Sierracapnia washoe Bottorff & Baumann, 2015

Bottorff, Richard L. & Baumann, Richard W., 2015, Sierracapnia, A New Genus Of Capniidae (Plecoptera) From Western North America, Illiesia 11 (9), pp. 104-125: 115-119

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Sierracapnia washoe Bottorff & Baumann

sp. n.

Sierracapnia washoe Bottorff & Baumann   sp. n.

Washoe Snowfly

( Figs. 21-33 View Figs )

Material Examined. Holotype ♂ and allotype ♀, USA, Nevada: Storey Co., Cedar Hill Canyon Creek, 2 km north of Virginia City , Virginia Range, N 39.32948° W 119.64898°, 6334’, 1-III-2013, R.L. Bottorff ( USNM). The holotype ♂ and allotype ♀ were deposited in the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: USA, Nevada, Pershing Co., Jenny Creek, Selenite Range, N 40.42103° W 119.27392°, 5704’, 23-I-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 33♂, 3♀ ( BYUC, RLBC)   ; Storey Co., Cedar Hill Canyon Creek , 2 km N of Virginia City, Virginia Range, N 39.32948° W 119.64898°, 6334’, 27-II-2013, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 4♂, 9♀ ( RLBC); 1-III-2013, R   . L. Bottorff, 25♂, 35♀ ( BYUC, RLBC)   ; Washoe Co., Cottonwood Creek , Granite Range, N 40.87406° W 119.43338°, 5426’, 24-I-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 35♂, 3♀ ( BYUC, RLBC); Cottonwood Creek spring brook, Granite Range , N 40.87357° W 119.43261°, 5411’, 24-I-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 3♂, 2♀ ( RLBC); Cottonwood Creek, Granite Range , N 40.86061° W 119.4513°, 6301’, 26-II-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 12♂, 6♀ ( RLBC); Cottonwood Creek, Granite Range , N 40.85722° W 119.45338°, 6361’, 26-II-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 4♂, 4♀ ( RLBC); Rock Creek, 5300’, Granite Range, 17-III-1999, A.L. Sheldon, 2♀ ( BYUC); Rock Creek , Granite Range , N 40.81296° W 119.37982°, 4831’, 23-I-2014, R GoogleMaps   . L. Bottorff, 4♂, 3♀ ( BYUC, RLBC)   .

Male. Body length 3.7-6.3 mm (mean, 5.0 mm); wings macropterous; length of forewing 4.4-5.3 mm (mean, 4.8 mm); body color dark brown or black. Abdominal tergum 6 without median knobs (occasional individuals with median pair of slightly sclerotized bumps). Tergum 7 with a notched median knob ( Figs 21, 23 View Figs , 26, 27, 30 View Figs ; Table 1 View Table 1 ), knob width 30-36% segment 7 width, depth of apical notch in knob variable. Tergum 8 lacking median knobs, with membranous central area dividing right and left sclerotized portions ( Fig. 23 View Figs ). Tergum 9 with median pair of sclerotized knobs ( Figs. 21, 23 View Figs , 27, 29 View Figs ). Terga 7 and 9 knobs covered with dense rounded tubercles of conical sensilla; terga 6-9 with long stiff setae. Epiproct glabrous, except for caudal setae. Anterior half of epiproct surface covered with numerous shallow sensory pits, these less abundant or absent from epiproct neck and base. Epiproct laterally compressed and elongated; in lateral view, slightly convex dorsally and deeply convex ventrally, ventral edge of keel located between pair of tergum 9 knobs ( Figs. 21, 23 View Figs , 27, 29 View Figs ); epiproct width increases between narrow neck region and dorsolateral horn tips; epiproct extends forward to posterior margin of tergum 8; epiproct length 4.0- 4.5 times maximum width and 4.0-4.5 times maximum depth; apical half of epiproct membrane is an eversible crest that is longitudinally folded or grooved and dark gray or black, except extreme tip lighter ( Figs. 22 View Table 1 , 24 View Figs , 26, 28, 29 View Figs ); eversible crest may be greatly expanded in size at apex ( Fig. 31 View Figs ) or not; epiproct apex broadly rounded, with short median posterior-projecting lobe ( Figs. 24 View Figs , 28 View Figs ). Dorsolateral horns arch above main body of epiproct, creating slight membranous gap between the sclerotized horns and main body; horns long, about 24-29% epiproct length when viewed laterally; horn tips extend forward to 83-88% of epiproct length ( Figs. 22 View Table 1 View Figs , 29 View Figs ; Table 1 View Table 1 ); horn tips slightly divergent; dorsolateral horns and epiproct body light brown, contrasting with dark membrane ( Figs. 22 View Table 1 , 24 View Figs , 26, 28, 29 View Figs ).

Female. Body length 4.4-7.5 mm (mean, 5.9 mm), color dark brown or black; wings macropterous ( Fig. 41 View Fig ); length of forewing 5.6- 6.6 mm (mean, 6.0 mm); subgenital plate wide, heavily sclerotized, and black, sclerotization extends from the truncated posterior edge of sternum 8 onto sternum 7 ( Figs. 25 View Figs , 33 View Figs ). Sternum 7 sclerotization varies for individuals and populations; females from the Selenite Range have nearly full sclerotization, but most females from Storey County and Granite Range have a limited posterior band of sclerotization and a small lightly sclerotized area in mid segment.

Distribution. Sierracapnia washoe   has been found in the Granite, Selenite, and Virginia ranges of western Nevada ( Fig. 39 View Fig ).

Etymology. This species is named for the Washoe people, Native Americans whose ancestral homeland included the type locality in Storey County, Nevada. We suggest Washoe Snowfly as a common name.

Diagnosis. The males of all Sierracapnia species   can be separated by their uniquely shaped and curved epiprocts ( Figs 2 View Fig , 6 View Figs , 10 View Figs , 14 View Figs , 18 View Figs , 29 View Figs , 34). In addition, Sierracapnia washoe   males are distinguished from all other species in the genus, except S. mono   and S. shepardi   , by having a wide median knob on tergum 7 (knob width 30-36% of tergum width) ( Figs. 23 View Figs , 26, 30 View Figs ; Table 1 View Table 1 ). The dorsal membrane of the epiproct is dark in both S. washoe   and S. shepardi   , but is lightly colored in S. mono   and all other Sierracapnia species.   Sierracapnia washoe   and S. shepardi   are quite similar, sharing dark epiproct membranes, size and shape of tergal knobs, similarities in dorsal view of male terminalia, and nearly identical female subgenital plates. Yet, S. washoe   differs from S. shepardi   in the shape and proportions of the epiproct in lateral view. The epiproct of S. washoe   ( Figs. 22 View Table 1 View Figs , 29 View Figs ) is stouter (length 4.0-4.5 times depth versus 5.0-5.5 times depth for S. shepardi   ), less reversely curved, and with longer arching dorsolateral horns than for S. shepardi   ( Fig. 18 View Figs ; Table 1 View Table 1 ). When expanded, the eversible crest of S. washoe   ( Fig. 31 View Figs ) is much larger than that which occurs in S. shepardi   . The females of S. washoe   and S. shepardi   cannot be separated without associated males. Presently, the known distributions of these two species do not overlap. Sierracapnia shepardi   has a wide north-south distribution in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, California, but has not been found in Nevada, while S. washoe   occurs in a north-south narrow band of western Nevada that extends 170 km south from the Granite Range near Gerlach to the mountains near Virginia City ( Figs. 39 View Fig , 40 View Fig ).

Comments. Sierracapnia washoe   was collected from Cedar Hill Canyon Creek near Virginia City ( Fig. 38 View Fig ) and several additional sites in northern Washoe County, a dry region of western Nevada lying in the Sierra Nevada rain shadow ( Hershler et al. 2002). Cedar Hill Canyon Creek flows only 700 m from its spring source before completely drying in the desert. Zapada cinctipes (Banks 1897)   adults and chloroperlid larvae also have been collected at the creek. Cedar Hill Canyon was mined for silver and gold during the Comstock Lode era (1860-1880) and mine tailings are present in the canyon. While other small aquatic habitats may harbor this species in the nearby Virginia and Flowery ranges, the nearest running water beyond the type locality is Long Valley Creek, about 8 km to the northeast. We failed to find S. washoe   there. This species also occurs in small creeks of the Selenite and Granite ranges in Washoe County, Nevada. Of the 24 species of Capniidae   known to occur in Nevada, S. washoe   is apparently the only species endemic to the state. Sierracapnia washoe   may have been isolated in this region of Nevada by drying that occurred at the end of the Pleistocene ( Hershler et al. 2002).


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History