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Lithomelissa pentacantha

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Revised Benson (1966) taxonomy of Lithomelissa hystrix and P1ectacantha oikiskos
Richard N. Benson (23/12/2003)
Upon examination in 2003 of Jørgensen’s specimens of Lithomelissa hystrix, Kjell Bjørklund and I determined that L. hystrix is much smaller than the Gulf of California species and that, unlike the Gulf species, the cephalis is sunken into the thorax, it has no neck and no lateral spines of significant length that pierce the thoracic wall, and no well-developed apical horn. The Gulf species, instead, conforms to the illustrations of Lithomelissa (Arachnocorys) pentacantha by Petrushevskaya (1971). Benson (1966) named the Gulf species Lithomelissa hystrix because of the presence of the external neck lattice shown in Jørgensen’s (1905, pl. 16, fig. 85) illustration of that species.
Also in 2003, we determined that the forms identified by Benson (1966) as Plectacantha oikiskos are juvenile specimens (without thorax) of Lithomelissa pentacantha.











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