Harpactrox pontifrons 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: 161-163

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Harpactrox pontifrons Gustafsson & Bush

new species

Harpactrox pontifrons Gustafsson & Bush  , new species

( Figs 260–262View FIGURES 260 – 262)

Type host. Harpactes ardens ardens (Temminck, 1826)  —Philippine trogon. Type locality. “ Tucay E-el”, Mindanao, Philippines. 

Diagnosis. Head shape of Harpactrox pontifrons  n. sp. ( Fig. 260View FIGURES 260 – 262) intermediate between the other two species in the genus, but as in Ha. loeiensis  n. sp. ( Fig. 248View FIGURES 248 – 252) the head is slightly wider than long. As in Ha. loeiensis  , all mts  are of roughly equal length, and the dorsal preantennal suture does not reach dsms. Dorsal sinuous ridge at the osculum found in Ha. pontifrons  ( Fig. 260View FIGURES 260 – 262) is not present in Ha. loeiensis  ( Fig. 248View FIGURES 248 – 252). Like in Ha. geminodus  n. sp. (Fig. 255), the lateral margins of the clypeo-labral suture are clearly delimited anterior to the pulvinus in Ha. pontifrons  , and the ventral anterior plate is much wider than the marginal carina.

Description. Head shape, structure, and chaetotaxy as in genus description and Fig. 260View FIGURES 260 – 262. Ventral anterior plate much wider than marginal carina. Ventral carinae clearly defined anterior to pulvinus. Dorsal preantennal suture reaches ads but not dsms. Clear dorsal thickening present anterior to suture. Preantennal nodi wide and rounded, distorting the lateral head margin just anterior to antennae. All mts  of roughly equal length. Gular plate short, indistinct. Thoracic and abdominal segments as in genus description and Fig. 261View FIGURES 260 – 262. Posterior margin of pterothorax strikingly more convergent than in other two species.

Male. Unknown. 

Female. Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 2 and Fig. 261View FIGURES 260 – 262. Subgenital plate sinuously trapezoidal ( Fig. 262View FIGURES 260 – 262). Vulval margin ( Fig. 262View FIGURES 260 – 262) gently rounded, with 2 short, slender vms on each side, and 3 short, thorn-like vss on each side; 7–8 long, slender vos on each side; 2 distal vos median to vss. Measurements ex Harpactes ardens ardens  (n = 3): TL = 1.79–2.01; HL = 0.38–0.42; HW = 0.44–0.49; PRW = 0.26–0.28; PTW = 0.44–0.48; AW = 0.56 –0.67.

Etymology. The species epithet is derived from Latin “ pontis ” for “bridge” and “ frons ” for “forehead”. This refers to the thickening of the dorsal head plate across the clypeo-labral suture, which forms a “bridge” from one side of the head to the other ( Fig. 260View FIGURES 260 – 262).

Type material. Ex Harpactes ardens ardens  : Holotype ♀, “Tucay E-el”, Mindanao, Philippines, SUBBM- 1507 (BPBM). Paratypes: 2♀, same data as holotype (PIPeR) [one slide contains unidentified Philopterus  s. lat.].

Remarks. Despite not having any male, we describe Harpactrox pontifrons  n. sp. as a new species on the basis of the unique preantennal area of the females. Several genera of the Brueelia  -complex have species with relatively well-defined dorsal thickenings near the frons (e.g. Indoceoplanetes laurocorythes  n. sp.; Fig. 226View FIGURES 226 – 230). We here interpret these thickenings as part of the marginal carina displaced posteriorly, as suggested by the shape of this feature in e.g. Aratricerca cirithra  n. sp. ( Fig. 170View FIGURES 170 – 174). This is not the case in Ha. pontifrons  , where the marginal carina is clearly continuous across the osculum ( Fig. 260View FIGURES 260 – 262). No similar structure is found in either of the other two species of Harpactrox  ( Figs 248View FIGURES 248 – 252, 255) nor, to our knowledge, in any other ischnoceran louse. Females of H. pontifrons  are well separated from their congenerics, as described above. The type host of Ha. pontifrons  is not uncommon, but decreasing ( BirdLife International 2016), and collecting in the Philippines may not be possible in the foreseeable future; hence additional fresh material to find, describe and compare the male with the other two species in the genus may take a long time to become available.