Erthesina acuminata. Photo taken
Panchet, ~ 60km. SW of Pune City, in western India, on Lantana
Photo taken by Hemant Ghate
Spinola, 1837: 290, 291-293.
Fabricius, 1794 (= Cimex fullo Thunberg, 1783), by monoytpy.
acuminata Dallas, 1851
fullo (Thunberg, 1783)
There are a number of
species described in this genus. I have examined quite a few specimens, and
I now believe that there are probably only two species. Distant (1889) and
Schouteden (1902) each described a species (africana and distanti,
respectively) from Africa, but these most likely belong in Atelocerus
or Pseudatelus, African genera that have an overall appearance
similar to Erthesina. I have not seen any specimens of any
Erthesina species from Africa, and at least Distantís description could
apply to several African species from the above genera.
There appears to be an Oriental species
and an Indian species. The overall appearance is very similar in all
specimens examined, but there is distinct differences in the male genitalia
from each region. The parameres are rather complicated, but in the Oriental
species, the anteromesial lobe (next to the proctiger) is elongate and
spine-like, the superior ridge is prolonged posteriorly, the two lobes
rather widely separated, opposing the spine-like lobes of the parameres.
Also, the outline of the inferior ridge is more U-shaped.
The Indian species has the anteromesial
parameral lobe short, truncate, rather robust, still coming into contact
with the lobes of the superior ridge, but now these lobes are not as widely
spaced. The inferior ridge tends to be more V-shaped.
I have not found a convenient method for
separating females other than locality and association with males.
I can also divide the Indian species into
two groups based on pilosity. In one group, the hairs on the abdomen, and
especially on the thoracic sterna tend to be more numerous and longer; these
specimens tend to be more brown in color. The other group has much fewer and
shorter hairs, and tends to be more blackish in coloration. I have not been
able to find any structural differences, and the male genitalia appears to
be identical between the two. There does seem to be a possible seasonal
correlation - nearly all of the "hairy" specimens were collected in January
and February, with a few as early as October, while nearly all of the
"non-hairy" specimens were collected between May and September, with a few
from October and November.
Others have placed some importance on the
degree of dilation of the fore and hind tibiae. This appears to be quite
variable, the variation not correlating at all with any other differences. I
donít at this time feel that this dilation can be used to delineate species.
So, what names should be used. The oldest
name in the genus is fullo (Thunberg, 1783), the type locality being
apan. Although I have not examined specimens from Japan, I believe this is
the name to be used for the Oriental species. I have examined male specimens
from Taiwan, throughout China, and Thailand. Erthesina fullo has 2
synonyms (mucorea Fabricius, 1794, type locality China, and
japonica Walker, 1867, type locality Japan), and guttata
Fabricius, 1787, was described from Thailand (but has been reported from the
Indian subcontinent), and ilia China (1925) was described from China
(again based heavily on differences in the tibial dilation). Both guttata
and ilia are probably synonyms of fullo.
The oldest name from the Indian
subcontinent is acuminata Dallas, 1851. I have examined male
specimens from throughout India and Pakistan. I have seen one female
specimen from Nepal, but do not know from which species it should be
referred. Distant (1902, 1918) described aberrans and robertsi,
respectively, from north India, based primarily on differences in the tibial
dilations. These are probably both synonyms of acuminata.
So, at this time, I am identifying all
specimens from the Oriental region as Erthesina fullo (Thunberg), and
all specimens from the Indian subcontinent as Erthesina acuminata