zimbabwe.


South Africa, Cape Town, Iziko Museum of Capetown (formerly South African Museum)


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Iziko Museums of Cape Town