Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 48 - Scaphidiinae (Insecta: Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) - Abstract

Löbl, I; Leschen, RAB 2003. Scaphidiinae (Insecta: Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Fauna of New Zealand 48, 94 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 48. ISBN 0-478-09353-5 (print), ). Published 18 Nov 2003


The 23 species of New Zealand scaphidiine Staphylinidae are revised and illustrated, with 1 genus and 15 species described as new. Cyparium is represented by 2 new species: C. earlyi n. sp. and C. thorpei n. sp. The originally monotypic genus Brachynopus now includes 4 species: B. apicellus (Broun) (new combination), B. latus Broun (= Baeocera fulvicollis Broun, new synonymy), Brachynopus rufus (Broun) (new combination; = Baeocera armata Broun, new synonymy), and Brachynopus scutellaris (Redtenbacher) (new combination; = Scaphisoma tenellum Pascoe, new synonymy; = Baeocera rufipes Broun, new synonymy). Notonewtonia n. gen. is described and includes 2 species: N. thayerae n. sp. (type species) and N. watti n. sp. The genus Baeocera includes 12 species: B. abrupta n. sp., B. actuosa (Broun) (new combination), B. benolivia n. sp., B. elenae n. sp., B. epipleuralis n. sp., B. hillaryi n. sp., B. karamea n. sp., B. punctatissima n. sp., B. sternalis Broun, B. tekootii n. sp., B. tensingi n. sp., and B. tenuis n. sp.. The genus Scaphisoma includes 3 species: S. hanseni n. sp., S. corcyricum Lōbl (introduced from the Mediterranean), and S. funereum Lōbl (introduced from Australia and established). A key is provided to all of the species and diagnoses for the higher taxa, including larval information where available.

Two genera are endemic to New Zealand ( Brachynopus and Notonewtonia ), whereas Baeocera and Scaphisoma are very diverse and distributed worldwide. Cyparium is rather restricted in distribution and is mainly circumtropical and absent from Australia and New Caledonia: the 2 rare New Zealand species are related to South African species.  Although some species are rather widespread (most notably Brachynopus scutellaris and Scaphisoma hanseni ) other species are more regionally distributed. The centre for diversity of New Zealand species is in northern South Island where there are several similar-looking allopatric species of Baeocera .   The most commonly collected species is the flightless Brachynopus latus that is found in many habitats, including pastures.  Otherwise species are mainly forest dwelling and are taken most easily by leaf litter sifting or by hand collecting from host fungi. Rarely collected species, such as members of Cyparium (known from 3 specimens) and Notonewtonia (known from under 20 specimens), each genus with 2 species, may be indicative of certain microhabitats that are threatened and these species should be attributed conservation status.

Twelve of the 21 endemic New Zealand species are flightless, and island members of Brachynopus scutellaris are brachypterous or apterous. Scaphidiines are strictly fungus feeding and are found on Polyporacaea, Corticiacaea, and Myxomycetes. Brachynopus species are found breeding mainly on resupinate corticioid and polyporoid Basidiomycetes where larvae build canopy retreats. Species of Baeocera are associated mainly with Myxomycetes whereas adults of Scaphisoma hanseni are found commonly on Phellinus kamahi.

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