Date of this Version
Schnepp KE, Ashman KL. 2020. A new species of Ataenius Harold (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae) from the southeastern United States, with a lectotype designation. Insecta Mundi 0841: 1–7.
Michael C. Thomas Festschrift Contribution
A new species of Ataenius Harold, Ataenius thomasi Schnepp and Ashman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae), from Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, U.S.A. is described. The lectotype for Ataenius brevis Fall is designated.
In the United States and Canada the genus Ataenius Harold (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae) contains 46 species (Stebnicka 2007; Smith 2009). The most recent faunal review of this genus in these countries was completed by Cartwright (1974). However, several species in that paper have been moved to other genera or synonymized (Stebnicka 2007). Stebnicka and Lago (2005) provide a key and catalog to the Ataenius strigatus group. Specimens of a putative new species of Ataenius occurring in northern Florida were located in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA). This new species is similar to Ataenius brevis Fall, but several morphological differences have been identified and are outlined in this paper. In looking for supplementary material, additional specimens of the new species were found in the Snow Entomological Museum Collection (SEMC) and United States National Museum of Natural History (USNM). After consulting the original description of A. brevis, it was discovered that no holotype was designated and that two specimens were present in the type series. Syntypes of A. brevis were borrowed to confirm the new species is morphologically distinct and a lectotype is designated to eliminate potential confusion with the new species and to fix the name to a single specimen.