Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A new ground beetle: Trichotichnus newtoni

The huge ground beetle subfamily Harpalinae contains about 20,000 species. Sometimes they are called harp beetles. As with many ground beetles despite variation of body shape and coloring, most are shiny black or metallic and have ridged wing covers. Sometimes the wing covers are fused in some species, particularly large one, rendering the beetles unable to fly. 

Today's new species is one of those species that can't fly because its wings are not functional for flight which also means that it usually is not widely distributed. It was found only on the McKinley Mount, Mindanao, Philippines.

The species was named after the coleopterist Alfred F. Newton, who helped the author with his visit to the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, where he was able to study the type series of the new species.

For the experts: Originally described as a separate monotypical genus, Bottchrus Jedlička, 1935 is treated as a senior synonym of Bellogenus Clarke, 1971, the subgenus of the genus Trichotichnus Morawitz, 1863. The type species of the subgenus Bottchrus, stat. n., Trichotichnus (Bottchrus) philippinus (Jedlička, 1935), comb. n., is redescribed on the basis of the holotype from the Philippines (without more detailed location) and the new brachypterous species, Trichotichnus (Bottchrus) newtoni sp. n., is described from the series collected in the McKinley Mount, Mindanao, Philippines. The relationships between the brachypterous species of Bottchrus from Ethiopia, the Himalayan region and the Philippines are briefly discussed. The following synonymy is stated: Bottchrus Jedlička, 1935 = Bellogenus Clarke, 1971, syn. n., = Pseudotrichotichnus Habu, 1973.

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