Howickia grandisterna, 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 : 45-49

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5192.1.1

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Howickia grandisterna

sp. nov.

Howickia grandisterna View in CoL sp. nov.

( Figs. 3.8 View FIGURES 3.1–3.22 , 11.1–11.9 View FIGURES 11.1–11.5 )

Description. Body length: Males 2.8–3.2 mm, females 2.5–3.5 mm.

Head: Dark brown, lower third of frons orange; frontal vitta and orbital plates reddish; frontal vitta, interfrontal plates and orbital plates with pale microtrichia; gena brown, anteriorly reddish; antenna orange-brown. Frontal width 2.0x 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 0.6x length of posterior bristle. Gena with strong upcurved bristle and 3–5 smaller setae, very finely and densely striate, shiny, lower half microtrichose; vibrissal angle with 2 subvibrissal setae. Face normal; palpus clavate with 1 large apical and 1 large subapical seta. Eye height 3.8x genal height.

Thorax: Dark brown; scutum shiny despite brown microtrichia, posterolateral corners lighter and with pale spot on posterior notopleural lobe; anepimeron with lighter posteroventral spot. Two pairs of dorsocentral bristles (anterior pair 0.5x length of posterior pair); 5–6 rows of long, fine acrostichal setulae. Prosternum narrow, linear, posteriorly expanded. Katepisternum with several small setulae in addition to the large posterior seta. Scutellum microtrichose, triangular, its length 0.6x its width; 4 scutellar bristles long, apical pair 1.5x length of basal pair.

Legs: Brown, tibiae slightly lighter than femora; tarsi brown. Male mid tibia with a stout apicoventral bristle and 2 rows of stout ventral setae, 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; inner surface of vein R 1 white, all others light brown. CS2 subequal to CS3. R 2+3 sinuate, distal curve stronger than basal curve, meeting costa at an angle of 60˚; R 4+5 upcurved, meeting costa well before wing tip; costa extending past R 4+5 (5x costal width). Halter yellow-white.

Male abdomen: Dark brown, shiny despite microtrichia. T2 and S2 largely desclerotized medially, T4 and S4 desclerotized around edges, medially normally sclerotized, sparsely long-setose with large posterolateral setae. S5 large, slightly heart-shaped (anterior edge much broader than posterior edge), very strongly convex, setae of main body arranged in 3 rows, posterior edge flattened inwards to create densely-setose ledge. Epandrium very large, hemispherical, and densely long-setose; cercus elongate with a small anteroventral knob bearing several large setae. Hypandrium medially sinuate; ventral lobe small, triangular, and extending from main part at a 120˚ angle; posterodorsal lobe gently curved. Surstylus bipartite, anterior lobe small, rectangular, directed anteriorly; posterior lobe club-shaped, directed ventrally, largely bare except for a very large, flattened, blade-like apical seta and several smaller preapical setae. Postgonite extremely elongate, sinuate, proximally with a pair of small anterior setulae, gently tapered along entire length, apex curved forwards into a slight hook. Phallapodeme sinuate with a very broad dorsal fin along anterior half; basiphallus elongate, apically tapered. Distiphallus divided into two distinct sections: basal half heavily sclerotized with a large saddle-like dorsal sclerite and a flattened ventral sclerite articulating to form a tube; distal half with a V-shaped dorsal sclerite and a large, saddle-like ventral sclerite fused laterally into a tube supporting a large membranous apex with the help of a pair of triangular lateral sclerites.

Female abdomen: Dark brown, shiny despite microtrichia. T2–5 and S2–5 moderately sclerotized with edges of T4–5 and sternites slightly desclerotized, uniformly long-setose along entire surface with large posterolateral setae; pleural membrane with uniform setation. Preabdomen subequal in length to head + thorax. Postabdomen elongate, 3.4x length of T5. T6 and T7 reduced to a pair of L-shaped lateral plates, each bearing a posterior row of 5 setae. Epiproct pentagonal, medially split and bearing a dorsomedial pair of setae. Cercus stout, subtriangular with 4 long sinuate setae (1 apical, 1 basolateral and 2 dorsal) and several smaller setulae. S6 and S7 relatively well-developed, present as a bell-shaped plates with some posteromedial desclerotization and bearing posterior rows of 10–11 setae. S8 present as an ovoid, microtrichose plate with a preapical pair of setae. Hypoproct rounded, posteriorly microtrichose with a row of 4 stout setae. Spermathecae stout, spherical, deeply grooved with a deep invagination; stem subequal in length to spermatheca and cylindrical.

Material examined. Holotype: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall, debu00248436 (♂, TMAG).

Paratypes: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: same data as holotype (15 ♂, TMAG, DEBU) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, pans in tree fern crowns, 21–22.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (2 ♀, TMAG, DEBU) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, dung pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (2 ♀, TMAG, DEBU) .

Other material examined: AUSTRALIA: Tasmania: Chauncy Vale , 4 km E Bagdad, creek bed, pans, 9– 10.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Cradle Mountain National Park, Dove Lake , 920 m, dung pans in button grass, 16–17.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Cradle Mountain National Park, Ronnie Creek , dung pans, 16.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Cuckoo Falls, 4 km E Scottsdale, along Falls Road , along creek, pans/ some dung, 14.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (56 ♂, 7 ♀, DEBU) ; Hellyer Gorge , 41˚16’24”S 145˚36’55”E, rainforest, pans, 18–20.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (3 ♂, DEBU) ; Mount Williams National Park, Stumpys Bay Campground, dry heath, pans, 12–13.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (1 ♂, DEBU) ; Rattray’s Marsh , 41˚11’50”S 148˚09’30”E, buttongrass swamp, 22–27.v.1993, J. Trueman et al., Site E: #5.2 (1 ♂, ANIC) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, pans in tree fern crowns, 21–22.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (4 ♂, 2 ♀, DEBU) ; Waratah , 8 km SW, 41˚29’04”S 145˚27’41”E, rainforest, dung pans, 20–21.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (18 ♂, 4 ♀, DEBU) ; Weldborough Rainforest , pans, 11–13.xii.2003, S.A. Marshall (11 ♂, DEBU) .

Etymology. This name is in reference to the large male sternite 5 (Latin: ‘grandis’: large, great).

Comments. Howickia grandisterna is part of the H. flaviterga species group, which also includes H. acicula , H. biantenna , H. flaviterga , and H. percostata . It can be differentiated from H. acicula and flaviterga by the presence of 5–6 rows of acrostichal setulae and vein R 2+3 separated from the costa by 4.0x the costal width, from H. biantenna by the presence of two dorsocentral bristles, and from H. percostata by the presence of three dorsal bristles in the proximal half of the mid tibia. Male genitalia also differ significantly. Howickia grandisterna is sympatric with H. acicula and H. biantenna , all were collected at the same time in Mount Williams National Park.


Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Australian National Insect Collection













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