Prionocyphon cacatua, Zwick, 2016

Zwick, Peter, 2016, Australian Marsh Beetles (Coleoptera: Scirtidae). 9. The relations of Australasian Ypsiloncyphon species to their Asian congeners, additions, mainly to Petrocyphon and Prionocyphon, and a key to Australian genera of Scirtinae, Zootaxa 4085 (2), pp. 151-198 : 179-181

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Prionocyphon cacatua


Prionocyphon cacatua   , n.sp.

( Figs 69−71 View FIGURES 69 − 72 , Table 2)

Type material. ♂ Holotype, 1♂ paratype: 14.25S 126.40E CALM Site 4/3 14 km SbyE Kalumburu Mission W.A. 3-6 June 1988 T. A. Weir / at light open forest GoogleMaps   . 1♂ paratype: 16.08S 136.05E, 22 km WSW of Borroloola , N.T., 16.iv.1976, at light, J.E.Feehan (all ANIC) GoogleMaps   .

Habitus. BL 1.8−1.9 mm, BL/BW ~1.7, head very large, HCW equals 70% of BW. Body flat, not domed. Uniformly light brown, pilosity almost erect. Clypeus with rectangular lobes projecting either side of the square labrum. Antennal base typical, distal part of flagellum weakly pectinate.

Male. T8 and segment 9 resembling congeners. A slender transverse sclerite whose sides diverge strongly forms base of tegmen. Tegmen and parameres together form approximately rhomboid capsule-like entity. Parameres ( Figs 69, 70 View FIGURES 69 − 72 ) basally slender, caudally first moderately widening, then medially abruptly restricted, resulting in a hook-shaped tip. Parameres caudally with numerous small sensory pores. In centre of complex lie the heavily sclerotized genital hooks ( Fig. 70 View FIGURES 69 − 72 , gh) whose anterior tips meet. Each consists of a triangular central portion which is caudally drawn out into a long sinuous horn, and laterally into a foot-like process.

The calyx-shaped pala with faint medial crest and rounded front margin. Caudally, two rigid slightly sinuous long horns, probably prosthemes, rise from a U-shaped base. Behind their bases insert the presumed parameroids which project as slender pale processes ( Fig. 71 View FIGURES 69 − 72 ).

Female. Unknown.

Note. Localities of known specimens (Kimberley on the one hand, west shore of Gulf of Carpentaria on the other hand) suggests the species may be widespread in the Northern Territory. For distinction from the similar P. laurae   from the Cape York Peninsula see below.

Etymology. The name is the generic name of cockatoos, an allusion to the sharp hook at the paramere tip which reminded me of a parrot beak.


Australian National Insect Collection