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fig. 1: Stenocyphon neozealandicus, length about 3.2 mm


Ordo: Coleoptera
Familia: Scirtidae



  • The genus Stenocyphon is an extremely unusual scirtid, with two described species, Stenocyphon sasajii, from Chile, and S. neozealandicus, from New Zealand. A somewhat similar undescribed taxon was noted by Lawrence (2001: 357) from Tasmania. Lawrence & Yoshitomi (2007) assigned Stenocyphon to a new monotypic subfamily, Stenocyphoninae. According to Lawrence (2005: 443), 'the unusual Chilean genus Stenocyphon Lawrence appears to be related to undescribed taxa from Australia and New Zealand'.


  • the presence of Stenocyphoninae in New Zealand first came to notice in the early 2000s, when I found in unsorted material in Auckland Museum a single specimen of a beetle that I could not identify to family. Further investigation led to the suggestion that it was an odd scirtid. I subsequently tentatively identified the specimen as Stenocyphon, and sent it for confirmation to John Lawrence. After he confirmed the identity of the specimen, he sent it back, but it was unfortunately very badly damaged upon return, and is now presumed lost. The collection data were as follows:
    • NEW ZEALAND, ND; Waikino Inlet, Russell SF, Karenui Block, 35°20’7’’S 174°8’36’’E, 9 Oct 1985, RF Gilbert, by stream in gully, EN 7258 (AMNZ 27272)
  • no other specimens were known until Feb 2011, when I identified 2 males (see figs. 1-2) in some sample residues. These are now holotype and paratype of Stenocyphon neozealandicus. The collection data are as follows:
    • Warawara F.P. (ND) [approx. 35.4°S, 173.3°E], south of camp, beating at night, 7 Dec 2008, D.S. Seldon (AMNZ)


  • Lawrence, J.F. 2001: A new genus of Valdivian Scirtidae (Coleoptera) with comments on Scirtoidea and the beetle suborders. Special publication of the Japan Coleopterological Society Osaka, (1): 351-361. ISSN: 1346-289X
  • Lawrence, J.F. 2005: 15.4. Scirtidae Fleming, 1821. Pp. 443-450 in: Beutel, R.G. & Leschen, R.A.B. (volume eds.) Coleoptera, Beetles. Volume 1: Morphology and systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim). In: Kristensen, N.P. & Beutel, R.G. (eds.) Handbook of zoology. A natural history of the phyla of the animal kingdom. Volume IV. Arthropoda: Insecta. Part 38. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-017130-9
  • Lawrence, J.F.; Yoshitomi, H. 2007: Nipponocyphon, a new genus of Japanese Scirtidae (Coleoptera) and its phylogenetic significance. Elytra, Tokyo, 35(2): 507-527. ISSN: 0387-5733
  • Ruta, R.; Thorpe, S.; Yoshitomi, H. 2011: Stenocyphon neozealandicus, a new species from New Zealand of a previously monotypic subfamily from Chile (Coleoptera: Scirtidae: Stenocyphoninae). Zootaxa, 3113: 65-68. Preview ZooBank

Stephen Thorpe 22:03, 28 November 2011 (CET)

fig. 2: Stenocyphon neozealandicus