Jaschhof, Mathias & Jaschhof, Catrin, 2020, An update of Micromyinae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) taxonomy, with descriptions of a new genus and 13 new species from Northern Europe, Zootaxa 4750 (3), pp. 349-369: 355

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gen. nov.

Ladopyris  gen. nov.

Type species, Ladopyris baltica  sp. nov., described below. Monotypic.

Diagnosis. This new genus, which belongs to the tribe Micromyini ( Jaschhof & Jaschhof 2009: 193)  , is described here for a single species whose males bear a close resemblance to Polyardis Pritchard. Distinctions  concern the genitalic structures, which in Polyardis  are small, uniform, and of such simplified structure that they might reflect the hypothetical ground pattern of Micromyinae  ( Jaschhof & Jaschhof 2009: fig. 18A–B). The genitalia of Ladopyris  , which are larger and more complex, show the following peculiarities ( Fig. 12View FIGURES 11–14): the sclerotized apex of the tegmen is shaped like a stand-up collar (↓ 1); the parameral apodemes are strongly enlarged (↓ 2); the hypoproct is vestigial; the cerci are prominent (↓ 3); and both the gonostylar body and tooth are flattened (↓ 4). These characters are rated here as significant enough to justify the introduction of a discrete genus (see Discussion). Females and preimaginal stages of Ladopyris  are unknown.

Etymology. Ladopyris  is an anagram of Polyardis  . The gender of the name is female.

Discussion. Within Micromyini  , Ladopyris is one of three genera in which the bulk of translucent sensilla on the male antenna are slender, single-pointed hairs ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 11–14); the other such genera are Polyardis  and Pseudoperomyia Jaschhof & Hippa. A  singularity of Pseudoperomyia  is the presence of bottle-shaped sensilla, which occur in small numbers among hair-shaped translucent sensilla ( Jaschhof & Jaschhof 2009: fig. 11 for a schematic overview of sensilla types found in Micromyinae  ). Male morphology provides no clues for the assumption of closer relationship between Pseudoperomyia  and Ladopyris  . All the more obvious are the similarities shared by Ladopyris  and Polyardis  , such as the sparseness of postocular bristles, the 3-segmented palpus, the sickle-shaped claws, and the claw-long empodia. As mentioned above, the only significant differences concern genitalic structures.

New genera introduced for single species with aberrant genitalic morphology are not unproblematic, more so in the tribe Micromyini  whose generic classification is in need of fundamental revision (see below the introductory remarks on Xylopriona  ). That said, the pros and cons of taxonomic decisions need to be weighed as cases arrive. We have refrained from classifying L. baltica  with Polyardis  – in our view the only alternative possible – because this would require amending the generic definition in an inappropriate manner. It must be remembered that Polyardis  is an unusually homogenous group of species, of which none shows the slightest sign of aberrant morphology. At the same time, the genitalic structure of L. baltica  is unusual even with respect to Micromyini  other than Polyardis  , in which subtriangular, scutellate tegmina devoid of any substructures prevail. The only exception here is Pseudoperomyia  , to present knowledge an exclusively Eastern Palearctic / Oriental genus, in which tegmina (as well as other genitalic structures) show a wide range of modifications unknown from other Micromyini ( Jaschhof & Hippa 1999)  . The most likely explanation why L. baltica  at present appears to be such an outlier among Micromyini  is that its closest relatives remain undiscovered. In other words, we think it likely that further Ladopyris  will be found in those parts of the Palearctic region where Micromyinae  are yet unresearched.