Howickia australis (Papp) 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 : 106-108

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia australis (Papp)

comb. nov.

Howickia australis (Papp) View in CoL comb. nov.

( Figs. 30.1–30.8 View FIGURES 30.1–30.5 )

Apterobiroina australis Papp, 1979: 370–372 View in CoL ; Roháček et al., 2001: 117; Papp, 2021: 105 View Cited Treatment .

Description. Body length: Males 1.8–2.2 mm, females 2.0– 2.5 mm.

Head: Yellow-orange and shiny except strips between orbital plate and interfrontal stripe darker orange and rugose; gena pale yellow; antenna yellow. Frontal width 1.5x interfrontal height, frontal vitta broad. Three pairs of small, fine interfrontal setae; 1 lateroclinate orbital seta. Gena with strong but fine upcurved bristle and 2–3 smaller setae, finely rugose, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 1 smaller seta. Palpus clavate with 2 large apical setae. Eye height 3.0x genal height.

Thorax: Dark reddish-brown; scutum shiny despite fine brown microtrichia, posterolateral edges reddish. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 6–7 rows long, fine of acrostichal setulae. Prosternum broad, anteriorly truncate. Scutellum shiny but heavily microtrichose, reddish, rectangular, its length 0.3x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long and all along posterior edge, basal pair 1.2x length of apical pair.

Legs: Dark brown, femora distally and tibiae both proximally and distally yellow; tarsi yellow. 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 present, small, entirely dark brown.

Male abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny, postabdomen reddish-brown. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly longsetose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. S5 broad but short (width 5.0x length), asymmetrical (right side 1.5x longer than left), sparsely setose with a posteromedial desclerotized lobe bearing 6 large anterior setae, 3 short medial setae and a posterior row of 12 short, flat teeth. Epandrium large, flattened, angled posteroventrally and uniformly long-setose; cercus enlarged, rectangular with 3 enlarged inner setae (ventral one largest) and a lateral patch of fine setae. Hypandrium gently sinuate medially; ventral lobe small, triangular; posterodorsal lobe elongate. Surstylus bilobed: anterior lobe rectangular with a few ventrolateral setae; posterior lobe constricted basally, apically expanded into a rectangle with many stout ventrolateral setae and 2 very large inner thorn-like setae. Postgonite broad, subtriangular, proximally with a pair of anterior setulae, apex gently tapered to a point. Phallapodeme elongate, gently curved with a large dorsal fin along anterior half; basiphallus elongate, arms slightly broadened and rounded. Distiphallus simple, sinuate, sharply constricted at midlength when angled downwards, apex bifurcated.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny. T2–5 and S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen short, stout, 2.1x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to small, L-shaped plates, each bearing 3 apical setae. Epiproct rectangular with all corners emarginated and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setae. Cercus elongate, triangular with 2 long sinuate setae (1 apical and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to “hollow” bell-shaped plates, anteriorly bare and shining, posteriorly microtrichose with rows of 6–8 setae. S8 a broad microtrichose plate with a very deep anteromedial emargination and bearing a preapical pair of setae. Hypoproct semicircular, microtrichose with a posterior row of setae. Spermathecae elongate, egg-shaped, and strongly grooved; stem short (0.5–0.6x length of spermatheca) and cylindrical.

Type material. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Victoria: Mount Buller, Mirimbah , 10.viii.1972, P. Zwick (♂, MHNG) . Holotype photos provided by Bernard Landry, MHNG .

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Victoria: near Warburton, Mount Donna Buang, Cement Creek , 4.vii.1972, P. Zwick (2 ♂, 1 ♀); same data as holotype (2 ♂). All paratypes are deposited in MHNG except two males in HNHM .

Material examined. AUSTRALIA: Victoria: Acheron Gap, 16 km NE Warburton, 750 m, carrion trap, 28.iv–7.v.1978, S. Peck (5 ♂, 4 ♀, DEBU); Warburton, Cement Creek , 200 m, 28.iv–7.v.1978, S. Peck (2 ♂, 1 ♀, DEBU) .

Comments. Apterobiroina was erected as a genus by Papp (1979) and described as generally similar to “ Biroina ” (= Howickia ), from which it was distinguished by the presence of two orbital setae, small ocelli, and an absence of frontal stripes. Papp described this genus as probably “a derivative of the hypothetical common ancestor of Biroina Richards and Apterobiroina gen. n. ”. In other words, he believed this genus to be the sister group of Howickia , from which it could be distinguished by the shape of the prosternum (wide in Apterobiroina and more linear in Howickia ). However, all features that Papp considered as differentiating Apterobiroina from Howickia are common features of wingless Howickia ; Marshall et al. (2014) suggested the synonymy of this genus with Howickia but delayed formally synonymizing Apterobiroina under Howickia pending a revision of the Australian species of Howickia . Examination of the male terminalia of the type species ( Apterobiroina australis ) shows a tab-like posteromedial lobe on S5, homologous with similar lobes on other species in the H. irwini species group, and a tripartite hypandrium like that of all Howickia . Apterobiroina australis is thus confirmed as a species of Howickia , and Apterobiroina is therefore a junior synonym of Howickia .


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Hungarian Natural History Museum (Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum)


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph














Howickia australis (Papp)

Kuwahara, Gregory K. & Marshall, Stephen A. 2022

Apterobiroina australis

Papp, L. 2021: 105
Rohacek, J. & Marshall, S. A. & Norrbom, A. L. & Buck, M. & Quiros, D. I. & Smith, I. 2001: 117
Papp, L. 1979: 372
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