Phoberus lilianae ( Scholtz, 1980 ) Strümpher & Scholtz, 2019

Strümpher, Werner P. & Scholtz, Clarke H., 2019, A new Phoberus MacLeay species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Trogidae) from the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of southern Africa and the Phoberus caffer species group reviewed, Zootaxa 4674 (5), pp. 551-563 : 558-559

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4674.5.4

publication LSID

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scientific name

Phoberus lilianae ( Scholtz, 1980 )

new status

Phoberus lilianae ( Scholtz, 1980) , new status

( Figs. 15–18 View FIGURES 15–18 , 19 View FIGURE 19 )

Trox (Trox) caffer lilianae Scholtz, 1980: 96 ; Scholtz 1982: 3; Scholtz, 1983: 206

Trox (Phoberus) caffer lilianae Scholtz : Scholtz, 1986: 361; Zidek, 2013: 9

Phoberus caffer lilianae (Scholtz) : Strümpher et al. 2016: 78; Zidek, 2017: 99 Type material re-examined from Scholtz (1980). Five paratypes: Umtali [= Mutare], S. Rhodesia, 2.1951 (1♂, SAMC); Inyanga [Nyanga Mountains], S. Rhodesia [ Zimbabwe], 5.vii.1962 (1♀, SAMC; 1♂, 1♀, TMSA); Salis- bury [= Harare; although the locality of this specimen is cited as Salisbury, it is more likely that this specimen was collected from Eastern Zimbabwean Highlands], 3.iii. [19]66, Struthers, J.K. (1♂, SAMC) .

Paratypes examined bear new labels: Phoberus lilianae (Scholtz) stat. nov., Strümpher & Scholtz, 2019 (printed on white rectangle with black border).

Additional material examined. ZIMBABWE: Manicaland Province: S. Rhodesia, Inyanga, Mare Dam [18°17’S 32°46’E], vii.1958, A. Hoffmann (1♀, TMSA) GoogleMaps ; SOUTH AFRICA: Mpumalanga Province: Mariepskop [24°32’S 30°53’E], Tvl. [Transvaal], i.1951, J.C. Faure (1♀, SAMC; see comments below) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Phoberus lilianae is most similar to P. ntlenyanae new species in appearance, but can be distinguished from the latter by the smaller, evenly spaced, dull round tubercles on the even-numbered costae of the elytra. Phoberus ntlenyanae new species has larger, shiny tubercles, which are irregularly spaced. The overall appearance of these species also differs noticeably: P. lilianae is dull, whereas P. ntlenyanae new species has a characteristic shiny reflection. Phoberus lilianae also bears some resemblance to the montane members of the P. nigrociliatus species group which have similar elytral markings and a similar overall appearance, but can be separated on the basis of their different pronota and elytra, different male genitalia, and by their distribution ranges (see Strümpher & Scholtz 2017 for a detailed treatment of the P. nigrociliatus species group).

Distribution and habitat. Phoberus lilianae shows a disjunct montane distribution, being restricted to the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and the north-eastern escarpment of South Africa ( Fig. 19 View FIGURE 19 ).

Comments. The holotype, which is deposited in the National Museum, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (NMBZ; Scholtz 1980: 96), could not be studied, but P. lilianae is a well-defined species and the five paratypes housed in the SAMC and TMSA collections were sufficient for accurate comparison. Scholtz (1983) recorded new distribution records for P. lilianae (then regarded as a subspecies of Trox caffer ) from Mariepskop in South Africa [24°32’S 30°53’E] and the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi [10°48’S 33°48’E]. After re-examination of these specimens, it was found that only the one (female) specimen recorded from Mariepskop belongs to the P. caffer species group. The specimens recorded from the Nyika plateau clearly belong to the East African P. nigrociliatus species group (see Strümpher & Scholtz 2017). The P. lilianae series comprises specimens collected from two different mountain ranges, the Inyanga Highlands (eastern Zimbabwe) and Drakensberg Range (eastern escarpment of South Africa) ( Fig. 19 View FIGURE 19 ). The different mountain populations may be isolated to such an extent that they may well represent genetically divergent lineages, but this requires further investigation.


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


Transvaal Museum














Phoberus lilianae ( Scholtz, 1980 )

Strümpher, Werner P. & Scholtz, Clarke H. 2019

Trox (Phoberus) caffer lilianae

Zidek, J. 2013: 9
Scholtz, C. H. 1986: 361

Trox (Trox) caffer lilianae

Scholtz, C. H. 1983: 206
Scholtz, C. H. 1982: 3
Scholtz, C. H. 1980: 96
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