Howickia pertusa, 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 : 67-70

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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scientific name

Howickia pertusa

sp. nov.

Howickia pertusa View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 3.14 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 17.1–17.9 View FIGURES 17.1–17.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 2.2–3.5 mm, females 3.0– 3.9 mm.

Head: Dark brown, lower third of frontal vitta and area between interfrontal plates and orbital plates orange, ocellar triangle slightly reddish, orbital plate narrowly reddish; frontal vitta, interfrontal plates and orbital plates with pale microtrichia; gena reddish-brown; antenna brown. Frontal width 2.1x interfrontal height, frontal vitta rather broad. 2–3 pairs of large interfrontal bristles, preceded by a smaller pair (0.7x length of posterior pairs); 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.7x length of posterior bristles. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 5–6 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Face shiny with a very small flattened triangle along ventromedial margin; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 larger preapical seta. Eye height 2.4x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite microtrichia, lateral edge reddish and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; katepisternum with lighter posterior spot, anepimeron with lighter ventral spot. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 7–8 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, subtriangular, its length 0.6x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 1.5x length of basal pair.

Legs: Brown, tibiae proximally pale brown; tarsi brown. Male mid tibia with a large 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 4 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 2 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Strongly infuscate; inner surface of vein R 1 white, all others light brown. CS2 subequal to CS3. R 2+3 sinuate, curves roughly symmetrical, distal curve meeting costa at an angle of 50˚; R 4+5 gently upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa extending past R 4+5 (4x costal width). Halter pale; knob brown and apically white; stem pale brown.

Male abdomen: Brown, heavily sclerotized, shiny. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly long-setose with setae socketed along posterior edge of greatly enlarged punctures, giving a dimpled appearance; S2 slightly desclerotized around the edges. S5 broad (width 1.8x length), shiny, very densely long-setose with characteristic enlarged punctures with preapical, posteromedial desclerotized strip anterior to several small setulae without large punctures and a row of 14 short, flat, uneven teeth. Epandrium rather small, compressed and sparsely long-setose; cercus bulging, subquadrate with 1 very long sinuate seta and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially rather short, stout and curved apically; ventral lobe stout, projecting from main part at an angle of 90˚; posterodorsal lobe evenly curved and originating from just anterior to connection with arms to medial part. Surstylus subquadrate, rather thick with many long lateral setae, several enlarged ventrolateral setae and 2 large ventral thorn-like setae. Postgonite broad, L-shaped, tapered with flattened ventral portion bifurcated apically. Phallapodeme very strongly sinuate, apical half curved into almost a half circle resembling a question mark, apex truncate; basiphallus stout, rectangular. Distiphallus simple, tubular, slightly sinuate.

Female abdomen: Brown to dark brown, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire length with slightly larger posterolateral setae, S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface; pleural membrane with small setal patch. Preabdomen subequal to length of head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, narrow, 3.7x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to paired, elongate plates which may be joined posteriorly and each bearing a posterior row of 3–4 setae. Epiproct rounded with a slight central constriction and bearing 3 unpaired dorsomedial setae. Cercus rectangular with 3 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 1 lateral and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to paired elongate plates which may be joined posteriorly and each bearing a posterior row of 5–6 setae. S8 an ovoid, entirely microtrichose plate with a dense, posterior patch of setae. Hypoproct rounded, posteriorly microtrichose with a patch of setae. Spermathecae stout, spherical and finely grooved; stem subequal in length to spermatheca and cylindrical.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Weldborough Rainforest , pans, 11–13.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall, debu00246936 (♂, TMAG).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Cuckoo Falls, 4 km E Scottsdale, along Falls Road , along creek, pans/ some dung, 14.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (9 ♀, TMAG, DEBU) ; Hellyer Gorge , 41˚16’24”S 145˚36’55”E, rainforest, pans, 18–20.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (8 ♂, TMAG, DEBU) ; same data as holotype (2 ♂, TMAG) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, dung pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (4 ♂, TMAG, DEBU) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (2 ♂, TMAG, DEBU) .

Other material examined: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Araluen, Sheepstation Creek , 24.xi.1973, Kelsey & Liepa (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Clyde Mountain , 730 m, 21.ix.1960, I.F.B. Common & M.S. Upton (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Ulong, Ashton’s Eco Retreat , 30˚13’47”S 152˚55’12”E, dung, 22.iii.2019, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Tasmania: Cuckoo Falls, 4 km E Scottsdale, along Falls Road , 14.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (3 ♂, DEBU) ; Cuckoo Falls, 4 km E Scottsdale, along Falls Road , along creek, pans/some dung, 14.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (135 ♂, 31 ♀, DEBU) ; Scottsdale , 20 km W, near creek, dung pans, 13–14.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (20 ♂, DEBU) .

Etymology. This name is in refers to the enlarged punctures surrounding the setae on male sternite 5, causing it to appear perforated (Latin ‘pertusa’: leaky, perforated).

Comments. Howickia pertusa is externally similar to H. acicula , H. biantenna , and H. grandisterna . However, it differs from H. acicula and H. grandisterna in having a single pair of dorsocentral bristles and eight rows of acrostichal setulae, and from H. biantenna in having four dorsal setae in the proximal half of the mid tibia. Male genitalia also differ significantly.


Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Australian National Insect Collection













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