Wednesday 4 July 2012

Two new species of Rove Beetle from Zhejiang Province, China.

Rove Beetles (Staphylinidae) are a large  group of Beetles notable for having short elytra (wing cases) which leaves much of the abdomen exposed. Some species are quite large (up to 35 mm) and therefore notable, though most are under 10 mm. The group have a long fossil record, dating back at least to the Triassic (roughly 200 million years ago). Some forms are known to cary human pathogens.

In a paper published in the journal Zookeys on 17 May 2012, Wen-Li Ma, Li-Zhen Li and Mei-Jun Zhao of the Department of Biology at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at Shanghai Normal University describe two new species of Rove Beetle discovered in leaf litter on Longwangshan Mountain in Zhejiang Province, China, during an expedition by the university in 2004.

Both new species are placed in the widespread genus Lesteva. The first species is named Lesteva cala, meaning 'beautiful'. It is a 3 mm black Beetle with red legs and a reddish spot on each wingcase. The second species is named Lesteva erythra, meaning 'reddish'. It is a brownish beetle, similar in size to L. cala, with reddish limbs and spots on its wing cases.

New species of Rove Beetle from Longwangshan Mountain. (1) Lesteva cala. (2) Lesteva erythra. Scale bars are 0.5 mm. Ma et al. (2012).

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