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New tribal placement and review of Parapucaya Prell and Pucaya Ohaus (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Dynastinae)
expand article infoAura Paucar-Cabrera§, Matthew Robert Moore|
‡ University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, United States of America
§ Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
| University of Florida, Gainesville, United States of America
¶ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, United States of America
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Abstract

The dynastine scarab genera Parapucaya Prell and Pucaya Ohaus have been historically classified in Pentodontini; however, that tribal classification is not supported under the current tribal circumscriptions. A discussion justifying the transfer of the genera Parapucaya and Pucaya from Pentodontini into Cyclocephalini is presented. This research is based on morphological observations (mandible shape and wing characters among others) and molecular data (genes 28S, COI, and 16S/ND1). A review of both genera is included, providing descriptions, diagnoses, distribution data, illustrations, and keys to species. A revised key to the world genera of Cyclocephalini is also included.

Resumen

Los escarabajos de los géneros Parapucaya Prell y Pucaya Ohaus, de la subfamilia Dynastinae, han sido históricamente clasificados en la tribu Pentodontini; sin embargo, esa clasificación no se ajusta a la circunscripción actual de la tribu. Se presenta una discusión justificando la transferencia de los géneros Parapucaya y Pucaya de Pentodontini a Cyclocephalini. Esta investigación se basa en observaciones morfológicas (forma de la mandíbula y caracteres del ala membranosa entre otras) y en datos moleculares (genes 28S, COI y 16S/ND1). Se incluye una revisión general de ambos géneros, con descripciones, diagnosis, datos de distribución, ilustraciones, y claves para especies. También se incluye una clave revisada para todos los géneros de Cyclocephalini.

Keywords

Cyclocephalini, molecular analysis, morphology, Neotropical scarabs, Pentodontini, taxonomy

Introduction

Dynastinae is classified in the scarab beetle family Scarabaeidae, a large coleopteran family that comprises about 30,000 species (Ratcliffe and Cave 2015). Though Scarabaeidae is well-studied, almost 200 new species are described each year (Ratcliffe and Cave 2015). Some adults of Scarabaeidae stand out due to their relatively large size, bright colors, elaborate ornamentation, unique life histories, and many interesting adaptations (Jameson 1998). These exaggerated features are common in the subfamily Dynastinae, which includes about 1,500 species distributed worldwide (Ratcliffe and Cave 2017). More dynastine species are found in the Neotropics than in any other biogeographic realm (Ratcliffe and Cave 2015). In the Neotropics, six of the eight recognized dynastine tribes are represented: Cyclocephalini, Pentodontini, Oryctini, Phileurini, Agaocephalini, and Dynastini. The Neotropical genera Parapucaya and Pucaya have long been classified in the tribe Pentodontini based on morphological characters, but some recent authors have questioned their tribal placement (Clark 2011, López-García et al. 2015). In this study, we address the classification of Parapucaya and Pucaya within Pentodontini and redefine the tribe Cyclocephalini.

Cyclocephalini

Cyclocephalini is the second most species-rich tribe of Dynastinae after Pentodontini, and it contains 14 genera and over 500 species and subspecies (Smith 2006, Moore et al. 2015, 2018b, Ratcliffe and Cave 2017). Historically, the tribe Cyclocephalini was characterized by the absence of characters found in other dynastines. These characters included: 1) lack of horns, tubercles, carinae, or foveae on the head and prothorax; 2) absence of a stridulatory area (pars stridens) on the propygidium; 3) simple mandibles that lack dentition distal to the molar region; 4) metatibial apex truncate and without produced teeth or a crenulated margin; and 5) metatarsus with basal joint simple and not triangular (Ratcliffe and Cave 2017). The sexual dimorphism found in cyclocephalines is not as pronounced as it is in the horned dynastines. However, most cyclocephaline species display sexual dimorphism of the protarsus (enlarged in males; simple in females) and elytral epipleural margin (simple in males; expanded and modified in females of some species). Moore (2012) hypothesized that during mating, there was an interaction between the enlarged male protarsal claw and the female epipleural expansion, making it easier for the male to clasp the female during copulation and for mate guarding. Moreover, as in all dynastines, the apex of the last abdominal sternite is emarginate in males and entire or rounded in females (Figs 1, 2).

Figures 1–2. 

Last sternite in Dynastinae. 1 male with apex emarginate 2 female with apex entire.

Cyclocephalini, while relatively morphologically uniform, is not well defined, and monophyly of the tribe still needs to be evaluated (Ratcliffe and Cave 2017). In that endeavor, some generic-level taxa have been removed from the tribe while others have been transferred into Cyclocephalini. Coscinocephalus Prell was transferred from Cyclocephalini to Pentodontini and is considered to be most similar to Orizabus Fairmaire (Morón and Ratcliffe 1996). The bizarre, monotypic genus Acrobolbia Ohaus was transferred from Rutelinae to Cyclocephalini by Jameson et al. (2002), and those authors compared the genus to Ancognatha Erichson. Peltonotus Burmeister, with 25 species, was transferred from Rutelinae to Dynastinae (Jameson 1998) and specifically to Cyclocephalini (Jameson and Jakl 2010). Additionally, the monophyly of several cyclocephaline genera is in doubt. Ratcliffe (2003) stressed that further research is needed on the genera Cyclocephala Dejean, Mimeoma Casey, Aspidolea Bates, and Ancognatha to ascertain if they should be maintained as valid genera or some should be folded into others. Moore et al. (2015) evaluated the monophyly of Mimeoma and its relationship with Cyclocephala by using a combined molecular and morphological analysis. These data showed that the five species of Mimeoma clustered within an apical clade of other Cyclocephala species, rendering Cyclocephala paraphyletic. As a result, Mimeoma was synonymized with Cyclocephala.

Pentodontini

Pentodontini is the largest tribe of dynastines, comprising about 100 genera and over 550 species distributed worldwide (Ratcliffe and Morón 1997, Ratcliffe and Cave 2017). Adult pentodontines are distinguished by: 1) the presence of tubercles, a carina, or a fovea on the head and pronotum; 2) broad mandibles with or without teeth on the scissorial region; 3) propygidium with or without a pars stridens; 4) lateral margin of the protibia usually tridentate; 5) apex of the metatibia usually truncate and margined with short, spine-like setae; 6) protarsus occasionally enlarged in males (Ratcliffe and Morón 1997, Ratcliffe and Cave 2017).

Dimorphism between males and females is slight in most species (Ratcliffe and Morón 1997), although males sometimes have larger protarsi and tubercles on the head and pronotum (López-García et al. 2015), and the pronotal fovea is more pronounced. Pentodontines, along with all dynastines, display sexual dimorphism of the last abdominal sternite, which is emarginate in males and entire or rounded in females (Figs 1, 2).

López-García et al. (2015) reported that for over 100 years, there was no consensus whether Pentodontini should be treated as a family, subfamily, or tribe. Historical workers prioritized different criteria: Mulsant (1842) considered the categories Pentodonaires and Oryctésaires as separate groups; followed by Bates (1888) who designated Pentodontinae as a subfamily (Ratcliffe and Morón 1997, López-García et al. 2015); Casey (1915) established Pentodontini as a tribe and later Leng (1920), Arrow (1937), Blackwelder (1944), and Arnett (1973) did not recognize any of these former designations and included pentodontine genera within Oryctini (Ratcliffe and Morón 1997). Endrődi (1969) re-established the tribes Pentodontini and Oryctini as they are currently used, but he considered that transitional characters blurred the distinction between the tribes. Consequently, the monophyly of Pentodontini is in doubt (Ratcliffe 2003, Gasca-Álvarez et al. 2008, López-García et al. 2015, Sanabria-García et al. 2012).

Materials and methods

Morphological methods

Morphological descriptions and temporal and distributional data were based on the study of 425 specimens from three sources: (1) field collecting expeditions by the authors and colleagues; (2) data recorded from the literature; and (3) specimens from the following museums and private collections: Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa, Canada), Canadian National Collection of Insects (Ottawa, Canada), Florida State Collection of Arthropods (Gainesville, Florida, United States), Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (Quito, Ecuador), Museo de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (Quito, Ecuador), National Museum of Natural History (Prague, Czech Republic), Museo QCAZ-Invertebrados de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (Quito, Ecuador), Stephane Le Tirant Collection (Terrabonne, Québec, Canada), University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, Nebraska, United States), and United States National Museum (Washington, DC, currently on long-term loan to University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States).

This study was developed as part of the broader project “The Dynastine Scarab Beetles of Ecuador”. For this reason, we provide only generalized, province-level distribution data for Pucaya and Parapucaya species in Ecuador. More detailed distribution data for these genera will be released as part of that forthcoming monograph. Collecting methods utilized were: 1) light traps using mercury vapor and ultraviolet bulbs; 2) foliage gleaning; 3) excavating rotting logs and stumps; and 4) manual collecting around public lights. Ecuadorian collecting, mobilization, and export permits were obtained with the support of QCAZ in Quito, Ecuador.

The species descriptions encompass the range of variation observed in the specimens at hand. They were based on the following characteristics (from Ratcliffe and Cave 2017): 1) length from apex of the clypeus to the apex of the elytra; 2) width across elytral humeri; 3) coloration and markings; 4) interocular width (number of transverse eye diameters across the frons between the eyes); 5) form and sculpturing of the head, pronotum, elytra, and pygidium; 6) form of the prosternal process; and 7) form of the parameres. Punctures were considered simple unless otherwise noted. Minute punctures were generally not visible with 12.5× magnification but were easily seen with 50× magnification. Small punctures were clearly visible with 12.5× magnification and can be seen with the naked eye. Large punctures are easily seen without magnification. Sparse punctures were characterized by greater than 5 puncture diameters between them. Punctures moderate in density had 3–5 puncture diameters between them. Dense punctures had only 2 or fewer puncture diameters between them.

DNA extraction, PCR, and data-mining

Previous studies by Gunter et al. (2016) and Ahrens et al. (2011, 2014) generated DNA sequence data that served as a phylogenetic scaffold for testing the classification of Pucaya and Parapucaya within Pentodontini (Tab. 1). GenBank was datamined for 28S, CO1, and 16S/ND1 sequences from diverse tribal-level exemplars for higher Scarabaeidae (Tab. 1). Among Dynastinae, there were tribal-level exemplars with at least partial data for all three gene regions from six of the eight commonly recognized tribes (minus Hexodontini and Agaocephalini). 16S and 28S data were generated from exemplar specimens of Pucaya pulchra Arrow and Parapucaya amazonica Prell to incorporate into this phylogenetic framework. Based on shared morphological characters with Pucaya species, Cyclocephala freyi Endrődi exemplars were also targeted for DNA extraction and PCR.

DNA extractions of metafemoral tissue from specimens of C. freyi, P. amazonica, and P. pulchra were performed using guanidinium thiocyanate following the QCAZ Molecular Biology Laboratory protocol (unpublished). 28S sequence data was gathered using the primers Bulbasaur/28SR (Moore et al. 2015, Whiting et al. 1997, Whiting 2001) and thermocycles from Moore et al. (2015). 16S sequence data was generated using the universal primer LRJ-12864 and 16Sar-L (Palumbi et al. 1991) with the following thermocycle: 1) 94 °C for 2 minutes; 2) 94 °C for 40 seconds; 3) 54 °C for 40 seconds; 4) 68 °C for 1 minute and 30 seconds (34 cycles of steps 2–4); and a final extension of 68 °C for 1 minute. Forward and reverse sequence traces were trimmed and assembled into contigs in Geneious 5.6.2 (Kearse et al. 2012).

Alignments and phylogenetic analyses

Based on the results of Gunter et al. (2016), a species of Isonychus Mannerheim (Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae: Macrodactylini) was used as an outgroup for all phylogenetic analyses. Isonychus sp. was recovered as the most early-diverging member of a melolonthine clade sister to the clade containing all Cetoniinae + Rutelinae + Dynastinae exemplars (Gunter et al. 2016), making this taxon a suitable outgroup for examining relationships among these subfamilies and placing Pucaya and Parapucaya at the tribal level. Sequences were aligned using ClustalW (Larkin et al. 2007), with default settings, as implemented in MEGA7 (Kumar et al. 2016). The resulting concatenated sequence alignment contained 3,537 bp positions (1530 bp 16S; 550 bp ND1; 805 bp CO1; 652 bp 28S).

Maximum likelihood analyses of this matrix were conducted in W-IQ-TREE (Trifinopoulos et al. 2016). The matrix was partitioned by gene (16S, 28S, and ND1) and codon position (CO1). The best-fit model of sequence evolution for each partition (GTR+F+I+G4 for 16S; TPM3u+F+G4 for ND1 and CO1 third position; TIM2e+I+G4 for 28S; HKY+F+I+G4 for CO1 first position; SYM+I+G4 for CO1 second position) was selected by ModelFinder (Kalyaanamoorthy et al. 2017), as implemented in W-IQ-TREE, using the Bayesian information criterion. Bootstrap support values for the most likely tree were calculated using 10,000 ultrafast bootstrap replicates (Hoang et al. 2017). Bayesian phylogenetic analyses were run in MrBayes 3.2.2 (Ronquist and Huelsenbeck 2003). Models of sequence evolution for the MrBayes analysis were determined with PartitionFinder 2.1.1 (GTR+I+G for 16S, ND1, 28S, CO1 second position, and CO1 third position; HKY+I+G for CO1 first position) (Lanfear et al. 2016).

Bayesian analyses comprised four independent runs, each with four chains (one cold and three heated). Partitions had their parameters unlinked and allowed to vary independently. Flat priors were used. Chains were run for 1 million generations, with trees sampled every 1,000 generations. Convergence was evaluated by examining the standard deviation of split frequencies among runs and by plotting the log-likelihood values from each run using Tracer 1.6 (Rambaut and Drummond 2013). Tracer diagnostics indicated that runs converged within 10,000 generations, and trees sampled during this period were discarded as burn-in before obtaining clade posterior probabilities. Parsimony tree searches were performed in MPBoot (Hoang et al. 2018). Heuristic searches were conducted using default parsimony ratchet search options in MPBoot. Bootstrap analyses were performed using the same ratchet search options and included 10,000 bootstrap replicates.

GenBank accession numbers of the taxa analyzed in this study. Molecular sequences of Cyclocephala freyi Endrődi, Parapucaya amazonica Prell, and Pucaya pulchra Arrow included in this study were obtained from the Museo de Zoología QCAZ, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito.

Taxa 28S
accessions
CO1
accessions
16S/ND1
accessions
Melolonthinae: Macrodactylini
Isonychus sp. HQ599181 HQ599132 HQ711606
Cetoniinae: Cetoniini
Chiloloba acuta (Wiedemann) DQ524778 DQ524540 DQ680981
Glycyphana sp. KF802022 KF801859 KF801691
Heterocnemis graeca Brulle EU084147 EU084042 EF487942
Protaetia sp. KF802102 KF801937 KF801775
Cetoniinae: Goliathini
Heterorrhina micans (Guérin Méneville) DQ524738 DQ524507 DQ681041
Cetoniinae: Schizorhinini
Bisallardiana sp. KF802033 KF801870 KF801702
Chlorobapta sp. KF802101 KF801935 KF801773
Chondropyga sp. KF802038 KF801875 KF801707
Dilochrosis sp. KF802056 KF801891 KF801727
Eupoecila sp. KF802032 KF801869 KF801701
Hemipharis sp. KF802088 KF801924 KF801760
Lomaptera sp. KF802099 KF801933 KF801771
Lyraphora sp. KF802058 KF801893 KF801729
Mycterophallus sp. KF802134 KF801970 KF801806
Pseudoclithria sp. KF802100 KF801934 KF801772
Trichaulax sp. KF802053 KF801888 KF801724
Dynastinae: Cyclocephalini
Cyclocephala freyi Endrődi MH938363 MH938360
Cyclocephala sp. JN969246 JN969202 EF487979
Cyclocephala sp. HQ599137 HQ599096 HQ711605
Cyclocephala sp. HQ599138 HQ599097 HQ711596
Dynastinae: Dynastini
Xylotrupes sp. KF802040 KF801877 KF801709
Dynastinae: Oryctini
Oryctes nasicornis (Linnaeus) JN969247 EF487735 EF487922
Dynastinae: Oryctoderini
Onychionyx sp. KF802089 KF801925 KF801761
Oryctoderus sp. KF802090 KF801926 KF801762
Dynastinae: Pentodontini
Alissonotum binodulum Fairmaire DQ524763 DQ524544 DQ680957
Alissonotum simile Arrow DQ524584 DQ524481 DQ681016
Carneodon sp. KF802161 KF801998 KF801832
Cheiroplatys sp. KF802054 KF801889 KF801725
Heteronychus lioderes Redtenbacher DQ524753 DQ524542 DQ680955
Metanastes sp. KF802007 KF801841 KF801675
Neocorynophyllus sp. KF802137 KF801973 KF801809
Novapus sp. KF802021 KF801858 KF801690
Parapucaya amazonica Prell MH938364 MH938361
Pentodon idiota Herbst EU084151 EU084045 EF487918
Phyllognathus dionysius Fabricius EU084152 EF487737 EF487944
Pimelopus dubius Blackburn JN969249 EF487738 EF487960
Pucaya pulchra Arrow MH938365 MH938362
Semanopterus sp. KF802008 KF801842 KF801676
Semanopterus sp. KF802075 KF801909 KF801746
Trissodon sp. KF802067 KF801900 KF801738
Dynastinae: Phileurini
Cryptodus sp. KF802020 KF801857 KF801689
Eophileurus sp. KF802057 KF801892 KF801728
Rutelinae: Adoretini
Adoretus lasiopygus Burmeister DQ524794 DQ524555 DQ680980
Adoretus sp. DQ524671 DQ524444 DQ680986
Adoretus sp. DQ524672 DQ524445 DQ680964
Adoretus versutus Harold DQ524766 DQ524450 DQ680948
Prodoretus truncatus (Arrow) EU084292 EU084139 EF487915
Trigonostomum mucoreum Burmeister EU084293 EU084140 EF487916
Rutelinae: Anomalini
Anomala bengalensis (Blanchard) DQ524741 DQ524510 DQ680971
Anomala biharensis Arrow DQ524723 DQ524519 DQ680974
Anomala bilobata Arrow DQ524607 DQ524495 DQ680977
Anomala praenitens Arrow DQ524792 DQ524553 DQ681042
Anomala variegate Hope DQ524760 DQ524524 DQ680938
Blithopertha sp. EU084289 EU084137 EF487957
Isoplia lasiosoma Burmeister HQ599172 HQ599124 HQ711583
Mimela siliguria (Arrow) DQ524724 DQ524498 DQ680959
Rutelinae: Anoplognathini
Anoplognathus sp. KF802029 KF801866 KF801698
Anoplostethus sp. KF802160 KF801997 KF801831
Anoplostethus sp. KF802157 KF801994 KF801829
Calloodes sp. KF802091 KF801763
Phalangogonia sperata Sharp KJ845157
Repsimus sp. KF802028 KF801865 KF801697
Repsimus sp. KF802092 KF801927 KF801764
Rutelinae: Geniatini
Geniates sp. HQ599185 HQ711603
Lobogeniates sp. HQ599186 HQ711604
Rutelinae: Rutelini
Anticheira sp. HQ599184 HQ711600
Parastasia sp. KF802096 KF801930 KF801768
Parastasia sp. KF802086 KF801920 KF801757
Parastasia sp. KJ845160
Pelidnota sp. HQ599187 HQ711602

Results

Morphology

Morphological observations show that Parapucaya shares characters with genera in Cyclocephalini, most notably with some Cyclocephala species. For example, the two Parapucaya species share characters with C. almitana Dechambre, C. macrophylla Erichson, C. melanocephala (Fabricius), and C. pseudomelanocephala Dupuis. These characters include: 1) frontoclypeal suture complete; 2) clypeus weakly emarginate with lateral and apical margins reflexed; 3) clypeal apex broadly truncate; 4) the generally exposed and slender mandibles that lack lateral teeth; 5) mandibular apex acuminate and curved upward; 6) protibia strongly tridentate with the basal tooth removed from other two teeth; 7) protarsus in males enlarged (the larger claw strongly curved and incised at apex), while females have a simple protarsus; 8) inner portion of the apical margin of the 5th protarsomeres in males eroded, allowing the enlarged protarsal claw to be further articulated; 9) metatarsi reduced, shorter than metatibia, more evident in females (character shared with C. melanocephala and C. almitana); 10) prosternal process moderately long, columnar, with its apex densely setose, flattened, and with a large, raised, round “button” covering half of the apex; 11) hindwing vein RA, proximal to apical hinge, with 2 rows of pegs extending distally nearly to margin of apical hinge; and 12) anterior edge of hindwing distal to apical hinge lacking setae and with a produced, membranous border (Figs 3, 4).

Figures 3–4. 

Hindwing vein RA3, distal to apical hinge. 3 Parapucaya sp. 4 Pucaya sp. Photo credits to Gavin J. Martin.

Like Parapucaya, Pucaya species share many characters with some Cyclocephala species (e.g., C. freyi). Pucaya also shares the character of a medially incomplete frontoclypeal suture with Ancognatha species. In Pucaya individuals, the frontoclypeal suture is visible from the lateral margins along the external side of the frontal horn, where it becomes obsolete medially. Pucaya and some Ancognatha species display weakly developed “armature” of the head and thorax. For example, Ancognatha castanea Erichson has tubercle-like swellings on the frontoclypeal region of the head. Ancognatha jamesoni Murray and A. horrida Endrődi show enlargement of the pronotum in males.

Other shared characters with other cyclocephalines include; 1) clypeus with lateral and apical margins reflexed; 2) clypeal apex broadly truncate, subquadrate; 4) maxillary galea with four teeth on inner margin (shared with C. freyi (Figs 5, 60), 5) slender mandibles that lack lateral teeth; 6) protibia strongly tridentate with the basal tooth removed from other two teeth; 7) protarsus in males enlarged (the larger claw strongly curved and incised at apex), while females have a simple protarsus; 8) inner portion of the apical margin of the 5th protarsomeres in males eroded, allowing the enlarged protarsal claw to be further articulated; 9) prosternal process short to moderately long, columnar, with its apex densely setose, flattened, and with a large, raised, round “button” covering half of the apex; 11) hindwing vein RA, proximal to apical hinge, with 2 rows of pegs extending distally nearly to margin of apical hinge; and 12) anterior edge of hindwing distal to apical hinge lacking setae and with a produced, membranous border.

Figures 5–6. 

Maxillary galea showing four teeth. 5 Cyclocephala freyi Endrődi 6 Pucaya pulchra Arrow. Photograph credits to Gavin J. Martin.

Molecular phylogenetic analyses

W-IQ-TREE analyses found the most likely tree with a log likelihood score of -42928.5840. MPBoot heuristic tree searches recovered most parsimonious trees of score 9992 steps. Bayesian posterior probabilities and parsimony bootstrap support values for nodes are reported on the maximum likelihood bootstrap consensus tree topology (Fig. 7). Analyses conducted on the concatenated dataset recovered 27 strongly supported internal nodes (>75 BS and >0.95 PP) from all three tree search strategies. All three analyses strongly supported the monophyly of Cetoniinae and Dynastinae (Fig. 7). Like the analyses of Gunter et al. (2016), the subfamily Rutelinae was recovered as paraphyletic. Parapucaya amazonica, P. pulchra, and C. freyi were recovered together as a clade (94 ML BS, 0.97 PP, 73 Parsimony BS) sister to the other three Cyclocephala exemplars. Together, these six exemplars form a strongly supported cyclocephaline clade (99 ML BS, 1.0 PP, 79 Parsimony BS) within the broader Dynastinae clade (99 ML BS, 1.0 PP, 91 Parsimony BS) (Fig. 7). The remaining 14 Pentodontini species included here did not form a monophyletic group. Six pentodontine species fell out in a clade that includes Cryptodus sp. (Dynastinae: Phileurini) (96 ML BS, 1.0 PP). Eight pentodontine species were recovered in a clade (98 ML BS, 1.0 PP, 86 Parsimony BS) that also included Oryctes nasicornis (Linnaeus) (Dynastinae: Oryctini).

Figure 7. 

Bootstrap consensus tree from W-IQ-TREE analysis. Node support values from left to right are ML bootstrap, Bayesian posterior probability, and parsimony bootstrap. Support values labeled with a “*” have 100% bootstrap support or 1.0 posterior probability. Support values labeled with a “-” have bootstrap supports lower than 50% or posterior probability lower than 0.95. Nodes labeled “--” indicates that node was not recovered by an analysis.

Discussion

Parapucaya and Pucaya were placed in Pentodontini by previous authors, and this tribal-level classification has been maintained since Endrődi’s (1985) revision of world Dynastinae. Parapucaya and Pucaya species were placed in Pentodontini because of their armature, such as the minute tubercles of the pronotum in Parapucaya species and the cephalic horns and tubercles of Pucaya species. These characters violated the tribal circumscription of Cyclocephalini. However, these two genera also complicate the traditional circumscription of Pentodontini. For example, Parapucaya and Pucaya have slender mandibles, and males and females can be easily distinguished by external characters.

Based on the morphological observations outlined in the previous section, we think that Parapucaya species are most similar to the C. melanocephala section of Cyclocephala. Additionally, we think that Pucaya species are most similar to C. freyi based on the shared form of the four-toothed galea present in all these species (Figs 5, 6). The following characters also support the hypothesis that Pucaya and Parapucaya are cyclocephalines: clypeus with lateral and apical margins reflexed; the clypeal apex broadly truncate shared with several Cyclocephala species; mandibles lacking lateral teeth; protibia strongly tridentate with the basal tooth removed from other two apical teeth; protarsus in males enlarged (the larger claw strongly curved and incised at apex), while females have a simple protarsus; and the inner portion of the apical margin of the 5th protarsomeres in males eroded, allowing the enlarged protarsal claw to be further articulated.

Study of the hindwings also showed that Pucaya and Parapucaya share the same character states: hindwing vein RA, proximal to the apical hinge, with two rows of pegs extending distally nearly to margin of apical hinge and the anterior edge of hindwing distal to apical hinge lacking setae and with a produced, membranous border. This exact combination of hindwing characters is also found in the cyclocephaline genera Arriguttia Martínez, Aspidolea, Augoderia Burmeister, most Cyclocephala (except black species formerly placed in Mononidia Casey or Surutoides Endrődi), and former Mimeoma species (Moore et al. 2018a). The genera Acrobolbia, Ancognatha, and Ruteloryctes also share the membranous border on the leading edge of RA3 but lack the double row of pegs on RA (Moore et al. 2018a). No other tribe of Dynastinae shares the character of a membranous border on RA3 (MRM, unpublished data). This hindwing character is a putative synapomorphy uniting these cyclocephaline genera plus Pucaya and Parapucaya.

Additionally, the molecular phylogenetic analyses presented here also support revised placement of Pucaya and Parapucaya in Cyclocephalini. Our analyses recovered a monophyletic Dynastinae with strong statistical support (Fig. 7). These analyses also recovered a strongly supported clade that included four Cyclocephala exemplars plus P. castanea and P. amazonica (Fig. 7). We think the weight of evidence supports the hypothesis that Pucaya and Parapucaya are part of the cyclocephaline lineage of Dynastinae. Based on morphological observations, we also think that Pucaya and Parapucaya are most likely to be closely related to sections of Cyclocephala. Thus, we formally move the genera Pucaya and Parapucaya, as a revised tribal placement, from Pentodontini into Cyclocephalini.

Historically, Cyclocephalini has been defined by the lack of characters present in other tribes, such as the lack of horns or tubercles, foveae, or carinae. However, this was an inconsistent concept as Ancognatha species with weakly developed cephalic and thoracic armature, (e.g., tubercles, enlarged pronotum, and enlarged mandibles) were already classified in Cyclocephalini. This work categorically indicates that Cyclocephalini includes individuals with armature. This is a potentially fascinating re-circumscription of the tribe, as the role of cephalic and thoracic armature is completely unknown for Pucaya, Parapucaya, and Cyclocephalini more broadly.

Review of Parapucaya Prell and Pucaya Ohaus

We present a revised key to the New World Cyclocephalini genera. We include a redescription of the species of Parapucaya and Pucaya, diagnosis, distribution data, and available natural history information. We include keys to species of both genera.

Key to the world genera of adult Cyclocephalini

(Modified from Jameson et al. 2002)

Males: Apex of last abdominal sternite emarginate (Fig. 1). Protarsomeres 4–5 and/or anterior claw enlarged in all genera except Stenocrates and Erioscelis.

Females: Apex of last abdominal sternite entire, evenly parabolic (Fig. 2). Protarsomeres 4–5 and anterior claw always simple, not enlarged.

1 Head with small horn or tubercle mesad of each eye (Figs 35, 36). Costa Rica to Ecuador Pucaya Ohaus, 1910
Head without horn or tubercle mesad of each eye (Ancognatha castanea Erichson has frons with low, median knob or elevated, transverse tubercle) 2
2 Apex of labrum chitinized (thickened). Labrum extends past the apex of the clypeus in dorsal view (Fig. 8). Asia Peltonotus Burmeister, 1847
Apex of labrum not conspicuously thickened. Labrum does not extend past the apex of the clypeus in dorsal view 3
3 Mandibles broad, nearly as wide as long (Fig. 9). West Africa Ruteloryctes Arrow, 1908
Mandibles narrow, distinctly longer than wide 4
4 Propygidium mostly covered by elytra, with long, dense setae that protrude from beneath elytral apices; propygidium often elongated, so that pygidium appears moderately to extremely shortened. Body noticeably tapered at both ends. Protarsus in males with tarsomeres 4–5 and claw enlarged. South America, West Indies Chalepides Casey, 1915
Propygidium lacking long, dense setae; length of propygidium normal. Body not noticeably tapering at both ends. Protarsus in males with tarsomeres and claw enlarged or not 5
5 Body form strongly flattened, relatively large (24–44 mm). Color black. Clypeus with apex narrowly to broadly parabolic (Figs 10, 11) 6
Body form not flattened, size smaller (6–29 mm, and some larger individuals of Ancognatha). Color variable, including patterns. Clypeus with apex variable, parabolic or not 7
6 Eyes large, interocular width equals 2.0 or less transverse eye diameters. Males with protibia slender, strongly curved, with distinct tooth on inner margin near base (Fig. 12); anterior trochanter with large, anteriorly projecting tooth. Northern South America Harposceles Burmeister, 1847
Eyes smaller, interocular width usually 3.0 or more transverse eye diameters. Males with protibia “normal”, not curved strongly, lacking tooth on inside near base; anterior trochanter lacking anteriorly projecting tooth. South America Surutu Martínez, 1955
7 Clypeus with sides slightly wider than base before abruptly narrowing to acuminate apex (Fig. 13). Males with antennal club almost twice as long as antennomeres 1–7 (Fig. 13). Meso- and metatibiae at apex with spinose process on external edge. Northwestern South America Acrobolbia Ohaus, 1912
Clypeus with sides tapering from base to apex (rounded, parabolic, subtriangular, or sharply acuminate), or with sides divergent from base to apex, but with apex never abruptly acuminate (Figs 1424). Males with antennal club slightly longer than, subequal to, or shorter than antennomeres 2–7. Meso- and metatibiae at apex without spinose process on external edge 8
8 Lateral margins of clypeus near base raised into a subacute crest, evident in posterodorsal view (Fig. 25). Clypeus thickened along the frontoclypeal suture. Frontoclypeal disc concave (Fig. 25). Specimens with double tubercles or faint declivity near anterior margin of pronotum. Costa Rica to Peru and Brazil Parapucaya Prell, 1934
Lateral margins of clypeus near base flat or faintly raised into a round crest, evident in posterodorsal view (Fig. 26). Clypeus flat or weakly thickened along the frontoclypeal suture. Frontoclypeal disc convex or concave (Fig. 26). Specimens without double tubercles or faint declivity near anterior margin of pronotum 9
9 Clypeus trapezoidal or subtrapezoidal, with marginal or apical bead (Fig. 27–28) 10
Clypeus with apex rounded, truncate, subquadrate, or emarginate, simple, with or without marginal bead (Figs 1424) 11
10 Frontoclypeal suture distinct, usually broadly depressed just before suture. Males with protarsomeres simple, not enlarged. Pronotum with anterior margin normally arcuate, not produced forward at middle (Fig. 27). Meso- and metafemora and meso- and metatibiae strongly flattened. Central and South America Stenocrates Burmeister, 1847
Frontoclypeal suture a finely impressed line but not with deep and broad impression before it. Males with anterior claw and usually protarsomeres 4–5 enlarged. Pronotum on anterior margin produced anteriorly at middle (Fig. 28). Meso- and metafemora and meso- and metatibiae not strongly flattened. North, Central, and South America, West Indies Dyscinetus Harold, 1869
11 Body form short, suboval, stout; elytra nearly as wide as long. Clypeus subquadrate, about twice as wide as long, apex broad, subtruncate, broadly reflexed (Fig. 14). Size 14–16 mm. Brazil, French Guiana Arriguttia Martínez, 1960
Body form usually elongate, not short or suboval or stout; if so, then length less than 14 mm (usually 9–12 mm). Clypeus with apex rounded, broadly parabolic, subquadrate, or emarginate (Figs 1524) 12
12 Clypeus with sides usually divergent (sometimes only slightly) from base to apex, apex broadly rounded (Fig. 16). Maxilla lacking well-developed teeth (when teeth present they are minute and obscured by setae), apex penicillate (setae usually long and dense). Mexico to Argentina Aspidolea Bates, 1888
Clypeus with sides parallel or convergent from base to apex (never divergent), apex rounded, subtruncate, or emarginate. Maxilla armed with distinct teeth, apex rarely penicillate (a few species of Cyclocephala) 13
13 Elytra distinctly, irregularly punctate, punctures not in regular rows; surface with or without weak metallic sheen. Clypeus with apex nearly semicircular, margin beneath apex distinctly thickened (Fig. 15). Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil Augoderia Burmeister, 1847
Elytra smooth or distinctly punctate, some punctures in regular rows; surface never with metallic sheen. Clypeus with apex variable, semicircular or not, margin beneath apex not distinctly thickened 14
14 Clypeus subquadrate, sides weakly converging to broad apex, apex truncate or emarginate (Figs 17, 18). Interocular width 6.0 or more transverse eye diameters (Figs 17, 18). Males protarsus and claw simple, not enlarged. Central and South America Erioscelis Burmeister, 1847
Clypeus not subquadrate, instead with sides converging from base to rounded, parabolic, subtriangular, or emarginate apex (Figs 19–24). Interocular width 5.0 or less transverse eye diameters (Figs 19–24). Males protarsus enlarged, with bifurcate median claw 15
15 Mentum with apex distinctly (often deeply) emarginate, surface at center furrowed in apical third (Fig. 29). Mandible elongated, apex extended to or beyond clypeal apex. Frontoclypeal suture obsolete medially. Length usually more than 18 mm, rarely as small as 15 mm. North, Central, and South America Ancognatha Erichson, 1847
Mentum with apex truncate or weakly emarginate (Fig. 30). Mandibles not elongated. Frontoclypeal suture more or less complete. Length variable, 6–35 mm. Canada to Argentina, West Indies (one species introduced to Australia, one species introduced to Hawaii) Cyclocephala Latreille, 1829
Figures 8–15. 

Form of clypeal apex. 8 Peltonotus silvanus Jameson and Wada (subquadrate, note chitinized labrum) 9 Ruteloryctes morio (Fabricius) (emarginate, note round mandibles) 10 Surutu seabrai d’Andretta and Martínez (narrowly parabolic) 11 S. hesperius Ratcliffe (broadly parabolic) 12 Protibia of Harposceles sp. 13 Acrobolbia sp. (pentagonal) 14 Arriguttia sp. 15 Augoderia sp. (thickened apex) (Figures 9–15 modified from Jameson et al. 2002, by permission).

Figures 16–24. 

Form of clypeal apex. 16 Aspidolea sp. (subquadrate, dirvergent from base to apex) 17 Erioscelis sp. (subquadrate truncate) 18 Erioscelis sp. (subquadrate emarginate) 19 Ancognatha sp. (narrowly parabolic) 20 Ancognatha sp. (parabolic) 21 Cyclocephala sp. (rounded) 22 Cyclocephala sp. (truncate) 23 Cyclocephala sp. (emarginate) 24 Cyclocephala sp. (sharply acuminate) (Figures modified from Jameson et al. 2002 and Ratcliffe 2003, by permission).

Figures 25–30. 

Form of clypeus and pronotum. 25 Parapucaya sp. (clypeus thickened with sharp crest on margins) 26 Cyclocephala melanocephala (Fabricius) (clypeus not thickened, margins weakly raised, rounded). 27 Stenocrates sp. (clypeus trapezoidal, pronotum not produced anteriorly at middle) 28 Dyscinetus sp. (clypeus subtrapezoidal, pronotum with anterior margin produced at middle). Form of clypeus in posterodorsal view Mentum 29 Ancognatha sp. (with furrow) 30 Cyclocephala sp. (without furrow, weakly emarginate). (figures 28–30 from Ratcliffe 2003, by permission).

Figure 31. 

Parapucaya amazonica Prell.

Figure 32. 

Parapucaya amazonica Prell parameres (from Ratcliffe 2003, by permission).

Figure 33. 

Parapucaya nodicollis (Kirsch).

Figure 34. 

Parapucaya nodicollis (Kirsch) parameres.

Figures 35–36. 

Pronota. 35 Pucaya pulchra Arrow 36 Pucaya castanea Ohaus.

Figure 37. 

Pucaya castanea Ohaus.

Figure 38. 

Pucaya castanea Ohaus parameres (from Ratcliffe 2003, by permission).

Figure 39. 

Pucaya pulchra Arrow. Image by B.C. Ratcliffe.

Figure 40. 

Pucaya pulchra Arrow parameres.

Parapucaya Prell, 1934

Figs 3, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34

Parapucaya Prell, 1934: 162.

Notes

Parapucaya contains two Neotropical species. The genus is distinct from other Cyclocephalini because of the presence of a strongly impressed frontoclypeal suture with the clypeus raised along the suture; lateral margin of clypeus near base raised into a subacute crest, evident in posterodorsal view (Fig. 25); and the presence of double tubercles or declivity near the anterior margin of the pronotum. It is necessary to look closely at the anterior margin of the pronotum to see the two small tubercles that help to characterize this genus, which can occasionally be difficult in some specimens where these tubercles are nearly absent, especially in P. amazonica. The color and general appearance of specimens of Parapucaya make them appear similar to C. melanocephala and other related species.

Adults of Parapucaya have been collected at lights at night. Species of this genus are found distributed in tropical lowlands, such as coastal and Amazonian rainforests, but also in areas with temperate climate, such as cloud forests. Based on label data of Ecuadorian individuals, specimens have been found in pastures. Nothing is known about the immature stages of Parapucaya species.

Key to the species of Parapucaya

Males with protarsomeres enlarged, protarsus with one claw simple and one enlarged. Females with protarsomeres slender, protarsus with both claws simple.

1 Pygidium glabrous. Male with round, minute, pronotal tubercle near mid-apex either side of midline; female with minute, transverse, pronotal tubercle near mid-apex either side of midline. Male parameres elongated (Fig. 34) P. nodicollis (Kirsch)
Pygidium setose around disc towards base. Male and female with barely perceptible declivity near mid-line of pronotal apex. Male parameres short (Fig. 32) P. amazonica Prell

Parapucaya amazonica Prell, 1934

Figs 31, 32

Parapucaya amazonica Prell, 1934: 162 (original combination).

Redescription

Length 13.0–16.3 mm; width 6.3–8.0 mm. Head: Frons with sparse, small punctures, mostly on sides. Frontoclypeal suture complete, sinuate, deeply impressed. Clypeus sparsely, minutely punctate. Interocular width equals 2.7–3.0 transverse eye diameters. Antennal club subequal in length to antennomeres 2–7. Pronotum: Surface sparsely punctate; punctures minute on disc, small on sides. Two minute tubercles present just behind apex either side of midline, tubercles often reduced to a subapical declivity. Elytra: Surface with rows of small to moderate, ocellate punctures. Pygidium: Surface with disc sparsely punctate, punctures small. Base and lateral angles with moderately dense punctures; punctures small to moderate in size, base with transverse row of small setae appressed to surface (hence, difficult to see). In lateral view, surface strongly convex in males, weakly convex in females. Legs: Protibia strongly tridentate, basal tooth removed from other two teeth. Protarsus in males enlarged, larger claw strongly curved and incised at apex; females with protarsus simple. Metatibia with 7–8 short, thick spinules. Venter: Prosternal process moderate in length; apex transversely oval, with anterior 1/3–1/2 convex, posterior 2/3–1/2 flat. Parameres: Fig. 32.

Distribution

Parapucaya amazonica is found from Costa Rica to Peru and Brazil (Endrődi 1969, 1985; Ratcliffe 2003). In Ecuador, it is widely distributed and has been recorded in thirteen provinces: Bolívar, Carchi, Cotopaxi, Esmeraldas, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, and Sucumbíos.

Diagnosis

Parapucaya amazonica is invariably mistaken for species of Cyclocephala because of its similar appearance. The subapical declivity of the pronotum (or two tubercles in well-developed specimens), in combination with the raised basal margins of the clypeus and the raised clypeal surface along the frontoclypeal suture, will distinguish this genus from Cyclocephala species.

Parapucaya amazonica and P. nodicollis can be separated from each other by the shape of the mentum (concave from disc to apex in P. amazonica, evenly convex in P. nodicollis), the pronotal tubercles (subtle in P. amazonica, conspicuous in P. nodicollis), the presence or absence of pygidial setae (base and lateral angles of pygidium setose in P. amazonica, glabrous in P. nodicollis); size (in general, P. amazonica is larger and stouter than P. nodicollis, although some individuals overlap); and their parameres (Fig. 32).

Natural history

In Ecuador, P. amazonica occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,450 m in the coastal, Andean, and Amazon regions. Based on label data, adults can be collected throughout the year but in higher numbers in February and December. Nothing is known of the immature stages of this species.

Parapucaya nodicollis (Kirsch, 1873)

Figs 33, 34

Cyclocephala nodicollis Kirsch, 1873: 344 (original combination).

Redescription

Length 11.8–13.0 mm; width 5.4–5.8 mm. Head: Frons rugulopunctate, punctures dense, moderate in size. Frontoclypeal suture complete, biarcuate. Clypeus subquadrate, surface rugo-punctate at base, shagreened at margins and disc; apex broadly truncate, slightly reflexed. Interocular width equals 2.5–3.0 transverse eye diameters. Antennal club slightly shorter than antennomeres 2–7. Pronotum: Surface moderately to densely punctate, punctures moderate in size, ocellate. Pygidium: Surface moderately to densely punctate, punctures moderate in size; glabrous. In lateral view, males with surface evenly rounded, females with surface nearly flat. Legs: Protibia tridentate, teeth subequally spaced. Protarsus in male weakly enlarged, median claw large, cleft at apex; protarsus and claw simple in female. Venter: Prosternal process moderately long, columnar; apex densely setose, flattened, and with large, raised, round “button” covering most of apex; setae long, tawny. Parameres: Fig. 34.

Distribution

Parapucaya nodicollis is known from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru (Endrődi 1985). In Ecuador, it is recorded in five provinces in the coastal, Andean, and Amazonian regions: Esmeraldas, Morona Santiago, Napo, Pastaza, Pichincha, and Sucumbíos.

Diagnosis

Parapucaya nodicollis is usually mistaken for species of Cyclocephala because of its similar appearance. The two small tubercles on the pronotum, in combination with the raised basal margins of the clypeus and the raised clypeal surface along the frontoclypeal suture, will distinguish members of this genus from Cyclocephala species.

Parapucaya nodicollis and P. amazonica can be separated from each other by the shape of the mentum (evenly convex in P. nodicollis, concave from disc to apex in P. amazonica); the pronotal tubercles (conspicuous in P. nodicollis, subtle in P. amazonica); the presence or absence of pygidial setae (glabrous in P. nodicollis, present across the base of the pygidium in P. amazonica); size (in general, P. nodicollis is smaller and thinner than P. amazonica, although some individuals overlap); and their parameres (Fig. 34).

Natural history

In Ecuador, it occurs at elevations from 300 to 1,800 m on both sides of the Andes. Based on label data, adults can be collected in Ecuador throughout the year and in higher numbers in February, June to July, and in November. Nothing is known of the immature stages of this species.

Pucaya Ohaus, 1910

Figs 4, 6, 35–36, 37, 38, 39, 40

Pucaya Ohaus, 1910: 675.

Notes

The genus Pucaya contains two species, P. castanea Ohaus and P. pulchra Arrow. López-García et al. (2015) compared type specimens and synonymized P. punctata Endrődi with P. pulchra based on similarities in body length, pronotal and elytral punctation, and the fact that the description of P. punctata was based on the color and punctation of a single female in a species where color pattern and punctation are variable.

Pucaya is distinguished from other cyclocephalines by its broadly truncate clypeus that conceals the mandibles; a small horn or tubercle near each eye (horns not as developed in Ecuadorian specimens as in Panamanian specimens); parameres with round, minute spinules (bumps) on the apical half; and a characteristic binodose pronotum.

Specimens can be taken at light traps, and some have been collected with pitfall traps. In Ecuador, species of this genus are widely distributed as follows: Chocó region in the coast; premontane, montane, and cloud forests in the Andean region; and rainforests in the Amazon basin. Life history information is lacking.

Key to the species of Pucaya

1 Elytra with impressed sutural stria at least on apical half. Protuberances on pronotum with their highest points close to midline, positioned between frontoclypeal tubercles in posterodorsal view (Fig. 35). Parameres as in Fig. 40 P. pulchra Arrow
Elytra without impressed sutural stria. Nodes on pronotum evenly round, widely separated, with their highest points about “in-line” with frontoclypeal tubercles in posterodorsal view (Fig. 36). Parameres as in Fig. 38 P. castanea Ohaus

Pucaya castanea Ohaus, 1910

Figs 36, 37, 38

Pucaya castanea Ohaus, 1910: 676 (original combination).

Pucaya columbiana Beck, 1942: 47 (synonym).

Redescription

Length 24.0–30.1 mm; width 11.0–14.2 mm. Color light to dark reddish brown; head, tibiae, and tarsi often black. Head: Frons and clypeus completely rugulose in males, partially rugulose to nearly smooth in females. Base of clypeus at sides (and just in front of eye) with short, vertically upright horn in males or a large tubercle in females. Clypeus with apex very broadly truncate, shallowly emarginate, broadly reflexed in males, narrowly reflexed in females. Interocular width equals 5.0 transverse eye diameters. Antenna with 10 antennomeres, club subequal to antennomeres 2–7. Mandibles small, narrow, not visible in dorsal view. Pronotum: Surface with sparse, minute punctures. A tumescent boss present either side of broadly depressed midline. Narrow marginal bead present on base. Elytra: Surface also with sparse, minute punctures; punctures becoming denser along lateral margins. Striae totally lacking. Pygidium: Surface with sparse, minute punctures. In lateral view, regularly convex in males, nearly flat in females. Legs: Protibia tridentate, basal tooth slightly removed from others. Males with claw of anterior tarsus enlarged, apex split. Apex of posterior tibia arcuate and with 9 short, stout spinules. Apex of first tarsomere of posterior tarsus triangularly elongated. Venter: Prosternal process short; apex transversely oval, anterior 1/2–2/3 convex, posterior 1/2–1/3 flat, a transverse sulcus often separating anterior and posterior parts. Parameres: Fig. 38.

Distribution

Pucaya castanea occurs in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador (Beck 1942b; Endrődi 1969, 1985; Ratcliffe 2003; López-García et al. 2015). In Ecuador, it is widely distributed in thirteen provinces: Azuay, Cañar, Carchi, Cotopaxi, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Loja, Morona Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, and Zamora Chinchipe.

Diagnosis

Pucaya castanea can be distinguished from P. pulchra by its elytral punctation. In P. castanea, the entire elytral surface has sparse, minute punctures, while in P. pulchra the elytral surface is striate-punctate from the base to 2/3 the length of the elytra. The punctures are dense, moderate in size, and ocellate, but on the apical third of the elytra the punctures are sparse and minute. The form of the parameres (Fig. 38) also separates both species.

Natural history

In Ecuador, P. castanea occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,550 m in the coastal, Andean, and Amazon regions. Based on label data, adults can be collected throughout the year but in higher numbers from February to May and from November to December. Nothing is known of the immature stages of this species.

Pucaya pulchra Arrow, 1911

Figs 6, 35, 39, 40

Pucaya pulchra Arrow, 1911: 167 (original combination).

Redescription

Length 20.4–23.7 mm; width 9.8–11.2 mm. Color of head black or piceous. Pronotum completely black or black with brown, elongate markings on margins, with or without brown spots on base of disc. Elytra entirely black or black with brown margins or brown with black markings on the suture, humerus and behind scutellum; markings can be short near elytral base or extend to umbone area. Scutellum, pygidium, venter, and legs black or brown. Head: Frons sparsely punctate at base, becoming progressively rugo-punctate anteriorly; punctures moderate in size. Frontoclypeal sutural area at sides with tubercle in both sexes; tubercle smaller in females, conical in males. Clypeus with apex very broadly truncate, reflexed, surface rugose at disc, smooth to shagreened at margins. Interocular width equals 4.1–4.3 transverse eye diameters. Antenna with 10 antennomeres, club slightly longer than antennomeres 2–7. Pronotum: Surface moderately to densely punctate at base, punctures moderate in size; sparsely punctate from disc to apex, punctures minute. Broadly depressed midline, with round depressions on each side of midline: 1 on apex, 2 between mid-disc and margins; depressions shallow in females. Elytra: Surface from base to 2/3 striate-punctate; punctures dense, moderate in size, ocellate; from 2/3 to apex with sparse, minute punctures. Pygidium: Surface densely punctate, punctures moderate in size. In lateral view, males with surface evenly rounded, females with surface nearly flat. Legs: Protibia tridentate. Protarsus in male weakly enlarged, median claw large, strongly curved, cleft at apex; protarsus and claw simple in female. Venter: Prosternal process moderately long, columnar; apex densely setose, flattened, and with large, raised, round “button” covering most of apex; setae long, tawny. Parameres: Fig. 40.

Distribution

Pucaya pulchra occurs in Colombia and Ecuador (Endrődi 1985; López-García et al. 2015). In Ecuador, adults were collected in five provinces: Esmeraldas, Loja, Napo, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Tungurahua, and Zamora Chinchipe.

Diagnosis

Pucaya pulchra can be distinguished from P. castanea by the elytral punctation . In P. pulchra, the elytral surface is striate-punctate from the base to 2/3 of the elytra; the punctures are dense, moderate in size, and ocellate, but the apical third has sparse, minute punctures. In P. castanea, the entire elytral surface has sparse, minute punctures. The form of the parameres (Fig. 40.) also separates both species.

Natural history

In Ecuador, P. pulchra occurs at elevations ranging from 20 to 1,900 m in the coastal, Andean, and Amazon regions. Some specimens have been collected in pitfall traps.

Acknowledgments

The invaluable cooperation of the following institutions is gratefully acknowledged: Museo de Zoología de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (Quito, Ecuador), Colección de Invertebratos del Sur de Ecuador, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (Loja, Ecuador), and the Escuela Politécnica Nacional (Quito, Ecuador). In Ecuador, permits for conducting research, collecting, and export were expedited by Álvaro Barragán, Taryn Ghia, and Fernanda Salazar (all Museo de Zoología de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador), and mobilization permits needed within Ecuador were provided by the directors and staff at the different Ministerio del Ambiente offices throughout Ecuador. We thank Omar Torres (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador) for his support and encouragement to pursue a molecular analysis of dynastines. He, together with Santiago Ron, collaborated with funding through their project Arca de Noé and with their personnel. We thank Claudia Terán (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador) for obtaining the DNA sequences necessary for the molecular analysis for several Dynastinae species and for her great spirit of collaboration. We thank Gabriela Castillo and Andrea Manzano (both Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador) who also participated in the first phases of the molecular work.

For loans and/or on-site access to institutional specimens, we thank Brett Ratcliffe and M.J. Paulsen (University of Nebraska State Museum), Álvaro Barragán, Florencio Maza, and Fernanda Salazar (all Museo de Zoología de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador); Vladimir Carvajal, David Donoso, Miguel Pinto, and Adrián Troya (all Museo de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador); Santiago Villamarín and Diego Inclán (Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito, Ecuador); Diego Marín (Colección de Invertebrados del Sur del Ecuador, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Loja Ecuador); François Génier and Robert Anderson (Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada); Patrice Bouchard and Serge Laplante (Canadian National Collection of Insects, Ottawa, Canada); Paul Skelley (Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville, Florida, United States); Joseph Jelínek (National Museum of Natural History, Prague, Czech Republic); and Stephane Le Tirant (personal collection, Terrabonne, Québec, Canada). We are grateful to the Fundación Jocotoco and the staff at the Canandé Reserve for the opportunity to visit their reserve and for their hospitality during a collecting trip.

Special thanks to Ronald Cave (University of Florida), Estefanía Micó (Universidad de Alicante), and Brett Ratcliffe (University of Nebraska) for their valuable comments that helped improve this manuscript. Estefanía Micó provided us with the protocols for the 16S and COI genes. Brett Ratcliffe and Ronald Cave (University of Florida) are acknowledged for sharing specimen data, conducting field research, and gathering data from museums in Ecuador. M.J. Paulsen (University of Nebraska) is acknowledged for his help with the photographic equipment at the University of Nebraska State Museum. We thank Beulah Garner (The Natural History Museum), Mary Liz Jameson and Oliver Keller (both Wichita State University) for their collaboration analyzing morphological and molecular characters in the early stages of this project. Mary Liz Jameson and Brett Ratcliffe are also acknowledged for sharing their Cyclocephalini illustrations. We thank Nicole Gunter (Cleveland Museum of Natural History) for her help in preparing the sequence alignments for phylogenetic analysis. We are grateful to Gavin J. Martin (Brigham Young University) for his help with imaging fine morphological structures of Pucaya and Parapucaya, and to Brett Ratcliffe (University of Nebraska) for the Pucaya pulchra image.

Partial support for field research and collections work was provided by a grant from the National Geographic Society (NGS 9936–16) to Brett C. Ratcliffe. This work was also supported by the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT) under the “Arca de Noé” Initiative (PIs: S. R. Ron and O. Torres-Carvajal).

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