Psilota solata Young and van Steenis

Young, Andrew D., Skevington, Jeffrey H. & Steenis, Wouter Van, 2020, Revision of the Psilota Meigen, 1822 flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) of Australia, Zootaxa 4737 (1), pp. 1-127: 73-75

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Psilota solata Young and van Steenis

sp. nov.

Psilota solata Young and van Steenis   sp. nov.

(Species plate: Fig. 32 View FIGURE 32 ; Genitalia: Fig. 45 View FIGURE 45 G–H; Map: Fig. 63A View FIGURE 63 )

Diagnosis: Black species with orange legs. Face densely yellow pollinose, with yellow pile. Hind femur with a distinct rounded apicoventral setulose carina. Hind tibia simple. Calypter entirely brown. Tergites 3 and 4 with long, dense, tangled, bright yellow pile. Body length: 9.2–12.1 mm.

Description: MALE: Head: Head black, face densely yellow pollinose. Face yellow pilose, frons and vertex black pilose. Scape and pedicel entirely orange, postpedicel brown on apical half and orange below. Postpedicel oval, approximately 1.5 times as long as wide. Eye densely yellow pilose. Thorax: Thorax black. Legs almost entirely orange, with a brown posterior stripe on the apical half of the hind femur and hind tibia brown on basal half. Hind femur with a distinct rounded apicoventral setulose carina. Hind tibia simple, with no basoventral spur. Pleuron yellow pollinose. Pile on posterior anepisternum mixed black and yellow, remainder of pleural pile yellow. Pile on scutum mixed black and white. Pile on scutellum entirely black. Wing colourless, with cells bm and cua bare on anterior half, small bare areas at the bases of cells r 4+5 and dm. Alula completely microtrichose. Halter pale, with knob light brown. Calypter pale brown with a dark brown border. Abdomen: Abdomen black. Abdomen entirely yellow pilose, pile on tergites 3 and 4 long, dense, and tangled. Sternites yellow, and yellow pilose. Genitalia: Epandrium compact, about as long as tall. Cercus blunt, somewhat ovoid. Outer lobe of surstylus inserted near bottom of inner lobe, curved downwards on apical half, with apex of lobe thickened and curved slightly backwards towards base of surstylus. Inner lobe of surstylus broadening over entire length, with a slight ventral excavation at midlength, rounded at apex. Phallapodeme smooth. Gonostylus slightly darkened.

FEMALE: Identical except for normal sexual dimorphism.

Etymology: The specific epithet solata   is derived from the Latin “solis”, meaning “sun”. This is in reference to the tangled golden pile on the abdomen of Psilota solata   sp. nov., which distinguishes it from all other species.

Specimens examined: HOLOTYPE: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Rutherford Ck., Brown Mtn., nr Nim- mitabel, 25.XII.1974, G. Daniels, GDCBReg_19605, (1♂, AM ). PARATYPES: New South Wales: Bald Rock National Park, -28.860781 152.055686, on Leptospermum minutifolium blossom, 6–7.xi.1984, D.K. Yeates, UQIC_ Reg 94647–94650; UQIC_ Reg 94651–94653 (1♂, 6♀♀, QM ) ; Gibraltar Range National Park , Waratah track, -29.5 152.333333, on Leptospermum sp. blossom, 10–12.xi.1984, D.K. Yeates, UQIC_ Reg 94643 (1♀, QM ) ; same as ho- lotype data, GDCBReg_19606–19608 (3♀♀, GDCB ) ; Haystack Ridge , Blue Mountains , -32.914211 149.964019, 19.xii.1985, N.W. Rodd, AustralianMuseumK406921 (1♀, AM ); Tasmania: Hobart , -42.884492 147.306955, 20.xii.1912 – 28.ii.1914, R.E. Turner (1♂, 1♀ BMNH) ; Nicholls Rivulet, -43.150054 147.146791, ovipositing on Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa , 10.ii.2019, E. McDonald, CNC1181183 (1♀, photograph only) .  

Discussion: This species has been collected on Leptospermum   ( Myrtaceae   ) blossoms. A female specimen was observed ovipositing on the trunk of a Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa   (Claret or Caucasian Ash) in Tasmania ( Fig. 67 View FIGURE 67 ). As this tree species is not native to Australia, it likely indicates that P. solata   is not species-specific in its larval habitat. However, without successfully rearing larvae out of the tree, it is impossible to say for certain that the larvae can successfully develop in Fraxinus   .


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