Date of this Version
Dugesiana 18:2 (2012), pp. 147-151.
Harposcelis paradoxus Burmeister is a relatively rare lowland species that, for a long time, was known only from French Guiana (Blackwelder 1944; Endrödi 1966, 1985; Krajcik 2005). Males are more commonly collected than females and are now commonly available via the Internet from commercial dealers in the insect trade. At a body length of 40 mm, this is a remarkably large species for a member of the tribe Cyclocephalini. Males are distinctive because of their long, curved protibiae and anterior trochanter with a large, anteriorly projecting tooth. The genus can be identified in keys by Endrödi (1966, 1985), Ratcliffe (1985), and Jameson et al. (2002).
Endrödi and Dechambre (1976) discovered Burmeister syntypes in the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, designated a lectotype, and redescribed Harposcelis paradoxus. They also clarified the correct spelling of the genus as Harposcelis (as originally proposed by Burmeister) and not Harposceles (as used by later authors). They mentioned there was a specimen in the Dechambre collection from Cali, Colombia, on the WEST side of the Andes, and we believe that this data is probably incorrect, since this species is known from only east of the Andes.
Dechambre (1979) first recorded a specimen from Suriname that was collected at Moloko-Iméné. Lachaume (1992) reported specimens from French Guiana and Ecuador, and Duranton (2011) provided several collecting records from throughout French Guiana during the dry season (April, June to December). Andreazze (2001) first reported H. paradoxus from the Brazilian Amazon (Parque Naçional do Jaú, Amazonas) just to the west northwest of Manaus. Andreazze and Motta (2002) found additional specimens at São Gabriel de Cachoeira on the upper Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil. Touroult et al. (2010) reported on light trap efficiency in French Guiana, and discovered that H. paradoxus was attracted to lights only near midnight until 4 AM, a pattern typically seen for Dynastes hercules (L.) in Central America. In September 1994, specimens were so common at the lights in Rondonia, Brazil that they were no longer collected (A. Reifschneider, personal communication to BCR, June 2011). Here we report H. paradoxus from Peru, and those records listed below for Peru constitute a NEW COUNTRY RECORD. These literature records and the specimen label data listed below now give us a more precise picture of the distribution of H. paradoxus.