Howickia notechis, Kuwahara & Marshall, 2022

Kuwahara, Gregory K. & Marshall, Stephen A., 2022, A revision of the Australian species of Howickia Richards (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae: Limosininae), Zootaxa 5192 (1), pp. 1-152 : 129-132

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia notechis

sp. nov.

Howickia notechis View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 40.1–40.8 View FIGURES 40.1–40.5 )

Description. Body length: Male 2.7 mm, females 2.9–3.8 mm.

Head: Orange-brown, dull, orbital plate, interfrontal stripe and ocellar triangle brown, front of frontal vitta yellow; gena orange; antenna orange. Frontal width 1.8x interfrontal height, frontal vitta narrow. Two pairs of large interfrontal bristles preceded by a pair of smaller setae; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles plus anterior row of 6–7 small setulae, anterior bristle 0.7x length of posterior bristle. Gena with large upcurved bristle and 3 smaller upcurved setae, finely striate, shiny, lower third microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Palpus leaf-shaped and flattened with 1 large apical and 1 large preapical setae. Eye height 3.0x genal height.

Thorax: Black; scutum dull, posterolateral edges reddish-brown. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 6–7 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum broad, anteriorly acute. Scutellum heavily microtrichose, black with paler edges, rectangular, its length 0.5x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, basal pair 1.2x length of apical pair.

Legs: Dark brown, femora distally and tibiae both proximally and distally lighter; tarsi orange. Male mid tibia with a stout apicoventral bristle. Basal half of mid tibia with 2 dorsal bristles (1 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal), distal half with 2 dorsal bristles (1 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Halter present, small, entirely dark brown.

Male abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. S5 broad but short (width 4.0x length), asymmetrical (right side 1.3x longer than left), uniformly long-setose, posteromedially desclerotized with a dense patch of short setae anterior to a posterior row of 22 short, flat teeth. Epandrium large, hemispherical, and uniformly long-setose; cercus broad, rounded, microtrichose with several larger setae. Hypandrium medially upcurved; ventral lobe at a 75˚ angle, anterior (dorsal) edge sinuate; posterodorsal lobe elongate and apically bifurcated. Surstylus subquadrate, bulbous with a large, fang-like posteroventral thorn-like seta and a dense posterolateral patch of fine setae. Postgonite elongate, tapered gradually around midlength, curved forwards with a small apical setula. Phallapodeme elongate, arrowshaped (anterior apex broadened and abruptly constricted); basiphallus short, sinuate. Distiphallus divided into two distinct sections: basal half with a large, curved, triangular dorsal sclerite posteriorly connected to a flattened ventral sclerite via a pair of thin lateral sclerites; distal half with a V-shaped dorsal sclerite and a large upside-down-saddleshaped ventral sclerite articulating dorsally to support a two membranous apical lobes with numerous dorsoapical rows of small spicules.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 wide, uniformly longsetose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane bare. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, 3.2x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to U-shaped plates, sometimes further desclerotized posteromedially, bearing a posterior row of 8 setae. Epiproct pentagonal and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setae. Cercus elongate, subtriangular with 5 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 2 preapical, 1 dorsolateral and 1 mesial) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to broad U-shaped plates bearing a posterior row of 10 setae. S8 a broad microtrichose plate with a medial row of 4 setae. Hypoproct rounded microtrichose with a rounded posteromedial tab and a medial patch of 6 setae. Spermathecae elongate, bean-shaped and finely grooved; stem elongate (1.2x length of spermatheca), smoothly tapered apically and tapered basally in a step-wise fashion.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, dung pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall, debu00248207 (♂, TMAG).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: 8 km SW Waratah , 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, pans in tree fern crowns, 21–22.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, TMAG) ; 8 km SW Waratah , 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, pans, 20– 21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (2 ♀, TMAG, DEBU) ; same data as holotype (1 ♀, DEBU) .

Etymology. This name is in reference to the male surstylus which resembles the fangs of the Tasmanian tiger snake, Notechis scutatus (Latin ‘notos’: south; Latin ‘echis’: viper).

Comments. Howickia notechis is the largest wingless species of Howickia , rivaling many winged species of Howickia at 2.8–3.0 mm in body length. The presence of halters also distinguishes this species from most other wingless species, on other wingless species with halters ( H. australis , H. dodo , and H. loligo ) they are paler, at least apically.


Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph













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