Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 61 - Lucanidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) - Composition and relationships

Holloway, BA 2007. Lucanidae (Insecta: Coleoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 61, 254 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 61. ISBN 978-0-478-09395-7 (print), ). Published 21 Nov 2007

Composition and relationships of the endemic Lucanidae

Three subfamilies, Aesalinae, Lampriminae, and Lucaninae, are represented in the endemic fauna.

Subfamily Aesalinae MacLeay, 1819 currently comprises about 55 species placed in 7 genera. The New Zealand representatives belong in 2 endemic genera, Holloceratognathus Nikolaev, 1998 with 3 species and Mitophyllus Parry, 1843 with 14 species. Of the remaining genera, Aesalus Fabricius, 1801 has 6 species that range from Europe eastward to Japan and southeast Asia and 3 species in Central America; Ceratognathus Westwood, 1838 has about 14 species in Australia and Tasmania; Hilophyllus Paulsen & Mondaca, 2006 has 2 species in Chile and a 3rd found in both Chile and Argentina (Paulsen & Mondaca 2006); Echinoaesalus Zelenka, 1993 has about 9 species, all in southeast Asia; Lucanobium Howden & Lawrence, 1974 has a single species in Venezuela; and Nicagus Leconte, 1861 has 2 in the eastern United States and 1 in Japan (Araya et al. 1997; Franciscolo 1997; Bartolozzi et al. 1998; Paulsen & Smith 2005). Distinctive features of the subfamily are: elytral vestiture which always includes linear or ovate or fan-shaped scales, and the lack of paired struts inside the basal piece of the male genitalia. Holloceratognathus has more features in common with Nicagus than with any of the other genera, especially in the configurations of the male and female genitalia, but also in the ultrastructure of the elytral pits. Mitophyllus has uniquely distinctive elytral scales but has some features of Ceratognathus and Holloceratognathus. The front tibial teeth and the male antennae in some of its species are like those in Hilophyllus. External and internal morphological similarities and differences among Ceratognathus, Holloceratognathus, and Mitophyllus are discussed and figured in Holloway (1997, 1998). Descriptions and illustrations of the Hilophyllus species are provided in Paulsen & Mondaca (2006).

Subfamily Lampriminae MacLeay, 1819 is the smallest subfamily with 5 genera and about 11 currently recognised species, all confined to the Southern Hemisphere. Dendroblax White, 1846 with a single species is endemic to New Zealand; Streptocerus Fairmaire, 1850 has 1 species in South America; and Homolamprima MacLeay, 1885 with 1 species, Lamprima Latreille, 1807 with about 5 species, and Phalacrognathus MacLeay, 1885 with 1 species are mostly in the greater Australian region and New Guinea (Moore & Cassis 1992; Franciscolo 1997; Bartolozzi et al. 1998; Bartolozzi & Sforzi 2005). The structure of the elytral surface in lamprimines is extremely distinctive and perhaps unique within Lucanidae. The surface lacks dense vestiture, having instead sparse simple, undivided linear setae or scales, each with a large pore close to its base (Holloway 1997). Dendroblax is set apart from the other 4 genera by its very convex, scarabaeid-like body with uneven, dull, brown integument dorsally (not smooth, shiny, iridescent or black integument), almost negligible sexual dimorphism, small mandibles in both sexes, strongly fossorial legs, and dense, long setae on the underside of the body (not sparse, short setae).

Subfamily Lucaninae Latreille, 1804 with approximately 100 genera and 1200 species (Franciscolo 1997; Bartolozzi et al. 1998; Bartolozzi & Sforzi 2005) is the dominant subfamily. Lucanines are the “typical” stag beetles, often large-sized, usually with conspicuous sexual dimorphism, frequently exhibiting allometric growth in males, and with antennae that are distinctly geniculate and eyes that are completely or partially divided by a canthus. The subfamily is distributed worldwide but is especially abundant in the tropics. The New Zealand representatives belong in 2 endemic genera: Geodorcus Holloway, 1996 with 10 species and Paralissotes Holloway, 1996 with 7 species. In both genera all the species are flightless, have incompletely divided eyes, a sclerotised point or hook on the apex of the lacinia on the maxillae, and an expanded apex on the permanently everted internal sac of the male genitalia, these combined characters separating them from the majority of lucanines. Geodorcus is morphologically more similar to Apterodorcus Arrow, 1943 from Chile than to any other lucanine I have examined. Important shared characters of the two genera are the dendritic elytral setae with tapering apices, the lateral bridge and sclerotised sides of the penis in males, and the styli and a crescentic spermatheca in females. Paralissotes has features in common with both Lissotes Westwood, 1855 from Australia and Tasmania and Pycnosiphorus Solier, 1851 from Chile but the morphological similarities of Lissotes and Pycnosiphorus are much greater than those shared by either genus with Paralissotes. The fan-shaped, ribbed elytral scales of Paralissotes are unlike any other lucanid scales known to me and contrast markedly with the elytral setae divided into numerous truncate-tipped “fingers” that are present in Lissotes and Pycnosiphorus. The elytral vestiture and other morphological features of these 3 genera are illustrated and discussed in Holloway (1996, 1997).

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