Howickia wamini, 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 : 86-90

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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scientific name

Howickia wamini

sp. nov.

Howickia wamini View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 3.20 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 23.1–23.9 View FIGURES 23.1–23.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 1.9–2.5 mm, females 1.9–2.5 mm.

Head: Dark brown, lower margin of frons orange to about edge of frontal vitta; frontal vitta reddish; frontal vitta and orbital plates with pale microtrichia; gena brown; antenna brown. Frontal width 1.6x interfrontal height. 4–5 pairs of moderate interfrontal bristles; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.8x length of posterior bristle. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 7–8 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half pale brown microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 3 subvibrissal setae. Face with a small triangular groove along ventral margin; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 larger preapical seta. Eye height 1.9x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite microtrichia, lateral edge lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 7–8 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, subtriangular, its length 0.7x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 1.3x length of basal pair.

Legs: Brown, tibiae proximally slightly paler; tarsi brown. Male mid tibia with a small apicoventral bristle and 2 rows of stout ventral setae, mid femur with 2 corresponding rows of strong proximoventral setae. Basal half of mid tibia with 3 dorsal bristles (1 anterodorsal and 2 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Weakly infuscate. CS2 subequal to CS3. R 2+3 sinuate, curves roughly symmetrical, distal curve meeting costa at an angle of 40˚; R 4+5 upcurved, meeting costa before wing tip; costa extending well past R 4+5 (5x costal width). Halter pale; knob brown and apically pale; stem pale brown.

Male abdomen: Brown, relatively dull from dense microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–4 moderately sclerotized with edges of tergites slightly desclerotized, sparsely long-setose with large posterolateral setae. S5 subrectangular (width 1.5x length), microtrichose, sparsely long-setose along posterior edge, medially with a mushroom-shaped desclerotized patch above 1 or 2 rows of stout setae and a posteromedial row of 10–13 stout, flat teeth. Epandrium small, slightly flattened and uniformly long-setose; cercus slightly bulging, subrectangular with a few long setae. Hypandrium medially upcurved and relatively small; ventral lobe stout, triangular and slightly curved forwards; posterodorsal lobe strongly sinuate with a small apical knob. Surstylus bulbous, pear-shaped with many long, sinuate, apicolateral setae and a stout apical thorn-like seta. Postgonite elongate, broadest around proximal third before tapering gradually, apical third with several minute setulae along anterior edge, apex curved forwards into slight hook. Phallapodeme gently sinuate, simple; basiphallus elongate, arms broadened but truncate apically and angled downwards. Distiphallus rather simple, tubular with a large dorsal cup about midlength, apex split into 2 apically emarginated arms which each support a membranous apex.

Female abdomen: Brown, relatively dull from dense microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 moderately sclerotized with edges of tergite slightly desclerotized, uniformly long-setose in posterior two-thirds with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane with uniform setation. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, narrow, 3.4x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to thin, elongate, paired plates, each bearing 3 apical setae. Epiproct rectangular with a small posteromedial emargination and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setae. Cercus subtriangular with 4 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 2 lateral and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 relatively welldeveloped, present as microtrichose, trapezoidal plates with some anteromedial desclerotization and bearing a posterior row of 8 setae. S8 reduced to a trapezoidal, posteriorly microtrichose plate with medial patch of setae. Hypoproct pentagonal, microtrichose with a small anteromedial tab and an apical row of setae. Spermathecae stout, ovoid and finely grooved, basal third constricted and tapered; stem cylindrical, elongate (2.0x length of spermatheca) in the single spermatheca, short (0.9x length of spermatheca) in paired spermathecae.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Western Australia: Wrenwood Cottages , 10 km N Augusta, 34˚15’S 115˚01’E, paperbark grove, pans, 20–23.xi.2003, S.A. Marshall, debu00245864 (♂, WAM).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Australian Capital Territory: Canberra, Cook, 8 Moss Street , 35˚15’40”S 149˚03’32”E, 632 m, Malaise trap, 2–10.iv.2011, Hebert et al. (2 ♂, 1 ♀, BIOUG) ; New South Wales: Warrumbungle National Park , 500 m, near creek, dung traps, 26–27.iii.1999, S.A. Marshall (20 ♂, 11 ♀, AMSA, DEBU) ; Ulong, Ashton’s Eco Retreat , 30˚13’47”S 152˚55’12”E, dung, 22.iii.2019, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Queensland: Springbrook , pan traps, 9–10.iii.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Mount Glorious , Malaise trap, 27.iv–26.x.1989, A. Hiller (1 ♂, 1 ♀, QMBA) ; Tasmania: Mount Williams National Park, Stumpys Bay Campground, dry heath, pans, 12–13.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Western Australia: Augusta, Leeuwin–Naturaliste National Park, The Spring Trail , forest, dung traps, 19–22.vii.1980, S. & J. Peck (8 ♂, 26 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Fernhook Falls, 30 km N Walpole, Deep River shoreline, dung pans, 26–27.xi.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Peaceful Bay, Ficifolia Road & Nut Road, dry heath, pans, 28–30.xi.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, 1 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Augusta, Leeuwin–Naturaliste National Park, The Spring Trail , forest, dung traps, 19–22.vii.1980, S. & J. Peck (8 ♂, 26 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Fernhook Falls, 30 km N Walpole, Deep River shoreline, dung pans, 26–27.xi.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, WAM) ; Pemberton, Gloucester Tree , karri, dung cup traps, 5–9.vii.1980, S. & J. Peck (1 ♂, 2 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Porongurup National Park, Bolganup Creek , karri, dung trap, 8–, S. & J. Peck (21 ♂, 40 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; same data as holotype (15 ♂, 32 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Walpole– Nornalup National Park, Nornalup Beech Road , sand heath, flight-intercept trap, 29.vii.1980, S. & J. Peck (5 ♂, 7 ♀, WAM, DEBU) ; Walpole–Nornalup National Park , tingle tree forest, dung cup traps,, S.& J. Peck (2 ♂, 4 ♀, WAM, DEBU) .

Other material examined: Approximately 2000 further specimens from southwestern Western Australia, all collected by S. & J. Peck.

Etymology. This name has been used as a manuscript name for many years at the University of Guelph Insect Collection, as the species was initially discovered in Western Australia and externally resembled a species of Minilimosina Roháček, 1983 . This led to many specimens labeled as “W.A. Mini”, and then “ wamini ”. While many specimens of this species have been found outside of WA, the name has been in use for so long we find it useful to retain it as a random collection of letters treated as a noun in apposition.

Comments. Howickia wamini has the largest known range of any species of Howickia , with specimens collected from WA to NSW, and southern QLD to TAS. H. wamini is also the only winged species of Howickia known from WA, and may be the most commonly collected species of sphaerocerid in the state (with 2,200 specimens from WA in DEBU alone). Many of the paratypes of H. wamini were taken in dry heath or similarly xeric habitats, in contrast with the more usual mesic collecting localities for most species of Howickia . Other specimens of H. wamini are mostly from dung traps in a wide range of habitats.

Howickia wamini is externally similar to several other species of Howickia with brown heads and brown bodies, though H. wamini has the largest gena of any winged species of Howickia (eye height 1.9x genal height). Howickia percostata also has a large gena (eye height 2.1x genal height), but differs in having 2 pairs of dorsocentral bristles (1 pair in H. wamini ), 5 dorsal bristles in the basal half of the mid tibia (3 bristles in H. wamini ), and only 3 pairs of interfrontal setae (4–5 pairs in H. wamini ).


Western Australian Museum


Biodiversity Institute of Ontario


Albany Museum


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph













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