Research Article
Research Article
Notes on the genus Episcaphium Lewis (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Scaphidiinae) with description of a new species from China
expand article infoLiang Tang, Yue-Ye Tu, Li-Zhen Li
‡ Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China
Open Access


A new Episcaphium species collected from Yunnan Province of China is described as E. zhuxiaoyui sp. n., and its diagnostic characters are illustrated. A new province record of E. haematoides is reported. A key to the Episcaphium species recorded from China is provided.


Coleoptera , Staphylinidae , Episcaphium , new species, China


Episcaphium Lewis, 1893 is a small Asian genus of Scaphidiinae. Up to the present, eleven species of the genus have been known from the world, and six species have been known from China: E. catenatum Löbl, 1999 and E. watanabei Löbl, 2002 from Sichuan, E. strenuum Löbl, 1999 and E. haematoides Löbl, 1999 from Yunnan, E. changchini Sheng & Gu, 2009 from Shaanxi, and E. dabashanum Sheng & Gu, 2009 from Chongqing.

Recently, we examined some specimens of the genus, among them a new species and a new province record.

Material and methods

Specimens were mainly collected by hand from decayed wood and fungi in broad-leaved forests and killed with ethyl acetate. For examination of the male genitalia, the last two abdominal segments were detached from the body after softening the specimens in hot water. The aedeagi were mounted in Euparal (Chroma Gesellschaft Schmidt, Koengen, Germany) on plastic slides. Photos of the aedeagi were taken with a Canon G9 camera attached to an Olympus SZX 16 stereoscope; habitus photos were taken with a Canon macro photo lens MP-E 65 mm attached to a Canon EOS 7D camera and stacked with Zerene Stacker (

The type specimens treated in this study are deposited in the following public and private collections:

NMPC National Museum, Praha, Prague, Czech Republic

SHNU Department of Biology, Shanghai Normal University, P. R. China


Episcaphium zhuxiaoyui sp. n.

Figs 1, 2, 5–7, 11

Type material

Holotype. China: Yunnan: ♂, glued on a card with labels as follows: “China, Yunnan Prov., Gongshan County, Heiwadi, alt. 2000 m, 7–10 June 2009, Zhu Jian-Qing & Zhu Xiao-Yu leg. ” “Holotype / Episcaphium zhuxiaoyui / Tang, Tu & Li” [red handwritten label] (SHNU) Paratypes. 5♂♂5♀♀, same data as the holotype (SHNU); 1♂, Deqin County, Nagu Vill., alt. 2250 m, 11.VII.2010, Wen-Xuan Bi leg. (SHNU); 7♂♂5♀♀, Lushui County, Laowo, Fenshuiling, alt. 2250 m, 7.VII.2010, Wen-Xuan Bi leg. (SHNU)


Body length: 5.3–5.9 mm. Pronotum width: 2.0–2.1 mm.

Head black, except for the reddish mouthparts. Inner basal parts of prohypomera, legs including coxal cavity and mesosternum blackish. Other parts reddish.

Frons at narrowest point 0.42–0.44 mm wide. Head coarsely and very densely punctate, punctation coarse on vertex and fine near eyes. Intervals between punctures distinctly smaller than diameter of punctures. Between eyes with a pair of impunctate patches. Labium smooth. Gular striae impressed, groove-like basally.

Pronotum with antebasal puncture row usually interrupted at middle (rarely uninterrupted), impressed laterally. Discal punctures fine and sparse.

Elytra with shallow apical impression and indistinct humeral protuberance; disc with four discal puncture rows consisting of rather coarse punctures anteriorly gradually becoming finer posteriad. All rows start at about basal 2/11 of elytron and end blurrily where puncture rows mix with apical disc punctures. Punctation fine between discal series of punctures and coarse in apical impressions. Mesoventral process with raised, ridge-like edges, and impressed in middle.

Metaventrite finely and sparsely punctate, lacking microsculpture, with medio-apical impression shallow, narrowed anteriorly, and carinate laterally.

Punctation of abdominal sternites very fine and very sparse. Micropunctures absent.

Male sexual characters. Segments 1 to 3 of protarsi slightly widened with dense setae on ventral side. Aedeagus (Figs 5, 6) with median lobe with apical portion inflexed in lateral view. Basal process small, slightly prominent. Parameres slightly sinuate in lateral view. Internal sac (Fig. 7) with a pair of comma-like sclerotized rods.


China (Yunnan).


This new species is similar to the variety of E. semirufum Lewis, 1893 with dark head described from Japan (Figs 3, 4, 8–10), but it may be distinguished from the latter by the different coloration of the ventral side, a pronotum with the antebasal puncture row usually interrupted at middle, and the formation of the discal puncture rows on the elytra: the two outer rows are distinctly separated from the basal puncture row, while in E. semirufum, they fuse with the basal puncture row. The new species is distinguished from all the other species by its coloration.

Figures 1–4. 

Adult habitus of Episcaphium. 1, 2 E. zhuxiaoyui sp. n. 3, 4 E. semirufum Lewis. Scales = 1 mm.

Figures 5–10. 

5–7 E. zhuxiaoyui sp. n. 5 aedeagus in lateral view 6 aedeagus in dorsal view 7 details of internal sac 8–10 E. semirufum Lewis 8 aedeagus in lateral view 9 aedeagus in dorsal view 10 details of internal sac. Scales = 0.25 mm.


This species is named in honor of Mr. Xiao-Yu Zhu who collected some specimens of the new species.

Biological notes

This species was found gathering on an unknown fungus on a huge rotten log across stream, and was observed to become active when night fell (Figs 11, 12).

Figures 11, 12. 

11 Living E. zhuxiaoyui sp. n. on fungus 12 Collector Mr. Zhu Xiao-Yu and log with fungus. Photo by Mr. Jian-Qing Zhu.

Episcaphium haematoides Löbl, 1999

Material examined

China: Gansu: 1♂, Lazikou Valley, 2020–2510 m, 34°09.9–10.1'N, 103°48.2–51.9'E, 28.VI.2005, J. Hájek, D. Král & J. Růžička leg. (NMPC)


This species was previously known from Yunnan and Sichuan. The above male represents the first record from Gansu.

Key to Episcaphium species of China

1 Pronotum black 2
Pronotum and elytra reddish, sometimes with black spots or fasciae 4
2 Elytra without puncture rows; abdomen reddish E. strenuum
Elytra with four discal puncture rows; abdomen black 3
3 Pronotum with antebasal puncture row impressed laterally; elytra with distinct apical impressions E. dabashanum
Pronotum with antebasal puncture row not impressed laterally; elytra without impressions E. catenatum
4 Elytra reddish with black spots or fasciae 5
Elytra entirely reddish E. zhuxiaoyui
5 Elytra each with two black transverse fasciae, without discal puncture rows E. watanabei
Elytra each with one apical black spot, with four discal puncture rows 6
6 Tempora without punctures; pronotum with a pair of black basal spots situated between antebasal puncture row and basal edge E. haematoides
Tempora densely punctate; pronotum with a pair of black median spots anterior to antebasal puncture row E. changchini


We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Ivan Löbl (Switzerland) for his guidance, to Mr. Ryo Ogawa (Japan) and Dr. Volker Assing (Germany) for greatly improving the manuscript, to Mr. Xiao-Yu Zhu, Mr. Jian-Qing Zhu and Mr. Wen-Xuan Bi (China) for collecting specimens and sharing biological information, to Mr. Chen Chang-Chin (China) for donating specimens to us, to Dr. Masahiro Sakai, Mr. Ryo Ogawa and Mr. Yuji Katayama (Japan) for the loan of material for comparison, and to Dr. Martin Fikáček (Czech Republic) for the loan of additional material.


  • Lewis G (1893) On some Japanese Scaphidiidae. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History (6) 11: 354–357. doi: 10.1080/00222939308677539
  • Löbl I (1999) A review of the Scaphidiinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) of the People’s Republic of the China, I. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 106(3): 691–744. doi: 10.5962/bhl.part.80102
  • Löbl I (2002) Two new species of Episcaphium Achard (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Scaphidiinae). Special Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Coleopterology (5): 289–295.
  • Sheng C, Gu F-K (2009) Two new species of the genus Episcaphium Lewis (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Scaphidiinae) of China. Zootaxa 2325: 35–38.
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