Aptilotella sphyra 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 : 28-29

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Aptilotella sphyra Luk & Marshall

sp. n.

Aptilotella sphyra Luk & Marshall , sp. n.

Figures 25–27 View FIGURES 25–26 View FIGURE 27 , and 161–174

Description. Habitus as in Figures 25 and 26 View FIGURES 25–26 . Body length 1.2–1.3 mm. Head ground color yellow-orange. Frons shining except for interfrontal suture and lateral portion of orbital plate. Ocellar tubercle slightly raised; ocelli present; ocellar bristle two-thirds the length of frons. Orbital bristle present; orbital setulae minute, in two pairs. Interfrontal setae in two pairs. Face and gena weakly shining; in males, excavation with a broad silvery band; lower margin of gena setaceous. Antenna yellow-orange. Scutum and scutellum orange, shining. Scutum uniformly setose, densely microtrichose. Scutellum partly microtrichose; trapezoidal in males, rounder in females; 1.7 times wider than long, 0.6 times the width of scutum. Apical scutellar bristles 1.2 times as long as basal. Pleuron orange, with yellow stripe running through middle; katepisternum and lower half of meron dark brown. Legs yellow ochre; coxa brown; mid tibia with three anterodorsal and one distal posterodorsal bristle, in male with an unequal pair of flattened, iridescent, overlapping preapical anteroventral setae ( Fig. 174 View FIGURES 170–174 ). Wing pad ( Figs. 26 View FIGURES 25–26 , 169 View FIGURES 165–169 ) clavate in male, reduced and spearhead-shaped in female. Abdomen black, shining, densely microtrichose; tergites and sternites each with a distal row of setae. Epandrium and synsternite 6+7 reddish-brown.

Male terminalia. Sternite 5 ( Fig. 164 View FIGURES 161–164 ) shallowly emarginate in posteromedial sixth, flanked by setae, with the strongest setae nearest the margin, and giving rise to a pair of very dark, clasper-like processes. Synsternite 6+7 ( Fig. 163 View FIGURES 161–164 ) with narrow medial bridge; posteromedially with a membranous pouch bearing minute spinules. Cercus ( Figs. 27 View FIGURE 27 , 161, 162 View FIGURES 161–164 ) ax-head shaped, thick but narrow at base, the blade compressed and most expanded distally; outer margin bearing several widely-spaced setae, and a longer seta at mid-length. Surstylus ( Figs. 27 View FIGURE 27 , 161, 162 View FIGURES 161–164 ) about 3.5 times as long as wide; posterior margin irregular, setaceous; anterior margin angled; apex rounded. Postgonite ( Fig. 167 View FIGURES 165–169 ) curved; descending arm slender, of uniform width, with three basal sensory setae; articulatory process for pregonite undeveloped, rounded; articulatory process for basiphallus slender. Hypandrium ( Fig. 168 View FIGURES 165–169 ) with medial rod medially slightly constricted and apically rounded and dilated to the right; posteromedial fork very short; hypandrial arms oblong, the left arm with a blunt marginal tooth at anterodistal third; pregonite clavate, twothirds length of hypandrial arm. Aedeagus as in Figures 165 and 166 View FIGURES 165–169 . Basiphallus compressed, squared; posteroventrally with a small hump; anterior margin arched; articulatory process for postgonite rod-shaped, erect. Ventrobasal sclerite divided. Lateral flanking sclerite fused ventrobasally by a narrow bridge; dorsal margin nearly straight, diverging and sinuous beyond basal third, medially with a patch of minute spinules. Ventral flanking sclerites darker; the club-shaped sclerite fused along ventral margin of lateral flanking sclerite, distally abruptly bent upward into a hammer-shaped process bearing numerous suspended minute denticles; the medial article sharply pointed beneath, confluent with ventral margin of lateral flanking sclerite then ascending with club-shaped sclerite and terminating beyond in a rounded apex; the broad distal article ventrally with a triangular lobe curling inward and converging in the middle. Medial paired sclerites originating from inside of medial article of ventral flanking sclerite, sharply bent upward, convergent and tapered between and above club-shaped sclerites.

Female terminalia. Epiproct apparently absent. Each half of tergite 8 ( Figs. 170–172 View FIGURES 170–174 ) convex, its outer margins rounded; with several setae. Cercus three times as long as wide; with one long apical seta and two preapical setae. Hypoproct ( Fig. 172 View FIGURES 170–174 ) very pale, narrowly ring-shaped. Spermathecae ( Fig. 173 View FIGURES 170–174 ) simple; sclerotized ducts slightly longer than the diameter of a spermatheca.

Variation. Abdominal colouration is dark brown in lighter individuals. Females tend to be darker; the legs, which are unicolorous in the males, may have contrasting brown tibiae in females.

Etymology. The species epithet is Greek for “hammer,” describing the club-shaped process of the distiphallus.

Type material. Holotype ♂, DEBU. HONDURAS: Guisayote , 20.5 km E Ocotepeque, 2170 m, 14.vi.1994, cloud forest litter, R.S. Anderson.

Paratypes. HONDURAS: Ocotepeque, same label as holotype but dated 13.vi.1994 (4♂, DEBU) ; same label as holotype (2♂, ♀, DEBU; 3♂, 3♀, EAPZ) ; same label as holotype but dated 16.vi.1994 (2♂, 6♀, DEBU) ; Nueva Ocotepeque, 13 km E, 14°25’11”N, 89°4’10”W, 2190 m, 26.v.2010, cloud forest leaf litter, R.S. Anderson (♀, DEBU) GoogleMaps . EL SALVADOR: Chalatenango, El Pital , 13.1 Km N, San Ignacio, 2850 m, 28.viii.1994, cloud forest litter Berlese, R.S. Anderson (4♂, ♀, DEBU) .

Comments. Aptilotella sphyra exhibits sexual dimorphism in wing shape; in contrast to other species, females are not entirely wingless but retain small wing pads. This species shares similar distiphallic structures with A. pennifera , but is unusual in the A. corona species group in possessing an unusually large, square basiphallus. The combination of bicoloured body and unmarked frons is unique to this species.


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Escuela Agricola Panamericana