Scleropatroides triplehorni Iwan and Matthews

Iwan, Dariusz & Matthews, Eric G., 2015, Scleropatroides Löbl and Merkl (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Opatrini) Discovered in Australia, with Description of a New Species and Discussion of Related Genera, The Coleopterists Bulletin (mo 14) 69, pp. 115-121: 116-120

publication ID 10.1649/0010-065X-69.mo4.115

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Scleropatroides triplehorni Iwan and Matthews

new species

Scleropatroides triplehorni Iwan and Matthews   , new species

( Figs. 2–15 View Figs View Figs View Figs View Fig )

Type Material. Holotype ♀: S. AUST. 1 km N White Bull Yard Kalamurina Stn 27°52′23″S 137°54′40″E 2–8 Oct. 1999 pitfalls Warburton R. WHC exped GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: Same data as holotype (2♀♀ SAMA, 1♀ MIZ). S.Aust. New Alton Downs Stn 8.75 km SE New Alton Downs 26°34′05″S 139°15′03″E pitfalls Nov. 1993 Goyders Lagoon surv. AW08 (1♂ SAMA); S. AUST GoogleMaps   nr L Toontoowaranie Innamincka Regional Res. Pitalls lignum 5–6 May 1998 27°04′20″S 140°09′44″E JA Forrest. WHClub (1♂ MIZ); S. AUST GoogleMaps   . Yelpawaralinna W.H. on Warburton Ck 27°7S 138°42E water trap under Malaise trap 22–25 Nov. 1993 J.A. Forrest, D. Hirst GoogleMaps  

(1♂ SAMA); S. AUST. Hamilton Stn 5 km NNW Mt Barr 26°16′32″S 134°55′11″E 06–08 May 2005. Pit trap Arid Rivers Svy, ERI 00201 View Materials (1♀ SAMA) GoogleMaps   .

Description. Oblong, subparallel, moderately convex, surfaces coarsely punctate with dense vestiture of long, curved, semirecumbent, squamiform setae. Total length 4.6–5.2 mm; maximum width of pronotum 1.8–2.0 mm; width of elyra at humeri 1.7–2.0 mm. Head: Clypeus deeply, arcuately emarginate ( Fig. 7 View Figs ); clypeo-genal suture not evident; eyes entire, reniform; antennae short, not reaching base of pronotum; labrum subquadrate ( Fig. 9 View Figs ); mandibles short, stout; maxilla ( Fig. 10 View Figs ) with broadly securiform terminal palpomere, a long macroseta emerging from palpifer, not always present, and a single long uncus on lacinia; labium ( Fig. 11 View Figs ) with mentum about as long as maximum width, narrowest at base, not carinate, apical labial palpomeres cultriform. Prothorax: Ratio of width to length 7:5; anterior angles acute; lateral edges denticulate, convex, sinuate towards posterior angles, which are acute; base medially strongly convex, projecting posterad well beyond level of posterior angles; prosternal process slightly expanding apically. Pterothorax: Hind body subparallel, ratio of length to width 10:8; elytral striae with large, closely set, foveate punctures, interstriae with a single row of large, setigerous tubercles each bearing a long semirecumbent squamiform curved seta; hind wings fully developed. Legs: Protrochanters of derived opatrinoid type, without distinct process of trochanter base; protibiae moderately widened apically, with single dentate outer apical angle, outer edge denticulate without prominent teeth. Abdomen: Ventrites flat, without depressions; defensive gland reservoirs elongate, widely separated without common volume (not joined at their bases); ovipositor and female tract as in Fig. 14 View Figs ; aedeagus ( Figs. 12, 13 View Figs ) simple. No sexual dimorphism.

Distribution. The areas in which S. triplehorni   was found are flood plains of a usually dry braidedstream and small-lake system which includes the Warburton River and Cooper Creek, and which in turn is fed by the Diamantina and Barcoo rivers flowing in from Queensland ( Fig. 15 View Fig ). The area as a whole is an overlap zone between two of the 89 recognized biogeographic regions of Australia (partial map at left in Fig. 15 View Fig ): the Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD) and the Channel Country (CHC). These are the lowest-rainfall areas on the Australian continent, with (very erratic) average annual rainfall of 125 mm and 168 mm, respectively. However, the Channel Country also receives floodwaters from the slow-flowing rivers which originate in mountain ranges far to the east in Queensland. These flows are also erratic and subject to very high evaporation rates and percolation into the porous soil, hence they rarely reach their destination of Lake Eyre. The relatively moist soils lining the channels give rise to denser vegetation there. It is in these overflow areas that Scleropatroides   was collected. Given this fact, it is more likely that the whole range of S. triplehorni   extends north-eastward into the Channel Country of Queensland, rather than northward into the dunefields of the Northern Territory.

The vegetation of the type locality ( Fig. 15 View Fig ) is described as Eucalyptus coolabah Blakely and Jacobs   / Acacia salicina Lindl   (coolabah/cooba or Broughton willow) low open woodland over Duma florulenta (Meisn.) T. M. Schust   (lignum) and Epaltes cunninghamii (Hook.) Benth.   (tall nut-heads) (P. Lang, personal communication 2015). Other plants mentioned in the data attached to the labels are Acacia stenophylla A. Cunn. ex Benth.   (river cooba), Eragrostis sp.   (a cane grass), and Cyperus victoriensis C. B. Clarke   (yelka).

Discussion. The new species resembles Scleropatroides strigatus (Fabricius, 1798)   but differs notably in the shape of the convex hind edge of the pronotum, which in the latter species is produced medially to a level only about equal to that of the hind angles, whereas in S. triplehorni   this edge projects much further posteriorad. The lateral edges before the hind angles are more sinuate in S. triplehorni   . The elytral humeri are rectangular in S. strigatus   and obtuse in S. triplehorni   . Scleropatroides strigatus   occurs widely in the Oriental Region (see Appendix I) with Thailand as the nearest area, which is also as near to Australia as the whole genus was previously known to occur. The wide gap in distribution across Indonesia is probably artificial, resulting from an inadequate collecting effort there.

Etymology. The authors are pleased to dedicate this species to the distinguished tenebrionidist Charles A. (Chuck) Triplehorn on the occasion of his 88 th birthday.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


South Australia Museum