Sisyphus auricomus 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 : 40-42

publication ID 10.1163/1876312X-00002195

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Sisyphus auricomus Daniel & Davis

sp. n.

Sisyphus auricomus Daniel & Davis sp. n. ( Figs. 14D, F View Fig ; 15C View Fig )

ZooBank: B1E48C14-84C3-487F-AC44-E1728AAA1C7D

Diagnosis: Sisyphus auricomus sp. n. is close in appearance to S. oralensis . However, the new species differs by bearing thick and short golden setae on the pronotum. The directional projection of setae is well-defined ( Fig. 14F View Fig ). Furthemore, the genitalia differ from those of S. oralensis by lacking a dorso-tranverse notch on the apex of the parameres ( Fig. 15C View Fig ).

Description: Male holotype: Size. Length: 4.2 mm; width: 2.2 mm. Colour. Body brown with golden setae; antennal club and setae brown. Head. Long setae on dorsal surface; anterior edge of clypeus cleft between medial teeth, convex lateral sinuosity extending to clypeo-genal suture; no indentation at the clypeo-genal suture; rounded protrusion antero-laterally on genae. Surface of frons and vertex setose with ocellate punctation. Pronotum. Maximum width as long as maximum length; golden setae arranged evenly between punctation, setae absent from the distinct rounded bald spots on central disc ( Fig. 14F View Fig ); coarse ocellate punctation. Complete lateral prothoracic ridge separating pronotal disc and prothoracic episternum. Elytra. Ovoid, interstriae with evenly distributed setae; striae with distinct crenulate double line, which is interrupted by fine, minute and ocellate punctures; granulation and depressions basally on elytral striae 1–4. Hind wing and venation fully developed. Pygidium. Narrow basally; densely setose with ocellate punctation. Sternites. Edges between abdominal sternites finely crenulate with setigerous punctures; setae arranged in rows laterally; meso-metasternal suture visible; meso- and metasternum densely punctate and setose. Mesepimerum and metepisternum finely punctate and setose. Legs. In ventral view, profemur carinate antero-laterally, punctate and internally pubescent with a lateral row of fine and well-developed setae; meso- and metafemur densely punctate and setose; meso- and metatrochanter contiguous with femur, metatrochanter projected slightly backwards; metacoxa punctate and shagreened ventro-anteriorly; 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 metatarsus five-segmented, with two claws, setose laterally; first tarsal segment of meso- and metathoracic legs with a row of strong setae on the external edge. Aedeagus. Phallobase weakly sclerotized; parameres simple, lacking dorso-transversal excavation; apex relatively truncated ( Fig. 15C View Fig ).

Morphological variation

Size: Male: Length: 3.9–5.0 mm; width: 2.0– 2.5 mm; Female: Length: 3.7–5.0 mm; width: − 1.9–2.6 mm

Male. Meta- and mesotibia curved; last abdominal sternite narrowed medially ( Fig. 1A View Fig ). Female. Meta- and mesotibia almost straight; last visible abdominal sternite not constricted medially ( Fig. 1B View Fig ).

Examined type material

Holotype: (♂ TMSA) MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Gorongosa National Park (near Chitengo) Sandforest 18°57’24”S 34°20’24”E, 26 m,, pitfall, h. dung, leg: GM Daniel GoogleMaps Paratypes: (23♂, 20♀ TMSA; 25♂, 18♀ SANC; 18♂, 25♀ UPSA) with the same data as the holotype. (1♂ SANC) with the same data as the holotype, except: 11–28.i.1972, leg: Bornemissza & Kirk. (3♂, 4♀ TMSA; 4♂, 4♀ SANC; 4♂, 4♀ UPSA) MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Gorongosa National Park (Cheringoma), near Claud’s waterfall Camp 19°01’43”S GoogleMaps ; 34°40’24”E, 1–3.v.2013, leg: B de Medeiros. (7♂, 10♀ SANC): MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Dondo 19°37’S 34°45’E. 19.i.1972, leg GoogleMaps :

Bornemissza & Kirk. (1♂, 1♀ SANC): MOZAMBIQUE, Sofala, Beira 19°50’S 34°51’E 19.i.1972, leg: Bornemissza & Kirk.

Additional examined non-type material: Sisyphus werneri Montreuil 2017 . (2♂, 3♀ HNHM) KENYA: Sachu , 3.5844°S 39 4496°E ; 28.x–14.xi.2001. leg: Kontschán. (1♂, 1♀ HNHM) TANZANIA: Usambaras Mts , Mafi Hills Plateau, 1200 m, 26.xii.1985, Usambara rain Forest Project. Peregovits

Distribution: S. auricomus sp. n. may be restricted to Central Mozambique (Beira, Cheringoma, Dondo and Gorongosa) where it is associated with shaded vegetation between the Zambeze and Púnguè rivers ( Fig. 16 View Fig ). It was recorded from sandforest and dense woodland in Gorongosa National Park (10 km from northern Chitengo), but was completely absent from surrounding grassland of the same area (Daniel, 2014, unpublished data). In Cheringoma, it has been collected in dense riverine forest (de Medeiros, pers. communication).

Etymology: The species name refers to the setae, which are distinctly golden-coloured.

Remarks: It should be noted that S. auricomus sp. n. is similar to the eastern African species Sisyphus werneri Montreuil, 2017 . However, they can be easily separated by the presence of yellow setae and strong serration on the mid-internal margin of the metatibia in S. werneri whereas, in S. auricomus sp. n., the internal margins of the metatibiae are weakly dentate with golden setae. Furthermore, S. werneri differs by the two distinct patterns of punctation on the pronotum, smaller medially and larger laterally, unlike in S. auricomus sp. n. where punctures are roughly of the same size. In addition, the genitalia in S. werneri are markedly different compared to S. auricomus sp. n.


Transvaal Museum


University of Pretoria


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Hungarian Natural History Museum (Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum)