Howickia hardyina (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 : 49-52

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia hardyina (Richards)


Howickia hardyina (Richards)

( Figs. 3.9 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 12.1–12.9 View FIGURES 12.1–12.5 )

Leptocera (Biroina) hardyina Richards, 1973: 347 .

Biroina hardyina (Richards) , Marshall, 1989: 602; Roháček et al., 2001: 125.

Howickia hardyina (Richards) , Marshall et al., 2014.

Description. Body length: Males 2.3–3.1 mm, females 2.2–3.2 mm.

Head: Brown, dull except frontal vitta, lower third of frons orange extending upwards along orbital plates, dark brown at level of ocelli and slightly on top of orbital plates, frontal vitta reddish; frontal vitta and orbital plates with pale microtrichia; gena caramel brown; antenna orange. Frontal width 2.3x interfrontal height. Two pairs of moderately large interfrontal bristles preceded by a smaller pair 0.5x length of posterior pairs; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.6x length of posterior bristles. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 1–2 slightly smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half densely microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Face with small flattened triangle along ventromedial margin; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 larger preapical seta. Eye height 2.8x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, posterolateral edge thinly lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; anepimeron with lighter ventral spot. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 7–8 rows of short, rather stout acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, semicircular, its length 0.7x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 2.0x length of basal pair.

Legs: Brown, tibiae proximally paler; tarsi brown. Male mid tibia with a small apicoventral bristles and 2 rows of stout ventral setae, mid femur with 2 corresponding rows of strong proximoventral setae. Basal half of mid tibia with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Weakly infuscate, darkest along anterior half. CS2 slightly shorter than CS3. R 2+3 sinuate, distal curve stronger than basal curve, meeting costa at an angle of 70˚; R 4+5 upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa extending far past R 4+5 (7x costal width). Halter pale; knob white; stem pale brown.

Male abdomen: Brown, lighter and slightly desclerotized along anterior edge, shiny despite medial patch of microtrichia, uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. S5 broad (width 2.0x length), heavily microtrichose, long-setose along posterolateral corners with large, densely setulose, posteromedial desclerotized emargination with many stout setae medially and a row of 17–18 short, flat teeth flanked on either side by patches of incurved setae. Epandrium large, bulging and uniformly long-setose; cercus slightly expanded, subrectangular with 1 long sinuate seta and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially strongly sinuate; ventral lobe small, elongate, largely desclerotized and extending from main part at a 120˚ angle; posterodorsal lobe sinuate. Surstylus club-shaped, laterally very densely long-setose with several enlarged setae along ventral margin and a large, incurved posteroventral thorn-like seta. Postgonite elongate, curved forward, proximally with a pair of small anterior setulae, constricted rather strongly about midlength and very gradually expanding towards apex with numerous minute anterior setulae, apex truncate. Phallapodeme strongly downcurved anteriorly with a slight posteroventral lobe; basiphallus short, sinuate, and truncate. Distiphallus largely tubular, tapered, basal two-thirds sclerotized with apical third membranous, 2 triangular dorsal lobes about midlength, apex split into 2 diverging, whip-like membranous filaments.

Female abdomen: Brown, margins often desclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 large, uniformly longsetose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae, S2–5 relatively small, square, uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae. Preabdomen subequal in length to thorax. Postabdomen long, slender, 2.7x length of T5. T6 reduced to large, L-shaped, lateral plates, each bearing 4 apical setae and a small dorsomedial seta; T7 reduced to narrow, L-shaped plates each bearing 5 apical setae. Epiproct rounded with a small posteromedial emargination and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setae. Cercus elongate with 5 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 3 lateral and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 reduced to “hollow” bell-shaped plates, anteriorly bare and shining, posteriorly microtrichose and bearing a row of 10 setae. S8 a large plate with a slight anteromedial emargination, anteromedially shining and bare, posteriorly microtrichose with a patch of larger setae. Hypoproct rectangular and posteriorly microtrichose with a row of setae. Spermathecae stout, egg-shaped and entirely lightly grooved; stem subequal in length to spermatheca and cylindrical.

Type material. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Blue Mountains, Mount Wilson , emerged from agaric,, D.K. McAlpine (♂, AMSA) . Holotype and paratype photos provided by Natalie Tees, AMSA .

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Blue Mountains, Mount Wilson , emerged from agaric, 14.iv.1959, D.K. McAlpine (1 ♀, AMSA); Katoomba, 31.xii.1957, G.H. Hardy (1 ♀, AMSA) .

Material examined. AUSTRALIA: Australian Capital Territory: Gibraltar Creek , 18.x.1967, Z. Liepa (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Mount Gingera , 19.xi.1969, D.H. Colless (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Pearce’s Creek , 900m, at light, 12.xii.1966, I.F.B. Common (1 ♀, ANIC) . New South Wales: Bruxner Park , 8 km N Coffs Harbour, 140 m, rainforest, flightintercept trap,–25.viii.1982, S. Peck (3 ♂, DEBU) ; 8’ ton top, 8’ton House , 1250 ft, 16.vii.1978, S. & J. Peck (19 ♂, 35 ♀, DEBU) ; 16 km NW of Milton, Porter’s Dam Road , 9.ii.1974, Z. Liepa (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Bateman’s Bay , carrion trap, 28.v–, S. & J. Peck (6 ♀, DEBU) ; Bruxner National Park, N Coffs Harbour , 200 m, rainforest, 9–15.vii.1978, S. & J. Peck (7 ♂, 16 ♀, DEBU) ; Conargo, Billabong Creek , 23–30.iv.1978, Z. Liepa (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Kyogle , 1000 m, Nothofagus forest, 9.vii.1978, S. & J. Peck (2 ♂, 1 ♀, DEBU) ; Macquarie Pass , light trap, 9.x.1969, Common & Upton (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Royal National Park, Sydney , rainforest, carrion traps, 5–, S. & J. Peck (7 ♂, 4 ♀ DEBU) ; Victoria: Acheron Gap , 16 km N Warburton, 750 m, Nothofagus grove, carrion, 28.iv–7.v.1978, S. & J. Peck (1 ♂, 1 ♀, DEBU) ; Lind National Park , 21 km W Cann River, 500 m, carrion trap, 18–25.v.1978, S. & J. Peck (1 ♂, 2 ♀, DEBU) ; Mallacoola National Park , temperate rainforest “cal.”, 21–26.v.1978, S. & J. Peck (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Warburton, Cement Creek , 200 m, 28.iv–7.v.1978, S. Peck (3 ♂, 1 ♀, DEBU) .

Comments. Howickia hardyina is externally similar to the sympatric H. percostata , with both species having been collected from similar localities in NSW and VIC. Howickia hardyina can be differentiated from H. percostata by the presence of a single pair of dorsocentral bristles, three pairs of interfrontal setae, and the unique male and female terminalia. Two of the type specimens are labelled as “emerged from agaric”, but it was not noted whether the mushroom was fresh or decomposing. Still, it is a significant rearing record that gives a rare clue to larval habits of Howickia species.


Albany Museum


Australian National Insect Collection


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph














Howickia hardyina (Richards)

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

Biroina hardyina (Richards)

Rohacek, J. & Marshall, S. A. & Norrbom, A. L. & Buck, M. & Quiros, D. I. & Smith, I. 2001: 125
Marshall, S. A. 1989: 602

Leptocera (Biroina) hardyina

Richards, O. W. 1973: 347
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