Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto, 1976

Gibson, Gary A. P., 2009, 2259, Zootaxa 2259, pp. 1-159 : 21-22

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Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto, 1976


Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto, 1976 View in CoL

(Figs 10–21)

Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto, 1976: 478 View in CoL ; holotype ♀ (AMNH, not examined).

Description. Female. Length = 1.2–1.4 mm. Body, including appendages, uniformly dark brown. Head in anterior view without distinct median sulcus on upper face or sulci delineating ocellar triangle (Fig. 10); upper face finely coriaceous to almost smooth, and scrobes and parascrobal region similarly finely coriaceous-alutaceous. Head in lateral view with malar space about 0.9x eye height and about 1.2x eye length; gena without malar sulcus (Fig. 10). Antenna (Fig. 12) with scape (Figs 10, 12) distinctly bulbous subbasally and narrowed subapically, the inner and outer surfaces smooth to partly alutaceous but shiny and similarly sparsely setose; flagellum clavate with semierect setae similar to scape; pedicel subequal in length to fu 1; funicle with fu 1 about 2.0–2.2x as long as wide and subsequent segments quadrangular basally to slightly transverse apically; clava about 1.8–2.0x as long as wide.

Pronotum with shallow, inconspicuous circumpronotal furrow differentiating similarly coriaceous neck and collar (Fig. 16), but without circumpronotal band anterolaterally (Fig. 15). Mesoscutum (Fig. 16) uniformly coriaceous; median mesoscutal lobe not differentiated into anterior convex region and internotaular region; notauli deep but not crenulate. Scutellum (Figs 16, 17) more obscurely sculptured than mesoscutum and with frenum indistinctly delineated by obscure transverse furrow, the furrow usually more or less effaced medially or evident only under some angles of light. Mesopleuron (Fig. 19) mostly coriaceous-alutaceous except acropleuron and alar shelf longitudinally strigose and upper mesepimeron sometimes variably distinctly longitudinally to obliquely strigose-alutaceous. Fore wing of fully winged or brachypterous individuals slightly embrowned. Petiole (Figs 17, 18) bare. Gaster (Fig. 20) uniformly setose or variably broadly bare medially.

Figs 19–20. Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto ♀. 19, mesopleuron; 20, metasoma, dorsal view.

Male. Length 1.0– 1.3 mm. Antenna (Fig. 14) similarly clavate with spindle-shaped scape as female, but flagellum with sparser semierect setae; fu 1 about 1.5–1.8x as long as pedicel and about 3.6–5.1x as long as medial (narrowest) width, with subsequent funicular segments all oblong, about 1.6–2.6x as long as wide; clava about 2.5–2.9x as long as wide. Otherwise similar to female.

Material examined. Neotropical (4♀, 5♁ paratypes). MEXICO: South of Punta Cirio , 15.V.75, V. Roth, ex among algae mixed with tiny barnacles (1♁ BMNH; 2♀, 2♁); Puerto Peñasco, 31º47'N 113º30'W, 7.VI.75, W. Brown (2♀, 2♁) GoogleMaps .

Distribution. This species has not been reported since the type series was collected in northwestern Mexico in coastal areas of the Gulf of California (Fig. 21), but the CNC has a single brachypterous male from the Oriental region labelled “ CEYLON [Sri Lanka], Nugegoda, W. Prov., 7.VII.1970, P.B. Karunaratne”. This specimen likely represents a valid distribution record because Nugegoda is a coastal locality and, if so, P.rothi is indicated to have a much wider, possibly circumtropical coastal distribution.

Fig. 21. Distribution of Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto.

Biology. Unknown, but hosts undoubtedly some Diptera associated with an intertidal shore-line habitat. Both sexes of the type series were observed walking over algae-covered rocks at low tide ( Yoshimoto 1976). Extreme wing length dimorphism characterizes both sexes of P. rothi (cf. Figs 15, 16), the only species of the subfamily known to vary noticeably in wing length. Furthermore, individuals have unusually long setae on the head and dorsum of the meso- and metasoma (Fig. 15). Urolepis rufipes (Ashmead) ( Pteromalidae : Pteromalinae ) is also unusually densely setose for a pteromaline ( Gibson 2000) and females have been observed searching underwater for their Ephydridae aquatic hosts ( Howarth and Polhemus 1991). Because both sexes of P. rothi are dimorphic in wing length and are conspicuously setose the features may be adaptations correlated with adult emergence or accidental submergence while searching for mates or hosts in the intertidal zone.














Playaspalangia rothi Yoshimoto, 1976

Gibson, Gary A. P. 2009

Playaspalangia rothi

Yoshimoto, C. M. 1976: 478
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