Erotylinae (Insecta: Coleoptera: Cucujoidea: Erotylidae): taxonomy and biogeography

Paul E Skelley, Richard A B Leschen


The fungus-feeding Erotylinae fauna of New Zealand are revised and a key to the adults and illustrations of key characters for all species are presented. Use of the aedeagal characters was facilitated by a chemical method that inflated the membranes of the internal sac. Cryptodacne Sharp, 1878 is redescribed and two new species are described: Cryptodacne nui n. sp., and Cryptodacne rangiauria n. sp. The following new synonymies are made: Cryptodacne vagepunctatus Broun, 1882 is synonymised under Cryptodacne ferrugata Reitter, 1879; Cryptodacne vittata Broun, 1886 is synonymised under Cryptodacne synthetica Sharp, 1878; and Cryptodacne ocularia Broun, 1913 is synonymised under Cryptodacne pubescens Broun, 1893. Lectotypes are designated for Engis politus White, 1846 and Cryptodacne ocularia Broun to fix the concept of each of the species to a single specimen. A new genus, Kuschelengis n. gen., is proposed with Engis politus White as the type species. Engis politus White, more commonly known as Thallis polita (White), becomes Kuschelengis politus (White), new combination. Cryptodacnini Sen Gupta, 1969 is synonymised with Dacnini Arrow, 1925.

A complete phylogeny of Cryptodacne shows that the species C. brounii, with an unknown distribution, is the sister taxon to the North Island C. lenis. The Chatham Islands endemic species C. rangiauria is the sister taxon to the mainland species C. pubescens, from coastal areas around the Cook Strait. Recent phylogenetic data for lineages containing Chatham Islands endemic species (or populations) show that the endemics are typically derived relative to other members of their clades. Identifying mainland source areas for species are complicated because of the lack of complete phylogenies for most groups. Nevertheless, half of the ancestral areas indicate source areas from the South Island. It is hypothesised that the ancestor of C. pubescens and C. rangiauria occupied areas that emerged after the transgression of the Manawatu Strait after the Pliocene submergence.

Checklist of taxa

Family Erotylidae
Subfamily Erotylinae
Genus Kuschelengis
     politus (White)

Genus Cryptodacne
     brounii (Pascoe)
     ferrugata Reitter
     lenis Broun
     nui n. sp.
     pubescens Broun
     rangiauria n. sp.
     synthetica Sharp


Coleoptera; Cucujoidea; Erotylidae; erotylid beetles; beetles; Erotylinae; taxonomy; phylogeny; keys; new species; biology


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