Mahellus Nielson

Viraktamath, C. A. & Meshram, Naresh M., 2017, A review of the coelidiine leafhopper genus Mahellus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Coelidiinae) with description of two new species from the Oriental region, Zootaxa 4258 (3), pp. 271-280: 272

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Mahellus Nielson


Genus Mahellus Nielson  

The following diagnosis of the genus is mainly based on Nielson (1982) with modifications to accommodate female sex and also the new species described here.

Medium sized leafhoppers measuring 6.0 to 7.0 mm long. Head subconical, narrower than pronotum, crown narrow, produced slightly beyond anterior margin of eyes. Ocelli small, situated near anterior margin of crown. Eyes large, globular, occupying more than 2/3 of entire dorsal area of head. Frontoclypeus elongate, narrow, without median carina, lateral margins broadly convex; surface finely granulose, clypellus long, narrow, apically broadened, lora long, narrow, extending much beyond clypoclypellar suture basally. Pronotum short, almost three times as wide as median length, surface knobbed, combined length of mesoscutum and scutellum longer than median length of pronotum, scutellum shorter than mesoscutum. Forewing with distinct venation, with three anteapical cells, outer anteapical cell closed behind others open behind, apical cells five, inner apical cell narrowed distally, appendix well developed. Forefemur setae on anteromedian row (AM) well developed in two rows, AM1 large placed at midheight near apex, setae on anteroventral (AV) row well developed, prominent, occupying almost entire length except near apex, row intercalary (IC) not well differentiated ( Fig. 48 View FIGURES 48 – 52 ). Metafemoral apical macrosetae 2+2+1. Metabasitarsus with two rows of setae on plantar surface and with two platellae on apical transverse row flanked by a stout seta both mesally and laterally ( Fig. 49 View FIGURES 48 – 52 ).

Male pygofer in lateral view as long or longer than height, tapering dorsoposteriorly with much narrowed dorsoposterior angle, ventral process well developed, smooth, dentate or pectinate. Subgenital plates elongate, narrowed with short hair-like setae, with or without ventral spine-like extension apically. Style broad basally apophysis long and narrowed distally. Connective Y-shaped with arms as long as stem. Dorsal connective memebranous, unpigmened and strap-like. Aedeagus asymmetrical, long, shaft tubular, with lateral flanges, with a pair of prominent serrate, retrose processes directed basad distally; gonopore at midlength of shaft. Segment X with flat ventral surface, without ventral process, distally slightly extending posteriorly, longer than broad and braod at base and slightly narrowed posteriorly.

Female sternite VII twice as long as VI (in macerated specimen) and twice as broad as long medially, posterior margin medially slightly convexly produced. First pair of valvulae curved distally, pointed, with strigate sculpturing confined to distal 1/4, strigate area expanded slightly. Second valvulae less curved than the first, denticulate area confined to distal 1/4, denticles prominent, gradually becoming smaller distally, apex pointed, without secondary denticulations.

Remarks. This genus is very similar to Calodia   and Olidiana   but differs in having a pair of serrated processes distally on the aedeagal shaft directed basad and the gonopore is located at the midlength of the shaft, the shaft itself is broad basally and gradually or abruptly narrowed distally. There is also a pair of lateral flanges preapically. In the genera Calodia   and Olidiana   the gonopore is located near the apex and the processes are subapical and the shaft is more slender, more or less of uniform width.