Aleurodicus niveus Martin

Martin, Jon H., 2008, A revision of Aleurodicus Douglas (Sternorrhyncha, Aleyrodidae), with two new genera proposed for palaeotropical natives and an identification guide to world genera of Aleurodicinae, Zootaxa 1835 (1), pp. 1-100: 37-38

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1835.1.1

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Aleurodicus niveus Martin


Aleurodicus niveus Martin  

( Figs 8 View FIGURES 5–8 , 33, 121)

Aleurodicus niveus Martin, 2004: 25   View Cited Treatment . Holotype puparium, Belize [BMNH, examined].

DISTRIBUTION. Neotropical Region – Belize, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panamá (including Canal Zone), Venezuela – see discussion, below.

MATERIAL EXAMINED. Holotype puparium, BELIZE, CFR, Las Cuevas forest, on Encyclia cochleata   ( Orchidaceae   ),, (J. H. Martin #7986) ( BMNH). Paratypes: 17 puparia (7 dry on leaf), same data as holotype ( BMNH, USNM). Non-type material: 1 puparium, VENEZUELA (intercepted at Miami, U.S.A.), on Oncidium sp.   , 14.iv.1981 ( USNM); 3 puparia, BRAZIL (intercepted at Washington DC, U.S.A.), on Oncidium sp.   , 14.iv.1938 ( USNM); numerous specimens from orchids, intercepted in U.S.A. from Central American countries (see below) ( BMNH, USNM).

COMMENTS. This species was described from a single colony, a group of puparia under one leaf of their epiphytic orchid host in secondary rainforest in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in Belize: a colour photograph

of this colony ( Martin, 2004: 119) is reproduced here, fig. 121). Most individuals of the type sample proved to be parasitised, but five undamaged specimens were preserved in alcohol as soon as this became evident: three of these show no evident signs of parasitism under high magnification, and it is thought unlikely that the habitus appearance of the colony was affected by the development of parasitoids (but see below).

The features of the vasiform orifice, operculum and lingula (Fig. 33) are highly characteristic, with the very large operculum and acute, often bifid, apical lingular process of particular note. In other characters, A. niveus   most closely resembles A. rugioperculatus   , also described from Belize.

Only the small type sample was known to the author at the time of its description. However, much unnamed slide-mounted aleurodicine material was made available for the present study, through the kindness of USNM. Amongst this material were numerous slides that had been categorised as “species 1” (120 slides +) or “species 2” (250 slides +) of a “new genus close to Aleurodicus   ”. All of these slides represented quarantine interceptions at US ports, and almost all had been taken from the foliage of orchids imported into the U.S.A. from Central American countries. Although displaying a degree of variability, particularly in overall puparial size, apparent degree of development of axial processes in the compound pores, and presence / absence of small compound pores on abdominal segment VIII, all of this material has been here determined as A. niveus   , which may be either a somewhat variable species or a species-complex. The original, pencilled assignment to “species 1” or “species 2” has been left visible on each slide, to aid any future investigation of the nature of variation in this species or species-group.

Listing the examined quarantine-intercepted material in full has not been practical, with so many samples involved, and only the countries of distribution are listed above.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Aleurodicus niveus Martin

Martin, Jon H. 2008

Aleurodicus niveus

Martin, J. H. 2004: 25