Larval structure of Passalus gravelyi and sexual dimorphism in Passalid larvae
The adults and larvae of Passalidae are subsocial insects commonly found in tropical forests, living in decaying wood gallery systems constructed by adults. Currently, few repots on the larvae of Neotropical Passalidae have been published and information is scarce. In this study, the Passalus (Pertinax) gravelyi Moreira, 1922 larvae is described for the first time, based on ten larval specimens 1 (1° instar), 4 (2º instar), and 5 (3º instar) associated with three adults collected from a single colony at the Parque Nacional do Itatiaia (Itatiaia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The description was carried out based on electronic and digital photographs of diagnostic structures, with some details on the systematic of the species. The larvae of Passalus gravelyi has the general setal ‘Pertinax’ pattern and differed from others by 16 to 18 setae on the anal ring, the other larvae data from Brazilian species show the anal ring with 10 to 12 setae. A discussion on the presence of sexual dimorphism in 62 species of two and three instars of Passalidae larvae is provided for the first time. Besides, a description of the terminal ampulla present as a cuticular structure found in the medial-ventral area of the 9th abdominal sternite in males is also given. The terminal ampulla was only observed in the Passalidae male larvae and was not visible in female larvae. The terminal ampulla are acknowledged now in males of 64 passalid species, that are taxonomically distributed in world tropical forests, at the Oriental and Australian subfamily Aulacocyclinae (Aulacocyclini & Ceracupini) and the cosmotropical subfamily Passalinae (Solenocyclini, Macrolinini, Passalini, & Proculini).