Mesembrinella bullata Whitworth

Whitworth, Terry L. & Yusseff-Vanegas, Sohath, 2019, A revision of the genera and species of the Neotropical family Mesembrinellidae (Diptera: Oestroidea), Zootaxa 4659 (1), pp. 1-146: 120-121

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Mesembrinella bullata Whitworth

sp. nov.

Mesembrinella bullata Whitworth  , sp. nov.

( Figs 67–68View FIGURES 63–68, 157–158View FIGURES 153–162, 221View FIGURES 216–221, 264View FIGURES 252–265, 308View FIGURES 306–311, 352View FIGURES 350–369, 393View FIGURES 370–400, 437View FIGURES 424–438, 473View FIGURES 470–473, 488View FIGURE 488)

Diagnosis. A small fly averaging 9.4 mm (9–10/5) in length. Thorax, subshining dark blue and abdomen shiny bluepurple, both covered with whitish tomentum; ppn bluish with 3x 3 setae; wing hyaline; disc of T5 with some fairly stout, disorganized setae, more or less at middle of disc. Epandrium, cerci and surstyli distinctive: cerci in posterior view with broad basal half and sharply narrowed in distal half ( Fig. 68View FIGURES 63–68). Female terminalia as in Fig. 308View FIGURES 306–311.

Description. Male. Head. Frons broad, 0.09 (0.08–0.09/2) of head width at narrowest, almost as broad as width of first flagellomere; fronto-orbital pale with whitish tomentum; lower half of frontal vitta orange, upper half black, frontal vitta significantly narrowed midway; fronto-orbitals broad, frontal setae ascending about 65% of distance to vertex; parafacial pale orange. Gena with horizontal row of 3–4 stout, black setae and a few sparse short setae, anterior 1/2–2/3 of gena orange, posterior 1/2–1/3 with dense silvery tomentum; postgena with silvery tomentum and covered with pale, silky setae; occiput black with silvery tomentumand dense, silky golden setae; median occipital sclerite with silvery tomentum in upper third, lower 2/3 subshining black; palpus typical; pedicel and first flagellomere orange; eye with median facets slightly larger than lateral facets; ocellar triangle small, anterior ocellus 1/3 larger than posterior ocelli; supravibrissal setae dark brown, ascending about 1/5 of distance to antennal base.

Thorax. Dorsum and pleural area of thorax dark blue with silvery tomentum, and with faint pale presutural tomentose stripes [some specimens]; chaetotaxy: ac 2:1, dc 2:3, ia 0, ph 1, ppn 3x 3, kat 1:1, meral setae in unusual pattern, in straight line, row with slight bend anteriorlyabove, 1 pair of crossed ap, sa absent, 2 lat, 1 stout bas, 1 pb weak, 1 disc; subscutellum weakly developed; spiracles medium-sized, brown to yellow-brown; legs entirely dark brown with tips of femora orange. Wing hyaline, faintly yellow, veins darker at base, basal cells faintly darkened; subcostal sclerite bare; basicosta tan with pale setae, tegula brown; section IV 0.13 of section III; calypters with tan discs and brown rims with brown setae.

Abdomen purple, subshining, with pale tomentum; T1+2 and T3 each with a pair of lateral marginal setae; T4 with row of stout, erect marginal setae on posterior margin; T5 disc with some fairly stout, unordered setae together with dense, short, fine setae. Terminalia in lateral view with surstylus very short, slightly curved backward, cercus much longer ( Fig. 67View FIGURES 63–68); in posterior view, basal half of cerci bulbous, distal half abruptly narrowing to tip ( Fig. 68View FIGURES 63–68); phallus in lateral view: base of epiphallus broad with moderate backward curve ( Fig. 157View FIGURES 153–162); in dorsal view, hypophallic lobes narrow ( Fig. 158View FIGURES 153–162); T6, STS7+8, pre- and postgonite, ejaculatory sclerite ST6 and hypandrium as in Fig. 221View FIGURES 216–221; ST1–5 with broad sclerites ( Fig. 264View FIGURES 252–265).

Female. Similar to male except frons 0.234 (0.20–0.26/5) of head width at narrowest. T6 of RV shape; T7 continuous, rear edge recessed midway; T8 as separate sclerites ( Fig. 308View FIGURES 306–311); ST6–8 and hypoproct as in Fig. 352View FIGURES 350–369; spermathecae filiform ( Fig. 393View FIGURES 370–400); ST1–5 as in Fig. 437View FIGURES 424–438.

Type material. HOLOTYPE ♂ ♦ *( TLW437) (Bolivia, Chapare; CNC; Fig. 473View FIGURES 470–473), labeled: BOLIVIA Cbba Chapare / Villa Turnarí-Cochabamba / road - km 362 - 1550m / Pruett & Wood 24 III.95  ; HOLOTYPE / Mesembrinella  / bullata / T.L. Whitworth.

ALLOTYPE ♀ ♦ * ( TLW438): same data as holotype except km 365, 3–10.xii.1996, G. & M. Wood ( CNC). 

PARATYPES: Bolivia, Cochabamba. 2 ♀♀, Chapare, Villa Turnarf-Cochabamba road, km 362, 1550 m, 24.iii.1995, Pruett & Wood ( CNC)  . La Paz. 1 ♂*, 1 ♀  *, 1 ♀, Sud Yungas, Punte Villa, hotel Tamampaya, 4300 ft., 19–24.v.1989, flight intercept trap, J. Eger ( FSCA)  .

Distribution. Bolivia.

Remarks. The allotype ( TLW 438) was barcoded and was recovered in a distinct cluster near M. uniseta  and M. lara  ( Fig. 488View FIGURE 488). The terminalia of this species resemble Bonatto’s (2001: fig. 103) sketch of what he called “ xanthorrhina  ”. In both specimens the base of the cercus is much enlarged, though in Bonatto’s sketch the cercus is sinuous, whereas in M. bullata  sp. nov. it is gently curved forward ( Fig. 67View FIGURES 63–68). The setae on the disc of T 5 in M. bullata  could be confused with the stout setae on the disc seen in the M. aeneiventris  species-group. However, the setae in M. bullata  are weaker and denser and not in a prominent row. Though the new species groups near two species in the M. aeneiventris  group, its surstylus is distinctly curved backward. For now, we place it in the M. bicolor  group pending a more in-depth genetic analysis.

Etymology. The species name bullata  , derived from the Latin bullatus (inflated), refers to the unusual bulbous basal half of the cerci when seen in posterior view ( Fig. 68View FIGURES 63–68).


Collection of Leptospira Strains


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology