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Article
Published: 2020-09-01

A new species of Psectrascelis (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Pimeliinae) from the coastal dunes of the Atacama Desert, Chile

Laboratorio de Ecología e Impactos Ambientales, Escuela de Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avenida Borgoño 16344, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile
Escuela de Salud, Campus Rodelillo, Universidad de Viña del Mar, Viña del Mar, Chile.
Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Avenida Andrés Bello 720, Chillán, Chile.
Institut für Zoologie, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 47b, 50674, Köln, Germany.
Coleoptera Biogeographical barrier cryptic species convergence phylogeny Huasco river taxonomy Nycteliini

Abstract

Psectrascelis is one of the most specious genus of darkling beetles of South America, comprising 82 species that inhabit arid and semiarid environments. The species are distributed mainly in Argentina and Chile. In general, the taxonomy of several species in this group has been difficult to approach. An example is Psectrascelis pilosa Solier and Psectrascelis conjugens Fairmaire, species morphologically similar which presents a rather poor original description and mislabelled. These species are distributed sympatrically in coastal terraces at the northern side of Huasco river, northern Chile. We collected several specimens of Psectrascelis on the southern side of Huasco river which are morphologically similar to P. pilosa. Morphological and genetic analysis support the description of the species Psectrascelis ammophila sp. nov., which is more closely related to Psectrascelis elongata and Psectrascelis pilipes specularis than other morphologically similar species (Psectrascelis pilosa and Psectrascelis conjugens). The importance of the Huasco river as barrier and the evolutionary convergence is discussed to explain the crypsis and the phylogenetic pattern found.

 

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