Comprehensive Description

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Loricera rotundicollis Chaudoir

Loricera rotundicollis Chaudoir, 1863:115. [Lectotype female, MEXICO, Oaxaca, Capulapam, (Sallé) (MNHP), herein selected.]

DIAGNOSTIC COMBINATION.—Antennomeres 2–6 with markedly large setae; antennomeres 2–4 irregular in shape; elytron with 12 regular striate interneurs. Color and luster: mostly black, shining iridescent except head, with rufous or rufopiceous labrum, antennal articles 2, 4-11, mouthparts except palpi, coxae, trochanters, and tibiae; tarsal articles rufoflavous; palpi flavous, antennal articles 1 and 3 piceous. Form: size medium, head round with constricted neck, eyes small but prominent, body flat. Structure: dorsal microsculp ture of small, well-impressed transverse meshes. Male median lobe (Figure 5). Female styli small and spatulate with single ventral setae; coxite densely setiferous. ABL = 7.5 to 8.2 mm; TW = 2.9 to 3.4.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION (Figure 6).—The one species is widespread in Mexico from the southern portion of the Sierra Madre Oriental south through Chiapas; in Central America, it currently is known only from the northwest portion of Guatemala, at middle to high elevation.

NATURAL HISTORY.—In Mexico, Loricera rotundicollis is generally found in oak and pine forests above 6000 feet in montane moist forest, sometimes as high as 11,000 feet. I expect that this will also be true for the northern parts of Guatemala, although this species is now known from only a few scattered localities there. The larvae are probably specialized predators and can be found under large stones where they also pupate (see Ball and Erwin, 1969, for descriptions of immature stages). All specimens seen by me from Guatemala are brachypterous, with the flight wing developed only to the stigma. Ball and Erwin (1969) point out that of 131 specimens seen by them, 119 were brachypterous and that fully winged individuals were found only in large population samples. I have no large samples from Guatemala at present, but expect winged individuals to be found there.

MATERIAL EXAMINED.—Type (see above) and 6 specimens (Table 2).


The carabines are a numerous and diverse group of small to large beetles found in most regions of the world. The male genitalia of the Carabini, sensu stricto, Cychrini, Pamborini, Ceroglossini, the so-called “Cicindelinae,” and several other minor groups are virtually identical in their ground plan structure. In addition, these groups possess the primitive antennal comb and thoracic structures, as well as vertically oriented female gonocoxites (apotypically, carabid gonocoxites are horizontally oriented) of early carabid evolution. These groups form the Carabinae, of which only two subgroups are found in Central America—Carabini (Calosomd) and Cicindelitae. The former is covered below, while I shall treat the latter in another fascicle of the series. Many authors (Breuning, 1927–1931; Jeannel, 1940; Gidaspow, 1959, 1963; Lindroth, 1961) have discussed parts of this large group, but as yet no one has dealt with generic relationships in a modern way, for the world. Although this task would be horrendous because of excessive taxonomic splitting in Carabus, it is important that it be done because of the subfamily’s interesting, and perhaps instructive, distribution.

The carabine complex alone should elucidate patterns of continental drift with regard to early carabid dispersal patterns. Jeannel (1940) discussed Calosoma distribution in relation to shifting continents, but he presented no clear evidence of group relationships, although the essence of his conclusions is probably very good. This plateau of carabid evolution was probably the last or next to last major pre-rift radiation in the family (Erwin, 1979, 1985; Kavanaugh and Negre, 1983). Inclusive taxa derived from this plateau dispersed perhaps across relatively narrow water gaps, but nevertheless were subject to an oceanic filter effect. Still later groups arose, dispersed in the fashion described by Darlington (1957) and Erwin (1985), and gave us the complex caraboid distribution pattern seen today.

Checklist of Carabini of Central America
bibliographic citation
Erwin, Terry L. 1991. "The ground beetles of Central America (Carabidae) I: Carabinae (in part): Notiophilini, Loricerini, Carabini." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1-30. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.501