Review of the genera Elaphinis and Parelaphinis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) with description of three new species from South Africa

Perissinotto Renzo
Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 62(1): 35-55, 2022
Published online: 30th April 2022
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Abstract: The cetoniine genera Elaphinis Burmeister, 1842 and Parelaphinis Marais & Holm, 1989 are reviewed in the light of substantial new material that has become available recently. A new species, E. matatiele sp. nov., in the previously monotypic subgenus Elaphinis s. str. and closely related to E. (E.) cinereonebulosa (De Geer, 1778), is described from the southern Drakensberg area near Matatiele (Eastern Cape, South Africa). Within Parelaphinis, two new species, P. umtamvuna sp. nov. and P. drakensbergica sp. nov. are described and compared with P. moesta (Gory & Percheron, 1833) – hitherto the only member of the genus. The former is a mid- to lowland dweller, currently known only from the KwaZulu-Natal side of the Umtamvuna River valley (South Africa). The latter is a montane species apparently distributed across the eastern portion of the Drakensberg Escarpment, from the north-eastern Free State (South Africa) to eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). A review of the enigmatic species E. (Micrelaphinis) pumila Boheman, 1857, also presumably originating from the same broader region, reveals that only five specimens, three of which belong to the type series, are currently still traceable to accessible collections, while no further specimens have been found since the 19th century. It is here established that the type series collected by Wahlberg during the period 1838–1845 most likely originated from the Orange River valley, either in the Eastern Cape, Free State or Lesotho. As this area has been extensively transformed by agricultural and mining activities, as well as human settlements, it is hypothesized that the species may already be extinct. All the species analysed in detail are illustrated, and dichotomic keys to all species of both genera are provided to facilitate their identification.
Key words: Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniini, new species, Southern Africa, Afrotropical Region