Spritella sequoiaphila, Kerr, 2014

Kerr, Peter H., 2014, The sequoia-loving sprite, a new genus and species of fungus gnat (Diptera, Mycetophilidae) from California, ZooKeys 437, pp. 109-126: 114-116

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scientific name

Spritella sequoiaphila

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Diptera Mycetophilidae

Spritella sequoiaphila   sp. n. Figs 1-13

Type material.

Holotype: ♂, "USA: CA: USA: CA: Tulare Co.: Whitaker Forest, EshomCrk.Drainage, nr. tree#142, 36.7062°N, -118.9319°W, 1650masl, YPT, 3. vi– 16.vii.2010 P.H. Kerr" / "HOLOTYPE 10F761♂ Spritella sequoiaphila   Kerr 2014" [red label]. Deposited in CSCA, dissected specimen mounted on gray point, terminalia in glass vial marked "10F761 HT" on pin below specimen. Type locality indicated in Fig. 14.

Paratypes: 1 ♂, USA: CA: Calaveras Co., Calaveras Big Trees SP, S. grove fire rd., nr. Beaver Creek, MT#1, 38°15.41'N, 120°15.25'W 1385masl, 22.v.-11.vi.2007 P.H. Kerr & A.R. Cline 07LOT086" [CSCA]; 7 ♂♂, 8 ♀, "USA: CA: Tulare Co.: Whitaker Forest, E.EshomCrk.Drainage, nr. tree#142, 36.7062°N, 118.9319°W, 1650masl, MT, 3. vi– 16.vii.2010 P.H. Kerr CSCA10L174" [CSCA]; 8 ♂♂, 3 ♀, "USA: CA: Tulare Co: Whitaker’s Forest, Ridge S. of Eshom Crk., 1620masl, 36.7011°N, 118.9363°W, MT, 3. vi– 16.vii.2010 P.H. Kerr CSCA10L175" [CSCA]; 4 ♂♂, 2 ♀, "USA: CA: Tulare Co.: Whitaker Forest, E.EshomCrk.Drainage, nr. tree#142, 36.7062°N, -118.9319°W, 1650masl, YPT, 3. vi– 16.vii.2010 P.H. Kerr CSCA10L258" [CSCA]; 1 ♂, "USA: CA: Glenn Co., Atchison Campsite pine forest, ex: Malaise, elev. 1310m, 20-24.v.2012, colls: K. Will, K. Yao, N. Grady-Grot, 39°45'00"N, 122°55'33"W, CAL2012.v.23.5" [EMEC].


This species may be distinguished by the characters of the genus and by the male genitalia; particularly the gonostylus which has two apical lobes, the ventral one being distinctly sclerotized and darkened.


Male. Body length (n=4): 4.6-6.6, 5.7 [4.6] mm. Wing length: 5.3-5.9, 5.6 [5.9] mm (n=4).

Coloration (Figs 1, 2). Head brown; face and clypeus brown; palpomeres light brown to brown. Antennal scape and pedicel yellowish light brown, base of first flagellomere yellowish light brown, otherwise brown; all remaining flagellomeres brown. Thorax variously yellow, yellowish to orangish brown to brown; scutum yellowish light brown dorsally, with faint brown band postero-medially, orangish brown to brown laterally; scutellum light brown to brown; antepronotum, proepisternum, anepisternum, and katepisternum brown; anepimeron light brown; laterotergite and anepisternum brown; metepimeron and metakatepisternum brown to dark brown; halteres yellowish light brown; mediotergite yellowish light brown. Wing membrane lightly brown infuscated. Coxae dark brown; femora yellowish light brown; tibiae slightly darker yellowish light brown; tarsi brown. Abdominal segments light brown to brown, lighter in color near anterior margin on segments 1-6. Terminalia brown.

Head. Ocelli slightly raised; middle ocellus smaller than (approx. 0.5 × size of) lateral ocelli. Face with golden brown setae laterally, mostly bare medially. Antenna length 2.7-3.0, 2.9 [2.7] mm (n=4); about 2 × length of thorax, shorter than abdomen. Palpus with four visible palpomeres, slightly longer than width of head (anterior view); length of palpomeres 1 and 2 nearly subequal (palpomere 2 longer); palpomere 3 approx. 5 × longer than wide; palpomere 4 approx. 10 × longer than wide, subequal to or shorter than combined length of palpomeres 1-3.

Thorax and Abdomen. Wing as Fig. 3; Rs distinctly elongate; vestigial M vein present within discal cell; M1 arises from R4+5 at origin of Rs so that r-m not present; M2 weak at base. Tergite 8 reduced (Fig. 4), with setae on posterolateral margin, and a pair of setulae sub dorsally; sternite 8 (Fig. 5) elongate, setose on posterior half, approximately half width of sternite 7.

Male Genitalia (Figs 6-9). Epandrium deeply emarginate both anteriorly and posteriorly, with pair of submedial apical fins (Fig. 6) and pair of short lateral processes (Fig. 8). Gonostyli with pair of setose apical lobes, the ventral one with dark sclerotization.

Female. Body length: 4.4-5.5, 5.1 mm (n=4). Wing length: 4.8-5.3, 5.1 mm (n=4). Antenna length 1.9-2.2, 2.1 mm (n=4).

Coloration. Similar to male.

Thorax. Wing as Fig. 3; Rs not as long as in male; vestigial M vein within discal cell absent; r-m present; M2 arises at or near base of M1.

Female Genitalia (Fig. 10). Tergite 8 narrow, expanded laterally; first cerci fused, approx. 2 × longer than wide; second cerci ovoid; hypoproct elongate, subtending most of cercus 1; sternite 8 with deep medial cleft reaching anterior margin.


The species epithet is an adjective, referring to its affiliation with giant sequoia groves ( “sequoia-loving”).