Notes on the genus Somoplatus Dejean, 1829 (Coleoptera: Carabidae), with descriptions of five new species.
Abstract: Five new Somoplatus species, Somoplatus depilis sp. n., S.pilicollis sp. n., S. morettoi sp. n., S. ivoirensis sp. n. and S. genierorum sp. n. from Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso are described and illustrated. Paralophidius septentrionalis (Burgeon, 1936) is reinstated in the genus Somoplatus Dejean, 1829, and the new synonymy Paralophidius Basilewsky, 1986 = Somoplatus Dejean, 1829 is proposed. All specimens from the Ivory Coast were collected in abandoned termite hills in savannah habitats. One specimen of S. pilicollis sp. n. and the specimens of S. genierorum sp. n. were collected using light traps and flight interception traps in Burkina Faso. Basilewsky's key of the genus Somoplatus Dejean (Basilewsky, 1986) is updated to include the new species.

KEY WORDS: Coleoptera, Carabidae, Lebiinae, Masoreina, Somoplatus, Afrotropical, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, taxonomy, new species, new synonymy.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Beetles (Identification and classification)
Beetles (Discovery and exploration)
Beetles (Natural history)
Beetles (Physiological aspects)
Zoology (Identification and classification)
Zoology (Research)
Author: Schule, Peter
Pub Date: 12/01/2009
Publication: Name: African Invertebrates Publisher: The Council of Natal Museum Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Zoology and wildlife conservation Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 The Council of Natal Museum ISSN: 1681-5556
Issue: Date: Dec, 2009 Source Volume: 50 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 219376298
Full Text: INTRODUCTION

Four new species belonging to the genus Somoplatus Dejean, 1829 were found among ground beetles collected in abandoned hills of cathedral termites in the northern parts of Ivory Coast by the entomologist and dung beetle specialist Philippe Moretto. One additional specimen of S. pilicollis sp. n. and a fifth new species, S. genierorum sp. n., were collected by Francois and Simon Genier in a wooded savannah habitat in Burkina Faso.

The genus Somoplatus, as revised by Basilewsky (1986), comprised eight African and one Indian species. Most collecting data of the genus indicate an association of the taxon with termite hills. However, Basilewsky reports finding some specimens in cave litter, suggesting that some species might not be strictly termitophile but rather saprophilous and hygrophilous.

In his revision Basilewsky (1986) separated a new genus, Paralophidius, which included the single species P. septentrionalis, originally described by Burgeon (1936) as Somoplatus fusciceps ssp. septentrionalis. Characters used to distinguish the new genus were the different proportions of antennomeres, the shape of the female's stylomere 2 and the shape of the elytral apex (Figs 5, 13, 27).

Some of the new species described below demonstrate intermediate configuration in characters of both the genera Somoplatus and Paralophidius, particularly in the proportions of the antennomeres. Stylomere 2, used by Basilewsky as an important generic character, proved to be unsuitable for separating the new genus Paralophidius: the number and position of the lateral setae is similar to Somoplatus, while the apical portion is more arcuate in Paralophidius and is proportionally shorter. Thus the genus Paralophidius, with the monotypic species Paralophidius septentrionalis, is herein regarded as a junior synonym of Somoplatus.

With the species described below, the number of species in the genus Somoplatus is now increased to 14.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Measurements were taken and drawings were produced using a camera lucida attached to a stereomicroscope. Length was measured from the apex of the clypeus to the apex of the elytra. Width was measured at the broadest part of the elytra. The length of the pronotum was measured along the midline, the width at the broadest part of the pronotum. The genitalia were set in a transparent medium according to Lompe (1986) for drawings, and were afterwards mounted on the paper card of the related specimen with cellulose glue.

The material is deposited in the following collections: FGC--Francois Genier collection, Gatineau, Canada; MNHN--Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; MRAC--Musee Royal d'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgium; PMC--Philippe Moretto collection, Lyon, France; PSC--P. Schule collection, Herrenberg, Germany; SMNH Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, Germany; TMSA - Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.

TAXONOMY

Genus Somoplatus Dejean, 1829

Somoplatus: Dejean 1829: 3, 15 (Type species: Somoplatus substriatus Dejean, 1829, by monotypy). Paralophidius: Basilewsky 1986: 252. Syn. n.

The genus Somoplatus belongs to the tribe Cyclosomini Castelnau, 1834 and subtribe Masoreina Chaudoir, 1870. All known species are fairly small (2.9-8 mm), coloured reddish brown to yellowish.

Head with large protruding eyes, two supraorbital setae; labrum transversal, bearing six setae, apical margin straight or sinuous. Proportions of antennomeres vary within the genus: short (as long as wide) to long (2.5x longer than wide). Scape glabrous with one long and a few smaller subapical setae; antennomeres 2 and 3 glabrous except a few subapical setae; antennomeres 4-11 pubescent, more or less filiform with median glabrous, glossy band on inner and outer side. Mentum with distinct tooth, bisetose. Palpi glabrous, except penultimate palpomere of labial palpi with 2 subapical setae. Terminal palpomeres fusiform, outer margin slightly more curved than inner margin.

[FIGURES 1-8 OMITTED]

Pronotum short and wide, lateral impression inconsistent: missing, indistinct, visible in basal portions only or distinct and widened from apex to base. Lateral marginal furrow narrow; lateral margins rounded or slightly sinuate in basal half, bisetose; anterior marginal seta on anterior third, posterior marginal seta on basal angle; apex concave, apical angles protruding but rounded. Base undulate, with middle part slightly convex. Basal angles fairly distinct to completely rounded. Median line distinct. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation consisting of pattern of dense transversal meshes, glabrous, with extremely fine microsetae or with fine regularly seta-bearing punctation.

Elytra short and wide, oviform, subparallel-sided in the middle. Striae very shallow or absent, surface with traces of microsetae or fairly long pubescence. Microsculpture consisting of transversal, very narrow meshes. Apical truncation very indistinct: apical margin rounded to very indistinctly sinuate, sutural angle rounded. Umbilicate series of marginal setae consisting of 6 subhumeral, 3 intercalar, 4 subapical setae and one apical seta.

Lower surface finely pubescent or partly pubescent, pubescence short to fairly long. Prosternal process bearing long distant setae (4-12).

Legs short, outer margin of tibiae with a row of long, straight thorns. Hind tibiae with two thorns apically, inner thorn longer than half of first tarsomere. Upper side of tarsi glabrous or with sparse pubescence.

Somoplatus depilis sp. n. Figs 1, 9, 17, 24

Etymology: From Latin depilis (without hair, bald), referring to the glabrous body surface.

Diagnosis: S. depilis is the only species of the genus presenting a completely glabrous body surface except for extremely fine microsetae.

Description:

Measurements (n = 16_/9): Length 4.5-5.1 mm, width 2.3-2.6 mm, width/length of pronotum 1.69-1.81.

Colour: Uniform light reddish brown. Elytral surface dull.

Head: Wide, with large, protruding eyes; surface almost plain, frontal sulci shallow, subcircular, dimple-like. Surface of head with superficial fine microreticulation consisting of dense meshes and traces of highly superficial punctation. Meshes isodiametric in central portions of vertex, longitudinal and narrow along lateral portions near inner margin of eyes. Antennae long, antennomeres more than 2x longer than wide (Fig. 9). Pronotum: Short and wide, base as wide as apex; lateral margin convex in apical half, slightly more curved, widest in front of the middle; apical angles protruding, rounded off; apical margin concave; basal angles completely rounded off; base undulate, middle of base convex. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation of dense transversal meshes, and with very fine regularly sparse punctation. Punctation microsetose. Base and lateral apex indistinctly margined, base more distinctly margined. Marginal impression distinct, narrow near apical angle, broadly widened to the basal angles. Near basal outer margin a very small, shallow comma-shaped basal impression on either side. Middle of base slightly concave. Hind margin glabrous.

Elytra: Short and wide, gently widened to the apical third, laterally subparallel. Humeri widely rounded, basal margin indistinct, almost reaching scutellum. Apical truncature indistict, apex obliquely rounded, outer angles widely rounded off. Surface of elytra glabrous, with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal. Fully winged. Median lobe of aedeagus: Median portion subparallel, tapering to apex, simply curved, apex ending in a short simply rounded tip, orifice large on central-left side of apical fourth (Fig. 17), inner sac with a ring of 20-25 thorns in apical third, partly with microserrulation and folds in relaxed position.

[FIGURES 9-16 OMITTED]

Stylomere 2: Elongate, curved, outer margin with one long nematiform seta on inner margin, which is bent near the middle; one small seta on outer margin near apical fourth (Fig. 24).

Lower surface: Glabrous, except for abdominal sternites with microsetae. Prosternal apophyse with 8-10 distant setae.

Legs: As in generic diagnosis.

Holotype: [male] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

Paratypes: 5 [male] 10 [female] same data as holotype (PSC, PMC, TMSA, MRAC); 1 [male] 4 [female] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, ix. 1998, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

Somoplatus pilicollis sp. n. Figs 2, 10, 18, 25

Etymology: From Latinpilus (a hair) and collum (the neck), referring to the pubescent pronotum.

Diagnosis: The only species of the genus with pubescent pronotum and glabrous elytra with extremely fine microsetae.

Description:

Measurements (n = 9; 3 [male] 6 [female]): Length 3.10-3.55 mm, width 1.60-1.80 mm, width/ length of pronotum 1.74-1.82.

Colour: Uniform light reddish brown, pubescence yellowish. Elytral surface dull.

Head: Wide, with large, nearly hemispherical eyes; surface plain, frontal sulci missing. Surface with superficial fine microreticulation of dense meshes and very fine sparse punctation. Meshes isodiametric in central portions of vertex, elongate and narrow along lateral portions near inner margin of eyes. Antennae short, antennomeres approximately 1.2x longer than wide (Fig. 10).

Pronotum: Short and wide, basally wider than apically, widest near middle; lateral margin regularly convex; apical angles slightly protruding, fairly distinct; apical margin concave; basal angles blunt. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation of dense transversal meshes and with very fine sparse setae-bearing punctation. Base, lateral margins and apex margined. Marginal impression shallow, narrow near apical angle, broadly widened to basal angles. Hind margin glabrous. Near basal outer margin a small basal impression on either side. Base undulate, middle of base slightly convex.

Elytra: Short and wide, gently widened to the apical third, laterally subparallel. Humeri widely rounded, basal margin indistinct, almost reaching scutellum. Apical truncature indistict, apex oblique very gently sinuated, outer angles widely rounded off. Surface glabrous with highly superficial microreticulation, much finer than pronotal microreticulation, consisting of dense transverse meshes.

Median lobe of aedeagus: Median portion subparallel, tapering to apex, simply curved, apex ending in a long acuminate tip. Apex with keel-like extension on lower side, outer tip rounded; orifice large on dorsal side (Fig. 18), inner sac without rectangular sclerotised elements.

Stylomere 2: Elongate but short, outer margin almost straight in middle portions, inner side with triangular extension bearing one foliform, apically acuminate seta, without subapical seta on outer margin (Fig. 25).

Lower surface: Very finely pubescent. Prosternal apophyse with 4 distant setae.

Legs: As in generic diagnosis.

Holotype: [male] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

[FIGURES 17-23 OMITTED]

Paratypes: 1 [male] 6 [female] same data as holotype (PSC, MRAC, TMSA); 1 [male] 'BURKINA FASO: NAHOURI, Foret de Nazinga, Akwazena, 275 m, 11[degrees]09'24"N:1[degrees]36'44"E, 26.vii.2006, zone soudanienne savane boisee, piege lumineux, F. & S. Genier, 2006-76' (FGC).

Somoplatus morettoi sp. n. Figs 3, 11, 19

Etymology: Dedicated to Philippe Moretto, French specialist in African Scarabaeidae and collector of the holotype.

Diagnosis: Distinguished by the presence of dorsal pubescence on basal tarsomeres of hind tarsi, which is unique within the genus.

Description:

Measurements: Length 4.0 mm, width 2.3 mm, width/length of pronotum 1.69. Colour: Uniform light reddish brown.

Head: Wide, with large, protruding eyes; surface almost plain, frontal sulci shallow, subcircular, dimple-like. Vertex laterally along inner margin of eyes with some weak furrows. Surface of head with superficial fine microreticulation consisting of dense meshes and highly superficial punctation. Meshes isodiametric in central portions of vertex, longitudinal and narrow along lateral portions near inner margin of eyes. Antennae long, antennomeres approximately 2x longer than wide (Fig. 11).

Pronotum: Short and wide, base slightly wider than apex; lateral margin convex in apical half, slightly sinuate in basal portions, widest in front of the middle; apical angles protruding, rounded off; apical margin concave; basal angles distinct but blunt; base undulate, middle of base convex. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal meshes, with distinct, fine regularly seta-bearing punctation. Base and apex on lateral portions indistinctly margined. Margin in middle portions of apex and base broadened. Marginal impression distinct, narrow near apical angle, broadly widened to the basal angles, ending in fairly deep dimple-like, basal impression which is situated near hind margin. Hind margin glabrous.

Elytra: Short and wide, gently widened to the apical third, laterally subparallel. Humeri widely rounded, basal margin indistinct, almost reaching scutellum. Apical truncature indistinct, apex oblique very gently sinuated, outer angles widely rounded off. Pubescence semidistant, long. Surface of elytra with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal meshes with distinct, fine, regularly seta-bearing punctation. Fully winged.

Median lobe of aedeagus: Median portion subparallel, tapering to apex, simply curved, apex ending in fairly long acuminate tip, orifice large on central-left side of apical fourth, inner sac with rectangular sclerotised element in orifice, partly with microserrulation and folds in relaxed position (Fig. 19).

Lower surface: Finely pubescent, pubescence fairly long. Prosternal process with 4 long distant setae.

Legs: As in generic diagnosis, hind tarsi with sparse pubescence on upper side.

Holotype: [male] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

Somoplatus fulvus Mulsant & Godart, 1867 Figs 4, 12, 20, 26

Somoplatus fulvus: Mulsant & Godart 1867: 411; Gangelbauer 1892: 396; Burgeon 1936: 307; Jeannel 1942: 1016; Basilewsky 1953: 1032; 1967: 1749; 1969: 342; 1984: 32; 1986: 245. (Type possibly lost.)

Somoplatus marseuli Chaudoir, 1876: 7 (type in MNHN). Synonymy established by Gangelbauer (1892).

New country records: 3 [female] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC); 2 [female] 'MALAWI centr., Luwawa (30 km S Mzimba), 30.-31.xii.2001, J. Bezdek leg' (SMNH, PSC); 1 [male] 1 [female] 'BURKINA FASO: NAHOURI, Foret de Nazinga, Akwazena, 275m, 11[degrees]09'24"N: 1[degrees]36'44"E, 26.vii.2006, zone soudanienne savane boisee, piege lumineux, F. & S. Genier, 2006-76' (FGC); 1 [male] SOUTH AFRICA: 'RSA: Northern Province [= Limpopo], Thabaphaswa Farm, 1400 m N, Potgietersrus, 13.-14.xii.2003, leg. W. Schawaller' (SMNH).

Distribution: West, Central and South Africa.

Somoplatus ivoirensis sp. n. Figs 6, 14, 21, 28

Etymology: From Cote d'Ivoire [= Ivory Coast].

Diagnosis: S. ivoirensis is distinguished within the genus Somoplatus by the absence of wrinkles or carinae on lateral portions of vertex, fairly long antennae, transverse pronotum and small body size. The marginal impression of pronotum is conspicuously broad. From the closely related S. septentrionalis Burgeon, 1936 the new species differs by the shape of the aedeagus (Fig. 21) and stylomere 2 (Fig. 28).

Description:

Measurements (n = 2; 1 [male] 1 [female]): Length 5.0-5.1 mm, width 2.6-2.7 mm, width/length of pronotum 1.86-1.96.

Colour: Uniform light reddish brown except head dark reddish brown to piceous, pubescence yellowish.

Head: Wide, with large, nearly hemispheric eyes; surface almost plain, frontal sulci shallow, subcircular, dimple-like. Surface with superficial fine microreticulation consisting of dense meshes, superficial fine sparse punctation and irregular wrinkles. Meshes isodiametric in central portions of vertex, longitudinal and narrow along lateral portions near inner margin of eyes. Antennae fairly long, antennomeres approx. 1.5x longer than wide (Fig. 14).

Pronotum: Short and wide, basally slightly wider than apically, widest in front of the middle; lateral margin convex, in apical half slightly more curved; apical angles slightly protruding, rounded off; apical margin concave; basal angles blunt. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal meshes, which are twice as wide as long, and distinct, fine regularly seta-bearing sparse punctation. Distance between punctures twice as wide as distance between punctures on elytra. Base and lateral apex indistinctly margined, base more distinctly margined. Hind margin bearing long pubescence. Marginal impression distinct, broad near apical angle, broadly widened to the hind angles. Near basal outer margin a shallow dimple-like basal impression on either side. Base undulate, middle of base slightly convex. Pubescence distant, long.

Elytra: Short and wide, gently widened to the apical third, laterally subparallel. Humeri widely rounded, basal margin indistinct, almost reaching scutellum. Apical truncature indistinct, apex obliquely rounded, outer angles widely rounded off. Surface with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal meshes with distinct, fine regularly seta-bearing punctation. Pubescence distant, long. Fully winged.

Median lobe of aedeagus: Median portion subparallel, tapering to apex, simply curved, apex ending in a long simply rounded tip, orifice large on central-left side of apical third, no well defined inner sclerites visible, inner sac partly with microserrulation and folds in relaxed position (Fig. 21).

Stylomere 2: Elongate, regularly curved, with one long straight, acute, ensiform seta on inner side, no seta on outer margin (Fig. 28).

[FIGURES 24-30 OMITTED]

Lower surface: Finely pubescent, pubescence fairly long. Prosternal apophyse with no distant setae but at least 4 insertion pores visible; so it is probable that the setae are broken off in both specimens.

Legs: As in generic diagnosis.

Holotype: [male] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

Paratype: 1 [female] same data as holotype (PSC).

Somoplatus girardi Basilewsky, 1986 Figs 7, 15, 22, 29

Somoplatus girardi: Basilewsky 1986: 243.

New country record: 1 [male] 2 [female] 'IVORY COAST, NE, Comoe National Park, v. 2000, Philippe Moretto leg., inside termite hill' (PSC).

Distribution: Guinee, Mt Nimba; Ivory Coast; Nigeria, Zaria; Democratic Republic of Congo, Garamba National Park.

Remarks: The specimens from Ivory Coast have been compared to two specimens of the type series from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The median lobe of the aedeagus with the characteristic tongue-shaped extension covering the apial orifice and the shape of stylomere 2 of the female ovipositor were found to be similar. The only difference is in the macrosculpture of the head surface: the wrinkles between frons and orbital plates are shallow, subcircular, dimple-like in the specimens from Ivory Coast instead of deep and arcuate in the type specimens.

Somoplatus genierorum sp. n. Figs 8, 16, 23, 30

Etymology: Dedicated to Francois Genier and his son Simon, Canadian specialists in Scarabaeidae and collectors of the type series of this species.

Diagnosis: A small species closely related to S. fulvus, but distinguished by its glabrous pronotum and the missing long setae on dorsal portions of the elytra. Description:

Measurements (n = 5; 2 [male] 3 [female]): Length 3.5-3.8 mm, width 1.7-1.9 mm, width/length of pronotum 1.82-1.90.

Colour: Uniform light reddish brown, microsetae pale yellowish. Elytral surface dull. Head: Wide, with large, hemispheric eyes; surface plain, frontal sulci missing. Surface of head with superficial fine microreticulation consisting of dense meshes and very fine sparse punctation. Microsculpture isodiametric in central portions of vertex, elongate and narrow along lateral portions near inner margin of eyes. Antennae short, central antennomeres approximately as long as wide (Fig. 16).

Pronotum: Short and wide, basally wider than apically, widest near the middle; lateral margin regularly convex; apical angles protruding, fairly distinct; apical margin concave; basal angles blunt. Surface of pronotum with fine microreticulation consisting of dense transversal meshes and extremely fine sparse punctation, glabrous. Base, lateral margins and apex finely marginate, with faint lateromarginal impression in basal portions. Hind margin glabrous. Near basal outer margin a small basal impression on either side. Base distinctly undulate, middle of basal margin distinctly convex.

Elytra: Short and wide, gently widened to the apical third, laterally subparallel. Without striae. Humeri widely rounded, basal margin indistinct, almost reaching scutellum. Apical truncature indistinct, apex oblique very gently sinuated, outer angles widely rounded off. Dorsal surface with extremely fine punctation and traces of microsetae, laterally and apically with sparse pelage of very fine setae; microsculpture consisting of highly superficial transversal microreticulation.

Median lobe of aedeagus: Median portion subparallel, tapering to apex, simply curved, a short simply rounded tip, orifice large on central-left side of apex (Fig. 23). Stylomere 2: Elongate, regularly curved, inner side with one foliform, apically acuminate seta, with subapical seta on outer margin (Fig. 30).

Lower surface: Very finely pubescent. Prosternal apophyse with 6 distant setae.

Legs: As in generic diagnosis.

Holotype: [male] 'Burkina Faso, Nahouri, Foret de Nazinga, Akwazena, 275m, 11[degrees]09'24"N:1[degrees]36'44"E, 21.vii.2006, zone soudanienne, savane boisee, piege lumineux, F. & S. Genier, 2006-53' (FGC).

Paratypes: 1 [male] 2 [female] same data as holotype (FGC, PSC); 19 'Burkina Faso, Nahouri, Foret de Nazinga, Barka, 265m, 11[degrees]08'30"N:1[degrees]36'35"E, 25.vii.2006, zone soudanienne, savane boisee, piege malaise, F. & S. Genier, 2006-71' (FGC).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am very grateful to Philippe Moretto (Toulon) and Francois Genier (Gatineau) for making available their most interesting collections of Carabidae from West Africa and for the generous donation of type material. I also wish to thank Marc de Meyer (Musee Royal d'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren) for loaning me material for this study and Charles Barksdale (Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, USA) for assistance with proof-reading.

REFERENCES

Basilewsky, P. 1953. Contribution a l'etude des Coleopteres Carabidae de l'Afrique occidentale. V. Listes diverses. Bulletin de l'Institut Francais de l'Afrique Noire 5: 1031-1036.

--1967. Contribution a la faune du Congo (Brazzaville). Mission A. Villiers et A. Descarpentries. LXIV. Coleopteres Carabidae. Bulletin de l'Institut Fondamentale de l'Afrique Noire (A) 29: 1732-1762.

--1969. Le Parc national du Niokolo-Koba (Senegal). XXI. Coleoptera Carabidae. Memoires de l'Institut Fondamentale de l'Afrique Noire 84: 321-353.

--1984. Essai d'une classification supragenerique naturelle des Carabides Lebiens d'Afrique et de Madagascar. Revue de Zoologie Africaine 98: 525-559.

--1986. Sur quelques genres de Masoreini africains (Coleoptera Carabidae). Revue de Zoologie Africaine 100: 237-258.

Burgeon, L. 1936. Catalogues raisonnes de la Faune Entomologique du Congo Belge Coleopteres Carabides (Deuxieme partie). Annales du Musee du Congo Belge. Zool Ser. 3, Sect. 2 2: 259-314.

Chaudoir, M. de. 1876. Etude monographique des Maroreides, des Tetragonoderides et du genre Nematotarsus. Bulletin de la Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou 51 (2): 1-84.

Dejean, P.M.A. 1829. Species general des Coleopteres de la collection de M. le Conte Dejean. T. 4me. Paris: Crevot/Mequignon-Marvis.

Gangelbauer, L. 1892. Die Kafer von Mitteleuropa. Familienreihe Caraboidae. Wien: C. Gerold's Sohn.

Jeannel, R. 1942. Coleopteres Carabiques. Deuxieme partie. Faune de France, 40. Paris: Lechevalier, pp. 573-1173.

Lompe, A. 1986. Kleine Mitteilungen 2049: Ein neues Einbettungsmittel fur Insektenpraparate. Entomolo gische Blatter (Krefeld) 82: 119.

Mulsant, E. & Godart, A. 1867. Description de deux nouvelles especes de Coleopteres. Annales de la Societe Linnenne de Lyon 15: 411-413.

Peter Schule

Rosenstrasse 9, D-71083 Herrenberg, Germany; sei.schuele@gmx.de
Key to genera close to Somoplatus (Masoreina partim: genera with
mentum tooth present and prosternal apophyse bearing 4-12 long,
distant setae)

1 (2) Lateral margin of pronotum with 6-10 stiff setae. Stylomere 2
basally very broad, with one spiniform seta on outer side. Surface
of body glabrous                               Somoplatodes Basilewsky

2 (1) Lateral margin of pronotum with 2 setae. Stylomere 2 basally
narrow, with one spiniform seta on inner side or without seta.
Surface of body setose or glabrous.

3 (4) Surface of body glabrous. Hind margin of elytra sinuous.
Suture ending in sharp pointed spine. Tooth of mentum fairly short,
tip rounded. Stylomere 2 without lateral setae, outer margin with
angular extension                                     Lophidius Dejean

4 (3) Surface of body pubescent, partly pubescent or glabrous. Hind
margin of elytra rounded, straight or slightly sinuous but without
sutural spine. Stylomere 2 with 1 lateral seta on inner side
           Somoplatus Dejean (incl. Paralophidius Basilewsky, syn. n.)


Key to species of the genus Somoplatus

1 (26)   Surface of head plain or with macrosculpture of head shallow
         consisting of indistinct wrinkles on lateral portions of
         vertex. Frontal sulci indistinct, subcircular or elongate,
         dimple-shaped.

2 (5)    Dorsal surface of pronotum glabrous or with traces of
         extremely fine microsetae (readily obvious under 100x
         magnification). Elytra dorsally glabrous or with extremely
         fine microsetae and longer pubescence restricted to lateral
         portions.

3 (4)    Body smaller (3.5-3.8 mm), hind angles of pronotum blunt but
         not rounded                               S. genierorum sp. n.

4 (3)    Body larger (4.5-5.1 mm), hind angles of pronotum rounded
                                                      S. depilis sp. n.

5 (2)    Pronotal surface pubescent, pubescence composed of fairly
         long semidistant setae.

6 (7)    Elytral surface glabrous except for extremely fine pubescence
         composed of microsetae, pronotal surface pubescent with
         pubescence composed of fairly long setae  S. pilicollis sp. n.

7 (6)    Elytral surface with dense pubescence, pronotum pubescent or
         partly pubescent.

8 (19)   Body smaller than 5.5 mm.

13 (14)  Median portions of two basal tarsomeres of hind tarsi
         dorsally pubescent                          S. morettoi sp. n.

14 (13)  Tarsomeres of hind tarsi dorsally lacking pubescence except
         a few apical setae.

15 (16)  Antennae moniliform (antennomeres max. 1.2x longer than
         wide), body small (2.9-4.0 mm)      S. fulvus Mulsant & Godart

16 (15)  Antennomeres not moniliform, at least 1.5x longer than
         wide, body small to medium sized (4.0-5.1 mm).

17 (18)  Stylomere 2 short, apically hook-like arcuate (Fig. 27),
         apex of aedeagus short              S. septentrionalis Burgeon

18 (17)  Stylomere 2 long, regularly arcuate (Fig. 28), apex of
         aedeagus long (Fig. 21)                   S. ivoirensis sp. n.

19 (8)   Body longer than 6.0 mm.

20 (21)  Antennae longer, 3 apical antennomeres projecting over the
         base of pronotum                         S. girardi Basilewsky
         [Specimens from Ivory Coast with reduced macrosculpture of head
         consisting of indistinct, oblique wrinkles on anterior portions
         of head.]

21 (20)  Antennae shorter, maximum 1 or 2 apical antennomeres
         projecting over base of pronotum.

22 (25)  Body broader, less elongate. Pronotum proportionally wider
         (1.60-1.85x wider than long) with lateral margins convex,
         widest in the middle or in basal half, not sinuate towards
         blunt or rounded hind angles. Antennae longer, 1 or 2 apical
         antennomeres projecting over base of pronotum.

23 (24)  Pronotum more transverse (1.65-1.85x wider than long),
         widest near base, base wider than apical margin. Elytra short,
         more convex, lateral margins arcuate (1.36-1.40x longer than
         wide). Apex of aedeagus straight     S. amplicollis Basilewsky

24 (23)  Pronotum less transverse (1.60-1.70x wider than long),
         widest in the middle, base not wider than apical margin.
         Elytra longer, lateral margins subparallel (1.50-1.63x longer
         than wide). Apex of aedeagus bent upwards
                                                S. substriatus (Dejean)

25 (22)  Body narrower, more elongate. Pronotum proportionally
         narrower (1.42-1.47x wider than long). Lateral margins
         subparallel, not arcuate, not widened near the middle or in
         basal half, slightly sinuate towards rectangular hind angles.
         Antennae short, not reaching base of pronotum. Surface of
         pronotum glabrous S.
                                                      elongatus Burgeon

26 (1)   Macrosculpture of head surface in anterior portions consists
         of distinct wrinkles or carinae between frons and inner
         margins of eyes. Frontal sulci distinct as arcuate grooves.

27 (30)  Position of lateral seta of stylomere 2 (terminal sclerite
         of the ovipositor) near middle.

28 (29)  Antennae short, moniliform, maximum 2 apical antennomeres
         projecting over base of pronotum, central antennomeres
         slightly longer than wide. Pronotum more transverse (1.90-2.0x
         wider than long), lateral margins less regularly convex,
         pronotal base wider than apex. Surface of elytra glossy
                                                S. brevicollis (Dejean)

29 (28)  Antennae longer, more filiform, nearly 3 apical
         antennomeres projecting over base of pronotum, central
         antennomeres distinctly longer than wide. Pronotum less
         transverse (1.80-1.90x wider than long), lateral margins
         regularely convex, pronotal base wider than apex. Surface
         of elytra dull                           S. girardi Basilewsky

30 (27)  Position of lateral seta of stylomere 2 (terminal sclerite
         of the ovipositor) near base.

31 (32)  Antennae longer, more filiform, 3 apical antennomeres
         projecting over base of pronotum. Pronotum more transverse
         (1.73-1.83x wider than long). Elytra narrower and more
         elongated (1.28-1.36x longer than wide), lateral margins
         subparallel                           S. simillimus Basilewsky

32 (31)  Antennae shorter, less filiform, less than 3 apical
         antennomeres projecting over base of pronotum. Pronotum less
         transverse (1.67-1.70x wider than long). Elytra proportionaly
         broader and more stout (1.22-1.27x longer than wide), lateral
         margins more arcuate                  S. guineensis Basilewsky
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