Comprehensive Description

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 This species is extremely similar to Operclipygus gratus, differing as follows: length: 1.56–1.84 mm, width: 1.19–1.40 mm; epistoma depressed, but not subcarinate along apical margin; pronotum with fewer coarse lateral punctures (<15); basal sides of pronotum weakly sinuate, appearing weakly constricted; lateral submarginal pronotal stria obsolete in basal fifth, nearly complete, slightly divergent from margin near base; anterior submarginal pronotal stria barely recurved at ends; 5th elytral stria shorter, present in no more than apical half; prosternum with carinal striae of keel very short, united in narrow arch one-third from presternal suture; lateral metaventral stria long, extending to near outer corner of metacoxa, tending to bend laterad at apex; propygidium with coarse punctures shallow, slightly elongate, separated by about their widths; pygidium with ground punctation very coarse and dense, with slightly coarser punctures almost indistinguishable (but present and scattered throughout); marginal pygidial sulcus complete, deep, crenulate primarily on inner edge, outer edge relatively smooth. Male genitalia very similar to those of Operclipygus gratus (see Figs 43A–D), but with tegmen (Fig. 43J) more elongate, more nearly parallel-sided, less strongly narrowed to base, with medioventral process more elongate and distinctly projecting beneath about one-sixth from base; median lobe more elongate, about two-thirds length of tegmen, with narrow gonopore.   Remarks. This species can be distinguished by its rather convex shape, depressed epistoma, basally sinuate or constricted pronotal margin, abbreviated lateral submarginal pronotal stria (Fig. 42C), large prescutellar impression, and shortened prosternal striae (Fig. 42D). It is similar not only to Operclipygus gratus, but also to Operclipygus hospes and Operclipygus ignifer, sharing their large prescutellar impression especially. However, the medioventral process of the aedeagus is entirely different. Externally, neither of those species have the epistoma nearly as depressed as Operclipygus confertus.   Due to the extreme external similarity of this species with multiple others, and some evident variation in punctation and striation, we restrict the type series to those specimens from eastern Ecuador.


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© Michael S. Caterino, Alexey K. Tishechkin

Source: ZooKeys

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