Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (2): 275-286, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.037

Two new ripidiine species in Dominican amber with evidence of aggregative behaviour of males "frozen" in the fossil record (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae)

Jan BATELKA1, Michael S. ENGEL2, Zachary H. FALIN2, Jakub PROKOP3
1 Nad vodovodem 16, CZ-100 00, Praha 10, Czech Republic; e-mail: janbat@centrum.cz
2 Divison of Entomology (Paleoentomology), Natural History Museum, and Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 1501 Crestline Drive - Suite 140, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66049-2811, USA; e-mail: msengel@ku.edu
3 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Viničná 7, 128 44 Praha 2, Czech Republic; e-mail: jprokop@natur.cuni.cz

Ten amber inclusions of male Ripidiinae (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae) are reported from Early Miocene deposits of the Dominican Republic and compared with extant species of Neorrhipidius Viana, 1958 from Argentina and Paraguay and Quasipirhidius Zaragoza Caballero, 1991 from Mexico. Neorrhipidius seicherti sp. n. and Quasipirhidius luzziae sp. n. are described and illustrated. Both species are characterised by 11-segmented antennae with eight distal antennomeres uniflabellate, mouthparts reduced to maxillary palpi represented by long styli with fused basal palpomeres, by metathoracic wings without crossveins and tarsal formula of 5-5-4. Neorrhipidius seicherti sp. n. differs from Quasipirhidius luzziae sp. n. by the presence of postocular ommatidia and by the shape of metascutellum. The distribution of fossil and extant Ripidiinae in Central America is briefly discussed. Furthermore, the frequent occurrence of Quasipirhidius luzziae sp. n. in amber as syninclusions suggests possibly unique synchronisation of emergence unknown in extant taxa or more likely intraspecific aggregative behaviour by males prior to mating with receptive females.

Keywords: Taxonomy, Coleoptera, Ripiphoridae, Ripidiinae, Neorrhipidius, Quasipirhidius, new species, Tertiary, Miocene, Dominican amber, Central America, paleoethology, aggregative behaviour

Received: April 19, 2010; Accepted: December 21, 2010; Published: April 5, 2011

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