RECORD: Waterhouse, G. R. 1840. Description of a New Species of the Genus Lophotus, from the Collection of Charles Darwin, Esq. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 5 (July): 329-32.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe, transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 6.2008. RN21

[page] 329

XXXIX.—Description of a new Species of the genus Lophotos, from the collection of Charles Darwin, Esq. By G. R. WATERHOUSE, Esq., Curator to the Museum of the Zoological Society, &c. &c.

The genus Lophotus, founded by Schœnherr* upon an insect from Chile, is placed by that author in his family Cleonides, and in the apterous section of that family. But one species of Lophotus was known to him at the time of the publication of his second volume; he must now however be acquainted with two species, the Rev. F. W. Hope having sent him two from his own collection. One of these is described and figured by Mr. Hope in the 'Transactions of the Entomological Society,' under the name of Loph. nodipennis; to the other he applies the name trifasciatus—this, however, I believe to be the same as Schœnherr's species. Mr. Hope also refers the Curculio Vitulus of Fabricius to the same genus: there are therefore three species of Lophotus known; and as these are now before me, together with the new species I am about to describe, I will endeavour to point out their chief distinguishing characters.


Subsection GONATOCERI.



Sp. 1. Lophotus Vitulus.

Curculio Vitulus, Fab. Ent. Syst. tom. 1. pars 2. page 479. spec. 356.

"C. brevirostris niger fronte bidentatâ, elytris unispinosis.

Habitat in Terrâ del Fuego. Mus. Dom. Banks.

Caput nigrum rostro canaliculato. Inter oculos dentes duo elevati, acuti. Thorax rugosus, ater anticè punctis duobus elevatis. Elytra carinata, rugosa, atra, posticè spinâ elevatâ, acutâ. Pedes nigri."—Fab.

Two specimens of this species form part of Mr. Darwin's collection; one of them is from Hardy Peninsula, Tierra del Fuego, taken in the month of March; and the other is from

* 'Genera et species Cureulionidum,' tom. 2, pars prima, p. 314.

Ann. Nat. Hist. Vol. 5. No. 32. July 1840. 2 A

[page] 330

Tres Montes, "found on a bare granite mountain, at an elevation of 2500 feet." They have been compared with the original specimen in the Banksian collection. The length of this insect varies from 9 to 10 lines (without including the rostrum, which is rather more than 1 line in length), and its greatest width is from 2¾ to 3 lines. The general colour is black or pitchy-black. The rostrum is elevated between the antennæ, and there are two longitudinal grooves in this elevated portion: on the head between the eyes are two distinct obtusely pointed tubercles. The thorax is nearly cylindrical, but obscurely dilated in the middle; its upper surface is covered with strong irregular rugæ, which are for the most part in a transverse direction; besides these irregular ridges, there are two tubereles situated close to the anterior margin. The elytra are of about the same width as the thorax at the base, but towards the hinder part they are dilated; their upper surface is convex, and at the sides they are compressed—the general form of the body however approaches to cylindrical. The anterior angles of the elytra are slightly produced, and the apical portion is rounded: on the upper surface they are deeply and coarsely punctured; these large punctures are near each other and leave strongly elevated rugæ, and these rugæ are most elevated in the transverse direction, the punctures having a tendency to run into each other in that direction: on the hinder part of each elytron, about 2 lines from the apex, is a large angular tubercle. Each segment of the abdomen beneath is convex and somewhat coarsely punctured; and on the last segment two large foveæ are observable. The legs are moderately long.

A specimen of this, as well as of each of the other species here described, is deposited by Mr. Darwin in the Museum of the Entomological Society.

Sp. 2. Lophotus longipes, nov. spec.

Loph. niger, rostro Iongiusculo, culmine elevato, capite rugosè punctato; thorace suprà lineis irregularibus elevatis transversim, lineâque elevatâ longitudinali, notato; margine antico elevato: elytris punctis grandiusculis longitudinaliter in lineis crebrè depositis; tuberculis permagnis, apud partem posticam, apice producto et acuto; abdominis segmentis subtùs in medio lævi-

[page] 331

bus, ad latera punctis necnon squamis flavidis vel albis obsitis; apud metathoracem squamis pallidis lineam lateralem efficientibus; scutello albo; pedibus longis.

Of the species of Lophotus known, the present could only be confounded with the Loph. Vitulus, but from that it may be distinguished by the following characters:—the rostrum is longer, and instead of having a bisulcated elevation between the antennæ, it is furnished with a central longitudinal ridge, which is considerably dilated in front of the antennæ, where it exhibits a shallow longitudinal depression in the middle; the antennæ are longer: the tubercles over the eyes are here wanting: the anterior margin of the thorax is raised into a fold, but it does not present the two tubercles observable in Loph. Vitulus; the irregular rugæ on the thorax are moreover less distinct; the elytra differ in having the posterior portion produced into a point, the posterior two tubercles much larger, and the sculpturing less deep. In addition to these characters, the comparative smoothness of the segments of the abdomen beneath, and their being furnished with pale scales on the sides, together with the proportionately great length of the legs, will serve to distinguish Loph. longipes from Loph. Vitulus. The scutellum is white. The length of this species is 9‴, and its greatest width is 3‴; the length of the femora and tibiæ, taken together, is 5¾‴, whereas in Loph. Vitulus the same parts measure only 4 1/3‴. Mr. Darwin found this species in Hardy Peninsula, Tierra del Fuego, and at Cape Tres Montes.

Sp 3. Lophotus nodipennis, Hope, Transactions of the Entomological Society of London, vol. 1. p. 15, pl. 1. fig. 5.

L. "ater, rostro canaliculato posticè niveo, elytris unituberculatis, maculâque albidâ inter tubercula et apicem positâ. Long. corp. 10‴. Lat. 2½.

Habitat apud Conception Americæ Meridionalis." Hope.

This species is at once distinguished from either of the others here noticed by its less deep sculpturing, but more particularly by the white spots by which its legs, abdomen, and apical portion of the elytra are adorned. These patches of pale scales are observable in the following situations:—1st there is a patch on the basal portion of the rostrum, another on

2 A 2

[page] 332

each side of the thorax, one on the trochanter of each of the 4 anterior legs; a longitudinal row of spots adorns the under side of the abdomen, one to each segment, and the two basal segments have moreover a spot on either side; a large patch is situated on the apical portion of each elytron, and all the femora have a pale ring near the apex: the colour of these spots is sometimes white, sometimes yellow, and occasionally some brilliant pale blue scales margin the white ones, especially on the legs, and a patch of blue scales is generally apparent beneath the spots on the apical portion of the elytra. Several specimens of this species were brought home by Mr. Darwin: some of them nre from Chiloe, and others from Ynche Island, Chonos Archipelago.

Sp. 4. Lophotus Eschscholizi, Scho. Tom. 2, pars prima, p. 316.

Lophotus trifasciatus. Hope, MS.

L. niger, squamis albis dispersis; elytris fascias tres latas et albas exhibentibus, neenon ad apicem notam albam: tuberculis duobus parvis et angularibus super oculos; thorace punctis confluentibus, elytris insigniter punctato-striato.

This species is readily distinguished from either of the preceding by the black and white fasciæ which adorn the elytra. It agrees with the description of Lophotus Eschscholtzi, if we may suppose Schœherr's specimen a little rubbed. In perfect specimens the elytra (which are shorter and broader than in other species) are densely clothed with white scales, excepting in certain parts, and these unclothed portions form fasciæ: a small black spot is observable on each shoulder, a triangular black patch (sometimes confluent with the shoulder-spot) on the scutellum; behind these are two black fasciæ, the first of which is interrupted in the middle; and on the apical portion of the elytra is an irregular black mark. On the head, thorax, legs, and the whole of the under parts of the body, are scattered white scales.

One specimen of this insect was brought from Valparaiso by Mr. Darwin, who says "it first appears in November, is very abundant, and injurious to the young shoots of plums and peaches."

This document has been accessed 6352 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 2 July, 2012