Pilophorus meteorus, Yasunaga, Tomohide, Yamada, Kazutaka & Artchawakom, Taksin, 2014

Yasunaga, Tomohide, Yamada, Kazutaka & Artchawakom, Taksin, 2014, Additional records and descriptions of the ant-mimetic plant bug genus Pilophorus from Thailand (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae: Pilophorini), Zootaxa 3795 (1), pp. 1-15: 4-9

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Pilophorus meteorus

new species

Pilophorus meteorus   new species

( Figs. 1 View FIGURE 1 C –D, 4, 6– 7)

Diagnosis. Recognized by its small size, distinctive pattern of bunches of scalelike setae on dorsum, slender body, short labium, and form of male genitalia.

Description. Body generally shiny fuscous, very slender, strongly constricted (HCR = 0.55–0.63); dorsal surface shining, with typical meteor-like bunches of silvery scalelike setae on scutellum and hemelytron. Head much wider than high in frontal view, with sparsely distributed, silky, erect setae. Antenna slender; segment I pale brown; segment II dark brown, with yellowish brown basal half, weakly thickened toward apex; segment III yellowish white, with grayish apical half; segment IV dark brown, with somewhat pale basal 1 / 5. Labium pale brown, short, reaching or slightly exceeding apex of procoxa; apical part of segment IV darkened. Pronotum shiny fuscous, with sparsely distributed, simple, silky setae; pleura shiny fuscous, except for shagreened scent efferent system; propleuron and episternum each with a bundle of silvery scalelike setae; scutellum with a pair of bundles of scalelike setae near mesoscutum. Hemelytron coffee brown to fuscous, slender, with uniformly distributed, golden, reclining setae on entire clavus and apical half (narrowed part) of corium, and with 8 (or 4 pairs of) streaks of silvery, scalelike setae as in Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 C –D; membrane smoky brown. Coxae and trochanters creamy yellow, except for dark, somewhat pruinosed metacoxa; legs dark brown; base of each femur, apical part of each tibia and all tarsi yellowish brown; apical half of each tarsomere III darkened. Abdomen shiny dark brown; sternum V with a pair of bunches of scalelike setae laterally. Male genitalia ( Figs. 6–7 View FIGURE 6 View FIGURE 7 ): Phallotheca with rounded apex. Left paramere generally slender, with a dorsal, elongate protuberance. Endosoma simple in form, weakly curved, without noticeable appendage.

Measurements. ♂/♀: Total body length 2.6−2.8 / 2.6−2.9; length from apex of clypeus to cuneal fracture 1.99−2.09 / 2.24−2.32; width of head across eyes 0.74−0.75 / 0.74−0.76; head height 0.51−0.54 / 0.56−0.60; width of vertex 0.28−0.32 / 0.31−0.36; lengths of antennal segments I −IV 0.12−0.14, 0.84−0.90, 0.26−0.27, 0.42−0.48 / 0.13−0.14, 0.75−0.81, 0.26−0.30, 0.45−0.48; basal width of pronotum 0.78−0.84 / 0.80−0.84; minimum width across hemelytron 0.49−0.54 / 0.48−0.54; maximum width across hemelytron 0.81−0.87 / 0.86−0.96; and length of metatibia 1.30−1.38 / 1.36−1.44.

Etymology. From Greek, meteoros, or Latin, meteorum (= a shooting or falling star), referring to the meteorlike, dorsal bundles of silvery, scalelike setae of this new species.

Biology. A pair of adults were found on leaves of teak trees, Tectona grandis   L. ( Verbenaceae   ), together with a few Zanchius   species ( Miridae   : Orthotylinae   ), but any breeding host of P. meteorus   is yet to be confirmed. Collection records suggest this new species have two or more generations per year.

Holotype: ♂, THAILAND: Nakhon Ratchasima: SERS (front yard), 14 ° 30 ' 38 "N, 101 ° 55 ' 50 "E, 385 m alt., on leaf of Tectona grandis   , 30 Oct 2008, T. Yasunaga ( AMNH _PBI 00380150) ( DOA).

Paratypes. THAILAND: Nakhon Nayok: 1 ♀, Sarika, 14 ° 18 '07"N, 101 ° 18 '09"E, at light, 19 Dec 2010, T. Yasunaga (00380159) ( TYCN). Nakhon Ratchasima: 1 ♀, same data as for holotype (00380151) ( TYCN); 1 ♀, SERS, 14 ˚ 30 ' 27 ”N, 101 ˚ 55 ' 39 ”E, 410 m alt., light trap, 19−21 Aug 2008, T. Yasunaga, B Shishido (00380152) ( TYCN); 2 ♂ 1 ♀, SERS, 14 ˚ 30 ' 27 ”N, 101 ˚ 55 ' 39 ”E, 410 m alt., light trap, 12−14 Jun 2009, T. Yasunaga, K. Yamada (00380153−00380155) ( TYCN); 3 ♀, SERS, 14 ˚ 30 ' 27 ”N, 101 ˚ 55 ' 39 ”E, 410 m alt., light trap, 31 May 2012, 18 Apr 2013 & 23 Sep 2013, T. Yasunaga (00380156−00380158) ( AMNH, TYCN).

Remarks. This new species is, so far as known, assumed to be the closest relative of P. fulvicomus Mu, Zhang & Liu   recently described from Hainan Island of China ( Mu et al., 2012). The former can be distinguished from the latter by the smaller size, antennal segment IV that is longer than III, more developed silvery scalelike setae on the hemelytron, and blunt tipped, not sharpened phallotheca. Similarly to P. t y p i c u s, which appears to comprise some sibling species, P. meteorus   also has a few more closely related, undescribed congeners in tropical and subtropical Asia. Judging from the shape of the left paramere (with an elongate protuberance) and the simple endosoma, this new species, P. fulvicomus   and P. dailanh Schuh, 1984   (known from Viet Nam) may constitute a monophyletic group.


American Museum of Natural History


Department Of Agriculture, Thailand