Melaniphax suffusculus, Bartlett, 2019

Bartlett, Charles R., 2019, A New Genus and Species of Delphacidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Delphacidae) from Costa Rica, Zootaxa 4657 (2), pp. 361-368 : 363-366

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4657.2.8

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Melaniphax suffusculus

sp. nov.

Melaniphax suffusculus View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs 1–3 View FIGURE 1 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 )

Type locality. Costa Rica, Heredia Provice nr Puerto Viejo, La Selva Biological Station.

Diagnosis. Body brown with infuscated wings, carinae concolorous with body. Head in lateral view smoothly rounded vertex + frons. Body in lateral view with hunch-backed appearance. Male terminalia without teeth or processes on the ventral margin of opening in caudal view. Gonostyli simple, forceps-like, bearing a tooth on caudal margin just below midline. Aedeagus short, compressed, very stout bearing asymmetrical lateral serrate projections. Anal tube with short, stout caudally directed projections on caudoventral margin and slender, elongate projections on anterocaudal margins.

Description. Color. General color brown ( Figs 1A, B View FIGURE 1 ), carinae concolorous; genae and antennae slightly paler, pronotum (including paranota) and mesonotum dark brown, slightly paler at anterior margin of pronotum and scutellum; legs and venter paler, wings uniformly infuscate; eyes dark, ocelli with reddish cast.

Structure. Length male with wings 2.31 mm (n=3); without wings 1.3–1.4 mm (n=3); female with wings 2.4 mm (2.3–2.6 mm, n=3); without wings 1.6 mm (1.3–1.7 mm, n=3) (wings 1.96 mm (1.9–2.2 mm, n=6). Body in lateral view with slightly hunched appearance ( Fig. 1A View FIGURE 1 ).

Head. Head (dorsal view, including eyes) distinctly narrower than pronotum ( Fig. 1B View FIGURE 1 ); in lateral view ( Fig. 1A View FIGURE 1 ), slightly projected, uniformly arched from posterior margin of head to frontoclypeal margin. Vertex with carinae distinct (median carina weaker), nearly square (slightly wider than long, l:w ratio 0.72: 1, length x= 0.12 mm, width x= 0.17 mm; posterior margin truncate. Frons ( Fig. 2A View FIGURE 2 ) with lateral margins weakly convex, widest near lower margin of eyes (x= 0.19 mm), weakly narrowed dorsally (x= 0.16 mm) and ventrally (x= 0.15 mm), length x= 0.38 mm; l:w ratio 2.05: 1; median carina forking above fastigium. Clypeus triangular, x= 0.15 mm, with median carina. Antennal scape about as long as wide (length x= 0.12 mm), pedicel 1.7x longer than scape (x= 0.18 mm) bearing rows of rhinaria; flagellum fine, bristlelike, longer than pedicle.

Thorax. Pronotum subequal in length to vertex (length at midline x= 0.11 mm); lateral carinae diverging, not reaching posterior margin; posterior margin shallowly V-shaped. Mesonotum at midline about 4x length of pronotum (x= 0.46 mm); junction of scutum and scutellum demarcated by faint inflection; lateral margins of mesonotum slightly elevated near midlength, scutellum slightly depressed. Wings macropterous ( Figs 1A, B View FIGURE 1 ), exceeding abdomen (forewing x=1.96, 1.88–2.19 mm); forewing venation with ScP+R fork at approximately same level as fork of CuA, fusion of anal veins (i.e., Pcu and A1) much proximad of forks of RP and CuA; Sc and RA unbranched, RP 1–2 branched (varies), M unbranched, CuA 3 branched.

Metatibial spur shorter than basitarsus ( Fig. 1C View FIGURE 1 , 0.21 vs 0.29 mm), weakly tectiform, bearing 10–12 distinct black-tipped teeth on trailing edge.

Male terminalia. Pygofer in lateral view ( Fig. 2D View FIGURE 2 ) roughly triangular, narrowed both dorsally and ventrally from region near ventral margin of pygofer opening; anterior margin truncate, caudal margin without teeth or processes. In caudal view ( Fig. 2C View FIGURE 2 ), pygofer opening with sinuate, bluntly carinate margins; diaphragm well developed; opening for gonostyli small, compressed-oval in shape with pinched lateral margins; armature projection large, dorsocaudally directed, foliate, consisting of pair of semicircles, connate medially producing median notch for aedeagus. Aedeagus peculiar ( Figs 2B View FIGURE 2 , 3B, 3C View FIGURE 3 )—short and very broad, laterally compressed, widest before midlength (in lateral view), tapering anteriorly to rounded apex (gonopore ventral, subapical); bearing large asymmetrical serrate flanges on left and right sides—left flange arising ventrally just past midlength, tapering distally to 4–5 strong serrations, right flange semicircular, arising diagonally bearing 7–8 serrations (becoming smaller proximally). Aedeagus tapering proximately to junction with suspensorium. Suspensorium elongate, strap-like, joined with aedeagus near base. Anal tube subquadrate in lateral view latero-caudal margins with short, strong, stout caudally directed projections (posterior margin deeply concave in dorsal view), posteriorly truncate, rugose with rounded ventral inflection; ventro-caudal margin inflected to create a rounded concavity between stout dorsal process and ventral margin; a pair of thin elongate processes arising from antero-ventral margin, projecting ventro-caudally on either side of aedeagus. Anal column short and bluntly conical, just exceeding top of anal tube.

Etymology. The species name is derived from the Latin word “ suffusculus ” meaning somewhat brown or fuscous.

Remarks. The shape of the aedeagus and anal tube of this species are unusual and distinctive. Having only a single species to attribute to the genus makes it difficult to ascertain whether particular attributes should be ascribed to the genus or just to the species. In this case, I would anticipate that the very broad aedeagus bearing lateral flanges may be particular to this species, but having a broad, flattened and straight aedeagus are probably genus-level features. Similarly, the general form of the anal tube is likely a genus-level feature, but the specifics of the caudal margin and thin, elongate processes are species level considerations.

Material examined. HOLOTYPE: “ COSTA RICA, Heredia / nr Puerto Viejo, La SelvaBiol. / Sta. 179ft N10 25’ W84 00, /at Station 23.ii.04–23.iii.04 [sic. should read 2.iii] / CRBartlett, JCryanJUrban // HOLOTYPE / Melaniphax / suffusculus / Det: C. R. Bartlett” ( INBio, male). GoogleMaps

Paratypes: COSTA RICA: Heredia: near Puerto Viejo, La Selva Biological Station , 10.41667°N 84°W, 55 m, 23 Feb–02 Mar 2004, C. R GoogleMaps Bartlett, J. Cryan and J. Urban (1m, 2f); 24 Feb 2004, C. R Bartlett, J. Cryan and J. Urban (3m, 1f, 1 broken); 25–26 Feb 2004, C. R . Bartlett (3m, 1f, 1 broken) (representatives donated USNM, INBio) .


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


National Biodiversity Institute, Costa Rica


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History













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