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Coleoptera Hesperidum, being an enumeration of the Coleopterous Insects of the Cape Verde Archipelago


Coleoptera Hesperidum, being an enumeration of the Coleopterous Insects of the Cape Verde Archipelago

In this work Wollaston has worthily continued his researches upon the Coleopterous fauna of the Atlantic islands, and brought out, from a rather more imperfect material than that at his command in treating of the Canarian and Madeiran Archipelagos, some very interesting results. The subject is treated in the same way as in his "Coleoptera Atlantidum," and summed up in a similar manner, with a table of geographical distribution. An appendix contains a few additions to the "Coleoptera Atlantidum" . WOLLASTON (Col. Hesp. p. 40, note) remarks upon the characters of Berosus, in which he says the antennae are only 7-jointed; he also regards Sternotophus (Sol.) as only a section of Hydrous (l. c. p. 46, note). .Oxycara. Wollaston (Col. Hesp.) describes the following, new species of this genus from the Cape Verde Islands:-O. ebenina, p. 172, S. Vicente; O. castanea, ibid. (=hegeteroides, Woll. nec Erichs.), S, Vicente; O. laevis, p. 174, S. Nicolao ; O. cribrata, p. l75, S. Iago; O. similis, ibid., Fogo; O. irrorata, p. 176, Brava; O. curta, p. 177, Fogo. .Cenoscelis, g. n., Wollaston, Col. Hesp. p. 179. Allied to Platyscelis;(?); last joint of labial palpi very broad, subhorizontal, elongate oval, flattened and tabular above, convex beneath; joint 1 of posterior tarsi very long, linear. Sp. C. tibialis, sp. n., Woll l. c. p. 180, Cape Verde Islands. .Melanocoma, g. n., Wollaston, Col. Hesp. p. 181. Allied to Trichosternum prosternal lobe horizontal, thickened and a little produced behind; abdominal lobe rotundato-quadrate. .Nanophyes Wollaston (Col. Hesp. p. 125, note) remarks on the antennal characters of this genus. WOLLASTON (Col. Hesp. p. 13, note) remarks that, in his opinion, Amblystomus belongs to tho Brachinides, its alliance being with Metabletus and Blechrus. Sp. M. restila, sp. n., Woll. l. c. p. 182, Cape Verde Islands (Fogo). In his "Coleoptera Hesperidum," devoted to the Coleopterous insects of the Cape Verde group of islands WOLLASTON embodies the results of his own investigations and of those of John Gray, F. W. Hutton, A. Fry, and H. Dohrn. Of the nine larger islands composing the Cape Verde archipelago, only six have been examined for Coleoptera, the three others, situated nearest to the African coast, not having been visited by the author or his Mends. These are known as the "Salt Islands; " and although it is probable they will present some interesting peculiarities, their investigation could hardly lead to any change in the general results at which Wollaston has arrived. The total number of species ascertained by Wollaston is 278, distributed as follows in the primary groups adopted by him:- Heteromera. 49 Brachelytra. 42 Necrophaga. 39 Geodephaga. 39 Rhynchophora. 27 Priocerata. 18 Cordylocerata. 16 Phytophaga. 14 Pseudotrimera 14 Philhydrida. 13 Hydradephaga. 7 Eucerata. 0 278 Thus the numerical proportions of the groups are in general nearly the same as in the more northern groups of islands, except that the Heteromera and Rhynchophora have changed places-a circumstance which the author regards as in accordance with the nature of the species of these groups, the Heteromera being better suited than the Rhynchophora for the present condition, at all events, of the arid Cape Verde islands. The number of species ascertained to exist in each island is stated by the author as follows:- S. Antonio. 114 S. Vicente. 132 S. Nicolao. 27 S. Iago. 130 Fogo. 93 Brava. 61 The dominant forms are the Heteromerous genera Oxycara and Trichosternum, representatives of which occur everywhere beneath stones and rubbish from the sea-level to the summits. These exist in numerous forms, described by Wollaston as species, resembling the species of the genus Hegeter, so abundant in the Canaries, very closely. Trichosternum in like manner represents the Madeiran genus Hadrus; and the relations of these forms seem to have suggested to Wollaston's mind the possibility (which, however, he finally denies) that the Cape Verde genera may be "geographical phases " of their more northern relatives. Other dominant forms are Opatrum and a new Rhynchophorous genus (Dinas) allied to the Canarian Herpysticus. Wollaston notices as eminently characteristic, though not strictly "dominant," Microptinus echinatus, sp. n., Cratognathus labiatus (Erichs.), species of Scymnus, Ammidium ciliatum (Erichs.), Aphanarthrum hesperidum, sp. n., Litargus 3-fasciatus (Woll.), and Sunius nigromaculatus (Motsch.). At the same time that the general character of the Coleopterous fauna is decidedly in accordance with that prevailing in the more northern groups, certain genera which may be regarded as highly characteristic of the latter are absent in the Cape Verde islands, especially Tarphius, Laparocerus, and Atlantis. Calathus, Trechus, Acalles, and Helops are also noticed by Wollaston as being in a less degree characteristic Northern Atlantic forms absent in the Cape Verde archipelago. Upon the question of the right of many of the so-called species to hold specific rank Wollaston appears to entertain some doubt; and here, as in his "Coleoptera Atlantidum," he indicates that many forms described under specific names are so nearly allied to others existing either in other islands of the group, in the more northern archipelagos, or in Europe, that if they had occurred upon a continuous region he would have hesitated long before regarding them as distinct; and he states that, in his opinion, if subsidences so great as those necessary for breaking up an ancient Atlantic continent into a few scattered islands may be admitted to have taken place, it requires "no stretch of the imagination to conclude that a very large majority of such insular departures from a central form as those which we now meet with would have resulted from them as a matter of course, and would have been rapidly matured from their respective types." Of the 169 genera hitherto detected in the Cape Verdes, 123 are found in the more northern archipelagos, whilst of

Accession: 038078809

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