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: 324

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Brueelia  seta (Eichler)”

Assumed hosts: Muscicapa  sp. Muscicapa striata (Pallas, 1764)  —spotted flycatcher. Ficedula hypoleuca (Pallas, 1764)  —pied flycatcher.

Remarks. “ Brueelia  seta Eichler” has a convoluted history. Both Balát (1955: 503) and Złotorzycka (1964a: 261) refer to Eichler [in Niethammer] (1937) listing this species as the Brueelia  of Muscicapa striata (Pallas, 1764)  . Further, Balát (1955: 503) and Złotorzycka (1968b: 111) note that a subspecies of “ Br. seta Eichler” lives on Ficedula hypoleuca (Pallas, 1764)  . The name was used last in a faunistic report on the lice of the Balkan Mountains ( Touleshkov 1974).

Balát (1955) ascribes this name to “Eichler, 1945”, but in his list of references only cites Eichler's Acta Mallophagologica, a series of multigraphed papers issued by Eichler between 1938 and 1946, which were never validly published (see Hopkins, undated). These were eventually compiled into the Phthirapterarum Mundi Catalogus ( Eichler 1946), where “ Brueelia  seta ” is listed as species no. 432. In this compilation, the author of Br. seta is given as Piaget, but the page reference is to Harrison (1916).

The species listed by Harrison (1916) as Lipeurus  seta Piaget was described from an unidentified Muscicapa  sp. in the addendum to Piaget's (1880), and was compared by Piaget to Lipeurus baculus  [= Columbicola bacillus ( Giebel, 1866)  ]. Hopkins & Clay (1952: 87) treated this species under Columbicola  , noting that the host was in error, the type specimen a nymph, and that the species was thus unidentifiable. Price et al. (2003: 168) agreed with this, and Adams et al. (2005: 3608) considered this name a nomen dubium  . While Columbicola  seta ( Piaget, 1880) is an available name, “ Brueelia  seta Eichler” is not.

We have not seen Eichler [in Niethammer] (1937), but the first reference to Eichler being the author appears to be Balát (1955). Balát did not seem to have had any material of this species, and it appears only in a list of previously recorded lice from Czech hosts. Złotorzycka (1964a) had not seen any material of the species either, but Złotorzycka (1968b) refers to a letter from Eichler, in which he stated that the Brueelia  species of Ficedula hypoleuca  and Muscicapa striata  are so similar that he had only identified them as different subspecies. No subsequent publication of Eichler's is known to us in which this was demonstrated. We could not find any material from either host species at the MFNB, although large parts of Eichler's collections are in severe disorder, with no labels, some slides without cover slips, and with labels containing only numerical references to a presumed notebook that is now lost (J. Deckert, pers. comm.). If Eichler had any material of this species, it must now be regarded as lost.

Touleshkov (1974: 210) is the first person after Eichler who supposedly had material of Brueelia  from Muscicapa  spp., listing a single female from Bulgaria under the name “ Brueelia  seta Eichler”. However, Ilieva (2009: 47) considered it a species inquirenda. Touleshkov never described his material, which belongs to Guimaraesiella (identification based on photos kindly provided by M. Ilieva), and consequently “ Brueelia  seta Eichler” is still a nomen nudum. We include it here for completeness and noting that, if a species of the Brueelia  – complex is found from Muscicapa striata  or Ficedula hypoleuca  , the describer is under no obligation to use the name “ Br. seta Eichler”, as that name has no nomenclatorial existence.