Mortoniella (Mortoniella) simla ( Flint, 1974 )

Blahnik, Roger J. & Holzenthal, Ralph W., 2017, Revision of the northern South American species of Mortoniella Ulmer 1906 (Trichoptera: Glossosomatidae: Protoptilinae) *, Insecta Mundi 2017 (602), pp. 1-251 : 63-64

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Mortoniella (Mortoniella) simla ( Flint, 1974 )


Mortoniella (Mortoniella) simla ( Flint, 1974)

Fig. 46, 47 View Figure 47

Mexitrichia simla Flint 1974: 11 View in CoL ; Botosaneanu and Sakal 1992: 201 [biology]; Botosaneanu and Alkins- Koo 1993: 7 [female, larva, distribution]; Flint 1996: 70 [distribution]; Rueda Martín and Gibon 2008: 24 [illustration, distribution (material transferred to M. ruedae , n. sp. in this paper)].

Mortoniella simla (Flint) : Blahnik and Holzenthal 2008: 69 [member of leroda group].

Among previously described species, Mortoniella simla is most similar to M. meralda (Mosely) and M. panamensis Blahnik and Holzenthal. All of these species possess an elongate, asymmetric, apically scabrous, ventromesal process on the inferior appendages. Additional new species with the same character state, described in the current paper, include M. bothrops , M. curtispina , M. parameralda , and M. ruedae . Among these, M. simla , M. curtispina and M. ruedae , are distinctive in having prominent rounded dorsolateral projections on the phallicata (a character previously used to characterize species of the florica subgroup). The character is also suggestively developed in M. bothrops , but probably different enough so that it would not be confused with the three species mentioned. Mortoniella simla can be distinguished from M. curtispina and M. ruedae by the relative lengths of their paramere appendages: very short in M. curtispina , of intermediate length (generally shorter than the dorsal phallic spine or mesal process of the inferior appendages) in M. simla , and elongate (longer than either the dorsal phallic spine or mesal process of the inferior appendages) in M. ruedae . The development of the ventromesal spine of the endophallic membrane is also different in the three species: absent in M. curtispina , very short in M. ruedae , and large and prominent in M. simla . The overall similarity is probably greatest between M. simla and M. ruedae . Differences between the female genitalia for the two species are illustrated in Figures 45 and 46.

Adult —Length of forewing: male 2.6-3.0 mm; female 2.7-3.2 mm. Forewing with forks I, II, and III present, hind wing with forks II and III. Spur formula 0:3:4. Overall color medium brown, apices of tarsal segments and basal segments of antennae whitish or pale brown. Tibial spurs darker than legs, contrasting in color. Wing bar at anastamosis indistinct, marked with light brown setae, most evident at arculus.

Male genitalia —Ventral process of segment VI laterally compressed, short, ventrally projecting, truncately rounded apically, length slightly greater than width at base, process slightly retracted anterobasally. Segment IX nearly evenly rounded anterolaterally, length greatest midlaterally, posterolateral margin weakly rounded dorsally, narrowing ventrally; segment deeply mesally excised dorsally and ventrally, forming lateral lobes, separated dorsomesally by much less than ½ width of segment. Tergum X elongate, lateral margins subparallel, apicomesal projection not, or only suggestively, developed, apicolateral lobes elongate, subacute, mesally curved; ventrolateral lobes rounded, weakly developed. Inferior appendages with short rounded dorsolateral projections, and very elongate, sinuous, asymmetric, ventromesal projection, apex of ventromesal projection scabrous, slightly inflated, distinctly bent or inflected. Mesal pockets of inferior appendage with apical processes very short. Paramere appendage moderately elongate, shorter than dorsal phallic spine, irregular in contour, scabrous apically. Dorsal phallic spine, as viewed laterally, with dorsal margin slightly undulate in contour, ventral margin widened in about middle, apex of spine acute, slightly dorsally inflected; spine, in dorsal view, widened through middle, apex very acutely narrowed, needle-like. Phallicata relatively elongate and tube-like, with rounded, sclerotized, dorsolateral projections, laterally with longitudinal, flattened, crease-like projection. Endophallic membrane relatively simple in structure, short, ventromesal spine prominent, curved; phallotremal spines present, narrow and needlelike.

Material examined — TRINIDAD: Simla , 9-11.ii.1966, Duckworths – 81 males, 116 females (Paratypes-alcohol) ( NMNH) ; Tacarigua, Río Caura Rec. Area , 10°43’N, 61°17’W,, Flint and Adams – 1 male (pinned) ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; Verdant Vale , Arima R., 10.68333° N, 61.30000° W, 170 m,, N Adams and W Mathis – 33 males, 252 females (alcohol) ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; VENEZUELA: Sucre: Río Cocollar , 1.5 km SE Las Piedras de Cocollar, 10.16028° N, 63.79342° W, 810 m, 7-8.iv.1995, Holzenthal and Flint – 30 males, 88 females (alcohol), 3 males, 5 females (pinned) ( UMSP) ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; Quebrada Zapateral , 1.5 km SE Las Piedras de Cocollar, 10.16255° N, 63.79312° W, 810 m, 9.iv.1995, Holzenthal and Flint – 5 males, 4 females (alcohol) ( UMSP) ( NMNH) GoogleMaps .

Distribution — Trinidad, Venezuela.

— limona subgroup

Included species: Mortoniella akrogeneios , n. sp.; M. auricularis , n. sp.; M. gracilis , n. sp.; M. guyanensis , n. sp.; M. limona (Flint) ; M. prolata , n. sp.; M. quadrispina , n. sp.; M. variabili s, n. sp.

This subgroup is comprised of Mortoniella limona Flint and the seven new species recognized here. Species range from Guyana to Peru. In general, the dorsal phallic spine is compressed (laterally flattened) in species of this subgroup. The most diagnostic character defining this group is the presence of a pair of ventral (and usually rounded) apicomesal processes on tergum X, which more or less straddle the dorsal phallic spine ( Fig. 52A View Figure 52 ). Additionally, all of the species have 1 or 2 pairs of enlarged endophallic spines. When 2 pairs are present, it is obvious that the second pair is part of the same process. The spines possibly represent a modification of the small phallotremal spines bordering the phallotremal opening in a number of other species subgroups. Although these large paired spines are present, a ventromesal endophallic spine, which is a common feature in many subgroups of the leroda group, is absent. Species in the M. limona subgroup also lack dorsolateral sclerotized processes on the phallicata, but most of the species have the ventral margin of the phallicata modified into a kind of projecting lobe, only slightly developed in some species, but distinctly projecting in others. The ventral process of segment VI is generally large and subtriangular, decidedly ventrally projecting, and very wide basally. This compares to a more posteriorly directed process in members of the punensis subgroup. The anterior margin of this process is not retracted, as in many members of the florica/leroda subgroup, with the sole exception of M. guyanensis , n. sp., whose ventral process is more or less typical of species in that subgroup.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Nanjing University


Naturhistorisches Museum Wien


University of Minnesota Insect Collection














Mortoniella (Mortoniella) simla ( Flint, 1974 )

Blahnik, Roger J. & Holzenthal, Ralph W. 2017

Mortoniella simla (Flint)

Blahnik, R. J. & R. W. Holzenthal 2008: 69

Mexitrichia simla

Rueda Martin, P. A. & F. Gibon 2008: 24
Flint, O. S., Jr. 1996: 70
Botosaneanu, L. & D. Sakal 1992: 201
Flint, O. S., Jr. 1974: 11
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