Howickia flagella, 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 : 115

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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scientific name

Howickia flagella

sp. nov.

Howickia flagella View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 34.1–34.8 View FIGURES 34.1–34.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 1.4–2.1 mm, females 1.7–2.3 mm.

Head: Pale yellow, shiny except strips between orbital plate and interfrontal stripe (orange and rugose); gena yellow; antenna yellow-brown. Frontal width 1.6x interfrontal height, frontal vitta narrow. Three pairs of moderate interfrontal bristles; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.6x length of posterior bristle. Gena with large upcurved bristle and 2 smaller setae, finely striate, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 1 subvibrissal seta. Palpus clavate with large apical seta. Eye height 2.7x genal height.

Thorax: Black; scutum shiny despite microtrichia, posterolateral edges reddish. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 6–7 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum broad, anteriorly acute. Scutellum shiny but heavily microtrichose, black, semicircular, its length 0.3x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, basal pair 1.1x length of apical pair.

Legs: Dark brown, femora distally and tibiae proximally lighter; fore tarsi white, hind tarsi yellow-brown. 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 absent.

Male abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny, postabdomen slightly orange-brown. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly long-setose along entire surface. S5 broad but short (width 4.0x length), asymmetrical (right side 1.3x longer than left), uniformly long-setose with a posteromedial row of 6 setae and a small tab-like posteromedial lobe above a slightly deflexed, rectangular, desclerotized posteromedial lobe bearing a posterior row of 14 short, flat teeth. Epandrium large, flattened, angled posteroventrally and uniformly long-setose; cercus slightly protruding, rounded with 1 long medial seta and a dense patch of fine setulae. Hypandrium medially thin, elongate, sinuate; ventral lobe small, triangular; posterodorsal lobe short, originating from posterior edge of medial part. Surstylus bilobed: anterior lobe C-shaped with a large apicolateral seta and several smaller setulae; posterior lobe elongate, angled ventrally, curved inwards with 2 large apical thorn-like setae and 2 smaller apical setae. Postgonite broad, slightly sinuate with a very slight apicolateral ridge. Phallapodeme curved, slightly sinuate apically; basiphallus short, capitate. Distiphallus rather simple, S-shaped, slightly desclerotized with basal two-thirds tubular and apical third scoop-like.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite some microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen short, stout, 2.7x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to short, lateral L-shaped plates, each bearing 3 apical setae. Epiproct subquadrate with a small posteromedial tab and dorsomedially bearing a pair of setae. Cercus short, subtriangular, apically diverging with 3 long sinuate setae (1 lateral, 1 apical and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to broad but short, microtrichose plates bearing a posterior row of 12 and 9–10 setae, respectively. S8 reduced to a stout, trapezoidal, microtrichose plate bearing a posterior row of 4 setae. Hypoproct broad, rounded, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of setae. Spermathecae stout, egg-shaped and deeply grooved; single spermathecal stem short, 0.5x length of spermatheca, paired spermathecae joined basally so stem is virtually non-existent.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Lamington National Park, Binna Burma , 900 m, Nothofagus grove, carrion trap, 23.v–7.viii.1978, S. & J. Peck (♂, QMBA).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Queensland: same data as holotype (18 ♂, 15 ♀, QMBA, DEBU); Springbrook , 30˚18’00”S 150˚35’24”E, pans, 9–10.iii.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) .

Other material examined: AUSTRALIA: Queensland: same data as holotype (15 ♂, 15 ♀, DEBU) ; Springbrook , 30˚18’00”S 150˚35’24”E, pans, 9–10.iii.1999, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Tasmania: 29.2 km WNW Maydena, Florentine Valley, on Eleven Road , 460 m, Nothofagus , 1–6.ii.1980, A. Newton & M. Thayer (1 ♀, ANIC) .

Etymology. This name refers to the thin, coiled male surstylus that resembles a tentacle (Latin ‘flagellum’: arm, tentacle).

Comments. The apparent disjunct distribution of H. flagella is unique among the wingless species of Howickia but needs confirmation as the record of this species from TAS is based on a single female specimen.


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


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