Buffettithrips rauti, Mound, Laurence A. & Wells, Alice, 2015

Mound, Laurence A. & Wells, Alice, 2015, Endemics and adventives: Thysanoptera (Insecta) biodiversity of Norfolk, a tiny Pacific Island, Zootaxa 3964 (2), pp. 183-210 : 194-197

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.3964.2.2

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Buffettithrips rauti

sp. nov.

Buffettithrips rauti View in CoL sp. n.

( Figs 9–15 View FIGURES 9 – 15 , 17 View FIGURES 16 – 21 )

This new species is unique in its body colour and sculpture, and is highly specific in its biology, being found only on the dead leaves of one particular plant species that is endemic to Norfolk Island.

Female macroptera: Body and legs largely yellow, with light brown marginal shadings laterally on head and thorax, and light brown median line on thorax; tibiae and femora with weak marking medially; tube and antennal segments II–VIII dark brown; fore wings pale. With the structural characters in the diagnosis above; head nearly twice as long as wide, eyes longer on upper than ventral surface; postocular setae bluntly pointed to weakly capitate; cheeks with several small setae; vertex weakly sculptured posterior to eyes. Antennal segments III–IV with sense cones small, V–VII pedicillate, VIII with broad pedicel. Pronotum with prominent longitudinal band of striate reticulation medially ( Fig. 10 View FIGURES 9 – 15 ); am and aa bluntly pointed, ml and pa variably weakly capitate, epim capitate. Metanotum with similar striate sculpture medially ( Fig. 14 View FIGURES 9 – 15 ); metapleuron strongly reticulate. Pelta with striate reticulation, campaniform sensilla present; tergites with 2 pairs of long posterolateral capitate setae, lateral pair acute on V–VII, setae on IX acute and about as long as tube. Sternites with marginal setae arising submarginally, transverse row of about 10 discal setae.

Measurements (holotype female in microns). Body length distended 2150. Head, length 275; width across cheeks 140; po setae 55. Pronotum, length 140; width 185; major setae—am 20, aa 25, ml 35, epim 55, pa 40. Fore wing length 850; distal width 50; sub-basal setae 35, 35, 60. Tergite III lateral setal pairs 65, 70. Tergite IX setae, S1 110, iS 55, S2 135, S3 100. Tube, length 140; anal setae 115. Antennal segments III–VIII length 68, 73, 65, 60, 45, 35.

Male macroptera: Similar to female but smaller; tergite IX setae S2 shorter and stouter ( Fig. 13 View FIGURES 9 – 15 ); sternite VIII with large pore plate ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 9 – 15 ).

Measurements (paratype male in microns). Body length distended 1950. Head length 270. Tergite IX setae, S1 115, iS 50, S2 55. Tube length 125.

Specimens studied: Holotype female, Norfolk Island, Palm Glen, Cordyline obtecta dead leaf, 23.xii.2013 (LAM 5884).

Paratypes, all from Cordyline obtecta dead leaves; 4 females, 3 males and larvae taken with holotype; same site, 1 female, 22.xii.2012, 3 females, 8 males, 11.vii.2013, 1 female, 2 males, 21/ 22.x.2013; Red Road, National Park, 1 male, 12.vii.2013; 4 females, 2 males 27.iii.2014; 1 male 30.xi.2014; Mission Road Forest, 1 female, 27.iii.2014; Mt Pitt, 1 female, 1 male, 22.xii.2013.

Deplorothrips species: Species of this genus live on dead branches and presumably feed on fungal hyphae. The genus is common in New Zealand, although only a single species has been named, several un-named species are known from eastern Australia, and eight species have been described from Southeast Asia between Malaysia, Japan and The Philippines. The species of Deplorothrips are polymorphic, with considerable differences between the sexes and between winged and wingless individuals. As a result of this variation, description of new species requires further study. However, both sexes of three very different looking species of Deplorothrips were found on Norfolk Island, on dead branches of Citrus jambhiri in the National Park at Palm Grove Track, and on Red Road, Mt Bates and Mt Pitt.

Giraultithrips nigricoxa (Girault): This species was known only from five females, of which three were collected at three separate sites in SE Queensland, and two were taken together in the Botanic Gardens, Canberra ( Mound & Tree 2014b). One female was taken on Red Road in December 2013 in association with a population of Lissothrips taverni , also one female and one male on Mt. Bate in November 2014. Nothing is known of its biology, but it is possibly predatory on mites.

Haplothrips avius Mound & Minaei : Described from four females, taken separately at three widely separated sites in South Australia and one in Queensland, one male and one female of this species were taken from Lantana flowers at Burnt Pine in October 2013, and three females with four males from dead branches of Hibiscus insularis at Two Chimneys Road in November 2014. It is an unusual member of the genus, with no duplicated cilia on the fore wings, and females have both pairs of major setae capitate on the ninth tergite. Nothing is known of the biology of this thrips, but it is possibly predatory on other small arthropods. Identification keys are available to the Haplothrips species known from Australia ( Mound & Minaei 2007).

Haplothrips bituberculatus (Girault) : This thrips is widespread in eastern Australia, where it is usually found in low numbers on dead branches. It has been found at several localities on Norfolk Island, and is probably a predator on other small arthropods on dead branches.

Haplothrips gowdeyi (Franklin) ( Fig. 18 View FIGURES 16 – 21 ): Adult females of this pantropical species appear to disperse readily and are thus often found individually or in low numbers. However, substantial populations of females with larvae were found in the flowers of various plants, particularly several weedy Asteraceae such as Bidens and Galinsoga , but also Chenopodium and Trifolium , as well as the flowers of some tall Poaceae species. The species is common in several horticultural areas of Norfolk Island, and can usually be recognised in the field by the yellow antennal segments.

Haplothrips leucanthemi (Schrank) : This is a widespread European species that commonly breeds in the flowers of Ox-eye Daisies ( Chrysanthemum leucanthemum ), but is also known from Red Clover flowers ( Trifolium pratense ). A single female was taken on Norfolk Island, on clover at 100 Acre Farm.

Haplothrips robustus Bagnall : A single female of this flower-living species was taken at Norfolk Island airport in December 2012, and two further females in March 2014 from lucerne at 100 Acre Farm. The species is found widely across Australia, but may have come originally from some other part of the world, such as eastern Africa.

Holoengythrips maynardae Mound & Tree ( Fig. 19 View FIGURES 16 – 21 ): Both sexes of this impressive species have been taken on Norfolk Island from dead branches, along Bird Rock Track and Red Road. Presumably endemic to Norfolk Island, it is the type species of a genus that includes several similar fungus-feeding species that live on dead branches in eastern Australia ( Mound & Tree 2014a).

Hoplandrothrips leai (Karny) View in CoL ( Fig. 20 View FIGURES 16 – 21 ): This species was described by Karny (1925) from two specimens collected on Norfolk Island by AM Lea of the South Australian Museum. No trace of these two specimens has been found in any museum collection, in Australia or Europe. However, in December 2013 breeding populations, including bright red larvae, of this fungus-feeding species were found at several sites on the island, living superficially on dead branches of various trees. Within the forest it was found on Elaeodendron curtipendulum View in CoL , and outside the forest it was found on Toona View in CoL at Prince Philip Drive, on Melia and Prunus View in CoL at Highland Lodge, and on Grevillea robusta View in CoL at 100 Acre Reserve. Within the genus Hoplandrothrips View in CoL , this species is similar to several Australian and New Zealand species in the presence of minor setae on the anterior third of the metanotum. It is particularly similar to howei from Lord Howe Island ( Mound & Tree 2013), but that is more uniformly dark brown, with the head longer and antennal segment III paler and more slender. A single specimen from New Caledonia was mentioned by Mound and Tree (2013) as possibly representing leai View in CoL , but that specimen has darker tibiae and tarsi, a longer tube, and the metanotum with equiangular reticulation medially. The original description lacks structural details, and so a formal description is provided here:

Female macroptera: Brown to dark brown with extensive red hypodermal pigment; tarsi yellow, also base and apex of tibiae, and basal stems of antennal segments III–V. Head with cheeks rounded, constricted to base and protruding behind eyes; dorsal surface reticulate, weak medially; postocular setae capitate, shorter than eye length; stylets retracted to eyes, close together in mid-line; mouth cone pointed, extending across prosternum. Antennae 8- segmented, III with 3 sense cones, IV with 4, VI–VII strongly pedicillate. Pronotum with 5 pairs of pale major setae, with fringed, capitate asymmetric apices; notopleural sutures complete. Fore tarsus with stout tooth. Metanotum with elongate linear reticulation, median setae small and capitate, with about 4 minor discal setae on anterior third. Prosternal basantra absent, ferna often united medially into transverse band; mesopresternum transverse. Fore wing parallel sided, with about 12 duplicated cilia. Pelta bell-shaped; tergites each with 2 pairs of wing-retaining setae, major posteromarginal and posteroangular setae with apices strongly asymmetric and fringed; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 weakly capitate, S3 acute, iS half as long as S1; tube shorter than head, anal setae no longer than tube. Sternites with long, acute posteromarginal setae, and transverse row of about 15 discal setae.

Male macroptera: Small male similar to female, large male with more prominent cheek setae, fore femora swollen, fore tarsal tooth larger; pronotal anteroangular setae longer; mesopresternum narrower; tergal major setae not fringed at apex; tergite IX setae S2 short and pointed; sternite VIII posterior half with broad pore plate.

Hoplothrips corticis (De Geer) : This Holarctic species is known from New Zealand ( Mound & Walker 1986), and is here recorded from Australia for the first time. Winged and wingless females, together with one wingless male, were taken from dead branches on Norfolk Island, Bridle Track, in December 2012. These specimens are closely similar in structural detail to European specimens of the species, but have unusually dark antennal segments with IV and V scarcely paler at the base, and even segment III extensively brown. It is distinguished from the following species by the shorter antennal sense cones, and the broader pelta on the abdomen.

Hoplothrips orientalis Ananthakrishnan : Colonies of this fungus-feeding species were found on Norfolk Island living on dead branches in forest at Palm Grove Track and on cut branches at Stockyard Road. This thrips is probably widespread in the Old World tropics, but under other names. Described from India, it has been taken on Lord Howe Island, New Zealand, and also in eastern Australia.

Karnyothrips flavipes (Jones) : Known to be a predator of scale insects ( Mound & Minaei 2007), females of this worldwide species have been seen from various sites on Norfolk Island. One was taken at Stockyard Road in July 2013 from dead sugar cane with another at that site in November, 2014 from coriander flowers. Two were taken on cultivated Citrus trees in September 2013 and May 2014 at Two Chimneys Road, and two from dead Lagunaria at Captain Cook Reserve in February 2014.

Karnyothrips melaleucus (Bagnall) : Widespread around the world as a predator of other small insects, including scale insects ( Mound & Minaei 2007), females of this species have been taken at many sites across Norfolk Island. Commonly associated with dried grasses, a considerable population was found living at the base of Kikuyu Grass in 100 Acre Reserve in March 2014, and in similar grass at the Eucalyptus Plantation in November 2014.

Lissothrips taverni Mound & Tree : The species of this genus all live in association with mosses, and are widespread in the warmer parts of the world ( Mound & Tree 2015). The species recorded here is presumably endemic to Norfolk Island, and was taken at several sites in the National Park. It was particularly abundant on mosses and lichen growing on the dead branches of a fallen Elaeodendron curtipendulum on Red Road, but was also taken from dead Lagunaria branches at Prince Philip Drive, and from mossy dead branches on Mt Bates.

Macrophthalmothrips neocaledonensis Bournier ( Fig. 27 View FIGURES 27 – 32 ): Previously known only from New Caledonia, this species is here newly recorded for Australia. It is a fungus-feeding species, and large numbers were found on dead branches of Araucaria , Toona and Melia at several sites on Norfolk Island, including Bird Rock Track, Red Road, and Highland Lodge. As with other members of this genus, this species is brightly coloured, with large red eyes and the body black, white and yellow. It is sexually dimorphic, and many of the males have greatly expanded fore femora bearing a large tooth.

Plectrothrips australis Okajima ( Fig. 28 View FIGURES 27 – 32 ): This species was known previously only from the original specimens that were taken in quarantine at Boston, U.S.A., “under bark” said to have originated from Australia. During the course of the present studies one female and three males of australis have been studied from Mt Glorious, Queensland. On Norfolk Island, considerable numbers of australis were beaten from dead branches of Toona and Lagunaria at Prince Philip Drive in March and November 2014. Most of these specimens were males, and these varied greatly in size—the distended body length of males ranging from 1900 to 3200 microns, with the largest female 3500 microns long. Moreover, large individuals of both sexes have a tubercle on the inner apex of the fore tibia that is not developed in small individuals, and these small individuals have no indication of the scale-like sternal areas that are so extensive in large individuals. Although most specimens were micropterous, with a few macropterae, three specimens were hemimacropterous with the wings slightly longer than the thorax width. P. australis has two stout thorn-like setae at the apex of the mid-tibiae. However, a few specimens have been seen from Norfolk Island with only one pair of stout setae on the mid-tibiae, and these possibly represent a further unidentified Plectrothrips species.

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