Kirbyana australis ( Muir, 1913 ),

Löcker, Birgit, Fletcher, Murray J. & Gurr, Geoff M., 2010, Taxonomic revision of the Australian Eucarpiini (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Cixiidae) with the description of nine new species, Zootaxa 2425, pp. 1-31: 14-16

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.194600

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scientific name

Kirbyana australis ( Muir, 1913 )


Kirbyana australis ( Muir, 1913) 

( Figs 6View FIGURE 6, 16View FIGURE 16)

Ptoleria australis Muir, 1913: 258  .

Eucarpia australi  s (Muir), Fennah 1980: 238. Kirbyana australis (Muir)  , new combination.

Types. Lectotype 3 (here designated, examined), AUSTRALIA, Qld: Cairns, viii. 1904 (Perkins & Koebele) ( BPBM).

Notes: The original description leaves open whether further type specimens exist although it is unlikely because a single measurement instead of a range is given for the body length and the length of the tegmen by Muir (1913). Nevertheless, the specimen is recognised as a syntype because of the possibility of additional specimens and is hereby designated as lectotype to provide a diagnostic reference for the species.

Other material examined. AUSTRALIA, NT: 1 Ƥ, 16 ml. W. of Humpty Doo, 1964 (I. F. B. Common) ( ANIC).

Colour. Vertex, pronotum and mesonutm with percurrent, parallel-sided, pale yellow stripe. Between stripe and lateral carinae, pro- and mesonotum brown. Frons mid brown speckled with small pale dots. Forewings hyaline light brown or mid brown with scattered darker marks, veins light brown, tubercles mid brown, pterostigma light brown. Abdomen light to mid brown, legs light brown.

Morphology. Body length: 3 4.5 mm; Ƥ 4.8 mm.

Head: Vertex 1.7–1.8 times wider than long; with anterior margin angulately emarginate; median carina covering entire length of vertex; lateral carinae slightly elevated. Frons 0.9 –1.0 times as long as wide; frons invisible in dorsal view; maximum width of frons less than 2 x apical width; median carina incomplete, covering more than 3 / 4 of length of frons; lateral carinae slightly elevated. Frontoclypeal suture distinctly semicircular, bent upwards, median part not reaching lower margin of antennal scape. Lateral carinae of anteclypeus well developed. Rostrum distinctly surpassing hind coxae.

Thorax: Forewing 3.0 times longer than wide; with MP joining CuA directly without crossvein MP-CuA; with 19–27 tubercles on costa; Sc+R fused, forming common stem Sc+R, M emerging separately from basal cell or Sc+R+M fused, forming very short common stem; Sc+R forking distinctly basad of fork CuA 1 +CuA 2; position of crossvein R-M at same level as fork MA-MP; RP apically bifid; MA apically trifid; apical cells 10.

Male genitalia: Anal tube ( Figs 16View FIGURE 16 B, C), triangular in dorsal view; with very large apical lobes in lateral view ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 C). Genital styles ( Figs 16View FIGURE 16 D, E) with inner side of basal arm bearing small tooth ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 D). Ventromedian process circular ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 D). Aedeagus (damaged) as in Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 A. Phallotheca ventrally with spine (a) inserting near apex of aedeagus (this spine appears to have been much longer, but being broken off). Flagellum with very long spine (b).

Remarks. The poor condition of the only known male specimen of Kirbyana australis  (body parts carrying important diagnostic features such as antennae, hind tarsi, one hind wing and parts of one forewing are missing) complicates the search for a suitable genus for this taxon. Fennah (1980) provided an identification key to the genera of the ‘ Eucarpia’ group. In order to key to Eucarpia  the forewing of the specimen needs to have crossvein MP-CuA (=M 3 + 4 -Cu 1 a) at least as long as vein MP (=M 3 + 4) from M fork to this crossvein and about as long as crossvein R-M. However, in the type specimen of Kirbyana australis  MP joins CuA directly without the presence of a crossvein MP-CuA. Therefore, and based on the following reason, placement of this species in Kirbyana  seems more appropriate. Kirbyana australis  matches important diagnostic features listed in descriptions of Kirbyana  and Fennah’s (1980) identification key such as: head including eyes slightly narrower than pronotum; vertex in profile horizontal, in same line as thorax, meeting frons abruptly rectangulately; frons somewhat longer than broad; frons with median carina; frons with anterior margin angularly indented or transverse; frons widest below level of antennae; pronotum very narrow, scarcely half as long as vertex; mesonotum nearly twice as long as pronotum and vertex together; forewing with apical margin slightly convex; hindwing with simple R; absence of lateral spines on hind tibia. In his key to the genera of the Cixiidae  of Australasia (adapted from Muir) Fennah (1980) uses the character state “Vertex distinctly angulately emarginate at apex” to discriminate Kirbyana  from other related genera. Kirbyana australis  shows this angulate emargination, though not as pronounced as e.g. in Distant’s (1906) illustration of Kirbyana pagana (Melichar)  . Tsaur & Hsu’s (2003) description of the genus lists, “vertex transverse or incised in middle”. In the type specimen of Kirbyana australis  a parallel-sided, pale yellow stripe runs throughout the vertex, pronotum and mesonotum. Outside this stripe (delimited by the lateral carinae of the mesonotum) the pro- and mesonotum is coloured brown. This distinct colour pattern has been recorded from at least four of the six species currently placed in Kirbyana  . Kirbyana australis  , however, does not display the percurrent dark brown stripes along the outer surface of the hind tibiae as observed in some species of Kirbyana  , such as K. javana Muir  , K. lini Tsaur & Hsu  , K. pagana  and K. pratti Muir. Fennah (1980)  and Tsaur & Hsu (2003) list the character state frons usually speckled with small pale spots. This feature is present in K. australis  . The most striking feature, however, is the similarity in the venation of the forewing between K. australis  and some other Kirbyana  species. Fennah (1980) and Tsaur & Hsu (2003) use the length of the crossvein MP-CuA (=M 3 + 4 –Cu 1 a) in relation to the length of other crossveins as a character to differentiate between certain genera of the ‘ Eucarpia  ’ group. On the forewings of the male type specimen of K. australis  , MP joins CuA directly without the presence of a crossvein MP –CuA. This situation is also represented in Distant’s (1906; 1916) drawings of K. pagana  and K. deusta  . In Tsaur & Hsu's (2003) illustration of K. pagana  , a very short crossvein MP-CuA is present. This situation of an extremely short or missing crossvein MP-CuA may be a unique feature of Kirbyana  within the ‘ Eucarpia  ’ group.


Bishop Museum


Australian National Insect Collection














Kirbyana australis ( Muir, 1913 )

Löcker, Birgit, Fletcher, Murray J. & Gurr, Geoff M. 2010

Eucarpia australi

Fennah 1980: 238

Ptoleria australis

Muir 1913: 258