Mallodon vermiculatus

Authors: Frank T. Hovore, Antonio Santos-Silva.

Mallodon vermiculatus sp. nov.

Male: Integument red-brown to castaneous; elytra lighter red-brown, head, mandibles, scape, second and third antennal segments, prothorax and profemora darker. Dorsal surface of the head with deep, coarse punctures scattered on occiput and anastomosing toward the front; front and clypeus with smaller, scattered punctures, each of which gives rise to a long, erect hair. Labrum sub-horizontal, clothed with long, erect hairs, apex acuminate and projecting anteriorly. Post-ocular region coarsely, deeply punctate, becoming confluent toward the lower eye lobe, with well-marked transverse furrows behind the eye and scattered punctures toward the gula. Genal apex angular with a single, anteriorly projecting, rounded apical tooth. Hypostomal semicircular depression deep, distinctly delimited by elevated lateral margins, inner surface deeply, coarsely vermiculate.

Mandibles elongate, relatively narrow, distinctly longer than head, arcuate at apex; dorsal carina strongly elevated from base to near apex, terminating abruptly and forming nearly a 90° angle with the dorsal surface before apical tooth; external surface with scattered, moderately coarse punctures, more concentrated apically; ventral surface deeply, longitudinally excavated, nearly glabrous and impunctate; internal surface clothed along lower one-half with a dense fringe of long erect hairs; inner margin irregularly dentate from base to apex, with a large, triangular tooth at basal one-third and another, slightly smaller, at the apical third, between which is an uneven series of small, sub-triangular teeth, and a single small tooth behind the large tooth at basal third; apices broadly bifid, outer apical tooth long and acute, inner apical tooth narrowly rounded. Antennae extending to near middle of elytra; scape narrow, strongly arcuate, slightly expanded apically, elongate, more than twice as long as antennomere III, longer than III and IV together, attaining the anterior margin of the pronotum; remaining segments simple, subcylindrical, antennomeres III and IV subequal in length, V and VI slightly longer, subequal, successive segments slightly increasing in length.
Prothorax transverse, about twice as wide as long; anterior angles rounded and only slightly projecting anteriorly; posterior angles obtuse, dentate; lateral margins sharply, irregularly crenulate; anterior margin slightly concave medially; posterior margin bi-sinuate. Pronotal disk with two separate, elevated, shining central callosities, and two small, elevated, somewhat linear calluses laterally, discal surface around and between callosities closely, moderately-coarsely punctate, becoming confluently punctate laterally. Prosternum and intercoxal process closely, moderately finely punctate; proepisternum with coarser, anastomosing punctures. Mesosternum with punctures similar to those of prosternum, but confluent; disc glabrous medially, clothed laterally with short, fine hairs. Mesepisternum and mesepimeron finely, shallowly punctate, clothed with short, fine hairs. Median portion of metasternum with a triangular-shaped, impunctate and glabrous area; finely, closely punctate and pubescent laterally and near meta-coxae. Metepisternum very finely granulate-punctate, densely, finely pubescent. Scutellum broad, rounded, glabrous and impunctate. Elytra nearly impunctate, slightly coriaceous basally; lateral margins narrowly explanate, rounded to suture, sutural angle with a short spine. Urosternites I-IV glabrous, minutely granulate-punctate laterally; fifth visible urosternite rounded apically, apex thinly fringed with long erect hairs.

Female: Similar in size and coloration to male, differing by the following characters: form slightly more robust; antennae shorter, reaching basal one-third of elytra; mandibles shorter than head, stout, dorsal carina less strongly elevated, evenly rounded at terminus before apical tooth, apex slightly more broadly bifid, inner margin irregularly dentate from base to apex, larger teeth less pronounced, outer surface densely, moderately-coarsely punctate. Prothorax with anterior angle rounded, moderately projecting anteriorly, posterior angle strongly, acutely dentate, lateral margins deeply, coarsely crenulate-dentate; pronotal disk with entire central area smooth, elevated, nearly impunctate, lacking separated calluses, lateral portions of disk with three irregular, elevated longitudinal callosities, anterior and posterior margins confluently punctate, remainder of disk coarsely vermiculate. Prosternum glabrous and nearly impunctate, margins feebly rugulose, proepisternum feebly vermiculate. Mesosternum glabrous medially, minutely granulate-punctate and finely pubescent laterally. Scutellum broadly angulated, apex obtusely rounded. Urosternites minutely granulate-punctate laterally, fifth urosternite with a few fine, short hairs apically.

Dimensions in mm (male / female). Total length (including mandibles), 58,5-74,3 / 49,0-64,5; prothorax length, 9,0-10,3 / 7,3-9,5; prothorax width, 16,5-21,5 / 10,5-18,5; elytral length, 31,5-41,8 / 34,5-45,0; humeral width, 16,5-20,0 / 15,0-21,0.

Type material. Holotype male from PANAMA, Panamá: Rodovia El Llano-Carti (km 8-13), 21-24.V.1996, J. E. Wappes, Huether & Morris col. (USNM). Paratypes. PANAMA, Panamá: Cerro Azul (1,800’), 1 male and 1 female, 14-22.V.1987; 1 female, 3.VI.1986, E. F. Giesbert coll. (FSCA); Cerro Azul/Jéfe (= same locality as E. F. Giesbert specimens, taken near the gate for the "Altos de Azul" residential development), 1 female, 11-12.V.1994, F. T. Hovore coll. (FTHC).

Comments. Mallodon vermiculatus sp. nov. may be distinguished from all other species in the genus by the combination of elongate male mandibles with the inner margin irregularly dentate, and the denticulation extending the entire length of the mandible, the triangular tooth at the basal third of the mandible (similar to that of some Stenodontes Audinet-Serville, 1832), slender, elongate, strongly arcuate antennal scape, more than twice the length of antennomere III, and longer than antennomeres III and IV together, and deeply impressed, coarsely vermiculate hypostomal area. From M. molarius Bates, 1879, with which it is generally sympatric in central Panamá (although found at a slightly higher elevation) it further differs by the lighter coloration, less-depressed body form, only the lower one-half of the inner margins of mandibles densely punctate-pubescent (entirely so in M. molarius), very differently shaped prothorax in both sexes (anterior angles strongly produced anteriorly, posterior angles broadly rounded in M. molarius), and relatively longer, slender femora. Mallodon linsleyi Fragoso & Monné,1995, from Peru and Brazil, has more massive, rounded male mandibles, minutely punctate hypostomal area, and laterally-projecting genae. Males of Mallodon hermaphroditus Thomson, 1867, have an elongate scape similar to M. vermiculatus, but are easily distinguished by the central area of the pronotal disk smooth and lightly punctate, without distinct calluses or ridges, and the lateral margins denticulate (see FRAGOSO & MONNÉ 1995).
Etymology. Named for the coarsely vermiculate sculpturation of the hypostomal area in both sexes and lateral portions of the female pronotal disk.

Location: Panama
Max. size: 74mm
Collection: Museum de Zoologia, Sao Paulo, Brazil.