Afroptera alba Mansell & Abdalla

Abdalla, Ishtiag H., Mansell, Mervyn W. & Sole, Catherine L., 2019, Revision of the southern African genera Nemopterella Banks and Nemia Navás (Neuroptera: Nemopteridae: Nemopterinae), with descriptions of new genera and species, Zootaxa 4635 (1), pp. 1-89: 30-32

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Afroptera alba Mansell & Abdalla

sp. nov.

Afroptera alba Mansell & Abdalla   sp. nov.

( Figs 43 View FIGURE 43 , 48 View FIGURES 46–49 , 57 View FIGURES 56–66 , 80 View FIGURES 79–86 , 154 View FIGURES 153–154 )

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word alba   (white) for the characteristic pale coloration of this species.

Type locality. NAMIBIA, Karas Region. Kwessiewater Farm , 24°52’34’’S 15°54’06’’E GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. This unique species is easily differentiated from all other species in Afroptera   by its small size, the whitish body appearance and unstriped body ( Fig. 43 View FIGURE 43 ).

Description. Size (mm). Male: body length 8.9 (8.6–9.3); forewing 20.5 (20–21.6); hind wing 46.6 (43.8–48.4); antenna 14.3 (12.8–15.3). Female: body length 9.7 (8.5–11.4); forewing 21 (20–22.8); hind wing 42.3 (39.6–46.9); antenna 10.3 (9.4–11.5). Holotype ♂. Body length 9.5; forewing 22.4; hind wing 48.1; antenna 15.3. (N = 10)

Head. Frons, clypeus light yellow. Genae and maxilla creamy white. Palpi light brown. Vertex light yellowish brown. Eyes small, black, widely separated. Antennae short, not reaching pterostigma, whitish yellow proximally, darkish brown distally with black setae. Terminal segment mainly membranous and approximately same length as penultimate segment ( Fig. 57 View FIGURES 56–66 ).

Thorax. White, heavily powdered, without distinct longitudinal mid and lateral stripes ( Fig. 48 View FIGURES 46–49 ). Fore and hind margins of pronotum with long white hairs and no black hairs. Sparse smooth white hairs present behind anterior hairs on fore margin. Distal lateral sides also with long white hairs. Whole mesonotum with white pubescence, markedly longer and denser on antero-lateral portions and on disc of prescutum than mesoscutum and mesoscutellum. Sides of mesoscutum naked except for a few short white hairs posteriorly on each side. Two tufts of long white hairs also present laterally on hind margin of the mesocutllum. Metanotum with two groups of long white hairs laterally on each side.

Forewings. Broad with sub-acute apex and distinct emargination before the apex ( Fig. 80 View FIGURES 79–86 ). Pterostigma brown, long but not reaching C. Venation light brown. Costa whitish. Subcosta and R creamy yellowish. Two thirds of Cx before pterostigma shaded with dark brown. Costal cells increasing in size towards pterostigma. Nineteen Cx before pterostigma in right wing, 20 in left. Nine crossveins between R and M before origin of Rs in right wing, 8 in left. Ten radial crossveins before pterostigma in right wing, 9 in left. Hind wings approximately double the length of forewings. Proximal portions and bases whitish yellow, creamy white to light brown in the middle with cells shaded brown. Area before dark area whitish with white cells. The dark area shorter than white area. Crossveins dark brown, longitudinal veins creamy white. Legs yellow with black setae, first tarsomere white, coxae pruinose, with short white hairs.

Abdomen. Predominantly white, highly pruinose with whitish yellow hind margin to tergites. The longitudinal mid and lateral stripes indistinct. Tergites covered in scattered long white hairs. Venter with short dense white hairs. Apex yellow with long black hairs.

Variation. The thorax in some female specimens with white hairs only, and some variation in the number of Cx.

Type material examined. NAMIBIA, Karas Region. Holotype ♂, Kwessiewater Farm, Namib Rand Game Park , 24°52’34’’S 15°54’06’’E, 900 m, 2–10.x.2011, C.H.Scholtz GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: 4♂ 5 ♀, same data as holotype. (All SANC) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution and habitat. Afroptera alba   is endemic to Namibia where its distribution is in the Namib Desert Eco-region ( Fig. 154 View FIGURES 153–154 ). The collection site is in the Namib Desert west of the Great Escarpment. The area is mostly gravel plains, sand dunes and scattered mountain outcrops, vegetated mostly by grasses, shrubs, and ephemeral plants near the escarpment with sparse trees ( Nicholson 2011).


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute