Howickia nitidipleura (Richards)

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 : 60-63

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia nitidipleura (Richards)


Howickia nitidipleura (Richards) View in CoL

( Figs. 3.12 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 15.1–15.9 View FIGURES 15.1–15.5 )

Leptocera (Biroina) nitidipleura Richards, 1973: 336 View in CoL .

Biroina nitidipleura (Richards) View in CoL , Marshall, 1989: 602; Roháček et al., 2001: 126.

Howickia nitidipleura (Richards) View in CoL , Marshall et al., 2014.

Description. Body length: Males 3.1–4.3 mm, females 3.3–5.5 mm.

Head: Gold-orange, frontal vitta and areas below orbital bristles yellow, interfrontal plates slightly darkened; gena yellow; antenna yellow. Frontal width 1.8 x interfrontal height. Three pairs of moderate interfrontal bristles preceded by a slightly smaller pair (0.7x length of posterior); 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.8x length of posterior bristle. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 7–8 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower quarter microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 3 subvibrissal setae. Face with a small flattened triangle along ventromedial third; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 large preapical seta. Eye height 2.2x genal height.

Thorax: Black; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, posterolateral edge thinly lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; katepisternum with lighter posterior spot. Two pairs of dorsocentral bristles (anterior pair 0.5x length of posterior pair); 9–10 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, large, semicircular, its length 0.7x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 1.3x length of basal pair.

Legs: Dark brown, femora distally and tibiae proximally and distally pale brown; basitarsus of fore leg brown, distal 4 white, tarsi of other legs pale brown. Male mid tibia with a stout apicoventral bristle and 2 rows of fine ventral setae, mid femur with 2 corresponding rows of fine proximoventral setae. Basal half of mid tibia with 7 dorsal bristles (4 anterodorsal and 3 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Patterned; membrane infuscate with dark spots at crossveins. CS2 slightly longer than CS3. R 2+3 strongly sinuate, basal curve straight towards costa before curving away slightly, distal curve meeting costa at an angle of 80˚; R 4+5 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: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–4 uniformly long-setose in posterior half with very long posterolateral setae. S5 broad (width 2.5x length), heavily microtrichose, longsetose along posterolateral corners with posteromedially desclerotized triangle with many small stout setae, laterally with much longer setae. Epandrium rather small, squarish, and very densely microtrichose and long-setose; cercus slightly expanded, subquadrate with 1 very long seta and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially sinuate; ventral lobe broad apically, curved and extending from main part from the back edge causing it to extend posteriorly rather than ventrally; posterodorsal lobe sinuate apically narrowed. Surstylus bilobed: anterior lobe rectangular with many ventral setulae and several larger ventral setae; posterior lobe subrectangular with 5 large curved setae along anteroventral edge and 1 large, isolated medioventral seta. Postgonite elongate, slightly sinuate, proximally with a pair of anterior setulae just above a small triangular lateral lobe, apical two-third broadened, apex rounded. Phallapodeme gently curved with a large dorsal fin on anterior half; basiphallus elongate, L-shaped, with a shorter horizontal proximal third and apical two-thirds tapered. Distiphallus tubular, elongate, sinuate, moderately sclerotized, apically scoop-like with a small dorsal extension.

Female abdomen: Black, 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 head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, 3.9x length of T5. T6 relatively welldeveloped, present as a shining, M-shaped plate with 4 apical setae; T7 reduced to a pair of shining, elongate plates, each bearing 2 apical setae. Epiproct rectangular, medially split into 2 pieces and dorsomedially bearing a pair of setae. Cercus subtriangular with 5 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 2 lateral and 2 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 relatively well-developed, present as a shining, M-shaped plate with 4 apical setae; S7 reduced to a pair of shining, elongate plates joined anteriorly, each bearing 2 apical setae. S8 reduced to a large triangular plate, anteromedially shining and bare, laterally highly desclerotized and posteriorly microtrichose. Hypoproct small, subrectangular, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of setae. Spermathecae stout, spherical but somewhat compressed and lightly grooved; stem elongate (2.0–3.0x length of spermatheca) and gently tapered with many small, evenly distributed bumps in the apical third.

Type material. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: National Park , 14.x.1956, D.K. McAlpine (♂, AMSA).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Blue Mountains, Mount Wilson , 2.iii.1957, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂); Blue Mountains, Mount Wilson , 23.ix.1961, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂); Blue Mountains, Wentworth Falls , 20.ii.1959, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); Minnamurra Falls , 23.x.1962, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); National Park , 10.ix.1955, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); National Park , 13.iv.1957, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); National Park , 3.xi.1956, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); National Park , 30.viii.1957, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂); National Park , 31.viii.1957, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂); near Gosford, Mooney Mooney Creek , 9.xi.1957, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); Otford , 10.ii.1962, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂, 1 ♀); Otford , 3.ii.1962, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); Otford , 3.iii.1962, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); Otford , 4.iv.1954, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♂); Otford , 4.iv.1958, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀); Otford , 8.xii.1958, D.K. McAlpine (2 ♂); same data as holotype (1 ♀). All in AMSA except 1 ♂ and 1 ♀ now in BMNH . (Paratype photos from AMSA provided by Natalie Tees, AMSA) .

Material examined. AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Bartle Frere , 17˚23’S 145˚48’E, 1000 m, boulder cave, dung trap, 29–30.xi.1998, G.B. Monteith (2 ♂, 7 ♀, QMBA) ; Bellenden Ker , top station, 17˚16’S 145˚51’E, 1500 m, automatic dung trap, 5:30am–6:15pm, 30.xi–2.xii.1998, Monteith & Cook (6 ♂, 13 ♀, QMBA) ; Bellenden Ker , top station, 17˚16’S 145˚51’E, 1500 m, automatic dung trap, 6:15–7:15 pm, 30.xi–2.xii.1998, Monteith & Cook (1 ♂, 4 ♀, QMBA) ; Bellenden Ker , top station, 17˚16’S 145˚51’E, 1500 m, automatic dung trap, 7:15 pm–4:30am, 30.xi–2.xii.1998, Monteith & Cook (2 ♂, 5 ♀, QMBA) ; Bellenden Ker , top station, 17˚16’S 145˚51’E, 1500 m, dung traps, 30.xi–2.xii.1998, Monteith & Cook (4 ♂, 4 ♀, QMBA) ; Mount Kooroomool , 7 km S summit, 17˚54’S 145˚41’E, 1050 m, dung trap (dusk), 4.xii.1998, G.B. Monteith (12 ♂, 5 ♀, QMBA) ; Mount Kooroomool , 7 km S summit, 17˚54’S 145˚41’E, 1050 m, dung trap (night/dawn), 3–4.xii.1998, G.B. Monteith (1 ♀, QMBA) ; Sluice Creek , 17˚32’S 145˚32’E, 1100 m, rainforest, dung trap, 14–17.iv.1999, G.B. & S.R. Monteith (1 ♂, 1 ♀, QMBA) ; The Millstream , 10 km NNE Ravenshoe, 17˚32’S 145˚31’E, 1040 m, rainforest, fish pitfall, 3–5.ii.1999, Monteith & Cook (4 ♂, 2 ♀, QMBA) .

Comments. Howickia nitidipleura is externally similar to both H. myrmecophila and H. erythrocephala . All three species are large with a red-orange head and patterned wings but H. nitidipleura is distinguished from H. myrmecophila by its white apical fore tarsomeres, weakly patterned wings (having spots largely restricted to the crossveins), shining anepisternum, and male mid tibia without a row of apicoventral setae and differs from H. erythrocephala in having a white fore tarsus (completely dark in H. erythrocephala ) and a pale halter. H. nitidipleura is one of the largest species of Howickia (along with H. myrmecophila ), with females reaching up to 5.5 mm in length.














Howickia nitidipleura (Richards)

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

Biroina nitidipleura (Richards)

Rohacek, J. & Marshall, S. A. & Norrbom, A. L. & Buck, M. & Quiros, D. I. & Smith, I. 2001: 126
Marshall, S. A. 1989: 602

Leptocera (Biroina) nitidipleura

Richards, O. W. 1973: 336
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