RECORD: Pascoe, Francis Polkinghorne. 1861. Notes on the Brenthidae. Journal of Entomology, London, 1 (5): 388-394.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 2012. RN1

[page] 388

XXVIII.—Notes on the Brenthidæ.

Most of the Brenthidæ described in these notes are due to Mr. Wallace's indefatigable researches in the Indian Islands, where they seem to abound. There are still materials, however, for a very considerable addition to our knowledge of this family; and, considering their bizarre forms and the doubtful place which they occupy in classification (evidently, however, a transition group), it is somewhat remarkable that so little should have been written concerning them. It is not my intention just now to do more than indicate some of these novelties; but, to those which we owe to Mr. Wallace, I have added another form from South Africa, which bears such an evident, although perhaps somewhat distant, resemblance to Hypocephalua, that I cannot help regarding Mr. Curtis's idea.* that the latter is a gigantic Brenthus as much nearer the mark than his latest opinion, which refers it to the Lamellicornia ! In the following pages the descriptions only apply to the males,—the females, as is well known, differing principally in the simple terete rostrum and basal insertion of the antennæ.


Caput parvum, postice sublobatum, collo brevissimo, oculis subbasalibus. Rostrum elongatum, canaliculatum, basi rugosum, apice abrupte alatum, mandibulis parvis exsertis. Antennœ longiusculæ, teretes, articulis secundis tertiisque subequalibus. Prothorax subovato-ampliatus, lævis. Elytra breves, subtriangulares, apice quadricallosa. Pedes mediocres, antici elongati, femoribus dentatis, tibiis anticis subcurvatis, apice spinosis, tarsis brevibus.

In some respects this genus approaches Arrhenodes, although in habit it is more like Rhaphirhynchus; but the form of the head, the smallness of the mandibles, and, above all, the peculiar rostrum are sufficiently distinctive.

Ectocemus Wallacei.

E. rufo-ferrugineus; elytris nigris, flavo lineatis, fortiter punctato-striatis, apice angulatis.

Hab. Batchian.

Head and rostrum about one-third the total length, the former some-what bilobed and smooth behind the eyes, black, the neck indistinct, rostrum slightly narrowing to the middle, where it receives the an-tennæ, black, and rugosely punctate, beyond the antennæ gradually

* Sec Trans. Linnean Soc. 1854, p. 227.

[page] 389

rising on each side into a short, vertical tooth, the apex, including one-third the rostrum, ferruginous, gradually expanding at the side, and terminating in a horizontal triangular wing, within the margin on each side, but not continued to the apex, an elevated line crowned with five teeth; antennæ ferruginous, about two-thirds the length of the body, the joints, except at the base, nearly terete, and longitudinally corrugated; eyes small, round; prothorax impunctate, yellowish ferruginous, shining; elytra black, roughly punctate-striate, with an interrupted yellow line near the suture, another line sometimes externally, the apex slightly divaricate, then truncate, each angle of the truncated portion furnished with a small callosity; legs ferruginous, nearly smooth, shining, all the femora clavate, the anterior longest, beneath and towards the apex an oblique acute spine, anterior tibiæ dilated beneath, the apex with a strong exterior spine; body beneath yellowish ferruginous, smooth, shining. Length (with rostrum) 12 lines.

The female has the antennæ shorter and inserted near the base of the rostrum, which, from that point, is round, smooth, and nearly linear.

It seems to me desirable to separate from the great genus Arrhenodes those species with a slender, comparatively elongated rostrum, head abruptly excised almost directly behind the eyes, and very small mandibles; the latter organs, indeed, if contrasted with those of Arrhenodes, seem to indicate a very considerable difference in their economy. I have named this group Orychodes; and it will include Brentus serrirostris, Fab., Arrhenodes digramma, Bois., and some new species, one of which I have described below.


Caput breve, pone oculos excisum, collo brevissimo. Rostrum mediocre, tenue, apicem versus dilatatum, angulatum, subtus costatum; mandi-bulis parvis. Antennœ mediocres, articulis inferioribus obconicis, ex-terioribus subcylindricis, prope medium rostri insertæ. Prothorax elongato-ovatus, haud canaliculatus. Elytra subcylindrica. Pedes robusti, antici longiores; femora dentata; tibiæ curvatte; tarsi brevius-culi.

Orychodes pictus.

O. nigro-piceus, nitidissimus; capite postice mutico; prothorace valde elongato; elytris luteo maculatis; femoribus medio læte luteis.

Hab. Batchian.

Subdepressed, pitchy black, very smooth and glossy; head very short, abruptly excised directly behind the eyes, without any spine; rostrum shorter than the prothorax, thickish and smooth at the base, canaliculate above to nearly the insertion of the antennæ, where it has a

[page] 390

rounded impression, beyond this it becomes quadrangular, and widens gradually to the apex, with the upper angles serrated, and the space between sprinkled with oblong granules, beneath the rostrum a longitudinal costa; antennæ as long as the prothorax, inserted behind the middle of the rostrum, the four basal joints obconic, the remainder subcylindrical; prothorax elongate-ovate, nearly as long as the elytra; elytra short, parallel, with three longitudinal bright-luteous spots on each, the apex entire; legs rather robust, the anterior largest, femora clavate and toothed beneath, bright-luteous yellow, except at the extremities, tibiæ short, curved, spined at the apex, the anterior hollowed out internally towards the apex, and clothed with golden-yellow hairs, tarsi rather short, stout; the last three abdominal segments clothed with golden hairs at the side. Length 10 lines.


Leptorhynchus, Guérin (1830), non Gift (1829).

The species of this genus are among the longest and narrowest of the Brenthidœ, and have all so much in common, that a minute description of each would be little more than a repetition; at the same time it is only by comparison that they can be, with any degree of certainty, understood. They have all the same dark-brown colour, varied in some by a yellow line on each elytron, and the base of the femora paler than the clavate portion, but this is not always even specifically constant. Individually they vary remarkably in size (6 to 20 lines), and in some instances in the proportional length of their parts. Except the original I. angustatus, none of them have the beautiful fringe of hairs beneath the four posterior tarsi which characterizes that species; or rather it is so much reduced as to cease to be remarkable. In I. ophiopsis only the prothorax is bent down, almost as if broken. Of the remainder, I. angustatus, I. Wallacei, and I. frontalis have a yellow stripe on each elytron, which does not, however, quite attain to the apex. I. linearis has a red spot at the base of each, while I. fumosus is entirely unicolorous, at least as to the elytra.

Ithystenus Wallacei.

I. nigro-fuscus; capitis fronte integra, rostro elongate tenui canaliculo; elytris luteo bivittatis, spina exteriore crassa, conica, paulo curvata.

Hab. Mysol.

Differs principally from I. angustatus in the elytra not dilated at the external angle of the apex, but prolonged into a short, thick, conic process slightly curved externally.

[page] 391

Ithystenus frontalis.

I. nigro-fuacus; capitis fronte canaliculata; rostro basi profunde canaliculato; elytris late bivittatis, spina exteriore cylindrica, apicem versus acuta.

Hab. Aru.

Very like the last, but less elongate. The narrow groove extending the whole length of the head and running into the broad canal at the base of the rostrum, where it gradually spreads out and is obliterated at about a quarter of its length, affords good diagnostic characters when compared with the same parts in I. Wallacei, where the head is entire, and the rostral canal is uniformly narrow, and continued as far as the insertion of the antennæ. The apical spine in this species is cylindrical, except at the tip, where it suddenly becomes conic and pointed.

Ithystenus fumosus.

I. nigro-fuscus; capitis fronte late canaliculata, transversim corrugata; elytris concoloribus, spina exteriore filiformi, elongate.

Hab. Batchian.

In some individuals of this species the posterior margin of the prothorax is of a deep blood-red, or the bases of the femora are nearly of the same colour; but it is well distinguished by having on each side of its frontal canal a finely sculptured series of transverse hair-like plaits. The elytra are entirely dark brown, and the apical spine is unusually long for this genus, its length being about twice the breadth of the elytra.

Ithystenus linearis.

I. nigro-fuscus; capitis fronte tenuiter canaliculata; elytris basi rubro maculatis, spina exteriore brevi, subconica.

Hab. Batchian.

The short, conic, apical spine and the clear blood-red spot at the base of each elytron, almost confined, however, to the base of the third of the raised lines, where it seems to replace the longer yellow line of I. angustatus, &c., will readily distinguish this species from any here destribed.

Ithystenus ophiopsis.

I. nigro-fuacus; prothorace antice curvato; elytrorum spina exteriore brevi, incrassata, compressa.

Hab. New Guinea (Dorey).

The curved prothorax, presenting a sort of gibbosity above, and the short, stout, deeply compressed spine of the elytra, are characters

VOL. I. 2 F

[page] 392

confined to this species. It is uniform in its colour, and, after I. angustatus, is the largest and proportionally the most attenuated of the genus.


Caput quadratum, collo brevissimo. Rostrum elongatum, vix canaliculatum, basi dilatatum. Antennæ mediocres, subfiliformes, versus apicem rostri insertæ, articulo secundo primo longiore. Prothorax subdepressus, canaliculatus, entice angustus, lateribus ampliatus. Elytra lineares, appendiculata. Pedes tenues, femora haud clavata, mutica, tibiæ sublineares, tarsi angusti, articulo basali elongato.

Nearly allied to Diurus, from which it is well distinguished by the dilated apex of the rostrum, the length of the second joint of the antennæ, and the canaliculate prothorax.

Prodector laminatus.

P. niger, opacus, sparse albo hirtus; elytris seriatim punctatis, lineis duabus albis ornatis, apice productis, appendiculo longo laminato obtuso.

Hab. Menado.

Elongate, black, opake, with scattered, white, short, scaly hairs; head narrowly quadrate, rostrum about five times its length, very slender, obsoletely canaliculate, the apex dilated, shining, and coarsely punctured; eyes small, black; antennæ not so long as the rostrum, nearly filiform, inserted near the apex, the second joint longer than the first; prothorax less than half the length of the elytra, depressed, narrow in front, enlarged at the sides, broadly canaliculate above; elytra parallel, regularly seriate-punctate, a line of white hairs on each, near the suture the apex produced into a long, lanceolate, obtuse lamina; legs slender, of moderate length, tibiæ nearly straight, shortly spined at the apex, tarsi narrow, the basal joint elongate. Length 21 lines.

Varies in the length of the caudal appendage (which, in the specimen from which the above description was made, was nearly as long as the elytra), as well as in size and relative proportions.

Diurus of Dejean still remains, I believe, a mere catalogue name, although it has been many years proposed, and is well known as designating one of the most extraordinary of this extraordinary family; the following are the principal characters of the genus:—


Caput tenuissimum, vix rostro crassius. Rostrum elongatum, subcylindricum, apice haud dilatato. Antennæ mediocres, subfiliformes, articulo secundo parvo, versus apicem rostri insertæ. Prothorax supra convexus, antice angustior, haud canaliculatus. Elytra linearia, appendiculata.

[page] 393

Pedes tenues; femora haud clavata, mutica; tibiæ graciles, breviusculæ; tarsi mediocres, articulo basali subelongato.

Type Ceocephalus furcillatus, Schön. Gen. et Spec. Curcnl. i. p. 359 (Diurus forcipatus, Westw.). There is a second species for which I cannot find any satisfactory character that will distinguish the male, but whose female is decidedly different from the female of D. furcillatus. As neither of these have been described, I have placed the differential characters side by side, so that the peculiarities of each will be seen at once. I have applied the name of dispar to this species, which is from Borneo.

Diurus furcillatus (♀). Diurus dispar (♀).
Head moderately long, eyes two or three times its diameter from the posterior angle; antennæ inserted between the middle of the rostrum and its base; rostrum subelongate, gradually tapering to the apex, the part beyond the insertion of the antennæ smooth and glossy; elytra at the apex narrowed and abruptly depressed, each terminating in a stout, subcylindrical process. Head short, eye only once its diameter from the posterior angle; antennæ inserted near the apex of the rostrum; rostrum short, thick at the base, abruptly narrowed beyond the insertion of the antennæ, from thence to the apex rough (comparatively) and opake; elytra scarcely narrowed at, but sloping rapidly to the apex, which is truncate, with a short slender spine at each outer angle.


Caput subquadratum, basi truncatum, collo brevi. Rostrum breve, arcuatum, basi trisulcatum, apice dilatatum; mandibulis exsertis. Antennœ breviusculæ, incrassatæ, versus medium rostri insertæ; articulis exterioribus transversis, secundo unilaterali, basi constricto, tribus ultimis majoribus perfoliatis. Prothorax oblongo-ovatus, anterius angustior, convexus, lævis. Elytra subbrevia, subcylindrica, apice mutica. Pedes breviusculi, antice longiores; femoribus tibiisque muticis; tarsis brevibus.

Trachelizus appears to be the nearest ally of this genus, from which it differs principally in the form of the head, in the rostrum, antennæ, and the non-canaliculate prothorax.

Miolispa suturalis.

M. fulva, nitida; elytris prope suturam simpliciter striatis, ferrugineis, striis exterioribus fortiter punctatis.

Hab. Amboyna, Batchian, &c.

Fulvous yellow generally, but varying in intensity and amount; the head, rostrum, antennæ, and anterior margin of the prothorax black, or

[page] 394

the antennæ only black, or pale brown; the legs fulvous, with the tibio-femoral articulation black or dusky brown, the tibiæ and tarsi more or less ringed with black or dusky, the sutural region dark ferruginous, the sides also sometimes ferruginous; head subquadrate, smooth, convex, rostrum less than twice the length of the head, curved, the basal half trisulcate, the intermediate sulcation extending to the apex, which is triangularly dilated, mandibles small, exserted; eyes round, situated near the base of the rostrum; antennæ short, thick, inserted at the middle of the rostrum, the second joint curved externally, the inner side near the base deeply constricted, the rest to the eighth inclusive shortly triangular, the last three joints larger and perfoliate; prothorax oblong-ovate, smooth; elytra rather short, subcylindrical, the apex entire, deeply punctate-striate, the inner stria without punctures; legs short, anterior pair longer, femora and tibiæ unarmed, tarsi short, robust. Length 3½ lines.


Caput quadratum, convexum, collo bulbiformi. Rostrum crassum, brevissimum, apice emarginatum. Antennœ incrassatæ; articulis transversis, perfoliate, ultimis tribus majoribus. Prothorax subelongatus, antice angustior, utrinque profunde impressus. Elytra oblongo-ovata, compressa. Pedes mediocres; tibiæ brevissimæ, apice spinosæ, anticæ infus dentatæ; tarsi breves, compressi, subtus ciliati.

Evidently allied to Taphroderes and Cyphagogus, from which it will be at once distinguished by the short, thick rostrum; from Calodromus* it differs principally in its short and differently formed posterior legs.

Zemioses porcatus.

Z. piceus; elytris striis elevatis, interstitiis transversim costatis.

Hab. Natal.

Pitchy; head reddish ferruginous, short, quadrate, convex in front; neck bulbiform; eyes round, moderately prominent, basal; rostrum short, thick, deeply emarginate or excavated at the apex; mandibles small, transverse; antennæ about as long as the prothorax, thickened, perfoliate, arising from a deep sinus below the eyes, the two basal joints shortly obconic, the remainder to the eighth inclusive shortly transverse, the last three forming a pointed club; prothorax smooth, shining, ventricose at the base, compressed and narrowed anteriorly, a deep impression at the side, apparently for the reception of the femur and tibia; elytra narrowly oblong-ovate, compressed, with several strongly elevated lines, the interstices, except near the suture, transversely ribbed; legs reddish ferruginous, femora clavate, unarmed, tibiæ very short, spined at the apex, the anterior dilated and spined also in the middle beneath; tarsi short, compressed, slightly ciliated beneath. Length 3½ lines.

* Caladromus cyrtotrachelus, Thoms. (Arch. i. p. 119), is Cyphagogus West-woodii, Parry.

This document has been accessed 4963 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

File last updated 26 September, 2012