NEW DISTRIBUTIONAL RECORDS OF MECOPTERA (INSECTA) FROM COLOMBIA

ADRIAN ARDILA-CAMACHO JUAN FELIPE VARGAS CARLOS JULIO ARANGO ALEXANDER GARCÍA-GARCÍA RENATO JOSE PIRES MACHADO About the authors

ABSTRACT

We present new distributional records for two Colombian species of Bittacidae. Pazius convolutus García-García & Cadena-Castañeda, 2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204. and Bittacus panamensis Byers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222. previously known from Cundinamarca department are herein newly recorded from Santander and Magdalena, respectively. In addition, we recorded Bittacus pignatelli Navás, 1932 in Colombia for the first time, increasing the number of species of Mecoptera in the country. Comments about mating behavior of P. convolutus, as well as a distribution map and a check-list of Colombian species of Mecoptera are included.

KEY-WORDS:
Hangingflies; New records; Neotropics; Mecoptera; Colombia

RESUMEN

Nuevos registros distribucionales para dos especies de Bittacidae de Colombia son presentados. Pazius convolutus García-García & Cadena-Castañeda, 2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204. y Bittacus panamensis Byers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222. previamente conocidos en el departamento de Cundinamarca se registran aquí en Santander y Magdalena, respectivamente. Además, Bittacus pignatelli Navás, 1932 se reporta para Colombia por primera vez, aumentando el número de especies de Mecoptera en el país. Se incluyen comentarios sobre el comportamiento copulatorio de P. convolutus, así como también un mapa de distribución y un listado actualizado de Mecoptera de Colombia.

PALABRAS-CLAVE:
Bittacidae; Nuevos registros; Neotrópico; Mecoptera; Colombia

INTRODUCTION

Mecoptera is a relictual order of ancient holometabolous insects that includes nine families, 34 genera and an estimate of 600 species. This order has a widespread distribution and it occurs in all continents (Byers & Thornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.). It is a well-represented taxon in the fossil record and appears to have been much more diverse in past geological eras (Byers & Thornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.; Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005GRIMALDI, D. & ENGEL, M.S. 2005. Evolution of the insects. New York, Cambridge University Press., 755p.; Somma & Dunford, 2009SOMMA, L.A. & DUNFORD, J.C. 2009. Records for Bittacus Hangingflies and Panorpa Scorpionflies (Mecoptera: Bittacidae and Panorpidae) in Florida. Insecta Mundi, 84:1-5.). In the Neotropical region the Mecoptera is composed of 106 species in 12 genera and five families, being Bittacidae the most species rich family (Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.; Machado et al., 2013MACHADO, R.J.P.; KAWADA, R. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2013. New continental record and new species of Austromerope (Mecoptera, Meropeidae) from Brazil. Zookeys, 269:51-65.; Contreras-Ramos et al., 2014CONTRERAS-RAMOS, A.; SARMIENTO-CORDERO, M.A. & PENNY, N.D. 2014. Biodiversidad de Mecoptera en México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 85:339-344.). Nevertheless, specimens are rarely collected, and therefore it is considered an elusive group of animals (Collucci & Machado, 2012COLLUCCI, E. & MACHADO R.J.P. 2012. Mecoptera. In: Rafael, J.A.; Melo, G.A.R.; de Carvalho, C.J.B.; Casari S.A. & Constantino R. (Eds.). Insetos do Brasil, Diversidade e Taxonomia. Ribeirao Preto, SP, Holos Editora. p. 684-688.). Moreover, a great extent of the Neotropical region lacks adequate sampling, the museum specimens are scarce, collecting methods are not standardized, and the knowledge of their natural history is incipient (Collucci & Machado, 2012COLLUCCI, E. & MACHADO R.J.P. 2012. Mecoptera. In: Rafael, J.A.; Melo, G.A.R.; de Carvalho, C.J.B.; Casari S.A. & Constantino R. (Eds.). Insetos do Brasil, Diversidade e Taxonomia. Ribeirao Preto, SP, Holos Editora. p. 684-688.). Mecopterans are commonly known as hanging flies (Bittacidae) or as scorpion flies (Panorpodidae, Panorpidae) owing to the distinctive morphology of the most known and common groups (Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.; Palmer, 2010PALMER, C.M. 2010. Diversity of feeding strategies in adult Mecoptera. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews, 3:111-128.). The most common families (Panorpidae, Bittacidae, and Apteropanorpidae) are easily recognized by feeding mainly on animal matter with their elongate rostrum (composed by labrum and clypeus) (Palmer, 2010PALMER, C.M. 2010. Diversity of feeding strategies in adult Mecoptera. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews, 3:111-128.). However, some genera of snow scorpion flies (Boreidae) which have an elongate rostrum present a phytophagous diet. The remaining groups (Panorpodidae, Nannochoristidae, Choristidae, Eomeropidae, Meropeidae and Caurininae) which have a short rostrum are phytophagous or saprophagous (Palmer, 2010PALMER, C.M. 2010. Diversity of feeding strategies in adult Mecoptera. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews, 3:111-128.). Moreover, this group is also distinguished by having anterior and posterior wings similar in size and shape with a relatively complete and intricate venation, although certain groups are known to be brachypterous or wingless (Penny, 1975PENNY, N.D. 1975. Evolution of the Extant Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 48(3):331-350.; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005GRIMALDI, D. & ENGEL, M.S. 2005. Evolution of the insects. New York, Cambridge University Press., 755p.).

Bittacidae is a group of gondwanic origin that can be found in all biogeographic regions, though it is primarily distributed in the southern hemisphere in tropical rainy forests (Byers & Thornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.). Bittacids can be active at the day, twilight or night, and they mostly show predatory habits. They are usually found hanging from the forelegs on shrubby vegetation. Bittacids have a unique set of adaptations. For example, a characteristic found in this family is that all their legs are prehensile (Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.; Tan & Hua, 2009TAN, J.L. & HUA, B.Z. 2009B. Bicaubittacus, a new genus of the Oriental Bittacidae (Mecoptera) with descriptions of two new species. Zootaxa, 2221:27-40.a). The femora and tibiae are long and robust with thickened tarsi, and the fifth tarsomere folds strongly up to the fourth. A tarsal hook-shaped claw and thorn-like setae are also present (Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.; Tan & Hua, 2009aTAN, J.L. & HUA, B.Z. 2009A. Terrobittacus, a new genus of the Chinese Bittacidae (Mecoptera) with descriptions of two new species. Journal of Natural History, 43:47-48.). The eruciform larva has a sclerotized cephalic capsule, compound eyes with seven ommatidia and a ocellus at the top of the frons; legs have simple claws; lateral and dorsal rows of three-forked scoli on meso- and metanotum as well as abdominal segments 1-9 are present, although some species lack of such scoli, and instead clavate vesicles are present (Setty, 1940SETTY, L.R. 1940. Biology and Morphology of Some North American Bittacidae (Order Mecoptera). The American Midland Naturalist, 23(2):257-353.; Penny & Arias, 1981PENNY, N.D. & ARIAS, J.R. 1981. Observations on the Eggs and Larvae of Nannobittacus elegans Esben-Petersen, 1927 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 54(3):465-468; Byers & Thornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.; Byers & Roggero, 1992BYERS, G.W. & ROGGERO, R.J. 1992. Hanging-flies of Panama (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). In: Quintero, D. & Aiello, A. (Eds.). Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 594-599.; Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.). The immature stages for most species are still unknown, especially at the Neotropical region, but the larvae of some species are known to be saprophagous and living in organic matter rich soils close to water bodies.

For Colombia, we have limited knowledge of the order, until now only seven Bittacidae species within four genera were known (Table 1) (Byers & Flórez, 1995BYERS, G.W. & FLÓREZ, E. 1995. Two new species of Bittacidae (Mecoptera) from the Amazon forest in Southern Colombia. Tropical Zoology, 8:153-158.; Flórez, 1996FLÓREZ, E. 1996. Los Mecópteros de Colombia. In: Andrade-C, M.G.; Amat, G. & Fernández, F. (Eds.). Insectos de Colombia, estudios escogidos. Santafé de Bogotá, Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. p. 65-73.; Rodríguez et al., 2009RODRÍGUEZ, W.; FLÓREZ, E. & ALFONSO, O. 2009. Un nuevo e inusual registro de “moscas colgantes” para Colombia (Mecoptera, Bittacidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomología, 35(2):288-288.; Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.; Ascuntar-Osnas et al., 2016ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, O.; TORRES-DOMINGUEZ, D.; CHACÓN DE ULLOA, P. & MACHADO, R.J.P. 2016. First record of the order Mecoptera (Insecta) for the Gorgona Island (Colombia), with the descriptions of a new species. Zootaxa, 4097(2):271-279.). A review of the Colombian Mecoptera has been made by Flórez (1996FLÓREZ, E. 1996. Los Mecópteros de Colombia. In: Andrade-C, M.G.; Amat, G. & Fernández, F. (Eds.). Insectos de Colombia, estudios escogidos. Santafé de Bogotá, Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. p. 65-73.). The first species described from Colombia was Nannobittacus tjederi from Antioquia department (Byers, 1965BYERS, G.W. 1965. New and Uncommon Neotropical Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 38(2):135-144.). An account by Byers & Roggero (1992BYERS, G.W. & ROGGERO, R.J. 1992. Hanging-flies of Panama (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). In: Quintero, D. & Aiello, A. (Eds.). Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 594-599.) described Nannobittacus pollex from Panama and a single record in the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca. Then, Byers & Flórez (1995BYERS, G.W. & FLÓREZ, E. 1995. Two new species of Bittacidae (Mecoptera) from the Amazon forest in Southern Colombia. Tropical Zoology, 8:153-158.) described the species Issikiella amazonica and Pazius cinctipes, found in the Amazonas department. A further account was made by Rodríguez et al. (2009RODRÍGUEZ, W.; FLÓREZ, E. & ALFONSO, O. 2009. Un nuevo e inusual registro de “moscas colgantes” para Colombia (Mecoptera, Bittacidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomología, 35(2):288-288.), who reported Bittacus panamensisByers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222. for Cundinamarca department. Recently García-García & Cadena Castañeda (2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.) described Pazius convolutus, a new species found in Nimaima municipality (Cundinamarca department). Thereafter, Ascuntar-Osnas et al. (2016ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, O.; TORRES-DOMINGUEZ, D.; CHACÓN DE ULLOA, P. & MACHADO, R.J.P. 2016. First record of the order Mecoptera (Insecta) for the Gorgona Island (Colombia), with the descriptions of a new species. Zootaxa, 4097(2):271-279.), described Pazius gorgonensis from the Gorgona Island in the Cauca department, and provide an updated key to the species of the genus. The aim of this work is to present two new locality records for P. convolutus and B. panamensis for the departments of Santander and Magdalena, respectively. In addition, we reported Bittacus pignatelli Navás, 1932 from Colombia for the first time.

TABLE 1
Check-list of Colombian species of Mecoptera.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

On May of 2008, during a field trip to Tobia, municipality of Nimaima, Cundinamarca (04°59’57,65”N; 74°28’14,15”W), a place located in the western slope of the Colombian oriental cordillera (842 m.a.s.l.), the third author (CJA) noted several hangingflies of the genus Pazius. The place of sighting was a relict of primary forest in the Negro river vicinity. The author observed three specimens, a couple pair and a single male hanging on thorny shrubs in a shady area near to the soil. The specimens were photographed using a Canon Eos Rebel Xti digital camera, and two of these hangingflies were captured using an entomological net. Such specimens were preserved in alcohol and stored in the Entomological Museum of the Universidad Distrital of Bogotá, Colombia (CAUD). Several years later, on the beginning of June 2013, after the first rainy season, and during fieldwork that took place in the Serrania de las Quinchas, at “El paujil” natural reserve, located in the municipalities of Puerto Boyacá, Bolivar and Cimitarra (06°02’46”N; 74°15’52”W, 150-1,200 m.a.s.l), a third specimen of Pazius was obtained. It was captured using an entomological net, was preserved at 96% Ethanol and deposited in the entomological collection of Scholl of Agronomy of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAB) (Bogotá, Colombia). Recently, during the revision of the Taxonomic National Collection of Insects “Luis María Murillo” (CTNI), Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (Corpoica), Mosquera, Cundinamarca, some specimens of the genus Bittacus were identified. The external morphology was studied using a Zeiss stemi 2000 stereomicroscope, high resolution images were taken with the same equipment, adapted with an AxioCam ERc 5s digital camera. Identification of the species was made following the works of Byers (1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222.), Byers (1996BYERS, G.W. 1996. Descriptions and Distributional Records of American Mecoptera. IV. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(14):519-547.), Machado et al. (2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.) and García-García & Cadena-Castañeda (2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.). Finally, the distribution map was produced through SimpleMappr, available in the web page www.simplemappr.net.

RESULTS

Bittacus Latreille, 1805

The genus Bittacus is the most diverse and widely distributed group of the family Bittacidae in the world, with species in all tropical and temperate regions (Penny, 1975PENNY, N.D. 1975. Evolution of the Extant Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 48(3):331-350.; Byers & Roggero, 1992BYERS, G.W. & ROGGERO, R.J. 1992. Hanging-flies of Panama (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). In: Quintero, D. & Aiello, A. (Eds.). Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 594-599.; Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.). For the Neotropics, Bittacus is composed of 34 species ranging from Mexico to Chile and Argentina, thus becoming in the most diverse mecopteran genus of this biogeographical region (Machado et al., 2009). This genus is distinguished by having dichoptic eyes in the adult, 1A vein long extending beyond of the Rs origin in both wings; in the forewing, this vein is distinct from the Cu₂, while they are basally fused in the hindwing (Byers & Roggero, 1992BYERS, G.W. & ROGGERO, R.J. 1992. Hanging-flies of Panama (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). In: Quintero, D. & Aiello, A. (Eds.). Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 594-599.).

Bittacus panamensis Byers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222. ( Figs. 1 , 6 )

The species was originally described from Panama, but accounts with records from Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela (Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.; Rodríguez et al., 2009RODRÍGUEZ, W.; FLÓREZ, E. & ALFONSO, O. 2009. Un nuevo e inusual registro de “moscas colgantes” para Colombia (Mecoptera, Bittacidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomología, 35(2):288-288.). In the present work, we extend the known distribution range of this species in Colombia, to the Magdalena department in the Caribbean coast of the country. This species is distinguished by its body color pattern, uniformly brown; wing membrane is light amber colored except for pterostigma, which is slightly darker; the distal part of forewing has extra series of crossveins between Rs1 and M2 veins (Byers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222.). The male genitalia have epiandrial lobes rectangular in lateral view, and are equipped with short and black setae along the dorsal and caudal margins on the inner surface; a few longer setae in the posterodorsal angle are also present. Inner margins of both lobes are parallel in dorsal view, with anterior angles subquadrate. The aedeagus is basally thickened, abruptly narrowed at midlength and thin at the apex (Byers, 1958BYERS, G.W. 1958. Description and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 31(3):213-222.).

Specimen examined. Magdalena, Zona Bananera, Caribia (Corpoica), 10°43’38,24”N; 74°13’29,48”W, 12 m, 25.VIII.1986, F. Posada, light trap (1♂-CTNI)

FIGURE 1
Bittacus panamensis: (A) wing venation; (B) male terminalia, lateral; (C) same, dorsal. Scale bars: 1 mm.

FIGURE 2
Bittacus pignatelli: fore- and hindwing. Scale bar = 1 mm.

FIGURE 3
Pazius convolutus: (A) wing venation; (B) head and thorax, lateral; (C) male terminalia, lateral; (D) male terminalia, dorsal. Scale bars = 1 mm.

FIGURE 4
Pazius convolutus. Mating pair observed on May of 2008 in primary forest of Tobia, in vicinity of Río Negro, Nimaima, Cundinamarca.

FIGURE 5
Pazius convolutus. Mating pair observed on May of 2008 in primary forest of Tobia, in vicinity of Río Negro, Nimaima, Cundinamarca.

FIGURE 6
Collecting records of Colombian species of Mecoptera. The new records are bordered with red.

Bittacus pignatelli Navás, 1932 (Figs. 2, 6)

This species was previously recorded from Costa Rica and Panama (Byers & Roggero, 1992BYERS, G.W. & ROGGERO, R.J. 1992. Hanging-flies of Panama (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). In: Quintero, D. & Aiello, A. (Eds.). Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 594-599.; Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.). In the present work, we reported this species in Colombia for the first time, with a single record from Antioquia department. This bittacid species is distinguished by its wing coloration pattern, consisting in the presence of numerous dark amber spots on the membrane inside cells and bordering crossveins (Byers, 1996BYERS, G.W. 1996. Descriptions and Distributional Records of American Mecoptera. IV. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(14):519-547.). Additionally, its head, thorax and abdomen are mainly reddish brown, and femora and tibiae yellow except by their dark reddish brown apices (Byers, 1996BYERS, G.W. 1996. Descriptions and Distributional Records of American Mecoptera. IV. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(14):519-547.).

Specimen examined. Antioquia, Chigorodó, 07°39’47,7”N; 76°40’20,77”W, 36 m, 25.IV.1974, A. López, in flight (1♀-CTNI)

Pazius Navás, 1908

The genus Pazius Navás is endemic to the Neotropical region, and is often found in the northwestern part of South America but extending up to Central America (from Brazil to Costa Rica). This group was reviewed by Byers (1957BYERS, G.W. 1957. The Neotropical genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 582:1-11., 1977BYERS, G.W. 1977. Revision of the genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Revista de Biología Tropical, 25(1):109-121.), and currently consist of eleven species grouped into three species groups (Machado et al., 2009MACHADO, R.J.P.; GODOI, F.S.P. & RAFAEL, J.A. 2009. Neotropical Mecoptera (Insecta): new generic synonymies, new combinations, key to families and genera, and checklist of species. Zootaxa, 2148:27-38.; Ascuntar-Osnas et al., 2016ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, O.; TORRES-DOMINGUEZ, D.; CHACÓN DE ULLOA, P. & MACHADO, R.J.P. 2016. First record of the order Mecoptera (Insecta) for the Gorgona Island (Colombia), with the descriptions of a new species. Zootaxa, 4097(2):271-279.; Lima & Dias, 2016LIMA, A.R. & DIAS, P.G. 2016. The uncommon Neotropical genus Pazius Navás, 1913 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae): a comprehensive synthesis, with description of a new Brazilian species. Zootaxa, 4169(3):504-514.). The genus is easily distinguished from other members of Bittacidae by its narrow wings with short anal veins (Fig. 3a) (Byers, 1957BYERS, G.W. 1957. The Neotropical genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 582:1-11.; 1977BYERS, G.W. 1977. Revision of the genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Revista de Biología Tropical, 25(1):109-121.), compound eyes are holoptic, and are connected below the antennae insertion. Furthermore, the abdomen is elongated and narrow, extending beyond the wing tips (Byers, 1957BYERS, G.W. 1957. The Neotropical genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 582:1-11.; 1977BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.; Machado et al., 2009; Tan & Hua, 2009bTAN, J.L. & HUA, B.Z. 2009B. Bicaubittacus, a new genus of the Oriental Bittacidae (Mecoptera) with descriptions of two new species. Zootaxa, 2221:27-40.). Lima & Dias (2016LIMA, A.R. & DIAS, P.G. 2016. The uncommon Neotropical genus Pazius Navás, 1913 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae): a comprehensive synthesis, with description of a new Brazilian species. Zootaxa, 4169(3):504-514.) provided a complete identification key for all species of Pazius.

Pazius convolutus García-García & Cadena-Castañeda, 2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204. (Figs. 3-6)

Pazius convolutus belongs to the furcatus group because of the presence of a bifurcated projection ventrally located near to aedeagus base (Byers, 1977BYERS, G.W. 1977. Revision of the genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Revista de Biología Tropical, 25(1):109-121.; García-García & Cadena-Castañeda, 2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.). This species is morphologically similar to P. furcatus, but it is distinguished by having a black dotted, light brown pteropleura; trochanter in all legs has a black dot ventrally on inner surface (Fig. 3b); epiandrial lobe has subtle posterodorsal projection equipped with apical spiniform setae (Fig. 3c); a subconical ventral projection with two apical spines on the posterior half of the epiandrial lobe is present (Fig. 3d). The slightly divergent and medially curved projections of aedeagus and a strongly coiled aedeagus with an approximated of four convolutions are also diagnostic traits (García-García & Cadena-Castañeda, 2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.).

Specimen examined. Santander, Reserva Natural el paujil, near to Ermitaño river, 06°02’46”N; 74°15’52”W, 06.VI.2013, J. Vargas-Fique, entomological net (1♂-UNAB).

Remarks. The specimen was found in the afternoon eating a small insect at the margin of a small road and hanging on shrubby vegetation in the Ermitaño river vicinity.

Comments on the Biology of Pazius convolutus

Bittacidae adults can prey a wide variety of arthropods, and likewise as in Panorpidae feeding and mating behaviors are closely related (Tornhill, 1978TORNHILL, R. 1978. Sexually Selected Predatory and Mating Behavior of the Hangingfly, Bittacus stigmaterus (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 71(4):597-601.). In many Bittacidae members, nuptial gift has been reported as a part of sexual selection (Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.). This mechanism has evolved probably due to the lack of prey disponibility, or because searching for food can exposes females to predation (Byers & Tornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.). Mating behavior varies between species; some hanging flies can mate during the day, at night or even at dawn. Generally copulatory behavior begins when a male catches a prey. The male eats a small portion of the prey and then he can either discard the prey or go in search for a bigger and/or more palatable one, or carry out short flights on vegetation while it holds the prey. Many Bittacidae species have pheromone glands located dorsally between the abdominal segments 6-7 and 7-8, although some African species lack these glands (Byers & Tornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.; Byers, 2002BYERS, G.W. 2002. Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera. Kansas School Naturalist, 48(1):1-15.). During courtship, the female evaluates the prey offered by the male, she then discriminates between small or unpalatable preys. If this is the case, she flies away or responds to another male’s pheromones. Females can also copulate for a short period of time before the male achieves the transference of sperm. Moreover, males can use a large prey in consecutive mattings with different females. There are species, in which male mimics the female behavior, in order to steal a prey (Byers & Tornhill, 1983BYERS, G.W. & THORNHILL, R. 1983. Biology of the Mecoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 28:203-228.). The stealing behavior of preys from other males is an important component in sexual selection in this group of insects (Tornhill, 1978TORNHILL, R. 1978. Sexually Selected Predatory and Mating Behavior of the Hangingfly, Bittacus stigmaterus (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 71(4):597-601.). In the Japanese species Bittacus mastrillii Navás, three different types of mating behavior have been observed. The first type involves chemical cues expelled by the abdominal glands of the male, he then offers a prey to the female, she responds and finally the mating pair couples their genitals (Iwasaki, 1996IWASAKI, Y. 1996. Hunting and Mating Behavior in the Japanese Hangingfly Bittacus mastrillii (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 89(6):869-874.). Another type of copulatory behavior of this species begins when a female has previously captured a prey, subsequently the male arrives and tangles its mid legs with those of the female and proceeds to mate with her while feeding on the prey captured. On the other hand, mating can also occur without nuptial gift, and instead the male secretes saliva which the female eats while mating occurs. In all cases the male tangles the legs of the female and in the final stages of mating he holds both the prey and the female. In some cases, the male can hang only using one of its forelegs (Iwasaki, 1996IWASAKI, Y. 1996. Hunting and Mating Behavior in the Japanese Hangingfly Bittacus mastrillii (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 89(6):869-874.).

The biology of the genus Pazius is poorly documented, in this group nuptial gift is a mechanism of sexual selection, although, it is completely unknown whether in this genus there are different mating tactics performed by the male as in other species of Bittacidae. During the rainy season on early May 2008, the third author (CJA) carried out field observations of P. convolutus in its type locality (Nimaima, Cundinamarca), he also collected some specimens that were then described by García-García & Cadena-Castañeda (2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.). Unfortunately, only two male specimens were captured in that time. Pazius convolutus activity has been observed during the day on shrubbery vegetation in shady areas of primary forest. In this species, the male tangles its mid legs with those of the females, while both individuals hold the prey using their hind legs. The male was observed completely suspended, while the female was holding both, prey and male, using their forelegs (Figs. 4, 5). In this case, only the female was observed feeding on prey. It is possible that this behavior resembles the second type of copulatory behavior of Bittacus mastrillii in which the female firstly catches a prey and the male is who arrives in order to mate and feed (Iwasaki 1996IWASAKI, Y. 1996. Hunting and Mating Behavior in the Japanese Hangingfly Bittacus mastrillii (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 89(6):869-874.). Alternatively, this behavior could correspond to the attraction of the female by the chemical cues and nuptial gift offered by the male. The male holotype of P. gorgonensis was carrying a small moth when it was captured, which may supports the second hypothesis, however, as mentioned by the authors, it is not possible to confirm if the prey was associated with mating behavior (Ascuntar-Osnas et al., 2016ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, O.; TORRES-DOMINGUEZ, D.; CHACÓN DE ULLOA, P. & MACHADO, R.J.P. 2016. First record of the order Mecoptera (Insecta) for the Gorgona Island (Colombia), with the descriptions of a new species. Zootaxa, 4097(2):271-279.). Nevertheless, it should be noted that during observations of mating behavior as well as in the observed specimens in laboratory, no glandular structures between abdominal terga were found, being these apparently absent. Moreover, García-García & Cadena-Castañeda (2015GARCÍA-GARCÍA, A. & CADENA-CASTAÑEDA, O.J. 2015. Una nueva especie de Pazius Navás, 1908 (Mecoptera: Bittacidae) de Colombia. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 57:200-204.), in their description of the species indicated that there are openings in the three pairs of legs at the level of the trochanter, and raised the question about the possible glandular nature of these structures. Unfortunately, at moment only male specimens are known and described, and it is unknown if such openings are present in females also, producing only hypothetical statements about the relationship of these structures with sex pheromones. It is important to conduct field observations and studies in the laboratory on mating behavior of P. convolutus to enrich the knowledge of the biology of Bittacidae, as well as to give light on phylogenetic relationships of this group of hangingflies.

DISCUSSION

Most of the Colombian territory comprises plains below of 500 m.a.s.l, and it can be divided into two major regions. The trans-inter-Andean region, which includes three cordilleras with their respective valleys, as well as littoral regions of the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean; on the other hand, the cis-Andean region, comprises the Orinoco and Amazon basins (Hernández-Camacho, 1992HERNÁNDEZ-CAMACHO, J. 1992. Caracterización geográfica de Colombia. Acta Zoológica Mexicana, (número especial): 45-54. (Halffter, G. (Compilador). La Diversidad Biológica de Iberoamérica)). There are very few records of Mecoptera from Colombia, and conclusions about their distribution are still premature (Fig. 6). It is important to note that because the biogeographical characteristics of the country, Colombia could have an important diversity of this group. Bittacids are insects with a poor dispersion capacity, and the Neotropical species are apparently associated with moist lowland forests (Flórez, 1996FLÓREZ, E. 1996. Los Mecópteros de Colombia. In: Andrade-C, M.G.; Amat, G. & Fernández, F. (Eds.). Insectos de Colombia, estudios escogidos. Santafé de Bogotá, Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. p. 65-73.). As expected, Colombian mountain ranges constitutes a relevant factor in the diversification of Mecoptera, as in the vast majority of the Neotropical biota elements. This spectacular barrier between the Amazon basin and Central America delimit and isolate most of the biodiversity of these regions (Hernández-Camacho et al., 1992HERNÁNDEZ-CAMACHO, J.; ORTIZ-QUIJANO, R.; WALSCHBURGER, T. & HURTADO-GUERRA, A. 1992. Estado de la Biodiversidad en Colombia. Acta Zoológica Mexicana, (número especial): 55-104. (Halffter, G. (Compilador). La Diversidad Biológica de Iberoamérica).). Colombian mountain ranges are important centers of endemism with suitable conditions for genetic isolation, as an example, the recently described P. convolutus, the possible sister taxon of P. furcatusByers, 1957BYERS, G.W. 1957. The Neotropical genus Pazius (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 582:1-11. from the Venezuelan Andes. Despite of the scarcity of records, Colombian fauna of Bittacidae is composed of Central American elements such as B. pignatelli and N. pollex distributed in the Darien and Cauca regions, respectively. Another example is B. panamensis, which extends its distribution from Costa Rica and Panama through Colombian Caribbean plains towards mountain ranges in the central Magdalena basin, particularly in the western slope of the oriental cordillera. Moreover, N. tjederi distributed in the eastern foothills of the central Colombian cordillera, has some tentative records from Panama and Venezuela (Byers, 1965BYERS, G.W. 1965. New and Uncommon Neotropical Mecoptera. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 38(2):135-144.). There are autochthonous elements also, such as P. convolutus from central mountainous part of the oriental cordillera, and P. gorgonensis, an isolated species discovered from the Gorgona island located in the Colombian Pacific coast, closely related with Central American species of Pazius (the obtusus group) (Ascuntar-Osnas et al., 2016ASCUNTAR-OSNAS, O.; TORRES-DOMINGUEZ, D.; CHACÓN DE ULLOA, P. & MACHADO, R.J.P. 2016. First record of the order Mecoptera (Insecta) for the Gorgona Island (Colombia), with the descriptions of a new species. Zootaxa, 4097(2):271-279.). In the Amazon basin of Colombia, there are two species with Amazonian affinity, P. cinctipes and I. amazonica, species closely related to Brazilian species of these genera (Byers & Flórez, 1995BYERS, G.W. & FLÓREZ, E. 1995. Two new species of Bittacidae (Mecoptera) from the Amazon forest in Southern Colombia. Tropical Zoology, 8:153-158.). There is a vast area in the country, including most of the Amazonian region and the Orinoco basin without records, factor that undoubtedly could means in the discovery of new species and new records as fieldwork in these unexplored areas is carried out.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Sincere thanks to Erika Valentina Vergara of the Taxonomic National Collection of Insects “Luis María Murillo” of Corpoica and entomological museum of the Scholl of Agronomy of Universidad Nacional de Colombia for her hospitality during the visit to these institutions. We thank to the “Kumangi” research laboratory of the Universidad Distrital de Bogota for allowing us to use equipments and spaces. The first author wants to thank to Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas of the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, for the financial support.

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  • 1
    Editor Responsável: Marcelo Duarte
  • Publicado com o apoio financeiro do Programa de Apoio às Publicações Científicas Periódicas da USP
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    Os periódicos Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia e Arquivos de Zoologia estão licenciados sob uma Licença CC-BY da Creative Commons.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    2017

History

  • Received
    18 Apr 2017
  • Accepted
    13 June 2017
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