Friday 17 January 2014

A new species of Ground Beetle from Mexico.

Ground Beetles (Carabidae) are large, usually carnivorous Beetles, abundant across much of the globe. They are able to defend themselves by secreting noxious or caustic chemicals from glands on their abdomens (Bombardier Beetles are Carabids). Larger species are often unable to fly. Ground Beetles have a fossil record dating back to the Triassic; there are around 40 000 described extant species.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 4 July 2013, George Ball and Danny Shpeley of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta describe a new species of Ground Beetle from Oaxaca State in Mexico, as part of a wider study into Ground Beetles in the Americas.

The new species is placed in the genus Coarazuphium and given the specific name whiteheadi, in honour of Donald Whitehead, deceased, who collected some of the specimens from which the species is described. Coarazuphium whiteheadi is described from two female and one male specimens from cloud forest remnants at high altitudes western Oaxaca. It is a small Ground Beetle, 4.13-4.40 mm in length, yellow-white in colour, with an elongate oval body.

Coarazuphium whiteheadi in dorsal view. Scale bar is 5 mm. Ball & Shpeley (2013).

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