Friday 15 May 2015

Ateuchus cujuchi: A new species of Scarab Beetle from Rodent burrows in Bolivia.

Tuco-tucos, Ctenomys spp., are small South American Rodents which live their entire lives underground within underground burrow systems, never venturing to the surface. Studies of other Rodents with similar lifestyles, such as the Pocket Gophers of North America, have found that their burrows tend to form unique ecosystems with distinctive faunas of Insects and other small invertebrates.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 8 April 2015, François Génier of the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids andNematodes at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, describes a new species of Scarab Beetle discovered during an investigation into the fauna of Tuco-tuco burrows at low elevation in Santa Cruz de la Sierra province, Bolivia.

The new Beetle is placed in the genus Ctenomys, and given the specific name cujuchi, a local name for Tuco-tucos. These are glossy black Scarab Beetles 4.3-6.0 mm in length, with coarsely punctate pygidia (dense patterns of pits on their backs between the heads and wings).

Ateuchus cujuchi in (1) dorsal and (2) ventral views. Génier(2015).

See also…

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