Aheatherella mira, Seeman & Minor & Baker & Walter, 2018

Seeman, Owen D., Minor, Maria, Baker, Michelle R. & Walter, David Evans, 2018, A revision of the Heatherellidae (Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata) with a new genus and two new species from Australasia, Zootaxa 4434 (3), pp. 441-465 : 452-461

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Aheatherella mira

n. sp.

Aheatherella mira n. sp. Seeman, Minor, Baker & Walter

( Figs 16–29 View FIGURE 16 View FIGURE 17 View FIGURES 18–20 View FIGURES 21–23 View FIGURE 24 View FIGURE 25 View FIGURE 26–28 View FIGURE 29 , 35, 37 View FIGURES 34–37 )

Diagnosis: With the characteristics of the genus. Adult: sternal shield (bearing st2) subrectangular, poorly differentiated anteriorly; most ventral setae short, weakly barbed, setae ZV4–5 thicker, more barbed, setae JV5 bifurcate, similar to marginal setae; dorsal setae simple, smooth; marginal setae bifurcate, each branch thickened, barbed; dorsal shield areolate; idiosomal margin with ten pairs of idiosomatic protuberances (protuberances P -s4 and P -s6 present), distinct pustule P -s5 present; dorsum lacking seta z2; seta z6 anterior to s6, seta Z1 anterior to S1; seta z5 placed transversely with seta j5; marginal r -R series setae duplicated, 22 pairs. Female: setae st3 and st4 on separate shields. Male: seta av1 on genu II unmodified.

Idiosomal dimensions: Females (n= 2) ca. 540 long x 430 wide (holotype split laterally; other female fragmented); males (n= 5) 460–500 long x 340–370 wide; deutonymph (n= 3) 410–480 long x 320–330 wide.

Female. Venter ( Fig. 16 View FIGURE 16 ). Intercoxal region with bifurcate tritosternum; sternal shield fragmented into pair of jugularia bearing st1, tuberculate area of soft cuticle bearing stp1, subrectangular shield bearing st2 + stp2, subtriangular shield bearing st3 + stp3, and narrow metasternal shields bearing st 4 flanking genital shield; genital shield subrectangular, reticulate, bearing s t5, flanked by stp5 at posterior corners in soft cuticle; sternal setae simple, tapering except st5 with basal barb; lengths: st1 10, st2 11, st3 13, st4 14, st5 17. Opisthogaster with ten pairs of setae (JV1–5, ZV1–5) and 10–11 cuticular gland openings (pairing and placement erratic); pores laterad coxa IV in densely spiculate depression; anal region raised, flanked by large concave depressions, and with two pairs of para-anal setae, postanal seta, and pair of glands on anterior margin of anal opening; setae JV3 not on anal rim; setae JV5 ventral, posterior to setae JV4, positioned close to small tubercle; all ventral setae slightly bulbous basally, tapering to fine point and smooth (anteromedially) to weakly to strongly barbed (laterally) on one side. Lateral peritrematal region and anterior margin of ventral region covered in dense vestiture of hair-like spicules, single, bifurcate or with several divisions; cuticle between exopodal and peritrematal margins smooth; exopodal and peritrematal shields fused but lines of fusion apparent ( Figs 16 View FIGURE 16 , 37 View FIGURES 34–37 ); peritremes short (~50 long), restricted to region of coxa III.

Dorsum ( Fig. 17 View FIGURE 17 ). Dorsal shields irregularly areolate, setae tapering, acuminate, weakly barbed dorsally. Podonotal-mesonotal shield bearing nine pairs of setae (j3–j6, J1–J4, z5; seta z2 absent); anterior lateral shields each with two setae (z4, z6); posterior lateral shields each with three setae (Z1–Z3); eight nude pre-pygidial platelets; median pygidial shield with two setae (J5); lateral pygidial shields each with one seta (Z5). Seta z6 anterior to s6, seta Z1 anterior to S1, seta z5 placed transversely with seta j5. Dorso-marginal part of opisthogastricperitrematal-marginal shield bearing nine pairs of large, spout-like gland-bearing protuberances; each protuberance with closely associated ciliate seta (j2, s1–2, s5–6, S1–2, S4–5); protuberance P - s5 different from other protuberances, being a raised pustule with two small openings; seta s4 on small tubercle and associated gland on tiny protuberance. Marginal (r -R) setae of opisthogastric-peritrematal-marginal shield hypertrichous, formed by duplication (i.e. 22 pairs); all r -R setae strongly bifurcate, ciliate.

Gnathosoma ( Figs 18–19 View FIGURES 18–20 ). Subcapitulum with four pairs smooth, scale-like lobes; basal row of denticles, two irregular rows more distally; deutosternal gutter narrow with single file of minute teeth; labial lobe rounded distally with lateral tooth; internal malae simple lobes; palpcoxal and hypostomal setae simple, acuminate; lengths: h1 15, h2> 10 (broken), h3 20, pc 16; corniculi simple, blunt. Chelicerae ( Fig. 19 View FIGURES 18–20 ) slender (~220 long), second article (~125 long) ending in fixed digit with cluster of three small teeth, small setiform pilus dentilis, pocket for receiving tooth on movable digit; moveable digit (~34) with single distal tooth; cheliceral seta (~22 long) thick, somewhat flattened, acuminate, inserted on paraxial side of chelicera.

Legs ( Figs. 20–23 View FIGURES 18–20 View FIGURES 21–23 ). Leg setae unmodified; dorsal femoral setae on leg I smooth, some leg setae (e.g. ad setae on femora I-II, pd setae on femora III-IV) much shorter than other setae on same segment.

Male. Similar to female except in intercoxal region and leg II. Venter ( Fig. 24 View FIGURE 24 ). Sternal shields comprised of jugularia bearing st1, subtrapezoidal shield bearing st2 and large pore, basal shield with subreticulate lines of denticles and bearing st3–5 and nude genital platelets; all setae simple, acuminate. Dorsum ( Fig. 25 View FIGURE 25 ). Similar to female. Legs ( Fig. 26 View FIGURE 26–28 ). Leg II with setae av1 on femur a blunt spur (13–14 x 4–5 wide); seta av1 on genu II thickened, but not spur-like.

Deutonymph. Venter ( Figs 27–28 View FIGURE 26–28 ). Intercoxal region with five pairs of setae; setae st1 on smooth soft cuticle; setae st2 on small subrectangular sternal shield; setae st 3 in striate cuticle; setae st4 among irregular striate-rugose cuticle; setae st 5 in striate cuticle; medial round pore-like structure between coxae IV. Opisthogaster striate with numerous spicules medially; setae barbed and mostly shorter than in adult; ventrianal shield and anus projecting, with deep folds laterally; ventrianal shield capturing setae JV3; ciliate cavities posterolaterad para-anal setae; marginal cuticle heavily rugose. Peritremes broad, longer than in adult, reaching base of coxae I.

Dorsum ( Fig. 29 View FIGURE 29 ). Single shield covering idiosoma, densely ornamented with roseate fovaeoles but smooth laterally. Dorsal setation consistent with adult; median row of 1one pairs of setae (j1–6, J1–5), setae z2, z4, z5–6, s1–2, s4–6, S1–5, and hypertrichous r -R series formed by duplication (i.e. 22 pairs); marginal tubercles similar to adult except pustule-like protuberance associated with seta s5 not as raised and seta clearly disassociated from protuberance; vestibules of glands smaller than in adult.

Gnathosoma and legs. Similar to adult female.

Material examined: 2 females, 5 males, 3 deutonymphs, as follows. New Zealand, North Island, Manawatu- Whanganui: Holotype female (NZAC02016468): Whanganui National Park, Whanganui River Road, Atene Pa (39°43'36" S, 175°08'20" E, NZTopo50 BK33 833 004), 90 m a.s.l., secondary broadleaf native forest (regenerating Beilschmiedia tawa , Knightia excelsa ; understory Cyathea dealbata , Brachyglottis repanda, Olearia rani), ex leaf litter, Site 2, 29 January 2004, M. Minor. 1 paratype female (QMS 108782), 2 paratype males (NZAC02016469; QMS 108783), 3 paratype deutonymphs (NZAC02016470–71; QMS 108784), Whanganui National Park, Whanganui River Road, road marker 191 (39°38'07" S, 175°10'23" E, NZTopo50 map reference BK33 865 105), 104 m a.s.l. (above sea level), secondary broadleaf native forest (regenerating B. tawa ; understory Melicytus ramiflorus , Schefflera digitata , Hedycarya arborea , Macropiper excelsum ; abundant liana Ripogonum scandens ), ex leaf litter, 29 January 2004, M. Minor, Site 1. 3 male paratypes (NZAC02016472 (2 on same slide); QMS 108785): Whanganui District Council Block WN 31B/280, Kauarapaoa Road (39°41'29" S, 175°02'20" E, NZTopo50 map reference BK32 784 045), 159 m a.s.l., mixed black beech/broadleaf forest (canopy Nothofagus solandri with B. tawa , K. excelsa , Prumnopitys taxifolia, Dacydium cupressinum, Nestegis cunninghamii ; understory C. dealbata , Myrsine australis , O. rani), ex leaf litter, Site 12, 31 January 2004, M. Minor.

Type deposition: Female holotype, 3 males, 2 deutonymphs in NZAC; 1 female, 2 males, 1 deutonymph in QM.

Etymology: The specific name mira means “wonderful”, “extremely impressive” in Latin; gender feminine.