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Systematics of the southern African genus Epirinus Reiche (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae: Canthonini): descriptions of new species and phylogeny

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The genus Epirinus is reviewed. It consists of 29 species, including six new ones described in this paper: E. aquilus, E. hluhluwensis, E. minimus, E. ngomae, E. pseudorugosus and E. sebastiani. A key to all the species of Epririnus is provided as are distribution map and illustrations of the most important morphological features to distinguish the species. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus are investigated, using cladistic analysis of 79 morphological characters including male and female genitalia. Various synapomorphies support the genus Epirinus as a monophyletic group of species. They are: shape of the internal border of the eye, genital segment with short projections, and presence of sclerite “X” in the internal male genitalia. There is no support for the flightless species to be treated as a separate genus, as has been proposed in the past.


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