Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


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José Mondaca, First records of Ancognatha aymara Mondaca, 2016 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae: Cyclocephalini) in Argentina. Insecta Mundi 0776: 1–4


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Published in 2020 by Center for Systematic Entomology, Inc. P.O. Box 141874 Gainesville, FL 32614-1874 USA


Ancognatha aymara Mondaca, 2016 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae: Cyclocephalini), a species previously known only from Chile, is recorded for the first time in northern Argentina. The new records are based on male specimens collected in the provinces of Jujuy and Salta. Illustrations of the habitus and male genitalia of the species are presented in color photographs. A map with its current distribution in Chile and Argentina is included.

The genus Ancognatha Erichson, 1847 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae: Cyclocephalini) includes 23 valid species (Moore et al. 2018a, b; Paucar-Cabrera and Ratcliffe 2018) distributed from Arizona and New Mexico in the United States to northern Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia (Moore et al. 2018b). Adults of some species are known to be attracted to lights at night and to occur in high elevation habitats, reaching elevations above 4,000 m in Peru and northern Chile (Pardo-Locarno et al. 2006; Figueroa and Ratcliffe 2016; Mondaca 2016). Adults of Ancognatha can be distinguished from other genera of Cyclocephalini (e.g., Aspidolea Bates and Cyclocephala Dejean) by a mentum with the apex deeply incised or distinctly emarginate or with the surface medially furrowed in the apical third; the labrum is detached and inclined from the roof of the mouth; the mandibles are narrow and upwardly pointed; the frontoclypeal suture is obsolete medially; the base of the pronotum lacks a marginal bead; and the protarsus in the males is always enlarged (Ratcliffe 2003).

The Argentinean species of Ancognatha have been not reviewed, and probably the diversity is greater than currently known. Until now, only two species of this genus were recorded from this country: Ancog­natha erythrodera (Blanchard) and Ancognatha lutea Erichson (Moore et al. 2018b).

The purpose of this paper is to report the presence of A. aymara Mondaca in northern Argentina, based on two male specimens collected in localities of Jujuy and Salta provinces. These new records correspond to the natural distribution of this species on both sides of the Andes Mountain range, which is not surprising due to the similarity of habitats in neighboring localities in Chile and Argentina.