Visma brigalowsum, Smith & Mitchell & Molero-Baltanás, 2021

Smith, Graeme B., Mitchell, Andrew & Molero-Baltanás, Rafael, 2021, Molecular and morphological studies identify a new genus within the Heterolepismatinae (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae), Zootaxa 5030 (1), pp. 1-118: 40-48

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Visma brigalowsum

new species

Visma brigalowsum   new species

Table 4; Figs. 2 View FIGURES 1–4 , 94–135 View FIGURES 94–106 View FIGURES 107–115 View FIGURES 116–125 View FIGURES 126–135

Type material. Holotype, QLD: Lake Broadwater , 346 m asl, 3 November 2015, Geoff Monteith, bark spray to brigalow ( Acacia harpophylla F. Muell. ex Benth.   FABACEAE   ) ♀ ( HW 1.23) on two slides ( QM T246779). Para- type ♂ ( HW 1.10) same data as holotype, on two slides ( QM T246780). Other paratypes: ♀ ( HW 1.30) on two slides (K.541520), ♀ ( HW 1.39) in alcohol (K.377829), ♀ ( HW 1.28) in alcohol (K.377830); ♀ ( HW 1.14) in alcohol (K.377831); ♀ ( HW 1.18) in alcohol (K.377832); ♀ ( HW 1.13) in alcohol (K.377833); ♂ ( HW 1.13) in alcohol (K.377834); ♂ ( HW 1.10) in alcohol (K.377835); ♂ ( HW 1.40) in alcohol (K.377836); ♀ ( HW 1.29) in alcohol (K.3778370); ♀ ( HW 1.23) in alcohol (K.377838); four ♂♂ four ♀♀ two juveniles in alcohol (K.377839) all same data as holotype.  

Other material not included in type series: QLD: South of Miriam Vale, 24.61764°S 151.67029°E 59 m asl, 7 July 2013, Graeme Smith, pyrethrum spray to trunk of soft bark eucalypt in open forest GoogleMaps   , ♂ ( HW 1.15) on two slides (K.541532)   ; eight specimens, mostly juvenile, same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377911). QLD: Lake Nuga Nuga 24.988°S 148.699°E 297 m asl, 8 June 2014, Geoff Monteith, bark spray to brigalow GoogleMaps   , ♀ ( HW 1.18) on two slides (K.541543)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.28) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541542)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.03) same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377921)   ; ♂ ( HW 1.08) and   ♀ ( HW 1.28) same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377922)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.19) same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377920)   ; one ♀, three juveniles, same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377919). QLD: Poona Creek , scientific area 25.744°S 152.871°E 30 m asl, 5 February 2013, Geoff Monteith, bark spray wet sclerophyll GoogleMaps   , ♀ ( HW 1.38) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541535) GoogleMaps   ; two ♂♂ three ♀♀ one juvenile, same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377923) (many specimens of a species of Heterolepisma aff. cooloola   were also collected with these specimens). QLD: Mudlo NP, bottom creek 26.023°S 152.234°E 200 m asl, 21 December 2011, Geoff Monteith, bark spray GoogleMaps   , ♀ ( HW 1.33) on two slides (K.541581)   ; 39 specimens, same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377903). QLD: Mt Moffatt NP, Mahogany forest 24.924°S 148.065°E 1220 m asl, 15–16 January 2013, Geoff Monteith, bark spray to eucalypts in open forest GoogleMaps   , ♀ ( HW 1.55) on two slides (K.541583)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.48) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541584)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.38) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541599)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.38) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541600)   ; ♀ ( HW 1.20) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541601); juvenile   ♂ ( HW 0.90) same data as previous, on two slides (K.541606)   ; ♂ ( HW 1.33) same data as previous, in alcohol (K.541585)   ; 15 specimens, same data as previous, in alcohol (K.377917)   ; seven specimens (K.377918). QLD: Moffatt NP, Consuelo Tableland, 24.917°S 148.059°E 1220 m asl, 17 January 2013, Geoff Monteith, bark spray to eucalypts, ♂ ( HW 1.58) on two slides (K.541605)   ; 19 specimens, same data as previ- ous, in alcohol (K.377925 alcohol) possibly also include some V. capricornia   n. sp   .

Diagnosis. This species can be distinguished from other species of the genus by the number of pairs of styli (four or five), the high incidence of notal scales with wide rib spacing, the posterior combs of the nota composed of only a single macrochaeta, the almost straight posterior margin to urosternite IX in the male and the presence of 1–4 combs of two macrochaetae on each side of the meso- and meta-nota.

Description. Medium size silverfish, thorax at pronotum about one fifth wider than abdomen which only tapers slightly posteriorly from about the fifth abdominal segment. Mottled grey/brown. Antennae and terminal filaments mostly darker with just the end of each repeating section without pigment ( Figs. 2 View FIGURES 1–4 , 94 View FIGURES 94–106 ).

H+B length up to 9.2 mm; thorax: length 3.0 mm or 0.31 H+B (range 0.28–0.34); width up to 2.1 mm with pro- and meta-nota slightly narrower than the mesonotum; antennae when intact about ¾ H+B; terminal filaments when intact also about ⅔ H+B.

Pigment orange-brownish on antennae, dark brown-almost black in other areas. Flagellum of antennae mostly pigmented with only the most distal annulus and a little of the adjacent annulus in each repeating interval without pigment so that the pigmented regions occupy about ⅞ of each interval distally; pedicel and scape with patches of dark pigment. Terminal filaments almost evenly dark with just a lighter region around the ring of macrochaetae in the apical annulus of each division. Head with pigment around eyes, along lateral margins and with the peri-antennal group of macrochaetae. Clypeus, labrum without pigment. Mandibles with strong blotchy pigment externally. Maxillary palp with dark pigment on the sides of each article, with the penultimate especially strongly and almost completely pigmented. Labial palp with strong pigment present around the margins of the ultimate, penultimate and second articles; maxilla also pigmented externally posterior to the palp. Anterior margin of pronotum with pigment among the setal collar and with lighter pigment along the lateral quarter of each notum. Presternum with pigment along the line of macrochaetae. Prothoracic sternum with light pigment. Trochanter with dark posterior patch of pigment, femur with very dark pigment along margins, especially distally, and some on the ventral face, tibia with darker pigment dorsally darker both distally and proximally but not medially on PI and PII but more complete on PIII, also strong on the postero-distal corner. Tarsi with first article darkly pigmented except for its base, other articles also with some pigment. Urotergite X, coxites IX and laterally on coxites VIII strongly and evenly pigmented. Styli IX with moderate pigment except for basal region and the apex. Apices of parameres pigmented. Some individuals however have very little pigment but still matching the pattern described here.

Macrochaetae smooth, straw coloured to hyaline, apically bifurcate, some with truncated tips to each bifurcation ( Fig. 95 View FIGURES 94–106 ). Some macrochaetae on tibia, stout carrot-shaped ( Fig. 96 View FIGURES 94–106 ).

Round scales variable in size, usually longer than wide ( Fig. 97 View FIGURES 94–106 ), mostly hyaline ventrally, dorsal scales with light brown ribs, the rib spacing on scales quite diverse with some scales having very wide spacings between the ribs, while others have the ribs quite close together. Scales with very wide rib spacings easy to find, especially on the prothorax. Hyaline triangular scales present on femora and tibia, second article of maxillary palp and abdominal styli, scape and sometimes a few on the inner face of the pedicel; clypeus with wide variety of scales, most narrow triangular, some with rounded ends and occasionally also lanceolate scales. Lanceolate scales present on the basal divisions of all terminal filaments. See also description of scales for Visma aff. brigalowsum   below.

Head wider than long ( Fig. 98 View FIGURES 94–106 ), without distinct bushes. Frons with glabrous anterior margin, the round scales large and overhanging the margin, lateral margin with dense strong macrochaetae about three rows wide behind the antennae reducing to a single row by the antero-lateral corner, the peri-antennal group wider medially with 4–7 macrochaetae, three cilia and (probably) a long thin trichobothrium at the mediad end. Clypeus with 1+1 lines of a few stronger macrochaetae in the proximal lateral corners, face with a few setae and many cilia and scales of variable form. Labrum short with many strong macrochaetae in a row across the proximal face, medial region with long fine setae and setulae and the usual line of six fine setae.

Scape and pedicel of antenna ( Fig. 99 View FIGURES 94–106 ) with scales on lateral faces, both with a subapical ring of strong setae and some cilia on the pedicel. Basal seven annuli of the flagellum each with a single row of setae with at least one small trichobothrium per row, intervals from seventh begin to divide into two, then three annuli until the twelfth where four distinct annuli are visible, each annulus with ring of setae and cilia, trichobothria limited to the distal most annulus of each interval, the long cilia most numerous on the ultimate annulus but also present on the second annulus. In the mid region of the antenna the basal most annulus of each interval may have two rings of setae. Most distal surviving intervals (probably about three quarters the length of the antenna) ( Fig. 100 View FIGURES 94–106 ) divided into repeated patterns of eight annuli, each with a ring of setae, the most distal annulus of each interval with at least one but probably two short trichobothria, fine setae and basiconic sensilla types A and B.

Mandibles typical for Heterolepismatinae   ( Figs. 101, 102 View FIGURES 94–106 ) with well-developed incisor and smaller molar areas; a group of about eight short robust macrochaetae and about eight thinner apically bifurcate setae distal of molar area and a bush of about 90 macrochaetae externally. Maxilla ( Figs. 103, 104 View FIGURES 94–106 ) with 3–4 thick apically bifurcate macrochaetae externally proximal to the palp; lacinia with two or three strong teeth, the smallest, when present, set further back than the other two, followed by about six lamellate processes and a row of 8–9 setae, galea with two stronger setae proximally but otherwise with only short fine cilia; apical article of maxillary palp 4.1 times longer than wide (range 2.8–5.1) and about the same length as the penultimate article (range 0.81–1.17), the ultimate article with at least two slender simple branched papillae with very short arms and one basiconic sensilla (type C) near the apex, last three articles of palp with fine setae only, two basal articles with subapical rings of thicker setae. Labium ( Fig. 105 View FIGURES 94–106 ) much wider than long, postmentum with strong setae arranged in an irregular row across the anterior third, prementum with transverse and oblique groups of strong setae and with short curved setulae distally; apical article of labial palp ( Fig. 106 View FIGURES 94–106 ) sub-rectangular, a little wider than long (L/ W 0.77, range 0.65–0.93), with five papillae of the compact type arranged in an offset line, with the second and fourth slightly more proximal to the other three, no other sensilla seen; distally with numerous fine short setae, those proximal and medial longer than those distal with many curled setae; penultimate article triangular, basal article with group of stronger setae on anterior face.

Pronotum ( Fig. 107 View FIGURES 107–115 ) with setal collar of short apically bifurcate macrochaetae and some small setulae and cilia, only about two macrochaetae wide and only one wide in the mid region; lateral margins with many short strong macrochaetae and occasional cilia and about four submarginal combs, the most anterior two in groups of two macrochaetae not very close to each other. Anterior trichobothrium about 0.47 along the margin (range 0.43–0.50), sometimes with a submarginal macrochaeta a little posterior of it, with two or three setulae but otherwise without any special chaetotaxy ( Fig. 108 View FIGURES 107–115 ). The posterior trichobothrium mediad of a submarginal macrochaeta insertion with a setula and a cilium ( Fig. 109 View FIGURES 107–115 ). Posterior margin with 1+1 single macrochaeta ( Fig. 110 View FIGURES 107–115 ), each associated with 2–3 cilia or setulae; this macrochaeta easily seen under the old cuticle in a moulting specimen (K.541601 from Mt Moffatt) is not trichobothrium-like, but apically bifurcate similar to those on the lateral margins. Mesonotum ( Figs. 111, 112 View FIGURES 107–115 ) with similar lateral chaetotaxy to pronotum except 1–4 combs anterior to the anterior trichobothrial area consisting of two macrochaetae, most combs associated with 1–3 setulae posterior to the comb as well as 1–2 cilia; the anterior trichobothrial area located about ⅔ along the margin with a macrochaeta mediad of the trichobothrium and the posterior area as in the pronotum; the 1+1 posterior combs consist of a single insertion point plus three cilia/setulae insertions however all macrochaetae are lost in all dissected type specimens. Metanotum ( Figs. 113, 114 View FIGURES 107–115 ) similar to mesonotum except the anterior trichobothrial area lacking the macrochaeta mediad of the trichobothrium.

Presternum narrow, with dense transverse row of strong macrochaetae ( Fig. 115 View FIGURES 107–115 ) about two to three macrochaetae wide as well as some cilia, the setae at each end not bifurcated. All thoracic sterna free with hyaline round scales. Prothoracic sternum large trapezoidal with fine setae along the whole length of the lateral margins with those in the postero-lateral corners somewhat stronger, posterior corners each with 1–4 large setae slightly back from the margins usually with two forming a comb in the more anterior position and one (or even two) more posterior and mediad, glabrous along the posterior margin, about as wide at base as long (L/ W 0.94 range 0.89–0.99). Mesosternum ( Fig. 116 View FIGURES 116–125 ) also trapezoidal, almost as long as wide (L/ W 0.94 range 0.89–1.00), with 1+1 submarginal posterolateral combs each of just 1–2 macrochaetae and rarely an additional, more posterior macrochaeta, with a glabrous region between, fine setae and some cilia along the posterior half of the outer margins. Metasternum ( Fig. 117 View FIGURES 116–125 ) also trapezoidal much wider than long (L/ W0.69 range 0.64–0.74), with 1+1 combs each of 1–2 macrochaetae submarginally in the posterolateral corners and a stronger marginal seta more posterior, with a glabrous region between, small setae and some cilia along the posterior half of the outer margins.

Legs ( Figs. 115 View FIGURES 107–115 , 118, 119 View FIGURES 116–125 ) progressively longer anterior to posterior with the tibia of PIII being 1.9 times longer than that of PI (range 1.7–2.3) and the tarsi of PIII being 1.4 times longer than that of PI (range 1.4–1.6). Tibia L /W ratio of legs PI 2.4 (range 1.9–2.8), PII 2.8 (range 2.3–3.1), PIII 3.8 (range 3.5–4.4); tarsi L/W ratio PI 5.7 (range 5.2–6.4), PII 7.4 (range 6.8–8.1), PIII 10.7 (range 8.6–12.1). Precoxa of PI ( Fig. 115 View FIGURES 107–115 ) with comb of 4–6 macrochaetae on the laterad corner. Coxa of PI without strong comb in anterior “shoulder” position. Outer margin with numerous long macrochaetae in rows two to three macrochaetae wide; inner margin with about five macrochaetae in the distal third along with several long fine setae dorsally in distal quarter, another five or six setae distally over the articulation. Trochanter with long fine setae as well as two thin macrochaetae. Femur ventrally with several macrochaetae along the posterior and distal margins; anterior margin with a strong seta about two thirds distally and another insertion point nearer to the distal end, ventral surface with fine setae in the posterior third while the rest is covered with a dense layer of triangular scales which are very prominent along the anterior margin. Tibia of PI with a strong carrot-shaped macrochaeta distally which is almost as long as the apical spur as well as several smaller strong setae along the ventral margin plus a carrot-shaped macrochaeta about one third the distance along the ventral margin, dorsal or outer margin with two macrochaetae almost equally spaced along the length; apical spur distinctly hooked and bearing several small setae; face of tibia also with setae, some quite long as well as numerous triangular scales on the outer half. Tibia of PII and PIII with 1–2 carrot-shaped macrochaetae distally on the ventral face, each about as long as the apical spur; long thin trichobothrium like seta not observed on tibia III of material from type locality but present on other specimens e.g. K.541532 from Miriam Vale. Tarsi of four articles, the basal tarsal article of PI not quite as long as the remaining articles together and only about as long on PIII, bearing some stronger setae below and numerous smaller setae; second article shorter with two longer stronger setae below as well as several other thinner setae plus a trichobothrium-like hair about as long as the article, third article also short and with two stronger plus several finer setae but lacking a trichobothrium, last article with several setae. Pretarsus with two curved lateral claws and a shorter straight medial claw   .

Urotergites I with 2+2 combs (lacking submedial), each comb of two macrochaetae associated with one larger and one smaller marginal seta, four setulae and two cilia. Urotergites II–VII with 3+3 small combs as shown in Table 4, each lateral comb associated with two marginal setae, 2–3 cilia, one laterad of the comb, the others usually anterior to and between the insertions and 3–7 setulae between the combs and the margins, each sublateral comb with 2–3 macrochaetae, 2–3 cilia and 2–5 setulae, each submedial comb with one macrochaeta, two cilia and a single setula ( Figs. 120–122 View FIGURES 116–125 ); urotergite VIII with 2+2 combs, lacking the sublateral comb, each lateral comb of two macrochaetae associated with two marginal setae, two cilia and 3–4 setulae; urotergite IX without combs but with a cilium and 3–4 small setae in each infralateral corner ( Fig. 123 View FIGURES 116–125 ). Urotergite X ( Figs. 124, 125 View FIGURES 116–125 ) round, short (L/ W 0.33 range 0.30–0.35) with numerous macrochaetae, setae and cilia along the lateral and slightly away from the margins, posterior margin may be glabrous for a short region in the middle or not; lacking posterolateral macrochaetae.

Urosternite I glabrous, urosternites II– V ( Figs. 126, 127 View FIGURES 126–135 ) with 1+1 lateral macrochaetae each associated with a laterad cilium and two setulae, urosternites VI – VII ( VIII in male) entire with 1+1 lateral combs of a single macrochaeta mediad to each stylus ( Figs. 128, 129 View FIGURES 126–135 ), each macrochaeta associated with several setulae and possibly a cilium, the corner laterad to each stylus with 1–2 marginal setae, sometimes a cilium and 0–2 setulae; the posterior margins of urosternites I– VII slightly concave; urosternite VIII in females divided into separate coxites each with a single macrochaeta mediad of the stylus insertion and several small setae on either side of the insertion. Posterior margin of urosternite VIII in male with straight or very slightly concave or convex posterior margin. Styli usually present in four pairs i.e. on urosternites VI – IX, although one specimen from the type locality (K.377830) has an additional pair on urosternite V as do specimens K.541542 from Lake Nuga Nuga and three specimens from Mt Moffatt (K.541584, K.541585 and K.541583). The styli on segments VI – VIII less than half the length of the styli on coxites IX, but still armed with several strong setae apically   .

Coxite IX of ♀ ( Fig. 130 View FIGURES 126–135 ), the internal process acute apically, more than four times longer than the external process (range 4.1–4.7) and 1.8 times longer than wide at its base (range 1.6–2.1), external and internal margins of both internal and rounded external process with several moderately strong macrochaetae. Ovipositor long about 2.5 times as long as HW (range 2.4–2.8) surpassing the end of the inner process of coxite IX by about four times the length of the inner process, composed of about 43 divisions (range 39–48). Distal divisions of gonapophyses ( Figs. 132, 133 View FIGURES 126–135 ) with only fine setae and some shorter rod-like setae.

Cerci ( Fig. 134 View FIGURES 126–135 ) with basal divisions shorter than wide then progressively longer with one ring of small setae and several trichobothria until about the fifth and sixth divisions when two rings are present, the more basal mostly with lanceolate scales and a couple of trichobothria and possibly some small setae; the more distal ring with macrochaetae, setae, cilia and trichobothria. Subsequent few division with four rings, the basal three with lanceolate scales and trichobothria, the ultimate ring similar to those on the proceeding divisions but longer and stronger; eight rings present from about the tenth division; divisions beyond eleventh lost in dissected material. Median dorsal appendage ( Fig. 134 View FIGURES 126–135 ) with basal two or three divisions covered by the well pigmented epiproct, the next division also short with only a single ring of long setae and some trichobothria, next three divisions increasingly longer with two rings, with lanceolate scales, a couple of small setae and trichobothria in the basal ring, and macrochaetae, setae, trichobothria and cilia (similar to cerci) in the apical ring. Subsequent divisions with four then eight rings, with the lanceolate scales apparently restricted to every second ring but most obvious in the basal-most ring.

Each coxite IX ( Fig. 135 View FIGURES 126–135 ) of ♂ with several strong macrochaetae along the inner and outer margins of the inner process and apically plus laterally on the outer process; the internal process acute, about 1.3 times longer than wide at its base (range 1.27–1.38) and 3.6 times as long as the outer process (range 3.1–4.0) which is shorter than wide at its base (L/ W 0.6) and rounded. Styli IX long with several stronger setae distally and along the shaft, the stylus (excluding the apical macrochaetae) just over twice the length of the internal process. Penis typical with numerous glandular setae apically, each set on a protuberance. Parameres long, conical, divided into two segments, with about 20–30 long thin setae.

Habitat. Type series collected by spraying the bark of brigalow ( Acacia harpophylla F.Muell. ex Benth.   ). Other specimens were collected by applying pyrethrum spray to the bark of Ironbark trees ( Eucalyptus sideroxylon A.Cunn. ex Woolls   ), soft-barked eucalypts in open forest and unspecified trees in wet sclerophyll forest.

Etymology. Name based on the common name of the tree from which the type series was collected.


Queensland Museum


Paleontological Institute


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute