Atherigona heteropalpata, Muller, 2015

Muller, B. S., 2015, Illustrated key and systematics of male South African Atherigona s. str. (Diptera: Muscidae), African Invertebrates 56 (3), pp. 845-845 : 873-874

publication ID 10.5733/afin.056.0301


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scientific name

Atherigona heteropalpata

sp. nov.

Atherigona heteropalpata View in CoL sp. n.

Fig. 17 View Figs10–18

Etymology: From the Latin heteros (different) and palpus (feeler), pertaining to the unique shape of the palpus, which is different from all other known species in the subgenus, except for A. flaviheteropalpata sp. n. with similar but yellow palpi.

Diagnosis: This species and A. flaviheteropalpata sp. n. are very similar to each other due to the unique and diagnostic palpal shape (straplike compared to the usual dilated and truncated appearance of the subgenus’ palpi). A. heteropalpata , however, differs from A. flaviheteropalpata in having infuscated palpi compared to the other’s yellow palpi. The trifoliate process and hypopygial prominence of each species are also markedly different from one another ( Fig. 39 View Figs 37–45 vs. Fig. 17 View Figs10–18 ).



Measurement s: Body length: 4.526 mm; wing: 3.92 mm; r­m crossvein ratio: 0.400.

Head: Ground colour dark. All head setae and setulae infuscated. Occiput silver-grey dusted throughout with narrow median part glossy, laterally silver-grey dusted. Ocellar triangle silver-grey dusted. Frontal vitta infuscated. Frontal plate silver-grey dusted throughout with three pairs of proclinate frontal setae and two pairs of orbital setae. Parafacial silver-grey dusted, at narrowest just as wide as aristal base. Scape and pedicel infuscated with ferruginous margins, postpedicel and arista infuscated. Palpus brown, straplike in appearance, with hyaline setulae at apex.

Thorax: Ground colour dark. Postpronotal lobe gold dusted, with three setae and 11 setulae. Pleura entirely grey dusted; Proepisternum inconspicuous and gold dusted. Scutum grey dusted throughout, with three faint, barely visible 2-4 dorsocentral vittae, stopping before scutellum. Scutellum grey dusted; one pair of basal setae, one pair of discal setae and 7 discal setulae, one pair of subbasal setae and one pair of apical setae (subbasal pair equal to apical pair).

Legs: All legs yellow, except for the apical halves of fore femur and fore tibia, and the entire fore tarsi which are infuscated.

Leg chaetotaxy: Fore tarsi without any specialised chaetotaxy.

Wings: Hyaline. Veins brown. Knob of halteres white with stalk yellow. Calypters white.

Abdomen: All tergites yellow; tergite 1+2 immaculate; tergite 3 two small round markings taking up a third of dorsal surface; tergite 4 with small round markings, taking up a third of dorsal surface. tergite 5 immaculate. Hypopygial prominence knoblike, with a pair of anteriorly projecting tubercles, and anteriorly with two slight lobelike dilations. Trifoliate process stem 1.6× the length of the apical process; trifoliate process entirely hyaline, except for the lateral margins of the lateral plates which are infuscated; median piece filiform except for apical dilation, with four setulae, the two centre setulae projecting and the two outer setulae strongly curved and at least 2× as long as dilation is high, median piece appearing filiform in profile; lateral plates appearing almost angular in posterior view, rounded in profile, not smooth but with a rough textured surface, also wider than median piece in profile, without inner lobes. Surstylus without infuscation.

Female. Unknown.

Holotype ♂: SOUTH AFRICA : KwaZulu­Natal: Royal Natal National Park , Thendele area, 28°40'46"S 28°55'13"E, Sourveld, 16–18.iii.1990, A.E. Whittington ( NMSA; Type no. 2505). GoogleMaps

Paratypes: KwaZulu­Natal: 1♂ Cathedral Peak area , 4–11.iv.1977, J.G.H. Londt, ex. Malaise ( NMSA) ; 1♂ Cathedral Peak area, Forest Reserve , 1800 m, 4–11.iv.1977, J.G.H. Londt, ex. Malaise ( NMSA) ; 1♂ Cathedral Peak, Didima , 28°57.000'S 29°14.395'E, 1422 m, 13–16.xii.2004, M.B. Mostovski ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Royal Natal National Park, Mahai Camp, 28°41'S 28°57'E, 1440 m, Grassland , 2–4.iv.1993, J.G.H. Londt ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Royal Natal National Park, Mahai campsite area, 28°41.386'S 28°56.288'E, 1440 m, Malaise trap (1) straddling Mahai river , 17–18.ii.2010, J.G.H. Londt, Malaise trap ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Royal Natal National Park, Thendele, 28°42.378'S 28°56.083'E, 1600 m, Leucosedes [ Leucosidea ] dominated scrub, 15–17.ii.2010, A.H. Kirk-Spriggs, Malaise trap ( BMSA (D) 19586) GoogleMaps ; 2♂ Royal Natal National Park, Tiger Falls area , 28°41.341'S 28°56.047'E, Protea caffra woodland, 17–18.ii.2010, A.H. Kirk-Spriggs, Malaise trap ( BMSA (D) 19803, 19804) GoogleMaps .

Distribution: South Africa.

Remarks: The males of this species and A. flaviheteropalpata sp. n. are currently not matching the diagnosis of the subgenus Atherigona s. str. due to the straplike, thin appearance of their palpi. They do, however, both have a trifoliate process and hypopygial prominence. This would mean that the diagnosis of the subgenus would need to be updated, as the thin appearance of the palpi is not diagnostic for just the males of Acritochaeta .


KwaZulu-Natal Museum


National Museum Bloemfontein













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