Howickia cynthia (Richards) 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 : 109

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia cynthia (Richards)

comb. nov.

Howickia cynthia (Richards) View in CoL comb. nov.

( Figs. 31.1–31.5 View FIGURES 31.1–31.5 )

Monteithiana cynthia Richards, 1973: 394 View in CoL ; Marshall, 1989: 604; Roháček et al., 2001: 172.

Description. Body length: Males 1.6–1.8 mm, female 1.8 mm.

Head: Reddish-brown, dull except frontal vitta (shiny despite some microtrichia); gena reddish and rugose; antenna brown. Frontal width 1.8x interfrontal height, frontal vitta broad. Four pairs of moderate interfrontal bristles; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.7x length of posterior bristle. Gena with 3 strong but fine upcurved setae, finely striate, shiny despite entire surface microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Palpus clavate with 2 large apical setae. Eye height 3.3x genal height.

Thorax: Black; scutum shiny despite fine brown microtrichia, posterior edge reddish. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 7–8 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum broad, anteriorly truncate. Scutellum shiny but heavily microtrichose, black, rectangular, its length 0.3x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, basal pair 1.1x length of apical pair.

Legs: Dark brown, tibiae proximally lighter; 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 lighter. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly longsetose along entire surface. S5 broad but short (width 3.5x length), asymmetrical (right side 1.3x longer than left), uniformly long-setose along posterior half with smaller setae within desclerotized posteromedial area. Epandrium large, flattened and uniformly long-setose; cercus slightly protruding, rounded with a very large sinuate seta, several smaller setae, and a dense ventral patch of fine setae. Hypandrium medially sinuate; ventral lobe at a 75˚ angle, apical half curved upwards into a J-shape; posterodorsal lobe elongate and sinuate. Surstylus densely long-setose, triangular with a small triangular anteroventral lobe and longer posteroventral lobe bearing a stout, curved apical thorn-like seta. Postgonite elongate, tapered and angled anteriorly in distal half. Phallapodeme curved, simple; basiphallus short, slightly broadened apically. Distiphallus divided into two distinct sections: basal half with a curved, triangular dorsal sclerite connected to a broad, sinuate ventral sclerite via a pair of large lateral sclerites; distal half with an M-shaped dorsal sclerite (medially bulbous with thinner arms) and an elongate sinuate ventral sclerite articulating ventrally to support a two membranous apical lobes with numerous dorsoapical rows of small spicules.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 wide, uniformly longsetose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane bare. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Female postabdomen not examined (see comments).

Type material. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Lake St. Clair , Cynthia Bay , 7–8.ii.1967, G. Monteith, T.7125 (♂, QMBA) . Holotype photos provided by Geoff Thompson, QMBA .

Paratypes: same data as holotype (1 ♂, QMBA) .

Material examined. AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: 0–10 km W Strathgordon, just N Mount Sprent , 290 m, 26.iv.1987, N.I. Platnick et al. (1 ♂, AMNH) ; 5 km NW Renison Bell , 180 m, rainforest litter, Berlese trap, 1.v.1987, N.I. Platnick et al. (1 ♂, AMNH) ; 6 km SE Strahan , litter from king fern rainforest, Berlese trap, 30.iv.1987, N.I. Platnick et al. (3 ♂, AMNH) ; Lake Saint Clair National Park, Mount Rufus , litter from beech eucalyptus forest, Berlese trap, 29.iv.1987, N.I. Platnick et al. (1 ♂, AMNH) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, dung pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) .

Comments. The only available female specimen was damaged and the terminalia could not be examined. Monteithiana was described by Richards (1973) and justified as a genus on the basis of its rectangular scutellum with four long bristles and its wide abdomen, characters that separate it from other apterous genera in his 1956 key to flightless genera. However, examination of both species of Monteithiana show that they have the defining tripartite hypandrium of Howickia , in addition to the two pairs of dorsal mid tibial bristles and bipartite surstyli with stout apicoventral setae that are found in most species of wingless Howickia . Monteithiana is therefore treated as a synonym of Howickia (see comments on H. dealata ).


American Museum of Natural History


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph














Howickia cynthia (Richards)

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

Monteithiana cynthia

Rohacek, J. & Marshall, S. A. & Norrbom, A. L. & Buck, M. & Quiros, D. I. & Smith, I. 2001: 172
Marshall, S. A. 1989: 604
Richards, O. W. 1973: 394
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