Medeopteryx antennata (Olivier)

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine L., 2013, Systematics and Phylogenetics of Indo-Pacific Luciolinae Fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) and the Description of new Genera, Zootaxa 3653 (1), pp. 1-162: 84-85

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Medeopteryx antennata (Olivier)

comb. nov.

Medeopteryx antennata (Olivier)   comb. nov.

[ Figs 154 View FIGURES 154–159 , 160 View FIGURES 160–167 ]

Luciola antennata Olivier, 1885: 365   . Pteroptyx antennata (Olivier)   . Olivier, 1909a: 319. McDermott, 1966: 117. Ballantyne and McLean, 1970: 240. Ballantyne,

1987a: 127. Lloyd, 1973a: 994, 996, 998, 1001, 1003, 1005 (light production); 1973b: 268; 1978: 265 (light production);

1979, Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 . Pteroptyx antennatum Olivier, 1910b: 47   ; 1913b: 417. Ballantyne, 1987a: 127 (synonymy).

Lectotype. Male. NEW GUINEA: Fly River , designated by Ballantyne (1987a: 127) ( MCSN).  

Other specimens examined. NEW GUINEA: 143.00E, 9.00S, Western Pr. , Ellangowan Island , Fly River, 11.xi.1922, A. McCulloch, male, 2 females ( AMSA). Madang District, Alexishafen, Sek Bridge, xi.4.1969, J. Buck (SEK 23), mating pair GoogleMaps   *.

Diagnosis. 7–9mm long; orange pronotum, dark brown MS and elytra; FS orange or dark brown; FS 7–9 shorter than other FS; elytral apex broadly rounded; LO entire in V7; MPP of V7 short, broad, apically truncate and projecting moderately beyond the posterolateral corners. Distinguished from M. similisantennata   by the antennal colour, shape of the MPP and outline of the deflexed elytral apices ( Ballantyne 1987a Figs 3, 4 View FIGURES 3–5 ).

Female (of mating pair) ( Figs 154 View FIGURES 154–159 , 160 View FIGURES 160–167 ). 8.0 mm long. Colour: as for male except for brown flagellar segments, abdominal ventrites pale brown, V5 paler across posterior margin, V6 entirely pale except for brown laterally reflexed margins and very narrowly brown posterior margin; V7 pale in anteromedian portion; abdominal tergites light brown except for tT7, 8 which are darker than rest. Abdomen ( Fig. 154 View FIGURES 154–159 ): V6 posterior margin with posterolateral corners acute, broadly excavated across posterior margin with small pointed projection in median line; V8 not indented in median line. Bursa ( Fig. 160 View FIGURES 160–167 ): two sets of separate plates with very small median oviduct sclerite.

Remarks. Olivier named this species for the distinctive orange FS, and brown scape and pedicel. A lectotype male and a female ( Ballantyne & McLean, 1970; Ballantyne, 1987a), and a further male and two females listed above, are the only specimens LB has seen with the pale coloured FS, consistent with the original description. All are from the type locality of the Fly River. All other specimens assigned have brown FS. Ballantyne and McLean (1970:240, Fig. 5 View FIGURES 3–5 ) described 2 males with brownish orange FS (from Milne Bay area in Eastern Papua, and River Tor in Indonesia Papua), as Pteroptyx antennata   , and another 4 males (as "Species A", page 266) which conformed to P. antennata   except for the uniformly dark FS. Ballantyne (1987a) designated a lectotype male from a syntype series from the type locality and assigned a further 23 males to the species and included Ballantyne and McLean's Species A; all conformed to the description of antennata   in Ballantyne and McLean (1970) (i.e. all lacked paler coloured FS), and many had flashing data associated ( Lloyd 1973a). When observed with the unaided eye the dark and shiny brown scape and pedicel, and dull lighter brown FS approach Olivier's original description.

Lloyd (1973a) described the two major flash patterns of the males and the ability of small groups of flying males to flash in "apparent synchrony." Lloyd (1973b) described and figured the "four modulation flicker"; Lloyd (1978) figured "one of two flicker patterns” and (1979) the flash pattern of Species F (assigned to antennata   by Ballantyne (1987a).

Guérin-Méneville (1838) described Luciola ruficollis   with black antennae, abdomen entirely yellow beneath and abdominal apex "trilobo''. Ballantyne (1987a) considered ruficollis   may have been based on antennata   like specimens. Luciola ruficollis   is not presently identified in collections of New Guinean Luciola   .

At Alexishafen Medeopteryx antennata   is sympatric with, and similar to M. similisantennata   , with which it apparently shares the same pattern of light production. The similarities in light patterns suggest a form of mimicry.


Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Verona


Albany Museum














Medeopteryx antennata (Olivier)

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine L. 2013

Luciola antennata

Ballantyne, L. A. & McLean, M. R. 1970: 240
McDermott, F. A. 1966: 117
Olivier, E. 1909: 319
Olivier, E. 1885: 365