Pygatyphella plagiata ( Blanchard, 1853 )

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 : 97-98

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Pygatyphella plagiata ( Blanchard, 1853 )


Pygatyphella plagiata ( Blanchard, 1853)

( Figs 397–404)

Luciola plagiata Blanchard, 1853:75 , Fig. 15, plate v. Lacordaire, 1857:337. Olivier, 1902:85.

Luciola caledonica Bourgeois, 1884:285 . Olivier, 1902:75. Heller, in Sarasin and Roux, 1916:243. Fauvel, 1904:139. New synonymy.

Luciola (Luciola) caledonica Bourgeois. McDermott, 1966:100 . New synonymy.

Luciola (Luciola) plagiata Blanchard. McDermott, 1966: 111 . New synonymy.

Types. Luciola caledonica Bourgeois. New Caledonia, Iles des Pins, not found MNHN 2002 by LB. Luciola plagiata Blanchard. Solomon Islands (Ile St. George). Location of type unknown.

Specimens examined. Solomon Islands, 8.00 S, 159.10 E: Tatamba , 0 – 50m, 2 – 15.ix.1964, RS GoogleMaps 3 males; Tirotongna on Freycinetia , JLG, 17.x.1981, 1 male; Pirega ,, COB 1 male. Florida Group, Takopekope, 12.ix.1960, COB 2 males ( BPBM) .

Diagnosis. Moderate sized (6.0 – 7.4 mm long); pronotum red yellow with an anterior median dark mark; elytra black; venter of body yellow; median posterior projection of ventrite 7 with rounded apex; T8 with ventrally directed flanges on long and vertically expanded anterior prolongations; MPP with dorsal ridge; T8 with short posteromedian ridge; ML of aedeagus with lateral teeth; aedeagal sheath with basal 1/3 of posterior area subparallel-sided.

Male. 6.0– 7.4 mm long; 2.6 – 3.3 mm wide; W/L 0.4. Colour ( Figs 397, 398): PN orange, anteromedian ‘hourglass’ shaped dark mark almost reaching anterior but not posterior margin; MN light orange, MS light brown; elytra dark brown; head antennae and palpi dark; ventral surface of thorax and base of all legs dingy yellow, all tarsi dark brown, apical half all tibiae dark brown; all tergites pale yellow and semitransparent; ventral abdomen yellow except for brown posterior half V4, dark brown V5, pale LO in 6, 7. Pronotum ( Fig. 397): 1.3 – 1.7 mm long; 2.1 – 2.7 mm wide; W/L 1.6; lateral margins with rounded convergence, lacking indentations; posterolateral corners broadly rounded, with irregularities. Elytron: 4.7 – 5.7 mm long; interstitial lines not as well–defined as sutural ridge except Takopekope male with 3 lines. Head: not able to be retracted completely into prothoracic cavity; GHW 1.5–1.8mm; SIW 0.15mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; ASD<ASW (sockets very close but not contiguous). Abdomen, ventrites ( Figs 401–404): posterior margin of LO in V7 entire, not emarginated, LO not reaching sides or posterior margin, occupying half or less of V7. MPP about as long as wide, conspicuous, apex truncate or rounded; MPP with broad dorsal slightly off–centre ridge. Tergites: T8 ( Fig. 404) wider than long (visible entire posterior portion), median posterior margin slightly produced, narrowly rounded; conforms most closely to pattern 3; ventral surface of posterior median area with short, slightly elevated straight ridge; anterolateral prolongations elongate, expanded in vertical plane, and with ventrally directed projecting pieces at their bases (Not visible in Fig. 404). Aedeagal sheath: sternite subparallel-sided for about 1/3 of its length from tergite articulation before emargination on left side. Aedeagus ( Figs 399, 400): L/W<3; LL/ML moderate; LL divergent along length dorsally, slightly shorter than ML; apices of LL rounded, not out–turned width narrower than that of ML; base of LL produced and rounded; ML with paired wide rounded lateral teeth at level of ejaculatory orifice.

Female, Larva. Not associated.

Remarks. In the absence of types or reliably identified specimens it is reasonable to identify these specimens as plagiata . Two species of Luciola with dark marked pronota were recorded from the general study area, caledonica from New Caledonia and plagiata from the Solomons Ile St George (presumed to be St Jorge Island off the SW coast of Santa Isabel). Blanchard’s (1853) specimens approach these specimens in size, colouration and their type locality. Bourgeois (1884) described a convex shape and size, which approaches species like salomonis ; however his description of the colour and morphology of the abdomen strongly suggests a female, and on that basis the synonymy is suggested (females are often larger than the males).

Only two species from the Solomon Islands studied here have dark markings on the pronotum (the other Pygat. limbatifusca has two small dark spots on the pronotum, and pale margined elytra). Ballantyne and Buck (1979) suggested an overall similarity between aphrogeneia , caledonica , and carolinae , which are all distinguished here ( aphrogeneia retained in Atyphella and carolinae assigned to Magnalata ).

Two distinctively coloured species are recorded from New Caledonia, viz. Bourgeoisia antipodum (Bourgeois) which is entirely black dorsally, and Luciola caledonica (Bourgeois) . Heller (1916) recorded caledonica from Ile Art, Ile Nou and Ile des Pins. He recorded only species from New Caledonia with no reference to sex of specimens. Fauvel (1904) recorded a description of luminosity on Ile d’Art on trees and bushes by ‘Lucioles’ (he considered it could have been L. caledonica , but it could just as easily have been Bourgeoisia antipodum ). LB found no specimens of caledonica in the Bourgeois collection in Paris in 2002 and specimens from New Caledonia treated here as “ New Caledonia 2” have strong eye emarginations in the male. Recent collections on New Caledonia by the QM team included only specimens which were entirely dark dorsally.














Pygatyphella plagiata ( Blanchard, 1853 )

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine 2009

Luciola (Luciola) caledonica Bourgeois. McDermott, 1966:100

McDermott, F. A. 1966: 100

Luciola (Luciola) plagiata Blanchard. McDermott, 1966: 111

McDermott, F. A. 1966: 111

Luciola caledonica

Fauvel, A. 1904: 139
Olivier, E. 1902: 75
Bourgeois, J. 1884: 285

Luciola plagiata

Olivier, E. 1902: 85
Lacordaire, T. 1857: 337
Blanchard, C. E. 1853: 75