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Two invaders instead of one: the true identity of species under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Coleoptera: Ciidae).

Antunes-Carvalho C, Lopes-Andrade C - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: As results, we reverse three previous junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus, proposing Cer. lamellatus (Pic) and Cer. tabellifer (Mellié), both reinstated status and new combinations, as separate species.Based on these data, we discuss possible explanations to the successful invasion of Cer. tabellifer in Africa and elsewhere and its potential threat to native faunas of ciids.This study helps to fulfil an old gap in the literature on biological invasions, with considerably more studies on predatory species, disease vectors or potential pests of agricultural crops, than on non-pest fungivorous organisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Entomologia, Departamento de Entomologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
The Neotropical obligate fungivorous beetle Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié) has attracted attention of coleopterists due to the increasing number of records of populations in Africa. Although its disjunct populations have been interpreted as a cohesive taxonomic unity, previous comparisons between African and Neotropical specimens revealed differences in their external morphology, causing uncertainty about the true unity of the species. Here, we compare the external morphology of specimens named Cer. cucullatus from several localities of the Neotropical, Palearctic, Afrotropical, Afrotemperate and Oriental regions. As results, we reverse three previous junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus, proposing Cer. lamellatus (Pic) and Cer. tabellifer (Mellié), both reinstated status and new combinations, as separate species. We also propose Enn. bilamellatum Pic as a new synonym of Cer. tabellifer. In face of these taxonomic changes, we identify Cer. tabellifer as the actual invasive species on African lands, instead of Cer. cucullatus as was previously accepted. Then, through historical records gathered from scientific collections and literature, and through examination of recently collected specimens from South Africa and Brazil, we provide data on host fungi and geographic distribution of Cer. tabellifer. Based on these data, we discuss possible explanations to the successful invasion of Cer. tabellifer in Africa and elsewhere and its potential threat to native faunas of ciids. This study helps to fulfil an old gap in the literature on biological invasions, with considerably more studies on predatory species, disease vectors or potential pests of agricultural crops, than on non-pest fungivorous organisms.

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Timeline of the taxonomy of species previously under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié).
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pone-0072319-g001: Timeline of the taxonomy of species previously under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié).

Mentions: Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié) belongs to Ciidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea), a family of small obligate fungivorous beetles that live and breed in polypore basidiomes worldwidely. Ceracis cucullatus was originally described as Ennearthron cucullatum by Mellié in 1849 [1], based on specimens from Cayenne (French Guiana), Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and Reunion Island, and subsequently transferred to Ceracis Mellié by Lawrence [2] (Fig. 1). It names the cucullatus species-group, which currently comprises Cer. bicornis (Mellié), Cer. cassumbensis Antunes-Carvalho & Lopes-Andrade, Cer. cucullatus and Cer. navarretei Antunes-Carvalho & Lopes-Andrade. It also encompasses the names Ennearthron tabelliferum Mellié, Enn. Bilamellatum Pic and Enn. lamellatum Pic, junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus. These synonymies were proposed by Lawrence [2] who argued that they were described as new based primarily on differences in size and development degree of male pronotal projections. Such secondary sexual characteristics exhibit a wide variation in size and sometimes even in form, as they have allometric growth. It is common to find male ciids with either conspicuous or weak secondary characteristics coexisting in a single population. This phenotypic plasticity may hamper the delimitation and identification of species, and may lead to the proposition of synonymies.


Two invaders instead of one: the true identity of species under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Coleoptera: Ciidae).

Antunes-Carvalho C, Lopes-Andrade C - PLoS ONE (2013)

Timeline of the taxonomy of species previously under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756068&req=5

pone-0072319-g001: Timeline of the taxonomy of species previously under the name Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié).
Mentions: Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié) belongs to Ciidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea), a family of small obligate fungivorous beetles that live and breed in polypore basidiomes worldwidely. Ceracis cucullatus was originally described as Ennearthron cucullatum by Mellié in 1849 [1], based on specimens from Cayenne (French Guiana), Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and Reunion Island, and subsequently transferred to Ceracis Mellié by Lawrence [2] (Fig. 1). It names the cucullatus species-group, which currently comprises Cer. bicornis (Mellié), Cer. cassumbensis Antunes-Carvalho & Lopes-Andrade, Cer. cucullatus and Cer. navarretei Antunes-Carvalho & Lopes-Andrade. It also encompasses the names Ennearthron tabelliferum Mellié, Enn. Bilamellatum Pic and Enn. lamellatum Pic, junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus. These synonymies were proposed by Lawrence [2] who argued that they were described as new based primarily on differences in size and development degree of male pronotal projections. Such secondary sexual characteristics exhibit a wide variation in size and sometimes even in form, as they have allometric growth. It is common to find male ciids with either conspicuous or weak secondary characteristics coexisting in a single population. This phenotypic plasticity may hamper the delimitation and identification of species, and may lead to the proposition of synonymies.

Bottom Line: As results, we reverse three previous junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus, proposing Cer. lamellatus (Pic) and Cer. tabellifer (Mellié), both reinstated status and new combinations, as separate species.Based on these data, we discuss possible explanations to the successful invasion of Cer. tabellifer in Africa and elsewhere and its potential threat to native faunas of ciids.This study helps to fulfil an old gap in the literature on biological invasions, with considerably more studies on predatory species, disease vectors or potential pests of agricultural crops, than on non-pest fungivorous organisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Entomologia, Departamento de Entomologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
The Neotropical obligate fungivorous beetle Ceracis cucullatus (Mellié) has attracted attention of coleopterists due to the increasing number of records of populations in Africa. Although its disjunct populations have been interpreted as a cohesive taxonomic unity, previous comparisons between African and Neotropical specimens revealed differences in their external morphology, causing uncertainty about the true unity of the species. Here, we compare the external morphology of specimens named Cer. cucullatus from several localities of the Neotropical, Palearctic, Afrotropical, Afrotemperate and Oriental regions. As results, we reverse three previous junior synonymies of Cer. cucullatus, proposing Cer. lamellatus (Pic) and Cer. tabellifer (Mellié), both reinstated status and new combinations, as separate species. We also propose Enn. bilamellatum Pic as a new synonym of Cer. tabellifer. In face of these taxonomic changes, we identify Cer. tabellifer as the actual invasive species on African lands, instead of Cer. cucullatus as was previously accepted. Then, through historical records gathered from scientific collections and literature, and through examination of recently collected specimens from South Africa and Brazil, we provide data on host fungi and geographic distribution of Cer. tabellifer. Based on these data, we discuss possible explanations to the successful invasion of Cer. tabellifer in Africa and elsewhere and its potential threat to native faunas of ciids. This study helps to fulfil an old gap in the literature on biological invasions, with considerably more studies on predatory species, disease vectors or potential pests of agricultural crops, than on non-pest fungivorous organisms.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus