Phthiracarus murphyi Harding,

Parry, B. W., 1979, A revision of the British species of the genus Phthiracarus Perty 1841 (Cryptostigmata: Euptyctima), Bull. British Mus. nat. Hist., Zool. ser. 35, pp. 323-363: 346

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Phthiracarus murphyi Harding


Phthiracarus murphyi Harding 

(Fig. 11D-F; Pl. 4c)

Phthiracarus murphyi Harding  , 1976: 164.

Adult (Pl. 4c): Large and strongly sclerotized. The aspis (Fig. 11D) is about 300 µm in length with a greatest width of about 250 µm. All the dorsal setae are fine and short. Setae (il) are about 1-5 times the length of setae (la) and extend two-thirds of the distance il-ro. Setae (ro) do not reach the anterior limit of the aspis. The sensillus (Fig. 11E) is short (40 - 50 µm), ovate and serrated. The notogaster (Fig. 11F) is about 700 µm in length with a greatest depth of about 420 µm. All the setae are relatively long (equal to the distance c1 - d1) and markedly procurved. Seta c3 is inserted on the posterior collar margin and setae c1-2 submarginally. Vestigial f1 is located midway between setae h1 and ps1. The fissures ip and ips are present. On each anal plate there are five long setae; an1_2 and ad3, being more or less equal in length and somewhat shorter than ad1-2. The chelicerae are approximately 213 µm in length. The principal segment carries about 18 sharply pointed spines on the paraxial surface and about 16 conical spines antiaxially. The leg chaetotaxy is of the 'complete type' with the setal formulae: I (1-4-2-5-16-1); II (1-3-2-3-12-1); III (2-2-1-2-10-1) and IV (2-1-1-2-10-1). On tarsus I the distal seta coupled with solenidion omega2 is rather short. Seta ft" on tarsus II is hooked distally.

Distribution: This species was collected in small numbers from Wytham Woods Estate, Berkshire, 28.x.70 (T. G. Wood) and from Torboll, Sutherland, (P. D. Hillyard).

Remarks: Although rather larger, P. murphyi  appears to bear some resemblance to P. insularis Jacot  (notogastral length about 500 µm) recorded from Teuanui, Tovii, the Marquesas Islands. Jacot (1935) did not refer in his description to the fissures ip and ips although his figure shows quite clearly that these fissures are present. In comparison with P. murphyi  , the notogastral setae of insularis  appear to be shorter (less than the distance c1 - d1). Unfortunately, the 'cotype' of P. insularis  is apparently lost.