Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 April 2021 | 13(5): 18215–18226

 

ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print) 

https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6729.13.5.18215-18226

#6729 | Received 21 September 2020 | Final received 19 March 2021 | Finally accepted 21 March 2021

 

 

 

Two new light attracted rove beetle species of Astenus Dejean, 1833 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Paederinae) from Kerala, India

 

P. Sreevidhya 1, S.V. Akhil 2 & C.D. Sebastian 3

 

1,3 Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Calicut, Kozhikode, Kerala 673635, India.

2 Entomology Research Unit, PG & Research Department of Zoology, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Devagiri, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India.

1  sreevidhyaparambidi@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 akhilsvenugopal@gmail.com, 3 drcdsebastian@gmail.com

 

 

 

ZooBank: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:E6AE2678-BD15-4F61-8226-8BD4F7A210FE

 

Editor: Anonymity requested.  Date of publication: 26 April 2021 (online & print)

 

Citation: Sreevidhya, P., S.V. Akhil & C.D. Sebastian (2021). Two new light attracted rove beetle species of Astenus Dejean, 1833 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Paederinae) from Kerala, India.  Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(5): 18215–18226. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6729.13.5.18215-18226

 

Copyright: © Sreevidhya et al. 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.

 

Funding: University of Calicut (U.O.No. 7557/2019/Admn dated 10.06.2019).

 

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

 

Author details: Sreevidhya, P., research scholar, Molecular biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Calicut. Areas of Interest: entomology, taxonomy, molecular phylogeny.  Dr. Akhil S.V., senior researcher, Entomology Research Unit, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Devagiri, Kozhikode. Areas of interest: taxonomy, ecology and phylogeny of coleoptera.  Dr. C.D. Sebastian, Associate professor, Department of Zoology, University of Calicut. Areas of interest: molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology.

 

Author contribution: All authors contributed equally to this research paper.

 

Acknowledgements: Authors are grateful to the University of Calicut for financial assistance and infrastructural facilities.  We express our sincere gratitude to Guillaume de Rougemont, Museum of Natural history, Oxford University for his valuable suggestions on the taxonomy of Astenus.  The help and support from Sabu K. Thomas, principal, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Devagiri, Kerala is gratefully acknowledged.  We thank the Entomology Research Unit of St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Devagiri, Kerala for the imaging facilities provided.  Harald Schillhammer (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria), the anonymous reviewer, and Ranjith A.P. (research scholar, University of Calicut) are also thankfully acknowledged for their valuable comments.

 

 

Abstract: Two new light attracted species of rove beetles of the genus Astenus Dejean, 1833 (Astenus keralensis sp. nov. and Astenus rougemonti sp. nov.) from Malabar coastal plains of northern Kerala in southern India are described, illustrated, and compared to closely related species.  First report of Astenus kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902 from Indian mainland and a checklist and key to all 41 species of Astenus recorded from the Indian mainland are provided.

 

Keywords: Beetles, Malabar coastal plains, Malappuram District, moist deciduous forest, northern Kerala, southern India, taxonomic key.

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

      

Genus Astenus belongs to the subtribe Astenina Hatch, 1957, of tribe Lathrobiini Laporte, 1835 (Staphylinidae: Paederinae).  The genus Astenus Dejean, 1833 is cosmopolitan (Cameron 1931) with 468 extant species described across the world (Newton 2020).  It is easily recognizable from related genera by having head more or less expanded before eyes.  Other diagnostic features being, rather small and slender habitus; reticulate-umbilicate sculpture of the integument; head comparatively large with respect to pronotum; narrow neck; labrum emarginate with two small teeth; long, slender, curved and pointed mandibles; and the bilobed penultimate tarsomere (Cameron 1931).

Thirty-nine species of Astenus are recorded from the Indian Mainland, with 19 of them being described by Cameron (1914, 1919, 1920, 1931, 1943).  Cameron (1931) gave brief descriptions and keys to 25 species of Astenus from the Indian Mainland.  After Cameron (1931), only 11 new species of Astenus were added to the Indian species list; three by Cameron (1943) himself, three by Coiffait (1982), four by Biswas & Sen Gupta (1983), and one by Biswas (2003) – with all records from northern India.  There is very little work on Astenus species from southern India with only 14 species recorded with 13 of them being reported by Cameron (1931) and one by Fauvel (1904).

Two new species of Astenus (A. keralensis sp. nov. and A. rougemonti sp. nov.) are described from the Malabar coastal plains of northern Kerala in southern India.  A revised and modified taxonomic key and checklist to Astenus of Indian mainland is provided along with first records from Indian mainland and from southern India.  Notes on endemism, biogeographical affinities and remarks on taxonomy of Astenus are also discussed.

 

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

 

Specimen collection and treatment

The specimens mentioned in this paper were collected as part of a three year (2017–2019) survey on Staphylinidae conducted in the entire northern Kerala region, specifically in the Western Ghats forest regions and scattered and isolated ranges of Malabar coastal plain moist deciduous forest.  The rove beetle specimens, which were later identified as new species, were collected using low intensity UV light traps (SAFS) from isolated patches of forests in Chelari (11°06’40.6”N 75°54’14.1”E ) and University of Calicut campus (11°13’40”N, 75°89’52”E ) located in Malabar coastal plains of Malappuram District in Northern Kerala. Collected specimens were transferred to 75% ethyl alcohol, were cleared using 10% KOH and were dissected to study the male genitalia.  Species level identification was performed using new taxonomic key prepared based on type descriptions and key to species in Cameron (1931).  Specimens and dissected genitalia were examined and measured under a Leica M205C stereozoom microscope.  Images were taken using a Leica MC 170 HD microscope camera and enhanced using the Leica Application Suite V4.12.

The type specimens are deposited in Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghats Regional Center, Kozhikode, Kerala, India (ZSIK).

 

Abbreviations

The following abbreviations were used for measurements (in mm): Length of antenna (AL), head length from anterior margin of clypeus to posterior margin of head (HL), head width (excluding eyes) (HW), length of pronotum (PL), maximum width of pronotum  (PW), maximum length of elytra from base to apex (EL), maximum width of elytra (EW), length of aedeagus from apex of ventral process to base of median lobe (ML), total body length (TL).

 

 

RESULTS

 

Taxonomy

Family Staphylinidae Latreille, 1802
Subfamily Paederinae Fleming, 1821

Tribe Lathrobiini Laporte, 1835

Subtribe Astenina Hatch, 1957

Genus Astenus Dejean, 1833

 

Astenus keralensis sp. nov.

(Image 1 A–F)

urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:A4851FFC-0051-4A03-A66F-209B44F159E5

 

Type material. Holotype: ID. S0101X19, 01.x.2019, male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.

Paratypes: S0210II18, 10.ii.2018, 2 males, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.; S0320II18, 20.ii.2018, 1 male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: University of Calicut, 11.2277778N, 76.4977777E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P; S0401III18, 01.iii.2018, 1 male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.; S0525X18, 25.x.2018, 2 males, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.

 

Description

Measurements (n=7) TL: 4.394 (4.324–4.440); AL: 1.250 (1.242–1.251); HL: 0.844 (0.841–0.848); HW: 0.696 (0.682–0.709); PL: 0.770 (0.765–0.773); PW: 0.521 (0.517–0.523); EL: 0.719 (0.71–0.72); EW: 0.720 (0.717–0.722); ML: 0.5.

Colour: Head brownish-black, antennomeres I–IV dark brown and rest pale reddish-yellow; mouth parts infuscate; pronotum reddish-brown; elytra black with posterior margin in sharp contrast with distinct broad yellowish band, wider at the middle of each elytron and narrowed medially and laterally; scutellum reddish-brown; abdominal tergites III–V reddish, VI  and VII dark brown, VIII dark brown with reddish posterior margin, apex of the femora dark brownish-black, fore and middle tibiae dark brownish-black, tarsi entirely yellowish; setae entirely black.

Head: Elongate, rugose, closely punctate and reticulate, disc bulged at the middle, posterior angles widely rounded, tempora with several black setae, head in front of the eyes more or less parallel, eyes prominent; antennae long, all joints longer than wide, antennomeres III–X sub equal, XI longer.

Neck: 1/5th width of head.

Pronotum: Shield like, furnished with longitudinal rugae, narrower than head, gradually expanded until about 2/3 from base, then narrowed toward neck; anterior half of pronotum on each side with five black setae; posterior margin rounded.

Elytra: Glossy, wider but shorter than pronotum, narrowed at apex and base, strongly and closely punctate, having regular pubescence and several large setae.

Abdomen: Glossy, narrower than elytra at the base and slightly widened posteriorly, pubescence fine and dark; tergites VI and VII wider than preceding ones. Posterior margin of all segments glabrous. VIIth tergite longer than others, tergite VIII the shortest; anal styles rather long.

Aedeagus: Median lobe elongated, apex rounded and slightly curved ventrally in lateral view

Female: Unknown

Etymology: Named after Kerala, a state of India, from where the specimen was collected.

Differential diagnosis: Astenus keralensisis is similar to A. gratellus (Fauvel, 1879) and A. diversiventris Cameron, 1943, but differs from them by its smaller size (TL 4.75mm in A. gratellus, TL 5.00mm in A. diversiventris), fore and middle tibiae dark brownish-black (fore and hind tibiae entirely yellowish in A. gratellus), antennal segments I–IV dark brown (antennae entirely yellow in A. gratellus, segments II to V infuscate in A. diversiventris), posterior margin of elytra distinctly yellow (elytra entirely black in A. diversiventris).

 

 

Astenus rougemonti sp. nov.

(Image 2 A–F)

urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:50DB62B3-15FF-4FD8-8DFE-51E49745F4E2

 

Type material. Holotype: S0615X17, 15.x.2017, male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.

Paratypes: S0710II18, 10.ii.2018, 1 male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.; S0816X19, 16.x.2019, 2 males, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.; S0922XI19, 22.xi.2019, 1 male, India: Kerala: Malappuram: Chelari, light trap, coll. Sreevidhya, P.

 

Description

Measurements (n=5) TL: 4.390 (4.353–4.442); AL: 1.514 (1.510–1.519); HL: 0.871 (0.870–0.871); HW: 0.733 (0.730–0.734); PL: 0.664 (0.649–0.666); PW: 0.646(0.640–0.650); EL: 0.743 (0.739–0.752); EW: 0.772 (0.769–0.778); ML: 0.4.

Colour: Head and pronotum dark reddish-yellow; elytra bicoloured with anterior half black and posterior half with pale reddish-yellow transverse band slightly extended anteriorly along the suture, sutural line yellowish posteriorly and black in anterior 1/3rd; abdominal tergites dark reddish-yellow, VIth abdominal tergite with intersegmental membrane yellow, VIIth abdominal tergite mostly brownish-black with posterior margin pale reddish-yellow; antennae, legs and mouthparts pale reddish-yellow; setae black.

Head: Elongate and somewhat rectangular, quite umbilicate reticulate sculpture, head in front of the eyes parallel, two pairs of anterolateral punctures with black, short and stout setae, post ocular region moderately rounded bearing three black, short and stout setae and several long slender decumbent setae, posterior margin more or less straight; labrum short and wide with two distinct teeth and two very long yellow setae, eyes bulged, antennae long, almost reaching the base of pronotum, scape broader at the apex, second antennomere shortest, III–X sub equal, XI slightly longer.

Neck: 1/3rd width of head.

Pronotum: Convex, shorter and narrower than head, distinctly narrowed anteriorly and posteriorly, widest at 1/3rd; sculpture almost similar to head but broader, space between is more “s” like; antero-lateral margin of pronotum with long erect setae.

Elytra: Glossy, finely pubescent, longer and wider than pronotum, as wide as long. Lateral margins with seven long oblique setae and numerous small setae.  Anterior half more densely punctate than posterior half. Elytra narrowed apically.

Abdomen: Pubescence fine and dark, base of abdomen narrower than elytra.

Aedeagus: Median lobe narrowed from basal half to the apex, apical region pointed and curved.

Female: Unknown

Etymology: The species is named in memory and honour of late Guillaume de Rougemont, a very charming personality and a man who loved rove beetles, who guided us with the taxonomy of the genus Astenus.

Differential diagnosis: Astenus rougemonti is close to A. leptocerus (Eppelsheim, 1895) based on the colour pattern of elytra, but differs in having only the Vth visible abdominal tergite (VIIth tergite) black (in A. leptocerus all the abdominal tergites are black).  It is also close to Astenus horridus Rougemont, 2018, an endemic of Borneo but differs from it in following characters; slightly smaller (TL 4.80 mm in A. horridus) VIth abdominal tergite (IVth visible tergite) not dark (VIth abdominal tergite dark in A. horridus), yellow fascia of elytral apex widening towards the suture (yellow fascia of elytral apex not widening towards the suture in A. horridus).  Sculptures on the pronotum broader than on head and the space between is more‘s’ like (sculptures on pronotum as on head in A. horridus).

 

Checklist of the genus Astenus (Staphylinidae: Paederinae) from India

Genus Astenus Dejean, 1833 

Astenus Dejean, 1833: 65

Type species Staphylinus angustatus Paykull, 1789

(= Staphylinus gracilis Paykull, 1789)

Astenus andrewesi Cameron, 1931

Astenus andrewesi Cameron, 1931: 71

Distribution: India: Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills.

 

Astenus asitus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Astenus asitus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983: 1

Distribution: India: Sikkim: Rangpo; West Bengal: Darjeeling

 

Astenus bisalicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Astenus bisalicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983: 3

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling.

 

Astenus bispinus (Motschulsky, 1858)

=Sunius bispinus Motschulsky, 1858: 636

= Sunius major Kraatz, 1859: 146

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling; Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills. Sri Lanka: Kandy. Myanmar. Vietnam: Annam. Indonesia: Sumatra. Thailand.

 

Astenus cachemiricus Coiffait, 1982

Astenus cachemiricus Coiffait, 1982: 97

Distribution: India: Kashmir

 

Astenus caspiracus Coiffait, 1982

Astenus caspiracus Coiffait, 1982: 99

Distribution: India: Kashmir

 

Astenus concolor (Kraatz, 1859)

=Sunius  concolor Kraatz, 1859: 149

Distribution: India: West Bengal. Taiwan.

 

Astenus diversiventris Cameron, 1943

Astenus diversiventris Cameron, 1943: 32

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling.

 

Astenus flavescens Scheerpeltz, 1933

Astenus flavescens Scheerpeltz, 1933: 1232

=Astenus flavipennis Cameron, 1931: 80

Distribution: India: Himachal Pradesh; Uttarakhand: Dehradun, Nakraunda, Kumaon, Haldwani; West Bengal; Manipur. Nepal: Siwaliks.

 

Astenus flavus (Kraatz, 1859)

= Sunius flavus Kraatz, 1859: 149

Distribution: India Oriental “Ind. Or.” as given by Kraatz 1859; Eastern India and Nepal (Newton 2020); India: Kerala: Tholpetty.

 

Astenus ghumensis Cameron, 1943

Astenus ghumensis Cameron, 1943: 32

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling

 

Astenus gracilentus (Fauvel, 1879)

=Sunius  gracilentus Fauvel, 1879: 83

=Sunius gracilis Kraatz, 1859: 147

Distribution: India: Himachal Pradesh; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand: Dehradun, Lachiwala; West Bengal: Darjeeling; Manipur; Meghalaya; Tripura; Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills. Bangladesh: Dacca. Singapore. China: Hong Kong.

 

Astenus gratellus (Fauvel, 1879)

 = Sunius gratellus Fauvel, 1879: 83

= Sunius pulchellus Kraatz, 1859: 147

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Dehradun; West Bengal: Darjeeling District; Maharashtra: Mumbai; Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills. Sri Lanka: Colombo, Kandy. Myanmar: Tenasserim. Indonesia: Sumatra, Java. Vietnam: Tonkin. Bhutan. China: Hong Kong.

 

Astenus gratus Cameron, 1931

Astenus gratus Cameron, 1931: 72

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Dehradun.

 

Astenus h-signatus Cameron, 1914

Astenus h-signatus Cameron, 1914: 540

Distribution: India: Patkai Hills.

 

Astenus hindostanus Cameron, 1919

Astenus hindostanus Cameron, 1919: 227

Distribution: India: Nilgiri Hills. Sri Lanka: Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya.

 

Astenus indicus (Kraatz, 1859)

= Sunius  indicus Kraatz, 1859: 148

= Sunius aequalis Blackburn, 1888: 9

= Sunius oculatus Sharp, 1874: 72

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand; Sikkim; West Bengal: Darjeeling; Maharashtra: Mumbai; Kerala: University of Calicut (Botanical Garden). Sri Lanka. Myanmar. Japan. Oman. Saudi Arabia. Italy. Egypt. Turkey. Iran. Afghanistan. China: Shanghai. Taiwan. Canary Islands. Eastern and western Africa. Tanzania.

 

Astenus jhopus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Astenus jhopus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983: 5

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling.

 

Astenus kashmiricus Cameron, 1943

Astenus kashmiricus Cameron, 1943: 32

Distribution: India: Kashmir.  

 

Astenus kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902

Astenus kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902: 36

Distribution: India: Kerala: Chelari. Sri Lanka: Nalanda, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo.

 

Astenus ladakhensis Coiffait, 1982

Astenus ladakhensis Coiffait, 1982: 98

Distribution: India: Kashmir

 

Astenus leptocerus (Eppelsheim, 1895)

= Sunius leptocerus Eppelsheim, 1895: 64

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Dehradun, Mussorie; Madhya Pradesh; West Bengal; Maharashtra: Nagpur; Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills; Kerala: Chelari. Sri Lanka. Vietnam. Japan: Ogasawara Island.  Mauritius: Rodriguez Island. Madagascar. Reunion (France). Comoros.

 

Astenus maculatus Cameron, 1920

Astenus maculatus Cameron, 1920: 146

=Astenus saigonensis Cameron, 1940: 250

Distribution: India: Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills. Bangladesh: Dacca. Thailand. Vietnam. China: Hong Kong, Yunnan.

 

Astenus maculipennis maculipennis (Kraatz, 1859)

=Sunius maculipennis maculipennis Kraatz, 1859: 148

=Sunius bicolon Sharp, 1874: 72

Distribution: India: West Bengal; Meghalaya; Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri Hills; Kerala: Parambil Bazar. Sri Lanka. Vietnam. Philippines. Indonesia. China: Guangxi. Japan: Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku. South Korea. Taiwan. Mauritius. Madagascar. Senegal. Ivory Coast.

 

Astenus marginalis Cameron, 1931

Astenus marginalis Cameron, 1931: 77

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Chakrata, Mussorie, Kempty Falls, Manjgaon, Dhobi Ghat.

 

Astenus melanurus (Küster, 1853)

=Sunius melanurus Küster, 1853: 76

=Sunius aemulus Rottenberg, 1870: 33

Distribution: India: Uttarpradesh: Lakhimpur Kheri; Uttarakhand: Dehradun; West Bengal; Manipur; Maharashtra. Indonesia: Java. Cyprus. Iran. Syria. Turkey. Croatia. France. Greece. Italy. Malta. Portugal. Slovakia. Slovenia. Algeria. Canary Islands. Egypt. Libya. Morocco. Tunisia. South Africa.

 

Astenus nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931

Astenus nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931: 82

Distribution: India: Nilgiri Hills; Kerala: Pookkottur.

 

Astenus obscurus Cameron, 1931

Astenus obscurus Cameron, 1931: 82

Distribution: India: Nilgiri Hills.

 

Astenus peraffinis Cameron, 1931

Astenus peraffinis Cameron, 1931:90

Distribution: India: Nilgiri Hills.

 

Astenus pulchripennis Cameron, 1931

Astenus pulchripennis Cameron, 1931: 76

Distribution: India: Uttar Pradesh: Lakhimpur Kheri; Uttarakhand: Chakrata, Mussorie.

 

Astenus semibrunneus Cameron, 1931

Astenus semibrunneus Cameron, 1931: 87

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Dehradun; West Bengal: Darjeeling.

 

Astenus setiferides Newton, 2017

Astenus setiferides Newton, 2017: 10

=Astenus setiferus Cameron, 1931: 90

Distribution: India: Nilgiri Hills; Kerala: Kambalakkad.

 

Astenus sikkimensis Biswas, 2003

Astenus sikkimensis Biswas, 2003: 260

Distribution: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling

 

Astenus simlaensis Cameron, 1931

Astenus simlaensis Cameron, 1931: 74

Distribution: India: Himachal Pradesh: Simla, Kotgarh, Gahan. Afghanistan.

 

Astenus subnotatus Fauvel, 1904

Astenus subnotatus Fauvel, 1904: 51

Distribution: India: Uttarpradesh; West Bengal; Chhathisgarh: Dugeli; Maharashtra; Karnataka: Nagargali, Sampgaon. Indonesia: Java. South Africa. Lesotho. Botswana. Namibia.

 

Astenus suturalis Cameron, 1931

Astenus suturalis Cameron, 1931: 69

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Chakrata: Mohana. Thailand.

 

Astenus tanicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Astenus tanicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983: 5

Distribution: India: Uttar Pradesh: Gorakhpur: Nautanawa; Jharkhand: Singrah Falls.

 

Astenus terminalis Cameron, 1931

Astenus terminalis Cameron, 1931: 84

Distribution: India: West Bengal; Nilgiri Hills; Kerala: Kozhippara (Nilambur). China: Hong Kong.

 

Astenus varians Cameron, 1931

Astenus varians Cameron, 1931: 78

Distribution: India: Uttarakhand: Dehradun: Kheri Rao, Mussorie, Nakraunda, Arnigad, Kolhu Khet gad.  Myanmar. Thailand. China: Yunnan, Hong Kong.

 

 

Discussion

 

Of the 10 species collected from northern Kerala region (Image 3), three species of Astenus (A. flavus (Kraatz, 1859) from Tholpetty which is a part of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary; A. setiferides Newton, 2017 from Kambalakkad in Wayanad Reserve Forest; A. terminalis Cameron, 1931 from Kozhippara in Nilambur Reserve Forest) were collected from the Western Ghats hotspot of biodiversity and seven species (A. indicus (Kraatz, 1859); A. keralensis sp. nov.; A. kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902; A. leptocerus (Eppelsheim, 1895); A. maculipennis (Kraatz, 1859); A. nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931; A. rougemonti sp. nov.) were collected from Malabar coastal plain moist deciduous forest, which is an extension of the Western Ghats hotspot of biodiversity (Champion & Seth 1968).

 

Endemism and Biogeographic Affinities

Of the 41 species of Astenus recorded from Indian mainland, nine species (A. andrewesi Cameron, 1931; A. hindostanus Cameron, 1919; A. keralensis sp. nov.; A. kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902; A. nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931; A. obscurus Cameron, 1931; A. peraffinis Cameron, 1931; A. rougemonti sp. nov., and A. setiferidus Newton, 2017) are endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hotspot of biodiversity with A. keralensis sp. nov., A. kraatzi, A. nilgiriensis, and A. rougemonti sp. nov. extending their distribution to the Malabar coastal plain moist deciduous forest region (Table 1).  Another seven species (A. asitus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983; A. bisalicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983; A. diversiventris Cameron, 1943; A. ghumensis Cameron, 1943; A. h-signatus Cameron, 1914; A. jhopus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983; and A. sikkimensis Biswas, 2003) are endemic to the eastern Himalaya (Table 1).  Four species (A. cachemiricus Coiffait, 1982; A. caspiracus Coiffait, 1982; A. kashmiricus Cameron, 1943; and A. ladakhensis Coiffait, 1982) are endemic to the Kashmir Himalaya region (Table 1).

Five species of Astenus (A. indicus (Kraatz, 1859); A. leptocerus (Eppelsheim, 1895); A. maculipennis (Kraatz, 1859); A. melanurus (Küster, 1853); and A. subnotatus Fauvel, 1904) show diverse distribution pattern with distribution ranging from Oriental realm to Afrotropical realm through Palaearctic realm with only A. melanurus (Küster, 1853) having European distribution.

Twenty-three species (including the two new species described; seven species endemic to the eastern Himalaya; five of the seven species (except A. hindostanus Cameron, 1919; A. kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902) endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hot spot of biodiversity; four species endemic to the Kashmir Himalaya; and five other species (A. gratus Cameron, 1931; A. marginalis Cameron, 1931; A. pulchripennis Cameron, 1931; A. semibrunneus Cameron, 1931; A. tanicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983)) are endemic to the Indian mainland (Table 1).

 

First Reports

Astenus kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902, which had distribution records only from Sri Lanka, is recorded for the first time from the Indian mainland (India: Kerala: Chelari, 11.1112778N, 75.9039166E) and two species, A. flavus (Kraatz, 1859) and A. indicus (Kraatz, 1859) are recorded for the first time from southern India.

 

Taxonomic Remarks

Notes on Tribe Lathrobini Laporte, 1835: There exists wide confusion on the tribe to which Astenus belongs. The two tribe classification (Pinophilini and Paederini) of Paederinae followed by the majority of Staphylinidae workers place Astenus in tribe Paederini Fleming, 1821 (Ganglbauer 1895; Casey 1905; Blackwelder 1939; Lobl & Smetana 2004; Schülke & Smetana 2015) whereas it was included in Lathrobiini by Jeannel & Jarrige (1949).  Later it was confirmed that Astenus belongs to tribe Lathrobiini by analysing the molecular and morphological characteristics (McKenna et al. 2015; Schomann & Solodovnikov 2017) and Schomann & Solodovnikov (2017) proposed that Paederinae could be divided into not two but four tribes (Cylindroxystini; Lathrobiini; Paederini; Pinophilini).

Taxonomic status of Astenus subnotatus Fauvel, 1904: Fauvel described Astenus subnotatus as a variation of A. melanurus (Küster, 1853) and it was considered as a variation by Cameron (1931) also.  Later the paratype of A. subnotatus (with locality given as Bedford Cape, South Africa) was wrongly re-described as A. itremo Lecoq, 1996 (a species with distribution only in Madagascar), which is evident from the paratype label (Royal Belgian Institute of natural Sciences).  As per the current classification A. subnotatus is having verified species status with Oriental, Palaearctic, and Afrotropical distribution (Newton 2020).

Distribution of Astenus flavus (Kraatz, 1859): Kraatz (1859) described A. flavus as Sunius flavus with data on distribution given only as “Oriental India (Ind. Or.)” which could be anywhere in British India.  Later Newton (2020) gave its distribution as confined to eastern India and Nepal.  This work reports A. flavus form southern India with recorded distribution from the Western Ghats.

 

 

Table 1. Endemic status of Astenus species recorded from India.

 

Species name

Distribution/ Endemism

1.

Astenus hindostanus Cameron, 1919

Endemic to India and Sri Lanka (WG & SL)#

2.

Astenus kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902

Endemic to India and Sri Lanka (WG & SL)#

3.

Astenus gratus Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland

4.

Astenus marginalis Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland

5.

Astenus pulchripennis Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland

6.

Astenus semibrunneus Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland

7.

Astenus tanicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Endemic to the Indian mainland

8.

Astenus asitus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

9.

Astenus bisalicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

10.

Astenus diversiventris Cameron, 1943

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

11.

Astenus ghumensis Cameron, 1943

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

12.

Astenus h-signatus Cameron, 1914

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

13.

Astenus jhopus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

14.

Astenus sikkimensis Biswas, 2003

Endemic to the Indian mainland (EH)@

15.

Astenus cachemiricus Coiffait, 1982

Endemic to the Indian mainland (KH)†

16.

Astenus caspiracus Coiffait, 1982

Endemic to the Indian mainland (KH)†

17.

Astenus kashmiricus Cameron, 1943

Endemic to the Indian mainland (KH)†

18.

Astenus ladakhensis Coiffait, 1982

Endemic to the Indian mainland (KH)†

19.

Astenus andrewesi Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

20.

Astenus nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

21.

Astenus obscurus Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

22.

Astenus peraffinis Cameron, 1931

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

23.

Astenus setiferidus Newton, 2017

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

24.

Astenus rougemonti sp. nov.

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

25.

Astenus keralensis sp. nov.

Endemic to the Indian mainland (WG)*

#—Endemic to Western Ghats (WG) and Sri Lanka (SL) | @—Endemic to Eastern Himalayas (EH) |

†—Endemic to Kashmir Himalayas (KH) | *—Endemic to only the Western Ghats (WG)

 

 

 

Key to species of the genus Astenus from the Indian mainland.

 

1.   Antennal segment XI almost 4x longer than 10 ................................................................. A. asitus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

-     Antennal segment XI not 4x longer than 10 .......................................................................................................................... 2

2.   Species dark, entirely or in greater part black or brown ......................................................................................................... 3

-     Species entirely or in greater part reddish-yellow ................................................................................................................ 22

3.   Abdomen with first three or four visible tergites red, rest black ............................................................................................ 4

-     Abdomen entirely black or brown .......................................................................................................................................... 6

4.   Abdomen with first three visible tergites red, rest black ........................................................................................................ 5 

-     Abdomen with first four visible tergites red, rest black .................................................................... A. gratus Cameron, 1931

5.   Elytra entirely black .............................................................................................................. A. diversiventris Cameron, 1943

-     Elytra black with posterior margin broadly reddish-yellow .................................................................... A. keralensis sp. nov.

6.   Legs reddish-yellow, the apex of the femora black or blackish ....................................................... A. gratellus (Fauvel, 1879)

-     Legs entirely reddish-yellow ................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.   Elytra uniformly black ............................................................................................................ A. bispinus (Motschulsky, 1858)

-     Elytra either black with reddish-yellow markings or reddish-yellow with black markings ..................................................... 8

8.  Elytra with a reddish-yellow mark from postero-internal area to the postero-external angle .................................................      ............................................................................................................................................. A. leptocerus (Eppelsheim, 1895)

-     Elytra otherwise marked ....................................................................................................................................................... 9

9.   Elytra reddish-yellow, more or less extensively marked with black .................................................................................... 10

-     Elytra otherwise marked ..................................................................................................................................................... 13

10. Elytra with a round black spot of variable size, sometimes extending to the epipleura; elytral suture very narrowly black ..…

      .................................................................................................................................................... A. marginalis Cameron, 1931

-     Elytra with an elongate black spot narrowing basally, extending laterally on to the epipleura; elytral suture rather broadly                      black .................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

11. Elytral spot black, elongate and transverse which forms the shape of ‘H’ when combined with black lateral longitudinal  

      margin ........................................................................................................................................ A. h-signatus Cameron, 1914

-    Elytral spot black and transverse but not forming the shape of ‘H’  ..................................................................................... 12

12. Elytral elongate spot connected through the middle of the suture, running from one epipleuron to the other ....................

      .................................................................................................................................................... A. ladakhensis Coiffait, 1982

-    Elytral elongate spot not connected through the middle of the suture ................................. A. pulchripennis Cameron, 1931

13. Elytra with the sutural and the apical margins reddish yellow  ............................................................................................ 14

-     Elytra otherwise marked  ..................................................................................................................................................... 16

14. Elytra with narrow reddish-yellow sutural margin confined to the posterior half .................... A. kashmiricus Cameron, 1943

-     Elytra with broad reddish-yellow sutural margin almost reaching the base ....................................................................... 15

15. Larger (6.5mm). Head longer, the post-ocular region nearly twice as long as the eye ................. A. suturalis Cameron, 1931

-     Smaller (5 mm). Head shorter, the post-ocular region slightly longer than the eye .................... A. andrewesi Cameron, 1931

16. Elytra with the humeral angle and apical margin reddish-yellow .................... A. simlaensis Cameron, 1931

-     Elytra with only the apical margin reddish-yellow, each elytron with or without a small oblong red spot at apex near suture

      .........................................................................................................................................................................................….. 17

17. Elytron with a small oblong red spot at apex near suture ............................................. A. bisalicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

-     Elytron without any red spot at apex near suture ................................................................................................................ 18

18. Thorax with fine longitudinal rugae sculpture ................................................................................. A. varians Cameron, 1931

-     Thorax with normal reticulate-umbilicate sculpture ............................................................................................................ 19

19. Elytra more coarsely and less closely punctuated, the apical margin sharply and distinctly reddish-yellow .................... . 20

-     Elytra more finely and more closely punctuated, the apical margin very narrowly and obscurely reddish-yellow ....................

      ..................................................................................................................................................... A. obscurus Cameron, 1931

20. Pleurites of genital segments long, extended and pointed  ..................................................... A. hindostanus Cameron, 1919

-     Pleurites of genital segments short, either slightly curved pointed or not pointed ........................................................... 21

21. Pleurites of genital segments short but slightly extended forming a curved point; penultimate antennomere as long as wide

      ....................................................................................................................................................... A. caspiracus Coiffait, 1982

-     Pleurites of genital segments short and not at all extended and not forming any point; penultimate antennomere almost

      twice as long as wide ................................................................................................................ A. cachemiricus Coiffait, 1982

22. Abdomen entirely reddish-yellow or brown ....................................................................................................................... 23

-    Abdomen reddish-yellow, either only Vth visible tergite/ or visible tergites III–V/ or both IVth and Vth visible tergites/ or both

      Vth and VIth visible tergites more or less black ...................................................................................................................... 26

23. Abdomen entirely brown  ...................................................................................................... A. semibrunneus Cameron, 1931

-    Abdomen entirely reddish-yellow ................................................................................................................................... 24

24. Larger (4 mm). Penultimate joints of antennae about three times as long as broad, sides of the elytra with several long

      black setae ........................................................................................................................... A. flavescens Scheerpeltz, 1933

-    Smaller (3mm). Penultimate joints of the antennae slightly longer than broad, sides of the elytra without black setae ..... 25

25. Post-ocular region not coarctate with the base, head more subquadrate, elytra not longer than the thorax, colour more

      reddish ........................................................................................................................................... A. concolor (Kraatz, 1859)

-     Post-ocular region coarctate with the base, head more suborbicular, elytra slightly longer than the thorax, colour yellowish

      ............................................................................................................................................................. A. flavus (Kraatz, 1859)

26. Abdomen with the only Vth visible tergite with anterior black and posterior lighter ............................................................. 27

-     Abdomen with either visible tergites III–V/ or both IVth and Vth visible tergites/ or both Vth and VIth visible tergites black

      .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 33

27. Elytra uniformly reddish-yellow ........................................................................................................................................... 28

-     Elytra bicoloured with anterior half brown black and posterior half reddish-yellow/ or suture narrowly black anteriorly and

      bulging in the middle/ or with a black oval spot on each elytron ........................................................................................ 30

28. Elytra longer and broader than thorax ................................................................................................................................. 29

-     Elytra shorter and narrower than thorax .................................................................................. A. ghumensis Cameron, 1943

29. Sides of thorax with two long black setae .................................................................................... A. melanurus (Küster, 1853)

-     Sides of thorax with five long black setae ........................................................................................... A. indicus (Kraatz, 1859)

30. Elytra bicoloured with anterior half brown black and posterior half reddish yellow ............................ A. rougemonti sp. nov.

-     Elytra reddish-yellow with suture narrowly black anteriorly and bulging in the middle or with a black oval spot on each

      elytron ................................................................................................................................................................................. 31

31. Elytra reddish yellow with suture narrowly black anteriorly and bulging in the middle ................ A. sikkimensis Biswas, 2003

-     Elytra with a black oval spot on each elytron ........................................................................................................................ 32

32. Black spot on elytra almost reaching the epipleura and suture ..................................................... A. subnotatus Fauvel, 1904

-     Black spot on elytra narrow and placed in the middle not reaching the epipleura or suture .......... A. kraatzi Bernhauer, 1902

33. Abdomen with visible tergites III–V black ....................................................................... A. jhopus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

-     Abdomen with either both IVth and Vth visible tergites/ or both Vth and VIth visible tergites black ....................................... 34

34. IVth abdominal tergite black with light, narrow posterior margin, Vth abdominal tergite with only the base black and rest

      broadly lighter .......................................................................................................................... A. maculatus Cameron, 1920

-     Vth and VIth visible abdominal tergites black with posterior margin broadly or scarcely lighter ........................................ 35

35. Vth and VIth visible abdominal tergites black, their posterior margin scarcely lighter ......................................................... 36

-     Vth and VIth visible abdominal tergites blackish, their posterior margin more or less broadly lighter ................................... 37

36. Sculpture of head and thorax of normal size .......................................................................... A. maculipennis (Kraatz, 1859)

-     Sculpture of head and thorax notably larger than usual ............................................................. A. terminalis Cameron, 1931

37. Sides of elytra with long black outstanding setae ................................................................................................................. 38

-     Sides of elytra with short black decumbent setae ................................................................................................................ 40

38. Elytra with a black spot on each elytron ....................................................................... A. tanicus Biswas & Sen Gupta, 1983

-     Elytra without any black spot .............................................................................................................................................. 39

39. Head elongate, VIth abdominal sternite yellow ............................................................................ A. setiferides Newton, 2017

-     Head suborbicular, VIth abdominal sternite black ......................................................................... A. peraffinis Cameron, 1931

40. Larger (5 mm) and more robust, post-ocular region parallel for a short distance, then broadly rounded to the base ...........

      .................................................................................................................................................. A. nilgiriensis Cameron, 1931

-     Smaller (4 mm) and narrower, post-ocular region coarctate with the base ................................. A. gracilentus (Fauvel, 1879)

 

 

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