Taxonomic revision of Madagascan Rhantus (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Colymbetinae) with an emphasis on Manjakatompo as a conservation priority

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Abstract

We review the diving-beetle genus Rhantus Dejean of Madagascar (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Colymbetinae) based on museum collection holdings and recently collected expedition material. Both morphology and DNA is used to test species boundaries, in particular whether newly collected material from the Tsaratanana mountains in the north represent a new species or are conspecific with Rhantus manjakatompo Pederzani and Rocchi 2009, described based on a single male specimen from the central Ankaratra mountains. DNA of the holotype of R. manjakatompo was successfully extracted in a non-destructive way and sequenced. The general mixed Yule coalescent model applied to an ultrametric tree constructed from mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence data delimited three species. Morphological characters supported the same species unambiguously. We therefore recognise three species of Rhantus to occur in Madagascar: R. latus (Fairmaire, 1869), R. bouvieri Régimbart, 1900 and R. manjakatompo Pederzani and Rocchi, 2009. All three species are endemic to Madagascar and restricted to the highlands of the island. Rhantusstenonychus Régimbart, 1895, syn. n., is considered a junior synonym of R. latus. We designate lectotypes for R. bouvieri and R. goudoti Sharp, 1882, the latter a junior synonym of R. latus. We provide descriptions, a determination key, SEM-images of fine pronotal and elytral structures, distribution maps, habitus photos, and illustrations of male genitalia and pro- and mesotarsal claws. We discuss the role of the Manjakatompo forest as a refugium for Madagascan Rhantus diversity and other endemics of the montane central high plateau.

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Hjalmarsson, A. E., Bukontaite, R., Ranarilalatiana, T., Randriamihaja, J. H., & Bergsten, J. (2013). Taxonomic revision of Madagascan Rhantus (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Colymbetinae) with an emphasis on Manjakatompo as a conservation priority. ZooKeys, 350, 21–45. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.350.6127

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