Marsipococcus christopheri Joshi

Joshi, Sunil, 2020, A new species of Marsipococcus Cockerell & Bueker (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha Coccidae) infesting Piper nigrum L. in India, Zootaxa 4820 (3), pp. 572-580: 573-578

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Marsipococcus christopheri Joshi

sp. n.

Marsipococcus christopheri Joshi   sp. n.

( Figs 1 A View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 and 3 View FIGURE 3 )

Type material. Holotype: adult female on a slide together with two paratype ♀♀, holotype indicated by encircling with permanent marker: INDIA, Kovoor, Calicut / 11.2706° N, 75.8312° E / on Piper nigrum   L. / 25.iii.2019 / Sunil Joshi leg. [ ICAR / NBAIR / COCCIDAE   /Marsipo/2532019].

Paratypes: 2 ♀♀ on slide with holotype ♀, data same as holotype; also 1 slide with 3 first-instar nymphs   .

Description of adult female. Described from 3 specimens, 2 in good condition, third specimen dissected for extraction of first-instar nymphs, so ventral derm partially lost.

Unmounted material ( Fig. 1 A View FIGURE 1 ). Adult female mostly flat but slightly convex in median area; pear shaped with posterior half widest; extremities rounded. Median area reddish, mottled with dark purple brown, with four paired, irregular rectangular depressions, arranged in linear fashion on either side of mid-dorsal line. Median reddish area with a diffuse yellow border that merges into the transparent submarginal and marginal area. Fine, whitish marginal setae visible to the naked eye against dark green leaf; pale yellow spiracular furrows sharply distinct from the darker marginal area. Eyes minute, black, situated in dorsal submargin.

Slide-mounted adult female ( Fig. 2A View FIGURE 2 ). Body pear-shaped, broadest at abdomen, 4.6–4.9 mm long and 3.2–3.7 mm wide. Stigmatic clefts distinct and moderately deep; anal cleft closely appressed, about 1/6 th to 1/9 th of total body length.

Dorsum. Derm membranous except for inner margins of stigmatic clefts and area around anal plates, which are heavily sclerotised; derm with a darkly stained median area formed of many small, irregularly shaped sclerotized patches; also with faint radial lines extending mesad from margins as follows: 7–9 anteriorly on head between stigmatic clefts; 1 from each cleft; 1–3 on each side of thorax between clefts, and 11–12 on each side of abdomen. Dorsal setae very small ( Fig. 2 B View FIGURE 2 ), setose, slightly curved, often erect so difficult to measure, each 2.0–4.0 μm long, restricted to submedial area anterior to anal plates; these setae often each situated next to a simple pore. Dorsal pores of two types, both present throughout dorsum but more numerous in medial areas of abdomen and thorax, some also present on head: (i) simple pores ( Fig. 2 C View FIGURE 2 ) each 1.5–2.0 μm wide, without inner filaments, scattered throughout, but less numerous than type two pores; (ii) pores each with a long inner filament ( Fig. 2 D View FIGURE 2 ), each pore 4.0–5.0 μm wide, situated in paler areas of derm. Preopecular pores absent. Dorsal tubercles and tubular ducts absent. Anal plates together approximately quadrate ( Fig. 2 E View FIGURE 2 ), with rounded outer angles, combined width 125–130 μm, each plate 150–165 μm long, with a seta on inner margin near apex, about 5.0–7.5 μm long, and another near apex on outer margin, 9–13 μm long; apical seta longer, about 12–15 μm long. Anogenital fold ( Fig. 2 F View FIGURE 2 ) with 1 pair of setae on anterior margin, each seta 10.0–12.5 μm long, and 2 pairs on lateral margins, those at anterior end each 22.5–30.0 μm long, and those at posterior end each 37.5–45.0 μm long. Anal ring ( Fig. 2 G View FIGURE 2 ) 30–32 μm wide, with two rows of pores on anterior rim and 3–4 rows of pores on lateral and posterior rims; bearing 6 setae, each seta 75–85 μm long.

Margin. Marginal setae spinose ( Fig. 2 H View FIGURE 2 ), sharply pointed, some slightly curved at apex, each 22.5–45.0 μm long, with a broad basal socket; setae arranged in a row, abundant, each side with 66–73 setae between apex of head and anterior stigmatic cleft; and, on each side, 25–29 setae between stigmatic clefts, and 67–75 setae between posterior stigmatic cleft and anal cleft. A marginal line of sclerotised pores ( Fig. 2 I View FIGURE 2 ) often present associated with basal sockets of marginal setae, with a pore situated near bases of every third or fourth seta; with, on each side, 18–24 pores between apex and anterior stigmatic cleft; 6–8 pores between stigmatic clefts, and 20–22 pores between posterior stigmatic cleft and anal cleft. Each stigmatic cleft deep, crescent shaped, with inner margin sclerotised, and with 2 stigmatic spines of similar length, each 22.5–30 μm long ( Fig. 2 J View FIGURE 2 ), each spine with parallel sides and a rounded apex. Eyespots placed well onto dorsum, each situated approximately dorsad to antennal base, 250–260 μm from level of antennal bases and 500–550 μm from margin.

Venter. Derm entirely membranous except for having outer ends of stigmatic furrows sclerotised. Pregenital disc pores absent. Spiracular disc pores each 4.0–5.0 μm wide, with 3, 4 or 5 loculi ( Fig. 2 K View FIGURE 2 ), some pores surrounded by a sclerotised ring, others not; present in bands 1–3 pores wide, each band in a sclerotised stigmatic groove near margin; each anterior band with 22–39 pores and each posterior band with 24–35 pores. Preantennal pore absent. Ventral tubular ducts absent. Ventral setae: frequent submarginally ( Fig. 2 L View FIGURE 2 ), each about 2.5 μm long, with about 17–18 setae between anterior stigmatic clefts and with 3–7 setae on each side between anterior and posterior stigmatic clefts and 11–28 between posterior stigmatic clefts; a pair of moderately long setae present on pregenital segment VII, each 62.5–65.0 μm long, plus a rather smaller pair on each of proceeding 2 segments, each seta measuring 50.0–52.5 μm and 42.5–45 μm, respectively; also with 2 setae on either side of anterior end of anal cleft, one seta measuring 40–42 μm on the mid-dorsal line, opposite to meso- and metacoxa, and 1 short seta near each procoxa posterior to mouthparts. Interantennal setae numbering 3 pairs, shortest 15–16 μm long, medium-sized one mea-suring 35.0–37.5 μm and longest, 67.5–72.5 μm long. Ventral setae on derm setose, sparse, each 5.0–7.5 μm long, more frequent on submedian area of abdomen ( Fig. 2 M View FIGURE 2 ). Antennae ( Fig. 2 N View FIGURE 2 ) well developed, each 6 segmented, third segment with one or two pseudo-articulations; total length 252–275 μm, third segment longest, 100–110 μm long. Setal distribution on antenna: scape 3, pedicel 2, segment III 3, IV 0, V 1 with fleshy seta; apical segment with 3 fleshy setae, 3 stiff setae and 2 hair-like setae; terminal stiff seta 22.5–27.5 μm long. Clypeolabral shield 75–80 μm long, with 1 pair of setae, each seta 40–45 μm long; labium with 4 pairs of setae, longest seta 25–30 μm long. Spiracles moderately large; width of peritremes: anterior 47.5–50.0 μm, posterior 50.0–52.5 μm. Legs well devel-oped ( Fig. 2 O View FIGURE 2 ), segmentation between tibia and tarsus obscure; total length of metathoracic leg 510–578 μm (coxa 100–115 μm, trochanter+femur 205–220 μm, tibia+tarsus 190–225 μm, claw 15.0–17.5 μm). Setal distribution on hind leg: coxa with 5 setae, longest about 36 μm long; trochanter with 2, longest about 78 μm; femur with 2, tibia + tarsus with 6; tarsal digitules similar, both much longer than claw, each about 50.0–52.5 μm long; claw without a denticle, claw digitules similar, each about 32.5–37.5 μm long. Ventral microducts ( Fig. 2 P View FIGURE 2 ) few, very sparse throughout, most frequent in submarginal zone between stigmatic clefts, each duct with a long inner ductule, pore oval and minute.

Comment. Marsipococcus christopheri   sp. n. can be easily separated from M. marsupialis   by (character states of M. marsupialis   given in parenthesis): absence of ventral multilocular disc pores, dorsal propercular pores and ventral tubular ducts (all three characters present). It can be distinguished from M. ulubendulensis   by (character states of M. ulubendulensis   given in parenthesis): marginal setae spinose (lanceolate) and ventral tubular ducts absent (present).

Description of the first-instar nymph ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ). Described from 3 specimens in fair condition.

Unmounted material. Not seen, as these were extracted from within an adult female specimen that had been macerated by heating in 10% KOH.

Slide-mounted material. Body elongate oval ( Fig. 3 A View FIGURE 3 ), rounded at both ends, length 450–570 μm, width 240290 μm.

Dorsum. Derm membranous, stigmatic areas sclerotized and with light sclerotization anterior to anal plates. Dorsal setae minute ( Fig. 3 B View FIGURE 3 ), each about 2 μm long; with 4 pairs in medial area (1 pair on each of meso- and meta-thorax; 1 pair between stigmatic clefts and 1 pair on head). Dorsal pores of 2 types: 1 trilocular pore ( Fig. 3C View FIGURE 3 ) on marginal area near each eye. Minute simple pores ( Fig. 3 D View FIGURE 3 ) forming a submarginal line, with 4 pairs on head, 4 pairs on thorax and 7 on abdomen; also abdomen with 1 pair in median area. Microducts each with single inner ductule ( Fig. 3 E View FIGURE 3 ) numbering 4 pairs associated with simple pores, situated as follows: 1 pair on median area of abdomen, 2 pairs on thorax and 1 pair on head just anterior to mouthparts. A narrow, transverse sclerotised band present on dorsum just anterior to anal plates. Anal plates elongate ( Fig. 3 F View FIGURE 3 ), combined width 38–52 μm; dorsal surface of anal plate with interlocking irregular sclerotized areas forming a zigzag pattern. Each anal plate 40–55 μm long, with an apical seta 200–245 μm long; inner margin of each plate with a long seta near apex, about 20 μm long, also a short seta medially plus another short seta near apex on outer margin, these setae each measuring 12–15 μm long. Anal fold ( Fig. 3 G View FIGURE 3 ) with one seta on each anterolateral corner, each 10–12 μm long, and another seta on each lateral margin, 15–25 μm long. Anal ring ( Fig. 3 H View FIGURE 3 ) 20–22 μm wide, with 2 rows of pores and 6 setae, each seta 75–80 μm long.

Margin. Marginal setae strongly setose ( Fig. 3 I View FIGURE 3 ), each 8–10 μm long; numbering 12–13 setae around head between anterior stigmatic clefts; and, on each side, with 2 setae between stigmatic areas and 7–8 setae between posterior stigmatic cleft and anal cleft. Stigmatic clefts shallow, each with a distinct strip of sclerotisation connecting 2 large stigmatic setae ( Fig. 3 J View FIGURE 3 ), these clearly differentiated from marginal setae; each stigmatic seta clavate with rounded apex, anterior seta 27–47 μm long. Eyespots not seen.

Venter. Derm membranous. Spiracular disc pores ( Fig. 3 K View FIGURE 3 ) each with 5 loculi and surrounded by a poorly sclerotized ring, present in a line between spiracle and margin, each line containing 4 disc pores. Three segmental pairs of microducts ( Fig. 3 L View FIGURE 3 ) observed, on submargins of abdominal segments II–IV, and 1 additional pair present between first and second pair of legs. Ventral setae: with a pair of long setae medially on abdominal segment VII, each seta 25–30 μm long; each abdominal segment with a small submarginal seta ( Fig. 3 M View FIGURE 3 ) present on either side; each mesothoracic and metathoracic coxa with 2 long setae present anteromedially; and 1 pair of interantennal setae present, each seta 15–18 μm long. Antennae ( Fig. 3 N View FIGURE 3 ) well developed, each 6 segmented, total antennal length 125–155 μm with third segment longest, about 50–70 μm long. Setal distribution on each antenna as follows: scape with 3 hair-like setae; pedicel with 2 long hair-like setae; segment III with 3 setose setae, longest seta 55–85 μm; IV with 1 short setose seta; V with 1 fleshy seta and 1 setose seta; and VI with 3 fleshy setae, 3 long setae (including apical seta), 2 short hair-like setae and 1 stiff seta; apical seta 60–70 μm long. Clypeolabral shield 75–80 μm long, with 1 pair of short clypeal setae. Labium with 4 pairs of slender setae. Spiracles small, each peritreme 5.0–7.0 μm wide. Legs ( Fig. 3 O View FIGURE 3 ) 5 segmented, subequal in length, prothoracic leg 185–200 μm long, mesothoracic 180–210 μm long, and metathoracic 186–215 μm long. Lengths of metathoracic leg segments: coxa 30.0–37.5 μm, trochanter + femur 62–70 μm, tibia 47–50 μm, tarsus 35–45 μm, claw 12–13 μm. Setal distribution on metathoracic leg: coxa with 4 setae; trochanter with 2, the longest 20–27 μm long; femur with 2 short setae, tibia with 3 setae, distal margin of tibia with a series of spine-like setae, and tarsus with 3 or 4 setae. Tarsal digitules dissimilar and offset on all legs, with proximal digitule long (40–47 μm), and stout distal digitule smaller (16–19 μm) and flagellate; on meso- and metathoracic legs, distal digitule much shorter and narrower but both digitules longer than claw; on prothoracic legs, distal digitule short and setose. Claws each without a denticle; claw digitules similar, each 13–15 μm long.

Etymology. The species is named in honour of Christopher J. Hodgson, who has contributed immensely to our understanding of the soft scale family Coccidae   .

Comment. When describing the first-instar nymph of M. ulubendulensis, Łagowska et al. (2017)   listed the species of the Paralecaniini   for which descriptions of the first-instar nymphs were available. The first-instar nymph of M. christopheri   sp. n. is similar to that of M. ulubendulensis   but differs by its smaller body size, and in having (character states of M. ulubendulensis   given in parenthesis): a sclerotized spiracular cleft (unsclerotised); dorsal surface of anal plate with an interlocking sclerotized area, forming a zigzag pattern (zigzag pattern absent); size of anterior and posterior spiracular setae similar (seta sizes different); spiracular setae with rounded apices (truncate); and claw digitules similar to each other (claw digitules different from each other).

While describing the type species of the genus Marsipococcus Cockerell & Bueker, Hodgson (1994)   examined specimens of M. marsupialis   collected on pepper leaves ( Piper nigrum   , Piperaceae   ) from Calicut, Kerala, India. Coincidently, M. christopheri   sp. n. was collected also in Calicut on pepper. However, in life adult female M. christopheri   sp. n. can be easily separated from M. marsupialis   as the former is smaller and lacks the dark inverted V-shaped mark anterior to the anal plate; this mark was not mentioned by Green (1904) in his description of unmounted material of M. marsupialis   , but shows clearly in Fig. 1 B View FIGURE 1 .