Ovolara lawrencei, Barr & Shepard, 2021

Barr, Cheryl B. & Shepard, William D., 2021, A review of the Larainae of Australia with description of seven new species and the new genus Australara (Coleoptera, Byrrhoidea, Elmidae), ZooKeys 1073, pp. 55-117 : 55

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scientific name

Ovolara lawrencei

sp. nov.

Ovolara lawrencei sp. nov.

Figs 4 View Figures 1–12 , 25-26 View Figures 25, 26 , 27 View Figure 27

Type locality.

Emerald Creek east of Mareeba; 16.9851°S, 145.4740°E; north Queensland, Australia (Fig. 27 View Figure 27 ).

Type material.

Holotype male. "AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Emerald Creek at Hwy. 1 / E of Mareeba / 16°59 ’12” S, 145°28 ’21” E / 17-I-2001, coll. C.B. Barr // HOLOTYPE / Ovolara / Ovolara lawrencei / Barr & Shepard" [red label, handwritten]. Dry pinned. Deposited in the Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra; ANIC Database Number 25-077641. Paratypes (77). Same data as for holotype (1 ANIC, 3 EMEC, 1 QM); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / Emerald Creek Store / 17 I 2001 / Emerald Creek / S 16°59'12" E 145°28'21" (WDS-A-1369 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard, leg. (2 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Rocky Creek at Hwy. 1 / ~5 rd.km. NE of Atherton / 17°10 ’54” S, 145°26 ’59” E / 11-I-2001, coll. C.B.Barr (1>AM, 1 ANIC, 6 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / 5 km N Atherton / 11 I 2001 / Rocky Creek (WDS-A-1364 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard, leg. (2 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Pattersons Cr. at Boar / Pocket Rd. 3 rd.km. N off / Hwy.52, SW Gordonvale / 11-I-2001, C. B. Barr // 17°12 ’06” S / 145°40 ’08” E (1>AM, 4 EMEC, 1 QM); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / 17 km SW Gordonvale /11 I 2001 1883 ft / Patterson’s Creek (WDS-A-1365 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard, leg. (2 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Bushy Creek at Hwy. 44 / just W of Julatten / 16°36 ’40” S, 145°20 ’10” E / 17-I-2001, coll. C.B. Barr (1 ANIC, 5 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / just W of Julatten / 17 I 2001 / Bushy Creek (WDS-A-1367 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard, leg. (1>AM, 3 EMEC, 1 QM); AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Hunters Creek at Hwy. 44 / 5 rd. km. N Mount Molloy / 16°38 ’00” S, 145°19 ’27” E / 17-I-2001, coll. C. B. Barr (1 ANIC, 5 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / 5 km N Mount Molloy / 17 I 2001 / Hunters Creek / S 16°38 ’00” E 145°19 ’27” (WDS-A-1368 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard, leg. (1>AM, 3 EMEC, 1 QM); 17.21S 145.56E / Babinda, NQld / J.G.Brooks / without date (3 ANIC); same data as for preceding // Genitalia prep. / HO-252 ♂ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); same data as for preceding // Genitalia prep. / HO-253 ♂ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); same data as for preceding // Genitalia prep. / HO-278 ♀ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); Barron R. / Cairns, N.Q. / Apr. 1946 / J. G. Brooks // Australian Museum / K 579980 (3>AM); Davies Creek, NQ / Oct. 1950 / J.G.Brooks // J.G. Brooks / Bequest, 1976 (2 ANIC); 15.11S 143.52E GPS / Hann River [tributary Morehead River (P. Zborowski, in litt.)] QLD / 14 Jan. 1994 at light / P.Zborowski & / E.D.Edwards (1 ANIC); 16.38S 145.19E QLD / Hunter Creek / 16 Dec. 1994 / P.Zborowski // flowing, clear stream, / sandy bottom, part / shade: rainforest (1 ANIC); Kuranda / QUEENSLAND / F. H. TAYLOR / 5-10-35 // Hydrethus leai Cart. / Genitalia prep. / HO-257 ♂ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); Kuranda, N. Qld. / 28.xii.1963 / G. Monteith // EX UQIC / DONATED / 2011 (10 QM); L’tle Mulgrave R. / N.Q. 16.xii.67 / J.G. Brooks // J.G. Brooks / Bequest, 1976 // Genitalia prep. / HO-261 ♂ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); 15.46S 144.15E GPS / Shepherd Creek QLD / 17 Jan. 1994 / water sweep / P. Zborowski, / E.D. Edwards (3 ANIC); Stewart’s Crk / Daintree, NQ / 16 Sept. 1969 / J.G. Brooks // J.G. Brooks / Bequest, 1976 (1 ANIC); same data as for preceding // Genitalia prep. / HO-258 ♂ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC). Paratypes all with the following label: PARATYPE / Ovolara / Ovolara lawrencei / Barr & Shepard [yellow label, printed].

Other material examined

(11). Barron Falls / QLD 12.xii.64 / J.G.Brooks (1 ANIC); locality as in preceding / 2.i.1965 / J.G.Brooks // J.G. Brooks / Bequest, 1976 // Genitalia prep. / HO- 276 ♀ / A.Calder 1997 (1 ANIC); AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Clohesy River at Hwy. 1 / 22 rd. km. NE of Mareeba / 11-I-2001, coll. C.B. Barr (1 EMEC); AUSTRALIA: Queensland / 22.2 km NE Mareeba / 11 I 2001 / Clohesy River (WDS-A-1363 on reverse) // William D. / Shepard , leg. (6 EMEC); Upper Daintree R. / Via Daintree, N. Qld. / 27.xii.1964. / G. Monteith // EX UQIC / DONATED / 2011 (1 QM). AUSTRALIA: no. QLD / Fishery Creek at / Hwy. 1, Fishery Falls / 17°11 ’10” S, 145°53 ’11” E / 18-I-2001, C. B. Barr (1 EMEC) GoogleMaps .

Differential diagnosis.

Ovolara lawrencei (Figs 25 View Figures 25, 26 , 26 View Figures 25, 26 ) can be distinguished from other species of Ovolara (Figs 23 View Figures 23, 24 , 24 View Figures 23, 24 , 28 View Figures 28, 29 - 31 View Figures 30, 31 ) by a combination of the following characters: Antennae clavate, elongate; pronotum mostly smooth, unsculptured, except basal margin triangularly protuberant between the prescutellar foveae; pronotal basal sublateral carinae generally shorter than the length of the scutellar shield; elytra without accessory basal striae between striae 1 and 2; and elytral punctures large and deep from base to apex. The aedeagus (Fig. 26 View Figures 25, 26 ) is unique, with the paramere inner margins linear and clasping the apical 1/3 of the tapered, narrow penis.

The other three species of Ovolara have elytral accessory striae of varying lengths, sometimes as short as 1-3 punctures. In addition, Ovolara australis (Fig. 23 View Figures 23, 24 ) has an antenna with a stout, moderately tight, ovoid club; pronotum sculptured, with a distinct longitudinal sulcus and costa; and an aedeagus (Fig. 24 View Figures 23, 24 ) with the penis abruptly constricted at the apex and the adjacent paramere apices rounded. In O. leai (Fig. 28 View Figures 28, 29 ), the pronotal mediobasal margin is less-prominently raised; the pronotal basal sublateral carinae are as long as or longer than the scutellar shield; the apical elytral punctures are smaller and shallower than those more basal; and the aedeagus (Fig. 29 View Figures 28, 29 ) has a penis that is abruptly constricted at the middle and paramere apices that are rounded, each bearing an inner tooth. Ovolara monteithi (Fig. 30 View Figures 30, 31 ) has the pronotal base flat; the pronotal basal sublateral carinae as long or longer than the scutellar shield; and the aedeagus (Fig. 31 View Figures 30, 31 ) with the lateral margins of the penis evenly convergent to an acute apex. All species, except for O. australis , are quite similar, and most of the above characters are somewhat variable and overlapping. Fortunately the male genitalia (Fig. 26 View Figures 25, 26 ) are distinctive and diagnostic, and are therefore the best, most reliable, identification tool.


(n = 89). Body: Size 2.9-3.3 mm long, 1.3-1.4 mm wide (n = 19). Dorsal color dark brown; head black; first two antennomeres and mouthparts yellow or yellow-brown; trochanters, basal 2/3 of femora, most of abdomen yellow-brown or red-brown; apical antennomeres, coxae, tibiae, tarsi brown. Dorsum covered with short, dense, erect and semi-erect yellow setae, cuticle shiny beneath setae; venter covered with longer, dense, semi-erect and recumbent setae. Head: Densely punctate, punctures nearly contiguous. Eye weakly protruding, finely faceted, with a dorsal fringe of very long, dark setae curved over eye. Antenna with eleven antennomeres; antennomere 1 longest, arcuate, with long setae near apex; antennomere 2 subspherical, with long setae; antennomere 3 small, narrow, much longer than wide; antennomere 4 smallest; antennomeres 3-11 forming a tight, elongate club; antennomere 11 largest, apex round. Frons smooth, without impressions or carinae; frontoclypeal suture distinct, straight. Clypeus broadly rectangular, 3 × wider than long; anterior margin nearly straight; disc coarsely and densely punctate. Labrum 2 × as wide as long; disc densely punctate; anterior margin with short, dense yellow setae, anterolateral angles with dense brushes of long, yellow, curved setae. Mandible with three apical teeth; prostheca with apical setae; mola with four ridges. Maxillary palpus with four palpomeres, 3 + 4 capitate, all very setose; palpomere 1 short, annular; palpomere 2 subcylindrical, 2 × as long as wide, with tuft of long setae on medial surface; palpomere 3 conical, as long as 2 but wider; palpomere 4 conical, longer and much wider than 2, apex obliquely truncate with an oval, concave, pale yellow sensory area. Labial palpus with three palpomeres; palpomere 1 short, annular; palpomere 2 half as long as 3; palpomere 3 glabrous, rectangular, slightly longer than wide, weakly flattened, apex with oval sensory area. Pronotum: Shape trapezoidal, slightly wider than long, widest at base; 0.7-0.8 mm long, 0.9-1.1 mm wide; densely punctate, punctures ~ 1 diameter apart. Anterior margin arcuate; lateral margins weakly arcuate to nearly straight, narrowly marginate; posterior margin strongly arcuate laterally, nearly straight anterior to scutellar shield; anterior angles obsolete, posterior angles almost 90°. Disc mostly smooth, slightly flattened anteromedially; two short, basal, sublateral carinae ~ 1/6 pronotal length; two small prescutellar foveae; disc anterolateral to each fovea broadly, shallowly depressed; pronotal base between prescutellar foveae protuberant. Scutellar shield: Subpentagonal; anterior margin straight, apex rounded; disc flat, finely setose. Elytron: 2.2-2.5 mm long, 0.7 mm wide. Elytra conjointly almost 2 × as long as wide; nearly parallel-sided from base to middle; lateral margins narrowly marginate. Elytral base usually deeply depressed between humerus and scutellar shield; disc flattened medially at 1/4 length from base; disc with ten striae, without an accessory basal stria between striae 1 and 2; striae 2, 3, 9, and 10 ending before reaching posterior margin; punctures large and deep from base to apex, spaced <1 diameter apart; diameters smaller in rows closer to suture, becoming larger laterally; intervals slightly raised. Metathoracic wings: Macropterous. Prosternum: Extending anteriorly beneath head, as long anterior to procoxae as length of prosternal process; anterior margin narrowly marginate; prosternal process broad, margined, with low median longitudinal carina; process arcuate between procoxae, expanded laterally posterior to coxae, apex broadly triangular. Mesoventrite: Short, wide; with a deep, broad, V-shaped mesoventral cavity to receive prosternal process; anteromedial margin raised; posterior margin nearly straight. Metaventrite: Broadly rectangular, anterior margin straight; disc posteromedially depressed, laterally convex; discrimen deeply incised; short, shallow metakatepisternal suture present; disc laterally with numerous, scattered, large punctures, posteromedial depressed area devoid of punctures. Legs: Setose; relatively short, similar in length, each leg with femur slightly shorter than tibia; tarsus with tarsomere 5 as long as 1-4 combined, protarsomere 5 with a single long, curved seta at dorsal apex; claws simple, slender, acute. Coxae brown, metacoxae deeply sulcate; femora with basal 3/4 yellow-brown or red-brown, apical 1/4 brown; tibiae brown, straight, mesotibiae with posterior surfaces glabrous, shiny; tarsi brown. Abdomen: Five ventrites; all punctate, punctures spaced one diameter apart; ventrite 1 with equilaterally triangular intercoxal projection; ventrites 2-4 broadly rectangular; ventrites 3 and 4 each with a pair of small lobed processes on posterolateral margins and with posterior margin thickened and slightly raised; ventrite 5 densely setose; broadly triangular, lateral margins weakly arcuate to widely rounded apex. Aedeagus: Phallobase, parameres and penis equally long (Fig. 26 View Figures 25, 26 ). Phallobase open dorsally, long, tubular, with parameres deeply inserted. Parameres in dorsal view (Fig. 26A View Figures 25, 26 ) with lateral margins weakly sinuate, straight and parallel-sided in basal 1/2 then slightly converging, parallel-sided in apical 1/4; with inner margins abruptly and widely divergent, forming an enclosed, central opening; apices at apical 1/3 broadly clasping tip of penis, broadly rounded. Penis in dorsal view (Fig. 26A View Figures 25, 26 ) with lateral margins evenly tapered to near apex, apex narrowly rounded to acute; penis laterally flattened near apex, dorsal surface with two thin, dark carinae; no visible corona; basal apophyses 1/3-1/2 as long as phallobase, straight, very broad, blunt at tips. In lateral view (Fig. 26B View Figures 25, 26 ), penis and paramere apices broad, curved ventrally, hooked; penis apex slightly wider than paramere apex. Fibula absent. Ovipositor: Well-sclerotized; elongate; baculum slightly longer than gonocoxites; proximal gonocoxite short, narrowly rectangular, curved; distal gonocoxite long and slender, medial margins nearly straight, lateral margins weakly arcuate; gonocoxites separate at bases and medially, contiguous at apices; stylus short, slender, 3 × longer than wide.


Very little morphological variation was noted, except for small differences in the length of the pronotal sublateral carinae. Sizes range from 2.9-3.3 mm long and 1.3-1.4 mm wide (n = 19). The females measured are slightly larger than the males, but the female sample size is considerably smaller: females 3.0-3.3 long, 1.3-1.4 mm wide (n = 5); males 2.9-3.1 mm long, 1.3 mm wide (n = 14).


The specific epithet lawrencei, a noun in the genitive case, is given in honor of John F. Lawrence, arguably the most influential and prolific coleopterist of our time. An excellent review of his life and career was published by Newton et al. (2000), although somewhat prematurely because Lawrence has by no means retired.


Ovolara lawrencei occurs in north Queensland, Australia (Fig. 4 View Figures 1–12 ).

Habitat and behavior.

Ovolara lawrencei was collected by the authors in small to large streams at elevations ranging from 18-654 m. All but one of these were sand-bottomed with logs and debris, some with boulders, and one had a bedrock substrate. Their waters were warm to cool, clear and colorless to brown-stained, with currents varying from sluggish to fast. At Emerald Creek (Fig. 27 View Figure 27 ), the type locality at an elevation of ~ 415 m, the stream was large with a substrate of sand, gravel and boulders. Ovolara lawrencei specimens were found in areas of slow current among streamside vegetation, grassy margins, and debris packs, and also in faster current on logs and rocks. The beetles "played dead" in the net, remaining immobile for a period of time, and were difficult to see amongst the netted debris. The easiest method to locate them was to hold the net and debris in the water and wait for them to pop up to the surface. They did not fly readily. Specimens have been taken at light, including those collected by Monteith (G. Monteith, in litt.).

Associated byrrhoid taxa.

Elmidae : Larainae : Ovolara leai (Carter), O. monteithi sp. nov., Potamophilinus papuanus Satô, Stetholus longipennis sp. nov.; Elminae : Austrolimnius spp., Graphelmis pallidipes (Carter), Kingolus spp., Notriolus taylori Carter & Zeck, Notriolus spp., Simsonia spp. Psephenidae : Sclerocyphon basicollis Lea.