Maculinirmus ljosalfar 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: 130-133

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Maculinirmus ljosalfar Gustafsson & Bush

new species

Maculinirmus ljosalfar Gustafsson & Bush  , new species

( Figs 203View FIGURES 203 – 204 –209)

Type host. Oriolus chinensis diffusus Sharpe, 1877  —black-naped oriole. Type locality. Muang Kluang , Kapoe District, Ranong Province, Thailand. 

Diagnosis. Maculinirmus ljosalfar  n. sp. is separated from Ma. mundus  by the following characters: frons wider and more deeply concave in Ma. ljosalfar  (Fig. 205) than in Ma. mundus  ( Fig. 198View FIGURES 198 – 202); anterior margin of dorsal anterior plate narrow, irregular in Ma. mundus  , wide and concave in Ma. ljosalfar  ; proximal mesosome long, narrowed anteriorly in Ma. ljosalfar  (Fig. 207) but short and gently rounded in Ma. mundus  ( Fig. 200View FIGURES 198 – 202); mesosomal lobes with hook on distal margin in Ma. ljosalfar  , but gently rounded in Ma. mundus  ; female subgenital plate of Ma. mundus  ( Fig. 202View FIGURES 198 – 202) trapezoidal, about half as wide distally as proximally, whereas in Ma. ljosalfar  the plate is more triangular (Fig. 209), and distal margin is less than a fourth as wide as proximal margin. Vulval chaetotaxy overlaps.

Description. Both sexes. Head shape, structure, and chaetotaxy as in genus description and similar to Fig. 205. Ventral anterior plate short, rounded. Gular plate short, with prominent median point. Head largely translucent, except preantennal nodi with dark pigmentation, and posterior section of marginal carina, pre-and postocular nodi, gular plate, and parts of mandibles with moderate pigmentation. Thoracic and abdominal segments as in genus description and Figs 203–204View FIGURES 203 – 204. Body almost entirely translucent, except proepimera, metepisterna, and parts of pleurites with moderate pigmentation.

Male. Pleurites III –VIII with moderate pigmentation in at least anterior end, more extensive in more posterior segments. Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 2 and Fig. 203View FIGURES 203 – 204. Male genitalia typical for genus (Fig. 206). Basal apodeme rounded rectangular. Proximal mesosome comparatively long, rounded. Gonopore (Fig. 207) as subparallel sclerites, open distally and proximally, but with ventral connecting ridge proximally. Mesosomal lobes wide, short, rounded, with distinct hook at distal margin; 2 pmes sensilla visible lateral to gonopore and 1 pmes sensillus visible distally on each side; distal pmes may be microseta. Parameral heads (Fig. 208) folded into distinct U-shape, overlapping with basal apodeme. Parameral blades wide, blunt; pst1–2 as in genus description. Measurements ex Oriolus chinensis diffusus  (n = 8, except n = 7 for TL): TL = 1.31–1.56; HL = 0.37–0.42; HW = 0.35–0.41; PRW = 0.21–0.25; PTW = 0.31–0.36; AW = 0.41–0.53.

Female. Pigmentation of pleurites paler, less extensive than in male, and entirely absent on segments III –IV in some specimens. Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 2 and Fig. 204View FIGURES 203 – 204. Subgenital plate narrows distally (Fig. 209). Vulval margin (Fig. 209) gently rounded, with 4–6 short, slender vms on each side, and 7–8 short, thorn-like vss on each side; 5–6 slender vos on each side; distal 2–3 vos just proximal to vss. Measurements ex Oriolus chinensis diffusus  (n = 10 except n = 9 for HW): TL = 1.43–1.88 (1.61); HL = 0.41–0.47 (0.43); HW = 0.37–0.46 (0.40); PRW = 0.23–0.27 (0.25); PTW = 0.34–0.40 (0.37); AW = 0.43–0.61 (0.51).

Etymology. The species epithet is derived from Old Norse “ ljósálfar  ”, meaning “light-elves”. These, according to the Prose Edda (Sturluson ca. 1220), are “fairer than the sun to look at”, and are traditionally small, light creatures that are ambiguous as to “good” or “evil”. Elves are generally depicted, in the Nordic tradition, as white, almost translucent creatures [see, for instance, the painting “Elfplay” (1866) by August Malmström (1829– 1901)], and this seems a fitting attribute for this, the least pigmented of the Maculinirmus  species examined by us, including several undescribed species. It is a noun in apposition.

Type material. Ex Oriolus chinensis diffusus  : Holotype ♂, Muang Kluang , Kapoe District, Ranong Province, Thailand, 19 Jan. 1963, W. Songprakob, RE-7023–4 ( NHML)  . Paratypes: 1♀, same data as holotype ( NHML)  ; 6♂, 10♀, same data as holotype, RE-7023 on most slides (PIPeR) 


Natural History Museum, Tripoli