Synopsis of the Genera and Subgenera of the Tribe Peleciini, and Revision of the Neotropical and Oriental Species (Coleoptera: Carabidae)


  • S.L. Straneo
  • G.E. Ball


Phylogenetic analysis of structural features of adults shows that the tribe Peleciini comprises eight genera, grouped in two subtribes: the southeastern Australian Agonicina (new status), including Pseudagonica Moore, 1960 (type species P. nitida Moore, 1960) and Agonica Sloane, 1920 (type species A. simsoni Sloane, 1920); and the Inabresian Peleciina (new status, with Peleciini and Disphaericini of authors), including the Neotropical Eripus Dejean, 1829 (type species E. scydmaenoides Dejean, 1829), Pelecium Kirby, 1817 (type species P. cyanipes Kirby, 1817), and Stricteripus, new genus (type species Pelecium pemllianum Straneo, 1953), the Oriental Ardistomopsis, new genus (type species Disphaericus myrmex, Andrewes, 1923), and the Afrotropical Dyschiridium Chaudoir, 1861 (type species D. ebeninum Chaudoir, 1861) and Disphaericus Waterhouse, 1842 (type species D gambianus Waterhouse, 1842). A key is provided to distinguish among these genera, and the structural features of each genus are described and illustrated, with habitus and SEM photographs. For the genera Eripus, Pelecium, Stricteripus, and Ardistomopsis, the species are keyed and characterized in terms of structural features and geographical distribution, and illustrations of habitus and range maps are provided. Application of names is based on study of type material. The genus Eripus includes nine species arrayed in two subgenera: the monobasic South American Eripidius, new subgenus (type species, Eripus franzi, new species; type locality Peru, Sierra Garevito to Quillabarnba) and the Nuclear Middle American Eripus (sensu stricto). A neotype is selected for Eripus aterrimus (Chaudoir, 1854) (type locality Mexico, Oaxaea, 0.5 mi. e. jct. Rtes. 190 and 125) because the original type could not be located and is presumed lost. The name E. nitidus (Chaudoir, 1861) is removed from synonymy with E. aterrimus because each name is associated with a different, specifically distinct group. New synonyms are: E. scydmaenoides Dejean, 1829 = E. aterrimus (Chaudoir, 1854) = E. subdentatus (Chaudoir, 1866). New species and subspecies are: E. oaxacanus (type locality Mexico, Oaxaca, 1 km e jct Rtes 125 and 190); E. globipennis whiteheadi (type locality Mexico, Morelos, 5.4 mi. E. Cuernavaea); E. globipennis rotundicollis (type locality Mexico, Guerrero, Sierra Madre del Sur, 26.2 km. from jct. of road to Chichihualco on rd. to Filo de Caballo); and E. breedlovei (type locality Mexico, Chiapas, Municipio Comitan, Laguna Chamula). The 33 species of Pelecium are arrayed in two subgenera: the tribasic northern South American-Lower Central American Pelecidium, new subgenus (type species Pelecium sulcatum Guerin-Meneville, 1843); and Pelecium (sensu stricto). The 30 species of subgenus Pelecium are arranged in eight species groups, each based on a distinctive combination of color, sculpture, form of terminal palpomeres and setation of tarsi: P. violaceum group (eight species); P. cyanipes group (one species); P. renati group (two species); P. punctatostriatum group (four species); P. rotundipenne group (four species); P. refulgens group (three species); P. faldermanni group (five species), and P. laeve group (three species). New synonyms are: P besckii (Chaudoir, 1850) = P. bisulcatum reichardti Straneo, 1970; and P. faldermanni (Chaudoir, 1846) = P. brevisulcis Straneo, 1953. Removed from Pelecium and placed in Stricteripus are: S. peruvianus (Straneo; 1955), S. impressus (Straneo, 1955); and S. banningeri (Straneo, 1953), new combinations. Seven new species and subspecies of Pelecium (sensu stricto) and the groups in which they are included are: P. violaceum group P. paral1elum (type locality probably Brazil, Assu), and P. longicolle impunctatum (type locality Paraguay, Dapucai); P punctatostriatum group - P bolivianum (type locality Bolivia, Santa Cruz, El Cidral), P. atroviolaceum (type locality Brazil, Chapada), and P. semistriatum (type locality Brazil, Chapada Campo), and P. rotundipenne group - P. pualue (type area Brazil, state of Santa Catarina), and P helenae (type local locality Brazil, S< 176> o Paulo, Jupuvara). Of the five species of Ardistomopsis recognized, two are new: A. andrewesi (type locality South India, Palni Hills, Kodaikana); and A. batesi (type locality Central India, Jabalpur). Removed from Disphaericus and placed in Ardistomopsis are A. marginicollis (Schaum, 1864), A. myrmex (Andrewes, 1923), and A. ovicollis (Bates, 1886), new combinations. The species of Dyschiridium and Disphaericus are not treated A reconstructed phylogeny of the genera and subgenera of Peleciini postulates the following relationships: the clade Pseudagonica + Agonica (- Agonicina) is the sister group of the remaining taxa (= Peleciina). Within the latter group, the New World Peleciina is the sister group of the Old World Peleciina. Of the Old World Peleciina, Eripus is the sister group of Pelecium + Stricteripus. In the Old World Peleciina, Aldistomopsis is sister group of Dyschiridium + Disphaericus. A reconstructed geographical history of this Gondwanian tribe indicates that the ancestral stock of Agonicina was split from that of Peleciina when Australia + Antarctica separated from the more northern Inabresia. The latter stock was split into New World and old World sister groups by the rifting apart of Africa and South America. The ancestral stock of Ardistomopsis is postulated to have reached India oversea, before the sub-continent was far separated from Africa. In the New World, the Eripus- Pelecium + Stricteripus split is postulated to have resulted from an oversea dispersal, with the ancestral stock of Eripus eventually arriving in Nuclear Middle America. The split of Eripus ( into Eripidius and Eripus (s. str.) is postulated to have resulted from an oversea dispersal from Lower Middle America back into South America. The differentiation of the Pelecium + Stricteripus stock is postulated to have resulted from isolation of the ancestral stock respectively in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and northern cis-Andean South America. Subsequently, the ancestral stock of Pelecium became more widespread and then divided into a northern vicar which gave rise to Pelecidium, and a southern one, which gave rise to Pelecium (s.str). Differentiation of the agonicine genera may have taken place in allopatry, with the ancestral stock of Agonica isolated in Tasmania, and that of Pseudagonica in the monntains of south-eastern Australia. Subsequently, possibly when the water gap between these two land masses disappeared, one stock of Agonica may have dispersed to southeastern Australia.