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23 March 2018 Notes on the Distribution and Ovipositor Morphology of Mylarisgigas (Linnaeus, 1767), Mylaris maxima (Germar, 1824), and Taphrosomadohrni Kirsch, 1866 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Stenochiinae: Cnodalonini)
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New records on the geographical distribution of Mylaris gigas (Linnaeus, 1767), Mylaris maxima (Germar, 1824), and Taphrosoma dohrni Kirsch, 1866 are presented, and a distribution map is provided. Their ovipositors are described, illustrated, and compared for the first time. Taphrosoma doorknob is considered an incorrect subsequent spelling of T. dohrni and therefore an invalid name.

Mylaris Pallas, 1781 and Taphrosoma Kirsch, 1866, respectively consisting of five and two species (Blackwelder 1945; Spiessberger et al. 2017), are poorly studied genera of Neotropical Cnodalonini Gistel, 1856. Despite their original descriptions and some appearances in checklists and catalogues, only a few studies about their morphology are available. Tschinkel and Doyen (1980) studied the female genitalia of Stenochiinae and used Mylaris gigas (Linnaeus, 1767) and Taphrosoma species in their study. Costa et al. (1988) studied the immature stages of Mylaris maxima (Germar, 1824), and Ferrer and Siliansky (2008) studied the external morphology of Taphrosoma dohrni Kirsch, 1866, and Taphrosoma punctulatus (Fabricius, 1792).

The most recent information about geographical distribution of Mylaris and Taphrosoma species goes back to the now outdated checklist by Blackwelder (1945). Although Guérin-Méneville (1844) recognized that Nyctobates Guérin-Méneville was a junior synonym of Mylaris, many authors continued to use Nyctobates instead of Mylaris (Spilman 1973; Ferrer and Siliansky 2008). Therefore, in classic catalogues such as Blackwelder (1945) and Gebien (1911, 1941), Mylaris species are found as Nyctobates. Additionally, T. dohrni was described from Bogotá, Colombia, but Blackwelder (1945) only listed the species as occurring in South America without providing exact locations or countries.

This study was part of a morphological study of M. gigas, M. maxima, and T. dohrni by ELS while an undergraduate student at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). This study revealed inconsistencies between our observations and previously published data on the morphology of the group (Tschinkel and Doyen 1980). Additionally, we take this opportunity to expand the geographical distribution of these species and provide, for the first time, a distribution map.

Material and Methods

Sixty-seven specimens were examined (22 specimens of M. gigas, 19 of M. maxima, and 26 of T. dohrni) for this study. The specimens belong to the following institutions:


Coleção Entomológica Professor José Alfredo Pinheiro Dutra, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Embrapa Cerrados' Collection, Planaltina, Distrito Federal, Brazil


Museo La Plata, La Plata, Argentina


Museo do Instituto Fundacion Miguel Lillo, Tucuman, Argentina


Michael A. Ivie Collection, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA

The morphological terminology follows Matthews et al. (2010), and dissection protocols follow Tschinkel and Doyen (1980). Photographs of adult habitus were taken using a digital camera Nikon 7000 with a Sigma 150 mm macro lens, while ovipositor photographs were taken with a Leica S8 APO with a digital camera (Leica DMC 2900) attached. The distribution map was made using Google Earth and Quantum GIS 2.18, using the maps available in the website, a free public database of maps.


New localities for M. gigas in Costa Rica (Puntarenas and Limón) and Paraguay (Itapua and Alto Paraguay) and M. maxima in Paraguay (Itapua) and Argentina (Misiones) are presented. Taphrosoma dohrni is poorly represented in collections, which may be the reason for its inaccurate geographical documentation. We refine its distribution from South America in general (Blackwelder 1945) to Colombia (Kirsch 1866), Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. The map (Fig. 19) illustrates the geographical distribution of the specimens examined in our study. Mylaris gigas and M. maxima occur together in two distinct biomes in Brazil, the Atlantic Rainforest and Cerrado, while M. gigas and T. dohrni occur in Amazonian Forest.

Mylaris gigas (Linnaeus, 1767)
(Figs. 1–4)

  • Examined Material. COSTA RICA: Puntarenas: Peninsula de Osa: Agua Buenas, Est. Boscosa (08°42′05″N 83°30′48″W), 21–27.VI.2001, M.A. Ivie leg., 1 M (MAIC). Limón: Sector Cocori, 100 m: 30 km N. de Cariari, III.1994, E. Rojas leg. L N 286000_567500 #2790, 1 M (MAIC). PERU: Huanunco: Leoncio Prado: Tingo Maria (670 m), Weyrauch leg., det. Kulzer, 2 M; Rio Huallaga (67 0m) VII.55, Weyrauch leg., 1 M; (700 m) I.IV.1940, Weyrauch leg., 1 M; Tulomayo, Tingo Maria (400 m), X.46, ex Coll. Weyrauch leg., 1 M (IFML). Coronel Portillo: Pucallpa (200 m) VIII.47, Weyrauch leg., 1 F, 2 M; (Valle Chanchamayo) (800 m) V.55, Weyrauch leg. 1 M. BOLIVIA: Santa Cruz: Cordillera Cabezas I.1947, Peredo leg., 1 M; Tarija, Ing. Bermejo II.1969, Golbach leg., 1M; El Palmar, I. 1958, Monrós leg.,1F. Chapare (Yungas) I.49, Bridarolli leg., Molinari det. 1969, 1 M (IFML). BRAZIL: Espírito Santo: Linhares (Parque Sooretama) III.1953, Pedro Almeida Teles leg. 3 M, 2 F, (MNRJ). Goiás: Planaltina, 960 m (15°36′S 47°44′W) 29.I.2001 (CPAC) 1 F. Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis (Ilha Grande, Vila Dois Rios - Caxadaço), 06.IX.2008, Proj. Coleoptera leg. (DZRJ) 1 M. PARAGUAY: Itapua: Hohenau, XI.1958, Foster leg., Molinari det. 1959, 1 M; Alto Paraguay XI.1951, without leg., Molinari det. 1959, 1 F (IFML).

  • Distribution. Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, French Guiana, Suriname, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina (Blackwelder 1945). New country records: Paraguay and Costa Rica (Fig. 19).

  • Mylaris maxima (Germar, 1824)
    (Figs. 5–8)

  • Examined Material. BRAZIL: Goias: Planaltina (15°36′S 47°44′W, 960 m) 29.I.2001, without leg., 1 M (CPAC). Minas Gerais: Jabuticatubas (Serra do Cipó) 1, 21–24.XI.2000, U. Caramaschi leg., 1 F (MNRJ). Espírito Santo: Linhares (Parque Sooretama) III. 1953, Pedro Almeida Teles leg., 2 M, 2 F (MNRJ); Rio de Janeiro: Cachoeiras de Macacu (REGUA) 27.IX.2013, Mermudes et al. leg., 1 M (DZRJ). Rio das Ostras, 8. X.1983, C. R. Sampaio leg. 1 F (DZRJ). Senador Vasconcelos (Morro da Posse) (22°53′17.2″S 43°32′17.5″W 124 m) 12.VIII.2015, Alves, A. leg., 1 F, 1 M (DZRJ). Campo Grande, I.2016, Alves, A. leg., 1M (DZRJ). São Fidélis (E. Rio Brasil) VIII.1956, O. Alvarenga leg., 1 F (MNRJ). Santa Catarina: Joinville, Brückner leg., 1 F (MNRJ). ARGENTINA: Misiones: Cainguas, Campo Grande, X. 1949, Alergo leg., 1 F; Tabunas XII. 195, Monrós leg., 1 M, 1 F; Ango Hacutinga X.1951, Monrós leg., 1M; Salto Encantado 11 km Aristobulo Del Valle, XI.1951, Monrós leg., 1M. PARAGUAY: Itapua: Capitan Meza XII.1952, Neunteufel leg., 1F (IFML).

  • Distribution. Brazil (Blackwelder 1945). New country records: Argentina and Paraguay (Fig. 19).

  • Taphrosoma dohrni Kirsch, 1866
    (Figs. 9–12)

  • Examined Material. ECUADOR: 1 F without other data (MLP); Pastaza: Mera (Rio Anzu, Hacienda Ila) VIII.1885, Majche leg., 1961, Molinari det., 1 M, 1 F; Oriente Puyo (800 m), VIII.1885, without leg., Molinari det. 1969, 3 M, 6 F; without other data 3 F, 6 M. PERU: Pasco: Chuchurr[a], Kulzer det. 1950, without other data, 1 M (IFML). BRAZIL: Amazonas: Benjamin Constant (Rio Itecoal) V.1942, A. Parko leg., 1 M (MNRJ), (Rio Javari) I.1943, A. Parko leg., 1 F (MNRJ). Pará: Utingá, 20.XI.1919, D. Mendes leg., 1 F (MNRJ). Rondônia: Porto Velho (Cachoeira do Samuel, Terra de Guaporé), VIII.1944, A. Parko leg., 1 F (MNRJ).

  • Distribution. South America (Blackwelder 1945). The distribution of this species is poorly documented in the catalogs of Blackwelder (1945) and Gebien (1911, 1941), which lack specific localities. Kirsch (1866) described it from Bogotá, Colombia. In our study, we examined specimens from Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador (Fig. 19)

  • Figs. 1–12.

    Mylaris gigas: Male - 1) Dorsal habitus; 2) Lateral habitus; Female — 3) Dorsal habitus; 4) Lateral habitus. Mylaris maxima: Male - 5) Dorsal habitus; 6) Lateral habitus; Female — 7) Dorsal habitus; 8) Lateral habitus. Taphrosoma dohrni: Male - 9) Dorsal habitus; 10) Lateral habitus; Female — 11) Dorsal habitus; 12) Lateral habitus.


    Ovipositor and Incorrect Spelling

    While studying the morphology of these three species, we noted that T. dohrni has a different type of ovipositor than that mentioned in the classic study of female Tenebrionidae genitalia by Tschinkel and Doyen (1980). The type of ovipositor stated in Appendix III of Tschinkel and Doyen (1980) for Taphrosoma is the cnodalonine type, characterized by having three coxites (coxites three and four fused). However, we found in T. dohrni an ovipositor of the stenochiine (= coelometopine) type, which has four complete, non-fused coxites (Figs. 15, 18).

    An inconsistency concerning the Mylaris ovipositor was also found. In Appendix III of Tschinkel and Doyen (1980), Mylaris was listed under the stenochiine type of ovipositor, while in Appendix IV it was listed as the cnodalonine type. In our study, we found that the ovipositors of M. gigas (Figs. 13, 16) and M. maxima (Figs. 14, 17) are of the stenochiine type (four complete coxites).

    Figs. 13–18.

    Ovipositor, ventral view: 13) Mylaris gigas; 14) Mylaris maxima; 15) Taphrosoma dohrni. Apical part of ovipositor: 16) M. gigas; 17) M. maxima; 18) T. dohrni. cx = coxite; pp = paraproct. Paraprocts absent in Fig. 15.


    Due to the poor condition of the old specimens, the paraprocts of T. dohrni were not studied.

    Fig. 19.

    Distributional map of specimens of Mylaris gigas, Mylaris maxima, and Taphrosoma dohrni examined in the present study.


    Additionally, while checking the information in Appendix IV of Tschinkel and Doyen (1980), we found that the species name listed, “Taphrosoma doorknob Kirsch”, is an incorrect subsequent spelling according to Article 33.3 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999). According to Tschinkel (W. Tschinkel in litt. to ELS), Taphrosoma doorknob was probably a joke not intended to make it to print, and as the specimen was destroyed during the study, it is not possible to know the correct identification of it.


    We would like to thank Vinicius S. Ferreira and Frank E. Etzler at Montana State University, who contributed corrections and suggestions for the improvement of this work. This study was supported by FAPERJ (process 110.040/2014, 101.476/2010) and CNPq (process 470980/2011-7).

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    Erich Lara Spiessberger and José Ricardo Miras Mermudes "Notes on the Distribution and Ovipositor Morphology of Mylarisgigas (Linnaeus, 1767), Mylaris maxima (Germar, 1824), and Taphrosomadohrni Kirsch, 1866 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Stenochiinae: Cnodalonini)," The Coleopterists Bulletin 72(1), 209-213, (23 March 2018).
    Received: 5 September 2017; Accepted: 1 December 2017; Published: 23 March 2018
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