Minute Tree-Fungus Beetles, Ciidae, are a large group of very small Beetles fond inhabiting Bracket Fungi. They seldom reach longer than 5 mm in length, and can live their entire life-cycle within their host Fungi, with many species able to reproduce parthenogenitically (without sex), with a life time of about two months, and a sexual generation produced annually that leaves the host Fungus and looks for new sites to settle. Minute Tree-Fungus Beetles are known from across the globe, though they are more numerous in warmer regions. To date 72 species have been described from Sub-Saharan Africa, of which 49 are placed within the genus Cis, with 16 of these known from Southern Africa.
In a paper published in the journal African Invertebrates on 26 January 2018, Igor Souza-Gonçalves of the Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia and Laboratório de Sistemática e Biologia de Coleoptera at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, and Cristiano Lopes-Andrade, also of the Laboratório de Sistemática e Biologia de Coleoptera at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, describe a new species of Cis from Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.
The new species is named Cis mooihoekite, in reference to the copper iron sulphide mineral mooihoekite, which is similar in colour and sheen to these Beetles. Measured males of this species ranged from 1.20 to 1.25 mm in length, with females measuring from 1.13 to 1.25 mm, both sexes were brown in colour with numerous yellow bristles.
Cis mooihoekite. Male specimen in (1) Dorsal view, note acute corners of male anterocephalic edge (arrows), and (2) Lateral view. Scale Bar is 0.5 mm. Souza-Gonçalves & Lopes-Andrade (2018).
The species was found at two locations, in grassland at Mooihoek Farm in southern Mpumalanga and Savanah in the Transvaal region of northern Mpumalanga. It was found on two species of Fungus, Trametes versicolor and an unidentified species of Thelephora.
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