Sunday, February 19, 2017

[Entomology • 2017] Neoclita pringlei • A New Relict Genus and Species (Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae) from the Drakensberg Range of South Africa

Neoclita pringlei 
Perissinotto, 2017 


A new genus is erected within the Cetoniini to describe a newly discovered species with characters shared between Heteroclita Burmeister, 1842Ichnestoma Gory & Percheron, 1833 and Meridioclita Krikken, 1982. Neoclita pringlei gen. et sp. nov. exhibits a simple clypeal structure without specialized armour, along with hypertrophic and hairy tarsal segments as well as a fully winged female. The new species also exhibits an aedeagal structure closest to Meridioclita, with dorsal lobes of parameres substantially narrower than the ventral ones. The species appears to be restricted to high altitudes in the southwestern peri-Drakensberg area of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Similarly to other mountain relicts known from the southern African region, adults emerge only after major rainfall events during the late spring to early summer season and do not show any evidence of feeding. It appears that flying activity may be temporarily interrupted following soil desiccation, to resume promptly after the next rainfall.

Keywords: new genus; new species; HeteroclitaIchnestomaMeridioclita; Afrotropical region

Fig. 4.  Neoclita pringlei gen. et sp. nov., ♂, specimen in its natural habitat
(photo: Lynette Clennell, Matatiele, 6 Dec. 2008).

Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758
Family Scarabaeidae Latreille, 1802
Subfamily Cetoniinae Leach, 1815

Tribe Cetoniini Leach, 1815

Genus Neoclita gen. nov.

Etymology: The name of the new genus arises from the latest discovery of another taxon in the “clita” grouping

Neoclita pringlei gen. et sp. nov.  

Etymology: The species is named after the renowned South African lepidopterologist Ernest Pringle, who first collected the new species in the Matatiele Nature Reserve and promptly brought it to my attention.


 Renzo Perissinotto. 2017. Neoclita pringlei (Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae), A New Relict Genus and Species from the Drakensberg Range of South Africa. European Journal of Taxonomy. 279: 1–12.  DOI:  10.5852/ejt.2017.279

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