Cupes capitatusThomas Hörnschemeyer
With c. 7.8 mm length and c. 2.2 mm width C. capitatus is a comparatively small cupedid. Today the species can be found in eastern North America, from south-eastern Ontario (Canada) to Georgia (USA). Until the ice ages the distribution was much wider, as fossil finds from the Baltic Amber and from the Pliocene sediments of Willershausen (northern Germany) indicate (Gersdorf 1976).
The larvae of this species as well as the life cycle and the preferred food source are unknown.
Until Neboiss (1984) most cupedid species were put together in the genus Cupes Fabricius, 1801. In his “Reclassification of Cupes …” Neboiss (1984: title) described five new genera (Tenomerga, Distocupes, Adinolepis, Ascioplaga, Rhipsideigma), to which he distributed the species previous belonging to Cupes. Only the type species Cupes capitatus remained in this genus.
Besides its comparatively small size a very characteristic feature of C. capitatus is its coloration. The head is bright orange whereas the rest of the animal, including the legs and antennae, is reddish to greyish brown without any pattern. The visual colors are those of the scales that densely cover the otherwise dark brown cuticle. Another characteristic feature are the conspicuous dorsal protuberances on the head. They are quite large and erect. The anterior pair is conical whereas the posterior pair is distinctly elongate.
According to Hörnschemeyer (2009) Cupes capitatus forms a monophyletic group together with the African Tenomerga leucophaea and the Madagascan genus Rhipsideigma.
Fabricius, J. C. 1801. Systema Eleutheratorum. Kiliae, 2: 66-67.
Gersdorf, E. 1976. Dritter Beitrag u?ber Käfer (Coleoptera) aus dem Jungtertiär von Willershausen, Bl. Northeim 4226. Geologisches Jahrbuch A 36: 103-145.
Hörnschemeyer, T., 2009. The species-level phylogeny of archostematan beetles - where do Micromalthus debilis and Crowsoniella relicta belong? Systematic Entomology 34(3): 533-558.
Neboiss, A. 1984. Reclassification of Cupes Fabricius (s.lat.), with descriptions of new genera and species (Cupedidae: Coleoptera). Systematic Entomology 9: 443-477.
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- First online 17 December 2010
Citing this page:
Hörnschemeyer, Thomas. 2010. Cupes capitatus http://tolweb.org/Cupes_capitatus/66467/2010.12.17 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 17 December 2010 (under construction).