Myrsidea magnidens Stafford

Price, Roger D., Hellenthal, Ronald A. & Dalgleish, Robert C., 2005, The genus Myrsidea Waterston (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae) from tyrant­flycatchers (Passeriformes: Tyrannidae), with descriptions of 13 new species, Zootaxa 1048, pp. 1-20: 3-5

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.169922

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Myrsidea magnidens Stafford


Myrsidea magnidens Stafford  ( Figs. 1–2View FIGURES 1 – 8. 1 – 2)

Myrsidea magnidens Stafford 1943: 41  . Type host: Pitangus sulphuratus rufipennis (Lafresnaye)  , Great Kiskadee.

Female. Metanotum and dorsal abdomen as in Fig. 1View FIGURES 1 – 8. 1 – 2. Metanotum with 22 marginal setae. Tergite I enlarged, posteriorly rounded, II –III with modest medioposterior convexity, and IV –VIII unmodified. Tergal setae: I, 14; II, 15; III, 18; IV –VI, 31–34; VII, 28; VIII, 17. Postspiracular setae very long on II, IV, and VII –VIII, somewhat shorter on I, and much shorter on III and V –VI. Sternal setae: II, each aster with 5 setae, 43 other setae; III, 40; IV –V, 61–64; VI, 55; VII, 29; VIII –IX of subgenital plate, 28. Anus with 44 dorsal fringe setae, 38 ventral. Dimensions: TW, 0.52; HL, 0.33; PW, 0.34; PSL & MSL, obscured; MW, 0.53; AWIV, 0.63; ANW, 0.25; TL, 1.57.

Male. Metanotum with 19 marginal setae. Tergal setae: I, 27; II –VII, 31–39; VIII, 25. Sternal setae: II, each aster with 4–5 setae, 45 other setae; III, 27; IV –V, 52–53; VI, 65; VII, 41; VIII, 28. Genital sac sclerite very small, 0.06 long, shaped as in Fig 2View FIGURES 1 – 8. 1 – 2. Dimensions: TW, 0.47; HL, 0.31; PW, 0.33; PSL, 0.11; MW, 0.49; MSL, 0.15; AWIV, 0.49; GL, 0.43; TL, 1.29.

Material. Male holotype, female allotype of M. magnidens  , ex P. sulphuratus rufipennis  , VENEZUELA.

Remarks. Stafford (1943) described Myrsidea magnidens  from a series of two females and two males, retaining the holotype and allotype in his personal collection and placing the other pair in the Caracas collection. The eight figures accompanying this description are poor, small, and lacking in detail, but they were sufficient to alert us to the necessity of obtaining and studying the types to define the species properly. We originally thought it most likely that the series we had from P. sulphuratus  (L.) from Trinidad and Costa Rica represented Myrsidea magnidens  . However, differences in the number of tergal and sternal setae, as well as the unique male genital sac sclerite and other features for Myrsidea magnidens  , made it obvious that we were dealing with two distinctly different species.

Carriker (1955: 1–3), in his characteristic bluntness, though in language normally reserved for private correspondence, described the Stafford (1943) specimens and publication as follows: “Unfortunately I found the slides in a sad state. Apparently the flood which had severely damaged the offices of the Department of Hygiene in Caracas had also taken its toll of the box of slides. Many of the labels had become loosened due to the wetting and were scattered about so that it was a long, tedious task to replace them on the proper slides...Out of 17 species which were identified by Stafford, and of which specimens are still in the collection, only two are correctly named, while the hosts of quite a number were in error, including two of the new species...There is no excuse for the publication of such utterly useless rubbish, since it only adds more confusion to that in which the unfortunate Mallophaga have been swamped for so long, and from which they are now emerging, thanks to the tireless work of a number of our modern workers on this fascinating group of insects.” The marginal quality of Stafford’s original taxonomy, together with the history of these type specimens, raises considerable doubt as to the accuracy of their host identification. It should be noted that Stafford did not collect the specimens or identify the hosts and that he never published another paper on chewing lice.














Myrsidea magnidens Stafford

Price, Roger D., Hellenthal, Ronald A. & Dalgleish, Robert C. 2005

Myrsidea magnidens

Stafford 1943: 41