Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: Death of a tribe: transfer of Onychius Chapuis to Rhyncolini Gistel and synonymy of Onychiini Chapuis with Rhyncolini (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Cossoninae)
Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Weevils, including bark beetles, are among the most important agro-forestry insect pests in the World. Weevils in the subfamily Cossoninae often resemble bark (Scolytinae) and ambrosia (Platypodinae) beetles, so much so that experts have often mistakenly described species of cossonines as bark and ambrosia beetles and vice versa. One hundred and fifty (150) years ago, a single specimen from Brazil was described as a new species of bark beetle. This species was dramatically different from any other bark beetle known at the time and was therefore included in its own tribe, Onychiini. The taxonomic act transferring this species from bark beetles to cossonine weevils went unnoticed for 114 years and the specimen remained largely unnoticed in a European collection. No one in the World knew what Onychius nitidus, the single representative of the tribe, looked like. This paper describes the outcome of carefully studying this “long-lost” specimen. The recognition of a distinct tribe is no longer warranted given the similarity of Onychius nitidus to other species already described in Cossoninae. This study brings stability and clarity to a very confused and poorly studied group of wood-boring beetles, the Cossoninae, and will better prepare farmers, foresters, federal and local regulatory and inspection agencies, against the threat posed by invasive species around the World.
Technical Abstract: The genus Onychius Chapuis, currently the only genus representing the cossonine tribe Onychiini Chapuis, is here transferred to Rhyncolini Gistel. This taxonomic act renders Onychiini a subjective junior synonymy of Rhyncolini. The total number of tribes included in Cossoninae now totals 17. The taxonomic limits, concept, and composition of the cossonine tribe Onycholipini Wollaston is also discussed in light of this new discovery and following comparison of Onychius with other scolytine-like onycholipine genera: Beaveriola Osella, Eurycorynes Wollaston, Stenoscelis Wollaston, and Stenosceloides Konishi