Howickia fuscalis (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 : 42-45

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia fuscalis (Richards)


Howickia fuscalis (Richards) View in CoL

( Figs. 3.7 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 10.1–10.9 View FIGURES 10.1–10.5 )

Leptocera (Biroina) fuscalis Richards, 1973: 338 View in CoL .

Biroina fuscalis (Richards) View in CoL , Marshall, 1989: 602; Roháček et al., 2001: 125.

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

Description. Body length: Males 1.4–1.6 mm, females 1.4–1.9 mm.

Head: Dark brown, shiny despite brown microtrichia, lower quarter of frons reddish extending upwards along orbital plates, frontal vitta dark reddish-brown; entire head uniformly microtrichose except two shiny spots on either side of ocellar triangle; gena reddish-brown; antenna orange. Frontal width 1.8x interfrontal height. Two pairs of large interfrontal bristles preceded by a smaller pair 0.5x length of posterior pairs; 2 lateroclinate orbital bristles, anterior bristle 0.7x length of posterior bristle. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 2–3 smaller setae, finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Face normal; palpus clavate with 2 large apical setae. Eye height 2.9x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, posterolateral edges lighter and with pale spots on posterior notopleural lobe; anepisternum with large shining bare patch. One pair of dorsocentral bristles; 7– 8 rows of short, somewhat stout acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Scutellum microtrichose, distinctly flattened, semicircular, its length 0.7x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 2.0x length of basal pair.

Legs: Dark brown, tibiae proximally paler; tarsi brown. Male mid tibia with a moderate apicoventral seta and 2 rows of short ventral setae along distal half, mid femur with 2 corresponding rows of strong proximoventral setae. Basal half of mid tibia with 4 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 2 posterodorsal), distal half with 3 dorsal bristles (2 anterodorsal and 1 posterodorsal).

Wing/halter: Strongly infuscate. CS2 0.8x length of CS3. R 2+3 sinuate, distal curve slightly stronger than basal curve; R 4+5 strongly upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa extending past R 4+5 (5x costal width). Halter dark; knob dark brown; stem brown.

Male abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 wide, sparsely long-setose along posterior two-thirds with large posterolateral setae, S2–4 sparsely long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane bare. S5 large, shiny, laterally sparsely long-setose, posteromedially with a patch of stout setae below a broad, T-shaped desclerotization with a row of 20 stout, flattened teeth along the posterior margin and 2 flanking tab bearing many fine, sinuate setae. Epandrium small, wedge-shaped, and sparsely longsetose; cercus flattened, rectangular with 2 long setae and numerous smaller setae. Hypandrium medially strongly sinuate; ventral lobe narrow, sinuate, largely membranous with many ventral spicules; posterodorsal lobe elongate, slightly sinuate. Surstylus bipartite: anterior lobe broad, rectangular with many lateral setulae; posteroventral lobe clavate, densely-setose apically with an especially large, ventral thorn-like seta. Postgonite elongate, gently tapered, and curved forwards in apical half, proximally with a pair of anterior setulae, distal quarter with numerous minute anterior setulae, apex curved forwards into a slight hook. Phallapodeme gently curved with anterior apex broadened; basiphallus short, arms broadened medially. Distiphallus relatively simple, tubular, largely desclerotized and slightly sinuate, apically with a wrinkled membrane covering apex.

Female abdomen: Black, heavily sclerotized, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 wide, sparsely long-setose along posterior two-thirds with large posterolateral setae, T4–5 elongated causing tip to be curved downwards, S2–5 uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane bare. Preabdomen slightly shorter in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, 2.7x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to a pair of L-shaped lateral plates, each bearing a posterior row of 3 setae. Epiproct rectangular with a slight posteromedial tab and dorsomedially bearing a pair of setae. Cercus subtriangular with 5 long sinuate setae (2 apical, 2 lateral and 1 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 fairly well-developed, present as rectangular plates with some anteromedial desclerotization and bearing posterior rows of 10 and 8 setae, respectively. S8 present as a broad, posteriorly microtrichose plate with a preapical row of 5–6 setae. Hypoproct rounded, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of 6 stout setae. Spermathecae stout, spherical and strongly grooved; stem subequal in length to spermatheca and cylindrical.

Type material. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Katoomba , 15.i.1959, G.H. Hardy (♀, AMSA) . Holotype photos provided by Natalie Tees, AMSA .

Paratype: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Katoomba , 19.xii.1960, G.H. Hardy (1 ♀, AMSA) .

Material examined. AUSTRALIA: Australian Capital Territory: Black Mountain , 700 m, carrion trap, 11– 18.iv.1978, S. & J. Peck (1 ♀, DEBU) ; Black Mountain , 700 m, dry sclerophyll, carrion trap, 11–18.iv.1978, S. & J. Peck (3 ♂, 3 ♀, DEBU) ; Mount Gingera , 19.xi.1968, D.H. Colless (1 ♂, ANIC) . Tasmania: near Weldborough , 41˚10’00”S 147˚08’00”E, Nothofagus forest, 20–25.ii.1993, J. Trueman et al., Site A: #3.1 (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Rattray’s Marsh , 41˚12’00”S 148˚09’00”E, buttongrass swamp, 20–25.ii.1993, J. Trueman et al., Site E: #2.q pit (1 ♀, ANIC) ; Rattray’s Marsh , 41˚11’50”S 148˚09’30”E, buttongrass swamp, 23–28.viii.1993, J. Trueman et al., Site E: #YP2 4 Day (1 ♀, ANIC) .

Comments. This species is externally most similar to H. capitalis , which also has a dark brown halter and shining anepisternum. Howickia fuscalis can be separated from H. capitalis by the presence of a single posterodorsal seta in the proximal half of the mid tibia, as well as unique male and female terminalia.


Albany Museum


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Australian National Insect Collection














Howickia fuscalis (Richards)

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

Biroina fuscalis (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) fuscalis

Richards, O. W. 1973: 338
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