Smicronyx pauperculus Wollaston, 1864

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 : 59-60

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Smicronyx pauperculus Wollaston, 1864


Smicronyx pauperculus Wollaston, 1864

Figs 1L View Fig , 5K View Fig ; Table 1 View Table 1

Smicronyx pauperculus Wollaston, 1864: 317 .

Differential diagnosis

Of the southern African Smicronychini , S. pauperculus can be distinguished by the red colour of integuments and the absence of a wide transverse band on its elytra.

Material examined

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA • 6 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀; Gauteng Province, Pretoria ; 25.45 S, 28.10 E; 21 Mar. 1989; S. Neser leg.; SANC GoogleMaps 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀; Pretoria, Reitondale ; 4 Apr. 2001; S. Neser leg.; SANC 1 ♂; Kruger National Park , Pafuri rest camp ; 22.25 S, 31.12 E; 30 Jan. 1994; Endrödy-Younga leg.; UV light trap; TMSA GoogleMaps 4 specs; Mpumalanga Province, God’s Window ; 24°54.396′ S, 30°51.650′ E; alt. 1494 m; 6 Feb. 2019; J. Haran leg.; beating Cuscuta sp.; JHAR02130 ; ethanol coll. CBGP GoogleMaps .

NAMIBIA • 1 ♂; Weldevrede Guest Farm ; 24.10 S, 15.58 E; alt. 1105 m; 11–13 Feb. 2010; R. Müller leg.; at light; TMSA GoogleMaps .

Lectotype See Haran (2018).


BODY LENGTH. 1.9–2.0 mm.

COLOUR. Body integument reddish, except rostrum, antennae, prothorax, suture of elytra and tarsi, which are usually black; vestiture of elytra generally consisting of elongate brownish scales, recumbent, not concealing integument, and whitish scales, thicker, forming transverse patches.

HEAD. Rostrum moderately and regularly downcurved in lateral view, longer than head capsule + prothorax.

PROTHORAX. Isodiametric (w/l ratio: 1), sides rounded in basal half, constricted apically, widest slightly behind middle, with median line of whitish scales, mostly visible near scutellum.

ELYTRA. Subparallel in basal two thirds (w/l ratio: 0.65), rounded toward apex in apical third.

LEGS. Femora moderately clavate, armed with a small but distinct ventral tooth, tibiae straight; claws equal in length.

GENITALIA. Body of penis moderately elongate (w/l ratio: 0.60), 0.6 × as long as apodemes, sides straight, subparallel, apex truncate, moderately and regularly curved in lateral view ( Fig. 5K View Fig ); endophallus slightly sclerified, not forming any longitudinal striae at base of body in dorsal view.

Life history

This species is known to feed on flowers of Cuscuta campestris ( Anderson 1974; Haran et al. 2017) developing on plants of open and disturbed agricultural areas. It is often recorded by light trapping. In sub-Saharan Africa, adults were collected almost all year round (February–May, July–September, November–December).


Smicronyx pauperculus is widely distributed in the Mediterranean region ( Caldara 2013; Haran et al. 2017). In sub-Saharan Africa, it has been recorded in West ( Mali) and East Africa ( Kenya, Tanzania) ( Haran 2018) and is newly reported here from southern Africa ( Republic of South Africa [Gauteng and Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces] and Namibia).


The identity of this species was established based on the examination of the lectotype as reported by Haran (2018). In southern Africa, this species is closest to its sister species S. australis sp. nov.; see differential diagnosis and remark sections on that species for diagnostic traits.


South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria, Transvaal Museum


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Transvaal Museum














Smicronyx pauperculus Wollaston, 1864

Haran, Julien M. 2021

Smicronyx pauperculus

Wollaston T. V. 1864: 317