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Oropodes aalbui Chandler & Caterino sp. n. – Wikispecies link – ZooBank link – Pensoft Profile
HOLOTYPE male, California, San Bernardino County, Mexican Mine [34.9491°N, 115.5103°W], 4200’, XII-31-1978/VI-16-1979, R.L. Aalbu (CSCA).
(only holotype male known): Length 2.50. Body orange-brown. Eyes with about 50 facets. Antennomeres V and VII slightly larger than those adjacent, V-VIII obconical, IX smaller than X. Abdomen with carinae on first ventrite extending from posteromesal margins of metacoxal cavities to ventrite apex.
Males: Legs (Fig. 10B): profemora with distinct angled tooth near base on ventral margin; protibiae with blunt angular expansion widest at beginning of apical third of length; mesotibiae with small acute tubercle at apex on mesal margin; metatibiae with small curved spur at apex on mesal margin. Metasternum with sharply defined median longitudinal sulcus, lateral margins of sulcus carinate. Abdomen (Fig. 10C) with second ventrite shallowly and semicircularly concave in middle fourth, impression extending anteriorly from lateral margins of two broad, shallow teeth on apical margin, center of teeth about 0.15 apart; third ventrite 0.60 wide, with recurved lamina at middle, lamina 0.20 wide, apex broadly and shallowly concave, angled at about 25°, dense short setae in transverse zone posterior to lamina; fourth and fifth ventrites shallowly impressed in middle fourth; sixth ventrite (Fig. 10D) with anterior/posterior margins of setose area nearly parallel. Aedeagus (Fig. 10A) 0.49 mm long; left paramere longest, broadly and irregularly rounded at apex, right paramere more narrowly rounded, internal sac with heavily sclerotized armature in apical portion.
Taken using a pitfall trap with antifreeze preservative over a six-month period deep in a mine in southern California. The area surrounding the mine is high-elevation desert scrub (pers. comm. Rolf L. Aalbu).
(Map 3): The Providence Mountains Recreation Area is isolated in the eastern Mojave Desert.
Comparisons and diagnostic notes
Placed as a member of the raffrayi-group, and most similar to Oropodes casson and Oropodes chumash in sharing the median position of the lamina of the third ventrite and the blunt or rounded apical projections of the second ventrite. The armature of all the tibiae is close to that of Oropodes casson: protibiae medially angulate, and relatively short apical spurs of the meso- and metatibiae. The lamina of the third ventrite is more reflexed (at about 25°) than that of Oropodes casson (at about 40°), the projections of the second ventrite are broadly rounded lobes versus more prominent in Oropodes casson, and the armature of the internal sac is not as spinose.
The specific epithet is a singular Latinized noun in the genitive case, based on the surname of Rolf L. Aalbu of Sacramento, coleopterist and computer programming consultant, who collected the holotype in an area where pselaphine collectors would never think to venture.
- Chandler, D; Caterino, M; 2011: A taxonomic revision of the New World genus Oropodes Casey (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Pselaphinae) ZooKeys, 147: 425-477. doi