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Type locality: “Bresil, Rio-Janeiro”. We have been unable to find any specimens that we believe to validly represent syntypes of Phelisterrufinotus. Marseul specimens (with circular, green, handwritten labels) are present in MNHN and in NHMUK, but all of these represent other localities and appear to have been collected later (‘63’ and ’68) than the species was described. A couple of specimens in the NHMUK are labeled with variations on Rio de Janeiro, but none as typical for Marseul types, and lacking collection dates, it’s impossible to tell if these might have been extant in 1861. We considered designating a Neotype from among the later Marseul-identified specimens. However, we feel that the species is now adequately characterized, and that this would not serve a critical need.
Types of synonyms. Lectotype of Epierusmarseulii Kirsch, hereby designated: “Pozuzu M. Kirsch” / “Statl. Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden” / “Epierus marseulii” / “Phelister rufinotus Mars. n. syn.” / “LECTOTYPE Epierus marseuli [sic] Kirsch M.S. Caterino and A.K. Tishechkin des. 2010”, MTD.
Length: 1.46–1.69 mm (avg. 1.56 mm); width: 1.30–1.50 mm (avg. 1.34 mm). Body elongate-oval, widest just behind humeri; body piceous to rufescent, most of elytra and legs usually contrastingly reddish (elytra sometimes nearly black); dorsum very finely punctulate, the pronotum more densely so than the elytra, especially in the outer thirds; frons finely punctulate, impressed along midline, supraorbital stria complete, frontal stria interrupted at middle, inner ends pointing toward epistoma; labrum wide, weakly emarginate apically; both mandibles with distinct tooth on inner edges; pronotal lateral submarginal stria abbreviated, present in anterior half only; pronotal disk with vague antescutellar impression, with crenulations along posterior margin; elytron with single, complete epipleural stria, outer subhumeral stria present in apical half, inner subhumeral stria absent, dorsal striae 1–4 complete, fifth variable, but at least weakened in basal third if not obsolete, sutural stria obsolete in basal third; propygidium with sparse secondary punctures decreasing in density posteriad; pygidium with secondary punctures fewer and finer, diminishing to apex; prosternal keel with two complete striae, weakly sinuate, subparallel at base, slightly converging toward apex, free anteriorly; male prosternal keel with coarser and denser punctures, the striae often more widely separated; mesoventral marginal stria complete, smooth, continued at sides by postmesocoxal stria which ends freely near side of mesoventrite; mesometaventral stria complete, very weakly crenulate, arched anteriad nearly to midline of mesoventrite extended posteriad by lateral metaventral stria toward middle of metacoxa, ending short of it; first abdominal ventrite with complete inner lateral stria and abbreviated outer lateral stria; protibia rather narrow, with apex obliquely truncate, outer margin weakly rounded, bearing ca. five evenly spaced marginal spines, the spine of the apical corner larger and slightly disjunct; meso- and metatibiae weakly expanded to apex, mesotibia with ca. five marginal spines, more prominent toward apex, metatibia with distinct spines confined to apical third. Aedeagus with basal piece ca. one-fourth total length; tegmen widened toward apex, spoon-shaped, apex rounded, with narrow apical emargination; median lobe ca. two-thirds tegmen length, with differentiated proximal and shorter distal proximal apodemes.
This species is highly variable, but it can nearly always be recognized by its abbreviated submarginal pronotal stria. It is most often distinctly reddish on the elytra, but many all-black individuals have been seen, throughout the range. Its legs are nearly always distinctly golden in contrast to a piceous venter.
This species was previously synonymized with P.fairmaireiMarseul 1861. We have studied that type and believe that P.fairmairei is instead identical to P.rouzeti (see above).
Label data indicate broad ecological associations with records from cow dung, decaying vegetation, meat- and dung-baited pitfalls, and gopher tortoise droppings. The species also exhibits distinct tendencies toward facultative myrmecophily, with numerous records from Acromyrmex and Solenopsis Westwood, and even a few from Eciton Latreille (‘with prey’).
This species occurs most abundantly in southern South America, though numerous records also indicate that it occurs well into the tropics, with records in nearly every other country in the continent. There are several records from the Gulf Coast of the United States (Carolinas, Mississippi and Florida) that would seem likely to represent an introduction, given the lack of intervening records. This is another species that may well have expanded its distribution with the spread of cattle production. Records: ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan, Santa Fe, Tucuman; BOLIVIA: Cochabamba, Santa Cruz; BRAZIL: Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goias, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Tocantins; ECUADOR: Napo, Pinchincha; FRENCH GUIANA: Cayenne; PARAGUAY: Boquerón, Caaguazú, Caazapá, Cordillera, Itapúa, San Pedro; PERU: Apurímac, Ayacucho, Junín, Loreto; URUGUAY: Colonia, Salto; VENEZUELA: Aragua, Bolívar, Falcón, Guárico; USA: Florida: Alachua; Mississippi: Jones; North Carolina: Jackson; South Carolina: Chesterfield.
- Caterino, M; Tishechkin, A; 2019: A revision of the Phelisterhaemorrhous species group (Coleoptera, Histeridae, Exosternini) ZooKeys, 854: 41-88. doi
- Kirsch T (1873) Beiträge zur kenntniss der Peruanischen Käferfauna.Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift17: 121–152.
- Marseul S (1861) Supplément a la monographie des Histerides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (4)1: 141–184. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.11082