Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Two additional Leptogomphus species

On May 16 I caught a female Leptogomphus in the Tu Le area in Yen Bai Province. On close inspection of the occipital ridge it revealed to smaller lateral horns, protruding backwards, and two central horns bend forward. I was a little baffled and consulted Haruki Karube, who was quick to point out that this was indeed Leptogomphus uenoi, described by Asahina in 1996 and of which the IUCN website says there is doubt it is a valid species, as it was based on a single female. Karube has put that straight, by describing both the male and female this year. The male looks surprisingly like L. perforatus, so it is easy to overlook it, even in the hand. But the female is, at least in hand, distinctive enough. I was happy to find it, of course. It may be widespread, as is indicated by the original specimen being from Sa Pa, the specimens of Karube being from Bach Ma National Park, and my own being from Yen Bai.

On June 17 I caught another female for close inspection on Pia Oac Mountain in Cao Bang Province. This female has two very prominent central horns on the occipital ridge that are both pointing forward and have very thick bases, that touch one another. It misses the backward pointing lateral spikes. I have not been able to match this female with any known species. It may well belong to an as yet undescribed species. Anybody any ideas?

Leptogomphus uenoi, female. Yes, it is a Leptogomphus and yes, other than that it is difficult to tell what species unless you check the occipital ridge.
But if we do so, we see this. 4 horns, to pointing towards the back and to pointed forward in true bull fashion, typical of L. uenoi.
Here at another angle, showing the bull horns
So what it this? It looks exactly the same as the L. uenoi female, although in fact the larger horns are already visible here in lateral view. It is Leptogomphus species incertae.
This is what they look like in frontal view: two thick-set adjoining horns
And here at a different angle you can again see their thick shape, not spike-like, as in many other species, but a water-drop shape. Leptogomphus species incertae.

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