Pygatyphella uberia, Ballantyne & Lambkin, 2009

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine, 2009, Systematics of Indo-Pacific fireflies with a redefinition of Australasian Atyphella Olliff, Madagascan Photuroluciola Pic, and description of seven new genera from the Luciolinae (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), Zootaxa 1997, pp. 1-188 : 103-104

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Pygatyphella uberia

sp. n.

Pygatyphella uberia sp. n.

( Figs 467–478)

Holotype. Male. PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Morobe Pr., 3.46S, 143.52E, Wau , elevation ca 2800feet, X–XI.1968, J E Lloyd (G593 ANIC). GoogleMaps

Paratypes (20). PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Morobe Pr., 3.46S, 143.52E, Wau , same data as holotype, 3 males (G595 ANIC; G320 View Materials , 323 View Materials JELC); 1050m, 4–11.xi.1961, JS GoogleMaps , 3 males, female ( BPBM) . Chimbu Pr., Uberie , 26.ix.1966, R Carver, R Mackay, 6 males ( ANIC). Hudewa, L Wagner, 6 males 2 females ( SAMA) .

Code name. Luciola 12 ( Lloyd, 1973b)

Diagnosis. The only species of Pygatyphella with bipartite LO in V7.

Male. 7.8–7.9 mm long; 3.0 mm wide; W/L 0.4. Colour ( Figs 467–469): Pronotum pale yellowish, semitransparent, with paired median darker markings appearing heart shaped; clumps of fat body clearly visible through cuticle confusing colour; MN yellowish, pale brown markings covering most of inner area of each plate adjacent to MS and fat body evident especially around margins; MS light brown, quite transparent, devoid of fat body; elytra pale light brown, semitransparent, fat body in interstitial lines and around most punctures, lateral margin irregularly dark brown and some fainter traces of brown spots over inner paler area in Hudewa and Uberie males, lateral margin pale in three Wau males with faint traces of apical brown areas; head, antennae, palpi dark brown; most of ventral surface of thorax yellowish (except for brown metasternum) and all tarsi brown; basal abdominal ventrites very pale yellowish with fat body clearly visible beneath transparent cuticle; LO creamy yellow, posterior area of V7 behind LO yellowish;. Pronotum: 1.3–1.4 mm long, 2.5 mm wide; W/L 1.9; lateral margins straight, divergent slightly posteriorly, lacking small indentation before rounded/ angulate posterolateral corners, which are <90° and inclining obliquely to median line; width across posterior margin of pronotum subequal to, or slightly wider than (Hudewa males) that across elytral humeri. Elytron: 6.3–6.5 mm long; parallel-sided; inner two interstitial lines well–defined. Head: barely retracted within prothoracic cavity at rest and visible from above; GHW 2.0 mm; SIW 0.15 mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; ASD much less than ASW; antennal sockets very close not contiguous. Abdomen, ventrites ( Figs 468, 470, 471): LO entire in V6, bipartite in 7 reaching sides not posterior margin, occupies> ½ area of V7, with LO halves closely approaching in median line. Ventrite 7 with rounded emarginations ( Figs 470, 471) to either side of MPP base; MPP longer than wide, lateral margins converging slightly posteriorly, posterior margin rounded; lacking dorsal ridge. Tergites ( Figs 472, 473): T8 visible posterior portion about as wide as long; posterolateral areas of T8 angulate, posterior margin between these ‘corners’ produced, lateral margins converging with posterior margin broadly truncate or rounded; anterolateral prolongations very elongate, narrow, expanded vertically, lacking projections at their bases; ventral surface of T8 ( Figs 472, 473) lacking posteromedian ridge; with projections in anterolateral left (small flange), posterolateral left (1–3 lines, strongly curved in Hudewa male, 1–3 lines in Uberie males, 1 line in Uberie and Sisiak male), anterolateral right (scarcely developed in Sisiak and Hudewa male), 1–2 oblique in posterolateral right. Aedeagal sheath ( Figs 478–480): emargination on right side begins at tergite articulations; further narrow emargination on right side just before apex. Aedeagus ( Figs 474, 475): L/W 4; LL/ML moderate; LL narrow, divergent along length dorsally, considerably shorter than ML; LL very narrow at apices; ML asymmetrical curving to left in horizontal plane.

Female. Associated by similarity of label data and dorsal colour pattern to that of Hudewa and Uberie males. 7.5–7.7 mm long. Coloured as for male with these exceptions: Wau female has pale coloured elytra with very faint traces of the lateral dark markings seen in the other females; LO creamy yellow in V6; V7, 8 orange yellow, semitransparent and well sclerotised. Pronotum of similar outline to that of male, median anterior margin not produced. Head of winged female form. Posterior margin of V7 widely emarginated with posterolateral corners rounded; median posterior margins of V8 and T8 narrowly emarginated; lateral margins of V8 converge evenly posteriorly, posterior margin rounded.

Remarks. The differences in colour of the elytral margins between the Wau males and the Hudewa and Uberie populations may not be significant as the single Wau female has the lateral elytral margins with paler outlines of the more pronounced colour in the coloured males. Lloyd (1973b:995) characterised the twinkling pattern of light production, a "rapid twinkle-like burst of 2 [or more, up to 7, Lloyd pers. comm.] short modulations of increasing intensity". The dappled dorsal colouration may well resemble bird droppings or light dappling and function as protection in the day time. Only Lloyd’s specimens are characterised by patterns of light production.


Australian National Insect Collection


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South Australia Museum