Short Communication
Short Communication
Taxonomic clarification and lectotype designation for Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853 (non Browne, 1978, nec Browne, 1981) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Scolytinae), and notes on pervasive homonymy
expand article infoMatteo Marchioro, Andrew J. Johnson§, Laura Besana, Michail Yu. Mandelshtam|, Massimo Faccoli, Enrico Ruzzier
‡ Università degli Studi di Padova, Legnaro, Italy
§ University of Florida, Gainesville, United States of America
| Saint-Petersburg State Forest Technical University named after S.M. Kirov, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
¶ Università Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
Open Access

The bark beetle Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853 was described on the basis of two specimens from Alaska, one under the bark of unknown tree and one caught in flight (Mannerheim 1853). Schwarz (1895) listed C. striatulus as feeding on the spruce tree Picea englemanni Engelm. [sic!] (Pinaceae) based on specimens collected while on vacation near Alta, Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in June 1891. These specimens share the approximate collection data (with year and host omitted) as the specimen which became the type of Cryphalus ruficollis Hopkins, 1915. It is unclear why Hopkins treated them as such, but all subsequent publications before 2021 refer to Mannerheim’s species as Procryphalus Hopkins,1915 then as Trypophloeus Fairmaire, 1864. Schwarz also collected specimens of Trypophloeus from the same locality, eventually becoming the holotype of Trypophloeus punctipennis Hopkins, 1915, now a synonym of Trypophloeus nitidus Swaine, 1912.

Later reviews of North American Cryphalini (sensu Wood, 1954) found that there was a proliferation of described names, many of which represent synonymous taxa (Wood 1954). For Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853, the identity was uncertain because the types could not be found in Mannerheim’s collection. Despite this, Wood proposed that Trypophloeus nitidus Swaine, 1912 was junior synonym of Cryphalus striatulus, thus providing the Trypopholeus striatulus [sic!] combination (Wood 1969, 1973). This change was probably based on two major features: (1) Mannerheim’s statement that the specimen was similar to Trypophloeus granulatus (Ratzeburg, 1837) (Mannerheim 1853), and (2) Trypophloeus nitidus was the only North American Cryphalini described as being north of British Columbia in literature at that time (Wood 1969, 1973). This taxonomic combination remained unchanged until Kvamme et al. (2021) in which the authors, while looking for Trypophloeus types, discovered a single specimen of Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853 in the type material present in the Zoological Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia) (Fig. 1A). Kvamme et al. found that the species described by Mannerheim was a species of Cryphalus Erichson, 1836 and re-established the original combination (Kvamme et al. 2021), putting Cryphalus ruficollis Hopkins, 1915 as a junior synonym.

Figure 1. 

Habitus and original labels of primary types of species sharing the combination “Cryphalus striatulus”. Specimen photographs are resized to a common scale, black bars represent 1.0 mm A Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853; designated lectotype, Zoological Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia) B Cryphalus brownei (Beaver, 1991) (= Cryphalomorphus striatulus Browne, 1978) holotype, NHMUK 010805928 C Cryphalus punctistriatulus Johnson, 2020 (= Cryphalus striatulus Browne, 1981) holotype, NHMUK 010805993.

Mannerheim (1853) explicitly described two ‘forms’ in the description, with differences that are neither diagnostic of Cryphalus nor Trypophloeus. However, given the multiple specimens with different morphologies in the original description, there remains an unlikely but possible chance that the source of historical confusion was that two species were present in the type series. To maintain taxonomic stability, we designate the only known co-type as the lectotype of Cryphalus striatulus. This specimen bears the labels: (1) golden circle used to mark type specimens; (2) “Cryphalus striatulus Mnrhm. Kenai J[unio]. [?] Russam [?Russian America]” (unclear); and (3) “Lectotype Cryphalus striatulus Mnrhm. Marchioro et al. des. 2023”. This designation promotes stability in case the second specimen is found and represents a different species.

Additionally, the taxonomic change following the discovery of the type creates a new homonym. Cryphalus striatulus (Browne, 1978) was originally described as Cryphalomorphus striatulus Browne, 1978 on the basis of a single specimen from Penang, Malaysia (Fig. 1B), collected in the gut of a swiftlet (Beaver and Browne 1978). Subsequently, the species was moved to Hypothenemus Westwood, 1834 and given the replacement name Hypothenemus brownei Beaver, 1991 since this taxonomic combination was already pre-occupied by Hypothenemus striatulus Schedl, 1942 (Schedl 1942; Beaver 1991). In 2020, Johnson et al. removed the species from Hypothenemus and placed it in Cryphalus, rendering the replacement name no longer necessary, using Cryphalus striatulus (Browne, 1978) as the valid combination (Johnson et al. 2020). Since the combination Cryphalus striatulus is now occupied by Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853 (sensu Kvamme et al. 2021), we treat the name Cryphalus striatulus (Browne, 1978) as a junior homonym, and the novel combination, Cryphalus brownei (Beaver, 1991), as the valid name. This is an unusual nomenclatural situation, for using a replacement name as a valid name when in a different genus.

An additional potential source of confusion is Cryphalus striatulus Browne, 1981 (Fig. 1C), which was already replaced with Cryphalus punctistriatulus Johnson, 2020 due to homonymy with Cryphalus striatulus (Browne, 1978) (Johnson et al. 2020). Furthermore, Cryphalus brownei Wood, 1992, already exists as an unnecessary replacement name for Cryphalus artocarpus Schedl, 1958, (now a synonym of Cryphalus artocarpus (Schedl, 1939)) (Johnson et al. 2020). Given such a high degree of homonymy within Cryphalus, we suggest correctly citing the authority with the year to avoid future confusion.


The authors thank Roger A. Beaver for providing some useful documents for this work and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for partially funding the project. Andrew Johnson was funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Aphis, and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)-Division of Plant Industry. Boris A. Anokhin (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia) is thanked for his help in obtaining photographs of Cryphalus striatulus Mannerheim, 1853 type specimen. We thank Maxwell V. L. Barclay for granting access to the Cryphalus types preserved at the Natural History Museum, London.

Additional information

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Ethical statement

No ethical statement was reported.


This work was supported by European Food Safety Authority and United States Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, FDACS-Division of Plant Industry.

Author contributions

All authors have contributed equally.

Author ORCIDs

Matteo Marchioro

Andrew J. Johnson

Laura Besana

Michail Y. Mandelshtam

Massimo Faccoli

Enrico Ruzzier

Data availability

All of the data that support the findings of this study are available in the main text.


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