Meropoecus balisong Gustafsson & Bush,

Bush, Sarah E., 2017, Morphological revision of the hyperdiverse Brueelia - complex (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Ischnocera: Philopteridae) with new taxa, checklists and generic key, Zootaxa 4313 (1), pp. 1-443: 297

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Meropoecus balisong Gustafsson & Bush

new species

Meropoecus balisong Gustafsson & Bush  , new species

( Figs 492–496View FIGURES 492 – 493View FIGURES 494 – 496)

Type host. Merops americanus Muller, 1776  —rufous-crowned bee-eater. Type locality. Balisong , Mindanao, Philippines. 

Diagnosis. Male Meropoecus balisong  n. sp. keys to couplet 3 in the key of Emerson & Elbel (1958), placing them near Mo. caprai  and Mo. debeauxi  . Meropoecus balisong  ( Fig. 492View FIGURES 492 – 493) has 6–7 short setae on each side of tergopleurite XI, placing it closer to Mo. debeauxi  , which has 7–8 setae on each side, rather than to Mo. caprai  , which has 9–10 setae on each side. The male genitalia of all three species are similar in that the distal section of the mesosome is much narrower than the proximal part ( Fig. 495View FIGURES 494 – 496), and the parameres are similarly shaped in all three species. However, the anterior mesosome of Mo. balisong  ( Fig. 495View FIGURES 494 – 496) is rounded trapezoidal, unlike the heartshaped mesosome of Mo. caprai  ( Emerson & Elbel 1956: fig. 4) or the transversally oval mesosome of Mo. debeauxi  ( Emerson & Elbel 1956: fig. 6). The shape of the basal apodeme in Mo. balisong  ( Fig. 495View FIGURES 494 – 496) is also trapezoidal, and unlike the more egg-shaped basal apodemes of Mo. caprai  and Mo. debeauxi  .

Females key to couplet 3 in the same key, placing them near Mo. meropis  and Mo. debeauxi  . The vulval margin of Mo. balisong  ( Fig. 496View FIGURES 494 – 496) has less than 26 long setae in total, as in these two species; Mo. balisong  has 7–8 long setae on the lateral tubercules on each side ( Fig. 493View FIGURES 492 – 493), which is more setae than either Mo. meropis  or Mo. debeauxi  have on the lateral tubercules ( Emerson & Elbel 1956).

Description. Both sexes. Head shape, structure, and chaetotaxy as in genus description, and Fig. 494View FIGURES 494 – 496; pos lateral, immediately posterior to eye; mts  2 more than twice as long as mts  1. Some specimens with narrow thickening of anterior margin of dorsal anterior plate, as in Fig. 494View FIGURES 494 – 496. Preantennal nodi short, rounded. Postantennal head much broader than preantennal head. Postantennal suture narrow, occasionally as in Fig. 494View FIGURES 494 – 496, but always present as clearly defined, medianly continuous, line ( Figs 492–493View FIGURES 492 – 493). Thoracic and abdominal segments as in genus description and Figs 492–493View FIGURES 492 – 493.

Male. Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 2 and Fig. 492View FIGURES 492 – 493. Male genitalia distinct ( Fig. 495View FIGURES 494 – 496). Basal apodeme trapezoidal. Anterior mesosome roughly quadratic; narrow median section extended distally. Distal margin of extension flat or slightly convex. Anterior end of mesosome with distinct, papillate ridge; ridge extends medianly into slender, very rugose finger; 2 ames microsetae on each side lateral to rugose ridge; 2–3 pmes sensilla on each side near distal margin of mesosome. Parameres curved, very stout, with small distal translucent section. Parameral heads very large; 3–4 pst sensilla near median margin of each paramere. Measurements ex Merops americanus  (n = 6 except n = 4 for TL): TL = 1.78–1.86; HL = 0.55–0.62; HW = 0.77–0.82; PRW = 0.36–0.46; PTW = 0.53–0.64; AW = 0.72–0.83.

Female. Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 2 and Fig. 493View FIGURES 492 – 493. Median extension of subgenital plate narrow, pointed distally ( Fig. 496View FIGURES 494 – 496). Vulval margin convergent ( Fig. 496View FIGURES 494 – 496), with distinct median bulge. Bulge with 5–6 short, slender vms and 3–4 short, thorn-like vss on each side. Lateral to bulge 12–13 long, stout vms on each side and 9– 11 short, thorn-like vss on each side; 8–9 short, slender vos on each side; distal vos near vss. Measurements ex Merops americanus  (n = 5 except n = 3 for TL and n = 2 for AW): TL = 2.08–2.12; HL = 0.60–0.64; HW = 0.84– 0.88; PRW = 0.38–0.40; PTW = 0.61–0.64; AW = 0.84–0.88.

Etymology. The species epithet is derived from the type locality. In addition, a “ balisong  ” is a form of Philippine knife in which the blade is hidden between two revolving handles, which is reminiscent of the shape of the male genitalia ( Fig. 495View FIGURES 494 – 496).

Type material. Ex Merops americanus  : Holotype ♂, Balisong, Mindanao, Philippines, N. Wilson, SUBBM- 1231 ( NHML). Paratypes: 8♂, 7♀, same data as holotype (PIPeR) [several slides contain unidentified menoponids]. 


Natural History Museum, Tripoli