Aleurodicus niveus, John H. Martin, 2004

John H. Martin, 2004, Whiteflies of Belize (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Part 1 — introduction and account of the subfamily Aleurodicinae Quaintance & Baker, Zootaxa 681, pp. 1-86: 25-26

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.158856

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scientific name

Aleurodicus niveus

sp. nov.

Aleurodicus niveus  sp. nov.

( Figs 8, 66, 135)

PUPARIUM. Habitus. Surface of dorsal disc completely covered by opaque and exceptionally pure­white mealy secretions (Fig. 135); protruding through this opaque meal a single lustrous waxy filament issues from each of the cephalic and four abdominal pairs of large compound pores. Immediately lateral to the compound pores, submargin and puparial sides are completely hidden by dense, almost hair­like, white waxy filaments. Margin. Outline broadly ovoid, 1.28–1.41 mm long, 0.91–1.08 mm wide, generally widest at abdominal segment III (n= 11). Margin smooth to broadly lobulate, dependent on degree of downcurling, lobes more often evident anteriorly. Dorsum. Cuticle dusky­brownish. Longitudinal moulting suture reaching puparial margin; transverse moulting sutures apically curving slightly anteriorly, terminating opposite median part of metathorax, at level of submarginal setal row. Subdorsal and submedian area somewhat corrugate but without definite sculpturing. Abdominal segment VII/VIII boundary medially only marked by presence of pockets, and not by any suture; median lengths of segments VI, VII and VIII apparently similar. Vasiform orifice (Fig. 66) broadly cordate, a little wider than long, its rim thickened laterally, with a broad posterior lip that facilitates protrusion of lingula beyond operculum, the orifice situated about 0.75–0.80 times its own length from posterior margin of puparium; operculum almost completely occupies vasiform orifice, posteriorly emarginate where it overlies lingula, its margin uneven and surface shallowly rugose (Fig. 66), apparently without a posterior pair of setae; lingula head protrudes slightly beyond vasiform orifice, with an acute and finely bifid apical point, its two pairs of setae situated close to apex, the distal setal pair much stouter and longer than the proximal pair. Chaetotaxy. Anterior marginal setae not evident. With posterior marginal setae, 12 pairs of outer submarginal setae (including nominal caudal pair), and single pairs of submedian pro­, meso­ and metathoracic setae, each long and hair­like; eighth abdominal setae shorter and finer, situated anterior to vasiform orifice (Fig. 66). Pores. Cephalic and anterior 4 pairs of abdominal compound pores 35–50 (usually 45–50)µ m in maximum diameter, each with a dagger­shaped axial process protruding beyond the pore rim (Fig. 66); a pair of much smaller compound pores, 15–20 µ m diameter, present on each of abdominal segments VII & VIII, those on segment VII about twice as long as those on segment VIII. Broad submargin defined by a zone of crowded, wide­rimmed pores that stand proud from puparial surface, inner boundary of zone closely approaching compound pores but not forming mesally­directed lobes, the pore band narrowing posterior to vasiform orifice ( Figs 8, 66), but band not interrupted to form a caudal furrow. Remainder of dorsal disc with scattered pores slightly larger than those of submarginal band. Ve n t e r. Ventral abdominal setae overlain by vasiform orifice, the setae similar to dorsal submarginal setae. Legs typically robust and two­segmented, smooth, each with a pronounced apical claw, and with the distal segment bearing one or two small lateral setae. Antennae with their bases situated anterolateral to fore legs; antennae are damaged in parasitised individuals, and evidently not fully expanded in some others (see comments on Metaleurodicus variporus  , p. 52); when expanded, antennae with basal one­third smooth­sided, remainder subtly corrugate­sided, apices pointed; in holotype one antenna reaches level of middle legs, the other only to fore legs. Tracheal folds absent.

MATERIAL EXAMINED. Holotype puparium, BELIZE, CFR, Las Cuevas forest, on Encyclia cochleata  ( Orchidaceae  ), 2004, (J. H. Martin # 7986) ( BMNH). Paratypes: 17 puparia (7 dry on leaf), same data as holotype ( BMNH, USNM).

ETYMOLOGY. The specific name is the latin adjective niveus  (meaning snowywhite), reflecting the appearance of grouped puparia in optimum condition when first collected.

COMMENTS. This species is known from a single colony, a group under one leaf of its epiphytic orchid host (Fig. 135). Most individuals proved to be parasitised, but five undamaged specimens were preserved in alcohol as soon as this became evident: three of these show no signs of parasitism under high magnification, and it is thought unlikely that the habitus appearance of the colony was affected by the development of parasitoids.

The features of the vasiform orifice, operculum and lingula (Fig. 66) are highly characteristic, with the very large operculum and bifid apical lingular process of particular note. In other characters, A. niveus  resembles A. rugioperculatus  , also described in this work.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History