Leucaspis montikoghis , Hardy, Nate B. & Williams, Douglas J., 2018

Hardy, Nate B. & Williams, Douglas J., 2018, Doubling the known endemic species diversity of New Caledonian armored scale insects (Hemiptera, Diaspididae), ZooKeys 782, pp. 11-47: 11

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Leucaspis montikoghis

sp. n.

Leucaspis montikoghis  sp. n. Figure 12

Material examined.

Holotype: New Caledonia: 1 adult female (2.06 mm long, 0.54 mm wide): ex Podocarpus sp., Mt. Kohgis, 12.x.1978, PN Johnson, BM 19 17 ( NHMUK). Paratypes: New Caledonia: 2 adult females, 6 puparia (2 of which contain embryos), and 1 first-instar nymph on 9 slides: same data as holotype, BM 19 17 ( NHMUK, USNM). Note that one slide further specifies that the elevation was 900 m, and that a possible species assignment for the host was P. longifollatus  .


Adult female, n = 3. Pupillarial. Body 0.94-2.06 mm long, 0.51-0.54 mm wide; outline elongate, margins of head and pygidium rounded.

Pygidium with two lobes on each side, each longer than wide, lanceolate (i.e., distal half tapering to pointed apex), base slightly overlaying venter of pygidium. Plates spiniform, slightly longer than lobes, two between L1s, two between L1 and L2, ~8 anterolateral of L2. Dorsum with sclerotic area containing anus, plus two smaller patches posterior to anus, medial patch confluent with that around anus in some specimens; anus ~20 μm long and ~15 μm wide. Few small ducts scattered along posterior margin, each ~5 µm long. Venter of pygidium with perivulvar pores in five distinct groups, each side of the body with a lateral group of ~20 pores, and an anterolateral group of ~25 pores, anteromedial group with 10-20 pores.

Prepygidial segments Dorsum with few fine, hair-like setae. On venter, four groups of pre-pygidial pores, one group of 12-20 pores on the submargin of each of abdominal segments IV-VI, plus one group of 2-6 pores on submedian area of segment VI. Longitudinal band of 65-85 gland tubercles running from anterior to spiracle to posterior of labium. Antennae each with five long setae, two short ones evidenced by sockets. Anterior spiracles each with cluster of 24-28 quinquelocular pores. Posterior spiracle without pores.


The genus Leucaspis  Signoret was erected for the type species Aspidiotus pini  Hartig. There are 34 nominal species of Leucaspis  ( García Morales et al. 2016). Nineteen of these occur in New Zealand (~2000 km south of New Caledonia), 16 of which are endemic, and one of which is only known from New Zealand and Australia (which is home to only this one species of Leucaspis  ). The true species diversity of New Zealand’s Leucaspis  is apt to be much greater ( Henderson 2011; personal observations of material in the USNM). The species L. bugnicourti  Cohic is endemic to New Caledonia, but would appear to be more closely related to species outside of Leucaspis  , for example Fijifiorinia  spp. ( Williams and Watson 1988). Takagi (1969) gives us a meticulous diagnosis of the genus. We paraphrase it here. The adult female can be recognized by (1) being pupillarial, and by having (2) an elongate body outline; (3) small sclerotic patches on dorsum of pygidium; (4) each side of the pygidium with 1-4 lobes, with medial lobes well separated; (5) plates absent, spiniform or fimbriate; (6) gland tubercles on venter of thorax; (7) dorsal ducts absent or present only along the pygidial margin, when present short, with sclerotized oral rim; (8) antenna with 2-6 fleshy setae; (9) anterior spiracle with cluster of disc pores adjacent; (10) anus in anterior third of the pygidium; (11) perivulvar disc pores in five groups; (12) many species with pre-pygidial pores. The new species, L. montikoghis  , can be recognized by having two pairs of broad lanceolate pygidial lobes, spiniform plates, and many pores (~20) in the posterior pre-pygidial group. The latter trait is especially distinctive; there are about twice as many pores in this group as in any described species.

Brittin (1937) provides a synthetic treatment of the Leucaspis  species occurring in New Zealand that he was aware of at that time (13 in all). We recommend this, along with Takagi’s diagnosis, as good resources to start gaining familiarity with this group. de Boer and Valentine (1977) provide an excellent re-description of L. gigas  , along with four similar species, one of which was new at that time. Henderson et al. (2010) described an additional two New Zealand species.


The species epithet is taken from the type locality and is a noun in apposition.