Amundson & Erwin, 2013
Color tone of dorsum pale castaneous with head slightly darker; body robust and rectangulate, lateral margins of elytra tapering to an apically truncated and laterally slightly rounded apex; dorsum mostly glabrous with irregularly and wide-spaced short erect setae; pronotum with lateral margins moderately explanate, wider than elytra across humeri, disc markedly convex and medially sloped markedly anteriorly; elytral interneurs minimally impressed yet more or less visible under low magnification, 10 umbilicate setae present near lateral margin, dorsal edge of epipleuron lined with long laterally erect setae.
Size: Large for genus, ABL = 6.4 mm, SBL = 6.3 mm, TW = 5.6 mm. Preocular lobe-eye ratio: 0.53. Pronotum ratio (L/W): 0.28. Elytron ratio (L/W): 1.5. Color: Dorsum evenly pale rufopiceous except head with notable color gradation from piceous over eyes to rufopiceous medially. Luster:Dorsum dull, slightly matte. Microsculpture: Small isodiametric sculpticells throughout dorsal surface. Head: Genal lobe obsolete, rim posteriad and below eye bearing at least five robust setae directed perpendicular to head; preocular lobe distinct and slightly arching (Fig. 9); eye not exceeding preocular lobe/gena boundary, shallowly arcuate; clypeus fused to frons with pigmented furrow entire and visible, bisetose, setae laterad on margin; labrum with four setae projecting anteriorly (Fig. 9); antennal flagellum markedly setose, antennomeres 1-3 bisetose. Prothorax: Pronotum (Fig. 3) mostly glabrous with irregularly and wide-spaced short erect setae, apex straight medially and narrower than ocular boundary, disk markedly convex and medially sloped markedly anteriorly, width slightly wider than elytra across humeri, base and apex fringed with more or less evenly spaced setae, pigmented median line ending about ¾ before basal margin, lateral margins of pronotum with wide explanate sides, anterior angle 71.22°; prosternal apex fringed with short, evenly spaced setae. Pterothorax: Scutellum visible, moderate sized, distinctly rounded apically; elytra smooth, interneurs very shallow, clearly visible under medium magnification, markedly zig-zagged, intervals flat on disc, lateral margin very slightly sinuate at basal third, 10 umbilicate erect setae on the ventrally directed curvature of the elytral lateral portion (Fig. 3). Abdomen: All sterna sparsely setiferous, sternum III densely so; male unknown; female with 2 pairs of 4 setae on sternum, and numerous longer setae on sterna IV, V, and VI. Legs: Legs flattened, setiferous, tibia bearing fringed ring of setae on distal end, femur with distinct lateral sulcus, femora and tibia sparsely setose. Female Genitalia: Not investigated.
Holotype. USA: Arizona, Santa Cruz County, 3.2 km S of Peña Blanca Lake, 31.473°N, 110.849°W, 1283m, 14–15 August 1971 (W.H. Tyson) (CAS: 8111005, female). Unique.
Derivation of specific epithet. The epithet “penablanca” is a singular feminine noun used in apposition and refers to the lake in Santa Cruz County near the locality at which the holotype was collected. Peña Blanca was built in 1957 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and is bordered by oak-savannah hills, some of which are topped with bluffs of limestone.
Proposed English vernacular name. Peña Blanca False-form beetle.
This species is currently known from Arizona.
Dispersal potential. These beetles are macropterous, they are probably capable of flight; they are swift and agile runners. Accordingly, the species is expected to be more broadly distributed across a wider geographical range than current records indicate.
Way of life. Adults are likely found in ant nests and the surrounding vicinity; females are ovoviviparous (Liebherr and Kavanaugh 1985); larvae are ant nest inquilines (Erwin 1981). Members of Pseudomorpha penablanca occur at midland altitudes in mountainous areas of Arizona; the holotype was found at night on a dead oak tree. Adults are active in August, a very hot month in this area.