The beetle family Staphylinidae, better known as rove beetles, is currently the largest group of beetles. It contains about 60 000 species in thousands of genera. Most rove beetles are predators of insects and other kinds of invertebrates, living in forest leaf litter and similar kinds of decaying plant matter. They are also commonly found under stones, and around freshwater and oceanic margins.
One subfamily (Pselaphinae) comprises of about 170 species of cave-associated beetles that occur all over the world. Our new species represents a new member in this group. It was found in the Mahendra cave in central Nepal. The name of the new species refers to the modified male pro- and mesotarsi.
For the experts: The genus Pseudophanias Raffray is one of the 30 extant genera of the Tmesiphorini (Yin et al. 2013), its members are distinct in possessing small, unmodified maxillary palpi, and often strongly modified antennae in the male. Achille Raffray described (Raffray 1890a, 1890b, 1895, 1905) all ten hitherto known species that occur in West Malaysia (Penang; 4 spp.), Singapore (2 spp.), and Indonesia (Sumatra; 4 spp.). All of these are localized species, with four collected from sifted litter samples in forests, and the rest of uncertain ecological status. In this paper we describe a new species with remarkably elongate body form and appendages, collected by Dr. Petar Beron (Sofia, Bulgaria) in a cave (Mahendra Gupha) in central Nepal. While the genus Pseudophanias requires a complete revision, this species is quite distinctive in comparison to its nemoricolous relatives.