SYSTEMATICS OF BEETLES IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURE, LANDSCAPE PLANTS, AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL
Location: Systematic Entomology
Title: Notes on the taxonomic identity of Bystus hirtulus (Kirsch) and transfer from Endomychidae to Coccinellidae (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea), with designation of a lectotype for Alexia hirtula Kirsch
Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2011
Publication Date: May 5, 2011
Citation: Shockley, F.W., Vandenberg, N.J. 2011. Notes on the taxonomic identity of Bystus hirtulus (Kirsch) and transfer from Endomychidae to Coccinellidae (Coleoptera:Cucujoidea), with designation of a lectotype for Alexia hirtula Kirsch. Zootaxa. 2868:62-68.
Interpretive Summary: Many beetle species are economically important pests of major crops, stored products, fiber, timber, and natural plant ecosystems; some are important as natural enemies of plant pests; and still others play key roles as scavengers, recyclers, or crucial components of complex food webs. This paper clarifies the identity of a beetle whose scientific name was based on a mixed series consisting of two kinds of predatory lady beetles and one kind of small scavenger beetle. This clarification will aid taxonomists, biological control workers, agricultural extension agents, and ecologists who use scientific names to locate relevant literature about an organism’s habits and habitats, and will assist them in making management decisions to the benefit of humankind and the environment.
During a review of type material of the New World endomychid genus Bystus Guérin-Méneville (Anamorphinae), the type series of Alexia hirtula Kirsch from Peru was examined and shown to contain a mixture of different taxa, none of which belong to the genus Bystus, the subfamily Anamorphinae, or even the family Endomychidae. In the present paper, a lectotype for Alexia hirtula is designated and the species is transferred to Delphastus Casey (Coccinellidae: Microweiseinae: Serangiini), establishing the new combination, Delphastus hirtulus (Kirsch). Of the three paralectotypes, one is considered to be congeneric with the lectotype, one is identified as an undescribed species of Microscymnus Champion (Coccinellidae: Cryptognathini), and one, a partial specimen lacking the head, pronotum, and one elytron, is identified as a species of Leiodidae in the tribe Scotocryptini, probably Aglyptinus Cockerell. The lectotype and paralectotypes are provided with additional labels to allow future researchers to distinguish among them. A diagnosis and redescription of D. hirtulus is provided, and Gordon’s (1994) key to Delphastus is modified to accommodate the newly transferred species. The historical classification of D. hirtulus is discussed along with characters justifying its revised placement.