Howickia pseudovittata, 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 : 70-73

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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scientific name

Howickia pseudovittata

sp. nov.

Howickia pseudovittata View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 3.15 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 18.1–18.9 View FIGURES 18.1–18.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 1.8–3.5 mm, females 2.5–3.9 mm.

Head: Dark brown, lower third of frons orange extending upwards along and around interfrontal plates, frontal vitta and orbital plates dark reddish-brown; interfrontal plates with yellowish microtrichia, frontal vitta and orbital plates with pale microtrichia, microtrichia extends from orbital plates to meet top of frontal vitta (M-shape); gena dark brown, anterior edge reddish; antenna orange. Frontal width 1.8x interfrontal height. Three pairs of large interfrontal bristles, preceded by a slightly smaller pair (0.7x length of posterior pairs); 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.7x length of posterior bristles. Gena with very strong upcurved bristle and 7–8 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 3 subvibrissal setae. Face with a small flattened triangular groove along ventromedial margin; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 larger preapical seta. Eye height 3.5x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, posterolateral edge thinly lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; katepisternum with lighter posterior spot, anepimeron with lighter ventral spot. Three pairs of dorsocentral bristles (anterior 2 pairs 0.3–0.4x length of posterior pair); 11–12 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, large, subtriangular, its length 0.7x 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 2 rows of stout ventral setae along apical half, mid femur with 2 corresponding rows of strong proximoventral setae. Basal half of mid tibia with 6 dorsal bristles (3 anterodorsal and 3 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Weakly infuscate, darkest along anterior third. CS2 subequal to CS3. R 2+3 gently sinuate, distal and basal curves roughly equal, distal curve meeting costa at an angle of 60˚; R 4+5 gently upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa ending at R 4+5. Halter pale; knob brown and apically white; stem pale brown.

Male abdomen: Dark brown, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly longsetose with large posterolateral setae. S5 broad (width 3.0x length), heavily microtrichose, densely long-setose along posterior half, posteromedially largely desclerotized with many stout, rounded medial setulae above a row of 19–20 short, flat teeth. Epandrium large, wedge-shaped, and densely long-setose; cercus small, condensed into a subquadrate bulge with 2 very long sinuate setae and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially sinuate with broad truncate dorsal fin; ventral lobe small, triangular, projecting from main part at an angle of 70˚; posterodorsal lobe evenly curved and originating from the posterior edge of the medial part. Surstylus large, bilobed: anterior lobe subrectangular with numerous ventrolateral setulae and several larger inner setulae; posterior lobe subrectangular and slightly angled outwards from posterior lobe with a broad ventral brush of large stout setae. Postgonite elongate, slightly sinuate, proximally with a pair of anterior setulae, apically truncate and curved forwards with a small ventrolateral tab. Phallapodeme gently curved downwards, anterior half with a moderate dorsal fin; basiphallus elongate, gently curved with an arrow-shaped posterior edge. Distiphallus relatively simple, tubular, well-sclerotized with apex highly membranous and reticulated.

Female abdomen: Dark brown, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 uniformly long-setose in posterior two-thirds with large posterolateral setae, S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. Preabdomen subequal in length to thorax. Postabdomen elongate but stout, 3.5x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to stout, lateral plates, each bearing 3 apical setae. Epiproct rounded with a deep anteromedial emargination and dorsomedially bearing a pair of setae. Cercus subtriangular with 3 long sinuate setae (2 apical and 1 basolateral) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to “hollow” bell-shaped plates, anteriorly bare and shining, posteriorly microtrichose and bearing rows of 10 setae. S8 reduced to a subtriangular plate, anteromedially shining and bare, laterally highly desclerotized and posteriorly microtrichose with a patch of larger setae. Hypoproct deeply emarginated anteromedially, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of stout setae. Spermathecae elongate, curved and pickle-shaped with light indentations across entire surface; stem short (0.5x length of spermatheca) and cylindrical; paired spermathecae attached very close at stem branch so they are touching basally and apically.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Carnarvon National Park, Mount Moffat Section , base camp, dung pans, 11–12.x.2002, S.A. Marshall, debu00210998 (♂, QMBA).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: same data as holotype (11 ♂, 9 ♀, QMBA, DEBU) .

Other material examined: 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. (1 ♂, BIOUG) ; New South Wales: Blackheath, Hat Hill , 42˚30’S 141˚24’E, pans, 15–20.ii.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Blue Mountains (National Park), Blackheath , Hat Hill , 42˚30’S 141˚24’E, pans, 18–22.iii.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Crescent Head, Delicate Knobby, ForRest Cottage , 31˚15’53”S 152˚57’43”E, lower forest, dung, 25.iii.2019, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Queensland: Brisbane Forest Park, 27˚25’04”S 152˚49’48”E, Malaise in dry sclerophyll, 29.xi–5.xii.1997, N. Power (2 ♀, DEBU) ; Brisbane Forest Park, 27˚25’05”S 152˚50’13”E, Malaise over creek, 13–19.xii.1997, N. Power (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Carnarvon National Park, Mount Moffat Section, Maranoa River , east branch near Top Moffat Camp , 10–13.x.2002, J.M. Cumming (2 ♀, DEBU) ; Carnarvon National Park, Mount Moffat Section, One Mile Creek , dung pans, 9–10.x.2002, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, 9 ♀, DEBU) ; Carnarvon National Park, Mount Moffat Section , top camp, dung traps, 11.x.2002, S.A. Marshall (3 ♀, DEBU) ; Carnarvon National Park, Mount Moffat, Angelina Creek , 25˚03’58”S 148˚03’09”E, 675 m, Malaise over creek, 9–10.x.2002, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, 7 ♀, DEBU) ; Mareeba , 8 km N Mareeba, 17˚00’00”S 145˚15’36”E, flight-intercept trap Q, 6.ii.1997 (1 ♂, DEBU) ; 3 km NE of Mount Webb , 15˚01’48”S 145˚05’24”E, Malaise trap, 2.x.1980, D.H. Colless (2 ♀, ANIC) ; Nipping Gully , site 4, 25˚40’S 151˚26’E, 200 m, open forest, dung trap, 18–19.xii.1998, G.B. Monteith (5 ♀, QMBA) ; Tumoulin , 2.5 km NW, 17˚33’S 145˚26’E, 980 m, open forest, dung trap, 15–17.iv.1999, G.B. & S.R. Monteith (1 ♂, 1 ♀, QMBA) .

Etymology. This name is in reference to the microtrichia on the frons that gives the appearance of silvery stripes in some lights although the frons is not striped with colour (Greek ‘pseudes’: lying, false; Latin ‘vittatus’: banded, striped).

Comments. Howickia pseudovittata resembles H. subsinuata in the silvery stripes on the frons but only superficially because the stripes on the frons of H. subsinuata are created by cuticular pigmentation rather than microtrichia. Howickia pseudovittata can be further separated from H. subsinuata by the presence of four pairs of dorsocentral bristles (the anterior three pairs small but distinct from the surrounding acrostichals), very lightly infuscate wing, gently sinuate R 2+3, and the male tibia with a double row of stout apicoventral setae.


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Biodiversity Institute of Ontario


Australian National Insect Collection













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