Howickia xanthocephala, 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 : 92-95

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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scientific name

Howickia xanthocephala

sp. nov.

Howickia xanthocephala View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 3.22 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 25.1–25.9 View FIGURES 25.1–25.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 1.9–2.6 mm, females 2.2–2.7 mm.

Head: Golden-yellow, darkened at level of ocelli and behind; areas between frontal vitta and interfrontal bristles and orbital plates with orange rugose strips; orbital plates and frontal vitta microtrichose; gena yellow; antenna yellow. Frontal width 1.9x interfrontal height. Four pairs of moderate interfrontal bristles, preceded by a slightly smaller pair (0.7x length of posterior pairs); 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.8x length of posterior bristle. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 4–5 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower third microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Face with a small flattened triangle along ventromedial margin; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 large preapical seta. Eye height 2.4x genal height.

Thorax: Black; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, lateral edges lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; katepisternum with lighter posterior spot. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 9–10 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum broadened, triangular. Scutellum microtrichose, subtriangular, its length 0.7x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 1.8x length of basal pair.

Legs: Dark brown, femora distally and tibiae proximally and distally pale brown; basitarsus of fore leg brown, distal 4 white, tarsi of other legs pale brown. Male mid tibia with a stout apicoventral bristle. Basal half of mid tibia with 5 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 3 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Strongly infuscate. CS2 0.5x length of CS3. R 2+3 very shallowly sinuate, very close to costa, almost parallel to costa for most of its length, distal curve meeting costa at an angle of 30˚; R 4+5 upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa extends slightly beyond R 4+5. Halter pale; knob brown and apically white; stem pale brown.

Male abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia, postabdomen slightly reddish. T2–5 and S2–4 heavily sclerotized, uniformly long-setose medially with larger posterolateral setae. S5 broad but short (width 4.0x length), asymmetrical (right side 1.5x longer than left), heavily microtrichose, long-setose along posterior half with fewer, shorter setae posteromedially. Epandrium rather small, hemispherical, and very long-setose; cercus rather small, subtriangular with several very long seta and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially slightly sinuate, relatively short; ventral lobe sinuate, narrow; posterodorsal lobe sinuate, short. Surstylus elongate and inverted-Y-shaped; anterior arm shorter and bare, posterior arm longer, slightly bent with several preapical setulae and a stout apical thorn-like seta. Postgonite elongate, sinuate, slightly broadened posteriorly about medial third, apex truncate. Phallapodeme slightly curved, broadened anteriorly; basiphallus small, arms greatly broadened and truncate. Distiphallus tubular, simple, sinuate, moderately sclerotized with a membranous apex.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane with many setae. Preabdomen slightly shorter in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, narrow, 2.4x length of T5. T6 reduced to a U-shaped plate bearing a posterior row of 7–8 setae; T7 fairly well-developed, present as an elongate plate with some central desclerotization and bearing a posterior row of 6 setae. Epiproct pentagonal and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setulae. Cercus subrectangular with 5 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 1 preapical, 2 lateral and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 fairly well-developed, present as rectangular plates with some central desclerotization and bearing posterior rows of 10 setae. S8 present as a broad, microtrichose plate with a preapical row of 6 setae. Hypoproct broad, rounded, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of 8 stout setae. Spermathecae stout, spherical and smooth; stem subequal in length to spermatheca and cylindrical.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Queensland: The Millstream , 10 km NNE Ravenshoe, 17˚32’S 145˚31’E, 1050 m, wet sclerophyll, dung trap, 14–17.iv.1999, G.B. & S.R. Monteith, debu00162271 (♂, QMBA).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Limpinwood Gardens , 28˚18’23”S 153˚12’22”E, 1.iv.2019, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Ulong, Ashton’s Eco Retreat , 30˚13’47”S 152˚55’12”E, dung, 22.iii.2019, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, 1 ♀, DEBU) ; Queensland: Arthur Baillie Road , 17˚41’S 145˚31’E, 1000 m, rainforest, automatic dung trap (dawn), 7–8.ii.1999, D.J. Cook (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Bartle Frere , 17˚23’S 145˚48’E, 1000 m, boulder cave, dung trap, 29–30.xi.1998, G.B. Monteith (6 ♂, 7 ♀, QMBA) ; Bartle Frere , west base, 17˚23’S 145˚46’E, automatic dung trap (day), 28–30.xi.1998, Monteith & Cook (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Lake Eacham, Chamber’s Lodge , 19˚35’S 142˚19’E, pan traps, 6–8.iv.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Longlands Gap , three-ways road junction, 17˚28’S 145˚29’E, 1060 m, wet sclerophyll, fungus pitfall, 3–6.ii.1999, Monteith & Cook (2 ♂, 2 ♀, QMBA) ; Millaa Millaa Falls , 17˚30’S 145˚37’E, 800 m, rainforest, fungus pitfall, 6–9.ii.1999, Monteith & Cook (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Mount Hugh Nelson , south base, 17˚31’S 145˚33’E, 1080 m, rainforest, dung pitfall, 7–9.ii.1999, G.B. Monteith (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Mount Kooroomool , 7 km S summit, 17˚54’S 145˚41’E, 1050 m, dung trap (dusk), 4.xii.1998, G.B. Monteith (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Nipping Gully , site 5, 25˚42’S 151˚26’E, 200 m, rainforest, dung trap, 18–19.1998, G.B. Monteith (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Ravenshoe , 3 km SW, 17˚38’S 145˚28’E, 860 m, open forest, automatic dung trap (night), 5–6.ii.1999, G.B. Monteith (2 ♀, QMBA) ; Ravenshoe , 9 km N, 17˚32’S 145˚29’E, 1060 m, wet sclerophyll, fungus pitfall, 3–5.ii.1999, Monteith & Cook (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Ravenshoe , 9.5 km N, 17˚32’S 145˚29’E, 1060 m, wet sclerophyll, fungus trap, 14–17.iv.1999, G. B. & S.R. Monteith (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Malanda , 3.5 km S, 17˚23’S 145˚36’E, 760 m, rainforest, fungus pitfall, 6–9.ii.1999, Monteith & Cook (4 ♂, QMBA) ; Sluice Creek , 17˚32;S 145˚32’E, 1100 m, rainforest, dung trap, 14–17.iv.1999, G.B. & S.R. Monteith (9 ♂, 3 ♀, QMBA) .

Etymology. This name is in reference to the bright yellow head of this species (Greek ‘xanthos’: yellow; ‘cephalon’: head).

Comments. Howickia xanthocephala resembles H. vernalis , but differs by the straighter R 2+3 (much more Sshaped in H. vernalis and sometimes with an appendage on the apical curve), mid tibia with five dorsal setae in the proximal half (only four in H. vernalis ), and white apical fore tarsi (brown in H. vernalis ).

Brachypterous species


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph













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