The weevil genusAzotoctla gen. nov. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Curculioninae: Acalyptini Thomson), is described to accommodate the following 15 new Neotropical species: Azotoctla aecuatorialis sp. nov. (Ecuador), Azotoctla anerunca sp. nov. (Ecuador), Azotoctla angustacra sp. nov. (Ecuador), Azotoctla curvirostra sp. nov. (Peru), Azotoctla dasygastra sp. nov. (Costa Rica and Honduras), Azotoctla femorata sp. nov. (Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama), Azotoctla gomezi sp. nov. (Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama), Azotoctla gottsbergeri sp. nov. (Brazil), Azotoctla clemmyssa sp. nov. (Colombia), Azotoctla melolauta sp. nov. (Colombia), Azotoctla migueli sp. nov. (Colombia), Azotoctla nana sp. nov. (Panama), Azotoctla punctata sp. nov. (Costa Rica), Azotoctla tibiatra sp. nov. (Belize), and Azotoctla tuberquiai sp. nov. (Colombia). Azotoctla is placed in the tribe Acalyptini, subtribe Staminodeina Franz, thus representing the sister taxon of Staminodeus Franz. The monophyly of Azotoctla is supported by the following inferred traits: a noncarinate rostrum that is tumescent above the antennal insertion in males; equilaterally subtriangular hemisternites of the male sternum 8; paired, longitudinal, laterally positioned sclerites of the aedeagus; and a bifurcate lamina of the female sternum 8, which bears explanate, diverging furcal arms. A key to the species of Azotoctla is provided; and the salient features of each species are illustrated and presented along with distributional and natural history data. A morphological cladistic analysis of 23 terminal species (eight outgroup, 15 ingroup) and 33 characters yielded a single most parsimonious cladogram (length=75 steps, consistency index=52, retention index=77), with the ingroup topology ((A.aecuatorialis, (A.anerunca, A.gottsbergeri)), (A.punctata, ((A.angustacra, A.nana), (A.tibiatra, (A.clemmyssa, (A.curvirostra, A.femorata)), (A.melolauta, ((A.gomezi, A.migueli), (A.dasygastra, A.tuberquiai))))))). Species of Azotoctla are reproductively associated with the ephemeral staminodes of different members of the Neotropical monocot family Cyclanthaceae; most commonly with the widespread genus Carludovica Ruiz & Pavón. The interspecific homogeneity in external morphology, coupled with marked differences in genital traits and an apparent absence of narrow geographical ranges mediated by either host plants and/or biogeographical factors, jointly suggest that the diversification of Azotoctla is a relatively recent phenomenon and driven strongly by sexual selection.
- Floral parasitism
- Host specificity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology