Sisyphus inconspicuus Daniel & Davis, 2020

Daniel, Gimo M., Davis, Adrian Lv., Sole, Catherine L. & Scholtz, Clarke H., 2020, Taxonomic review of the tribe Sisyphini sensu stricto Mulsant, 1842 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in southern Africa, including new species descriptions, Insect Systematics & Evolution 51 (1), pp. 1-61 : 32-35

publication ID 10.1163/1876312X-00002195

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Sisyphus inconspicuus Daniel & Davis

sp. n.

Sisyphus inconspicuus Daniel & Davis sp. n. ( Figs. 11 View Fig , 12D View Fig ).

ZooBank: A8C95127-D39B-4DC7-A564-0F77CCA4AB14

Diagnosis: Sisyphus inconspicuus sp. n. is similar to S. costatus ; both bear inconspicuous ocellate punctation on the dorsal surface of the clypeus and frons, however, the vertex bears scattered ocellate punctures in S. costatus and dense ocellate points in the new species. Sisyphus inconspicuus sp. n. has a straight margin between the medial clypeal teeth and the anterior margins of the genae are arcuate. In S. costatus , the dorsal clypeal margin is distinctly concave and curved upwards between medial teeth whereas the genal margin is virtually straight ( Figs. 11G, I View Fig ). Additionally, the new species bears setae that are uniformly arranged on the elytra whereas, in S. costatus , the setae on the elytral interstriae alternate between rows that are dense or less dense.

Description: Male holotype: Size. Length: 7 mm; width: 3.9 mm. Colour. Body and setae brown; meso- and metasternum black; antennae brown. Head. Medial teeth on the clypeus separated by a straight margin; shallowly notched edge between medial and lateral teeth; genal margin arcuate anteriorly. Dorsal surface of the clypeus and frons inconspicuously punctate ( Fig. 11I View Fig ); epicranial suture clearly visible; vertex setigerous with dense ocellate punctation. Pronotum. Convex; maximum length equal to maximum width; dorsal surface finely setose with ocellate punctation; setae on the antero-lateral projection well-developed. Complete lateral prothoracic ridge between the prothoracic disc and prothoracic episternum. Elytra. Wider and ovoid proximally, narrow posteriorly; elytral striae minutely punctate and crenulate, characterized by a distinct crenulate double line, which is interrupted by fine, ocellate strial puctures. Granulation and notches basally on elytral striae 1–4; setae evenly distributed on the interstriae. Hind wings and venation fully developed. Pygidium. Setigerous with ocellate punctation arranged in a U-shape. Sternites. Abdominal sternites finely crenulate, setigerous with ocellate punctation; setae arranged in rows laterally; meso-metasternal suture visible, acute laterally; meso- and metasternum densely punctate and setose; a punctate depression present on the postero-medial surface of the metasternum. Legs. In ventral view, antero-lateral carina of profemur punctate, internally pubescent with a lateral row of fine and well developed setae; meso- and metafemur with granulation, densely punctate and setose; meso- and metatrochanter contiguous with femur, metatrochanter slightly projected backwards; metacoxa punctate and shagreened ventroanteriorly; protibia with three teeth and single terminal spine; mesotibia punctate and setose with two terminal spines; metatibia densely setose, serrated laterally with two spurs; pro- meso- and metatarsi five segmented with two claws, setose laterally; first tarsal segment of the meso- and meta-thoracic legs with a row of strong setae on the external edge. Aedeagus. Paremeres simple, symmetric; truncated basally ( Fig. 12D View Fig ).

Morphological variation

Size: Male: length: 8.2–6.0 mm; width: 3.8–4.1 mm; Female: 8.0–6.0 mm; width: 3.0– 3.6 mm. Head: In some populations, mainly from the Eastern Cape (The Haven): lateral side of the clypeus is completely smooth as far as the clypeo-genal suture in some specimens; the lateral margin of the genae tends to be less convex; the surface of the clypeus is less setigerous. Colour: Inland populations are black and brown whilst the majority of the coastal population is black although two specimens from Pomene ( Mozambique) are brown. Male: Meta- and mesotibia curved ( Fig. 1H View Fig ); last abdominal sternite narrowed medially ( Fig. 1A View Fig ). Female: Meta- and mesotibia almost straight ( Fig. 1G View Fig ); last visible abdominal sternite not constricted medially ( Fig. 1B View Fig ).

Examined type material

Holotype: (♂ TMSA): SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, Ithala Game Reserve , Ngubu; Dense woodland 27°32’55”S 31°13’32”E. 13.i.1999, dung baited pitfall; leg: Chown, McGeogh & Davis GoogleMaps . Paratypes: (6♂, 2♀ SANC): with the same data as the holotype. (12♂, 9♀ UPSA) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, Ithala Game Reserve 27°31’S 31°14’E, 12–14.i.1999, dung baited pitfall, leg: Davis. (3♂, 3♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, B Blyde River Canyon 24°35’S 30° 48’E, 28.xi.1991, dung baited pitfall, leg: Klimaszewski. (3♂, 3♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Transvaal, 20 km NE Thabazimbi 24.32°S 27.24°E, 23–24.iii.1985, leg: Vans. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, N. Transvaal, Waterberg, Farm 223 GoogleMaps ; 24.11°S 27.50°E, 28.xi.1991, leg: Strydom. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, Barberton 16 km N, 25.44°S 30.59°E, 28.xi.1991, dung baited pitfall, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Transvaal, Nelspruit , Nat. Res. Dry valley , 25.29°S 30.55°E, 09.ii.1987, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps 53 days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA; 1♂ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, Transvaal , 20 km NE of Pretoria, Farm Roodeplaat , dung baited pitfall, 14–15.xi.1983, leg: Davis. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, Klaserie , 23.59°S 31.02°E. 3.v.1981, dung baited pitfall, leg: Endrödy- Younga. (2♂, 2♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Transvaal , Nelspruit , 18 km 25.37°S 30.58°E. 24.ix.1986, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps 31 days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂, ♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, Nelspruit district , Farm de Hoop E, 24.ix.1986, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, Mariepskop , 24.35°S 30.50°E, 2.v.1986, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps 5days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, E. Transvaal, Nerina Nat. Res. 23.42°S 30.16°E, 2.v.1986, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps 50 days, leg: Breytenbanch. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Transvaal , Langjan Nature Res , 22.52°S 29.14°E, 10–20.i.1980, leg: Prinsloo. (13♂, 17♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Kruger National Park , Sukuza , 1 km NW, 24.59°S 31.37°E, 22.i.1995, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (3♂, 5♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Kruger National Park , Pafuri res. Camp , 22.25°S 31.12°E, 31.i.1994, dung baited pitfall, groundtraps 10 days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂, 2♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, Kruger National Park , Sukuza , 1 km NW, 24.59°S 31.37°E. 22.i.1999, cattle dung, leg: Inward. (1♂, 2♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Kruger National Park , Punda Maria , 22.38°S 30.59°E, 11.ii.1994, elephant dung, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ UPSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Kruger National Park , Sukuza , 24.00°S, 31.00°E, xii.1977, cattle dung, leg: Scholtz. (10♂, 13♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, N. Transvaal, Mmabolela Estates , 22.40°S 28.15°E, 10.iii.1973, groundtraps, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Zululand , Sodwana Bay 10 km NW, 27.32°S 32.37°E, 24.xi.1992, groundtraps 5days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (7♂, 8♀ TMSA) SOUTH AF- RICA, Zululand , Ndumu Game Reserve , 26.54°S 32.17°E. 24.xi.1992, white rhino dung, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, KwaZulu Natal , Ngome State Forest , 27.48°S 31.25°E, 12–17.xi.1995, white rhino dung, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (4♂, 6♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, Mkuze Game Reserve , 24.xi.1981, legs: Doube , MacQueen , Davis & Flanagan. (4♂, 5♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, St. Lucia Estuary , 26.viii.1978, leg: Bornemissza. (1♂, 3♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, Hluhluwe Game Reserve (Inzimane), 24.xi.1982, leg: Doube. (4♂, 3♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, St. Lucia Est. Nat. Res, forest, 23.i.1979, leg: Aschenborn. (9♂, 7♀ UPSA) SOUTH AFRICA, KZN, Ntshondwe , 27°43’S 31°15’E, 24.i.1999, leg: Davis. (2♂, 2♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Limpopo, 17 km N Thabazimbi, Kransberg , 20.xii.2009, leg: Beyers. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) MOZAMBIQUE, Pomene , 22.59°S 35.35°E, 02.v.1974, leg: Strydom. (1♂ UPSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Gauteng, Roodeplaat Nat. Res, 25°37-39’S 28°20-21’E. 13–14.xii.2001, leg: Davis & Deschodt. (1♂ UPSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Northwest Province, Rustenburg , 25°43’S 27°10’E. 27.ii.1999, leg: Wagemaker. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Zululand , Mtubatuba , 28.22°S 32.19°E, 3.iv.1974, fruit trap, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Zululand, S. Natal, Weza , Ingeri Forest , 30.32°S, 29.41°E, 23.xi.1989, leg: Endrödy-Younga & Klimaszew. (1♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, Limpopo, Murmelende Waters Farm , Kampersrus , Mariepskop 24°32’S 30°17’E, 08–11.iv.1992, leg: Stals. (1♂, 1♀ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Limpopo Prov , Lajuma , southern slope, 900 m, 16.i.2016, leg: Colin Schoeman. (1♂, 1♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, Natal, Umfolozi, 1–7.x.1970, legs: Bornemissza & Aschenborn. (1♂, 1♀ SANC) SOUTH AFRICA, Cape Province, Avontuur (20 km S), 2.ii.1977, leg: Bornemissza. (3♂, 6♀ TMSA): SOUTH AFRICA, Eastern Cape, Transkei, The Haven, 32.15°S 28.55°E, 09.xii.1979, E-Y: 1696, groundtraps, 7 days, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (2♂, 2♀ TMSA): SOUTH AFRICA, Eastern Cape, Transkei, Coast Dwesa forest , 32.17°S 28.50°E, 5.iii.1985, zebra dung, leg: Endrödy-Younga. (1♂ TMSA) SOUTH AFRICA, Zululand, Lake Bangazi , 28.07°S, 32.31°E, 12.xii.1975, groundtraps, 5 days, leg: Endrödy- Younga. (12♂, 8♀ UPSA): SOUTH AFRICA, NW Province, Mooinooi, Maretlwane Bush Camp (near to river) 25°47’07”S 27°34’37”E, 1274 m, 12–14.ii.2016, leg: Daniel. (1♂, 1♀ SANC) MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Beira (15 mi N), 19.i.1972, leg: Bornemissza & Kirk. (2♂, 2♀ UPSA) MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Gorongosa National Park (Cheringoma), near Claud’s waterfall Camp 19°01’43”S GoogleMaps ; 34°40’24”W, 1–3.v.2013, leg: B de Medeiros. (5♂, 6♀ UPSA) MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Gorongosa National Park (near Chitengo) Sandforest 18°57’24”S 34°20’24”E, 26 m,, pitfall, h. dung, leg: GM Daniel (1♂, 1♀ SANC): MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Dondo 19°37’S 34°45’E. 19.i.1972, leg: Bornemissza & Kirk GoogleMaps .

Etymology: The species name reflects the inconspicuous punctures on the frons.

Distribution: Sisyphus inconspicuus sp. n. occurs in South Africa and Mozambique. It has been recorded from moist savanna or dense woodland and riverine vegetation. It has also been collected in dry shaded vegetation along the coastline, in sand forest, and

in dry, dense savanna from KwaZulu Natal ( South Africa) to Sofala Bay ( Mozambique) ( Fig. 13 View Fig ).


Transvaal Museum


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


University of Pretoria