Aptilotella pyropanda Luk & Marshall, 2014

Luk, Stephen P. L. & Marshall, Stephen A., 2014, A revision of the New World genus Aptilotella Duda (Sphaeroceridae: Limosininae), Zootaxa 3761 (1), pp. 1-156 : 20-21

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Aptilotella pyropanda Luk & Marshall

sp. n.

Aptilotella pyropanda Luk & Marshall , sp. n.

Figures 12–14 View FIGURES 12–13 View FIGURE 14 , and 86–96

Description. Habitus as in Figures 12 and 13 View FIGURES 12–13 . Body length 0.9–1.1 mm. Head ground color light brown. Frons finely rugose; pale areas silvery; dark brown medial stripes each about one-fourth the width of frons, narrowing toward the anterior margin then diffusing; dark brown orbital stripes each one-third the width of medial stripe; ocular emargination with silvery-white spot. Ocellar tubercle slightly raised, orange; ocelli present; ocellar bristle two-fifths the length of frons. Orbital bristle present; orbital setulae minute, in three pairs. Interfrontal setae in two pairs. Lunule with silvery-white spot; face shining; facial excavation with a silvery-white band continuing through ocular margin of gena; clypeus dark brown; gena brown but appearing dark brown from the front, weakly shining, setaceous. Antenna brown. Scutum and scutellum red-orange, shining. Scutum uniformly setose. Scutellum darker, bare; flat, 2.5 times wider than long, 0.6 times the width of scutum. Apical scutellar bristles twice as long as basal. Pleuron orange. Legs orange; fore femur, tibiae, and tarsi darker; mid tibia with two anterodorsal bristles, in male with row of six stout peg-like setae in ventrodistal third (compare to Figure 160 View FIGURES 156–160 ). Wing rudiment brown. Abdomen black, shining; tergites each with two rows of long setae; sternites finely microtrichose. Epandrium and synsternite 6+7 dark reddish-brown; cercus and surstylus dull yellow.

Male terminalia. Sternite 5 ( Figs. 14 View FIGURE 14 , 89 View FIGURES 86–89 ) deeply emarginate in posteromedial seventh and lined by two rows of thick setae. Synsternite 6+7 ( Fig. 88 View FIGURES 86–89 ) with slightly arched medial bridge, giving rise to a pair of small sclerites. Cercus ( Figs. 14 View FIGURE 14 , 86, 87 View FIGURES 86–89 ) compressed, four times as long as basal width; base setulose, lateral margin carinate; apex rounded, with two sensory setae; margin at midlength with one long seta and an adjacent sensory seta, and two setae in distal quarter. Surstylus ( Figs. 86, 87 View FIGURES 86–89 ) saddle-shaped; posteroventral ridge bearing long setae. Postgonite ( Fig. 91 View FIGURES 90–92 ) broad; descending arm very short and curved forward, with two inner sensory setae; articulatory process for pregonite undeveloped, angular; articulatory process for basiphallus knobbed. Hypandrium ( Fig. 92 View FIGURES 90–92 ) broad; medial rod apically dilated to the right, basal margin dilated; hypandrial arms slender; posteromedial fork and pregonite inconspicuous. Aedeagus as in Figure 90 View FIGURES 90–92 . Basiphallus stout, cylindrical; anterior margin weakly arched; posterodorsally with a truncate tubercle; articulatory process for postgonite truncate, curved upward. Ejaculatory apodeme columnar, appearing spongy and borne on a disc with four sensory pores. Ventrobasal sclerite divided. Lateral flanking sclerite broadly fused posteriorly, with a broad, curved descending tab; deeply indented at level of basiphallus; fused dorsally until halfway, where it darkens laterally, then dilates and descends, initially nearly converging, then twisting outward and tapering to a point. Paired arched sclerites very dark, originating at descending tab of lateral flanking sclerite; their trunks basally with an interior protuberance and a large, finelypointed and convergent triangular outer lobe; ascending and barely entering lateral flanking sclerites before descending again, becoming depressed and merging into a sickle-shaped, twice laterally frilled portion, which gently curves up between the apices of lateral flanking sclerites. Distal dorsal sclerite broad, originating at dorsal division of lateral flanking sclerite; dorsal surface dark and gradually curved; lateral margins straight; distally split into two divergent, upwardly curved lobes.

Female terminalia. Epiproct ( Figs. 93, 94 View FIGURES 93–96 ) triangular, apically rounded and microtrichose. Each half of tergite 8 ( Figs. 93–95 View FIGURES 93–96 ) convex; margin rounded; sparsely setaceous. Cercus three times as long as wide; with several scattered setae. Hypoproct ( Figs. 94, 95 View FIGURES 93–96 ) reduced to a pair of curved, convergent rods; apically with a patch of microtrichosity and two pairs of setae. Spermathecae ( Fig. 96 View FIGURES 93–96 ) simple; sclerotized ducts long, three times the diameter of a spermatheca.

Etymology. The species epithet is derived from the Greek pyros, “fire,” and Latin pandus, “bent, curved,” in reference to the fiery colour of the thorax, and the paired arched sclerites of the distiphallus, a defining character of this species and its relatives.

Type material. Holotype ♂, UNAM. MEXICO: Huixtán , Bazóm, 16°44’19”N, 92°29’18”W, 2450 m, 9.vii.2003, mixed magnolia/oak forest litter, R.S. Anderson. GoogleMaps

Paratypes. MEXICO: Chiapas, same label as holotype (4♂, 3♀, DEBU) ; San Cristóbal , 15 km E, 16°44’49”N, 92°29’23”W, 2800 m, 29.v.2008, cloud forest, ex. sifted leaf litter, R.S. Anderson (♂, 2♀, UNAM) GoogleMaps . GUATEMALA: Huehuetenango, Max , 15°30’24”N, 91°21’52”W, 2750 m, 14.ix.2008, oak/ cloud forest, ex. sifted leaf litter, R.S. Anderson (2♂, ♂, UVGC) GoogleMaps ; Todos Santos , 4.4 km W, 15°30’24”N, 91°38’41”W, 2800 m, 14.ix.2008, cloud forest, ex. sifted leaf litter, M.G. Branstetter (♀, DEBU) GoogleMaps .

Comments. Aptilotella pyropanda is readily recognized by the fiery orange thorax and legs. In dorsal view, the highly reflective silvery-white spots of the ocular emarginations and lunule give the fly an appearance of having three “headlights.” This species has a relatively broad range with at least two populations along the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountains, one in the extreme Mexican southeast and the other in western Guatemala.


Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Collecion de Artropodos