Sturnidoecus australafricanus 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: 244-250

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Sturnidoecus australafricanus Gustafsson & Bush

new species

Sturnidoecus australafricanus Gustafsson & Bush  , new species

( Figs 399–405View FIGURES 399 – 400View FIGURES 401 – 405)

Type host. Corvinella melanoleuca expressa Clancey, 1961  —magpie shrike. Type locality. Nwamayiwane , South Africa. 

Diagnosis. Only known species in its species-group, and easily separated from most other Sturnidoecus  by the structure of male genitalia. The overall shape of the mesosome of St. australafricanus  n. sp. ( Fig. 384View FIGURES 384 – 389) is similar to that of the St. basilewskyi  ( Fig. 385View FIGURES 384 – 389), St. pastoris  ( Fig. 390View FIGURES 390 – 395) and St. sturni  ( Fig. 396View FIGURES 396 – 398) species-groups, being generally fairly rounded, with paired hooks on distal margin. However, the lateral margins of the mesosome are more sinuous in St. australafricanus  than in members of the other three species groups. Also, unlike the St. basilewskyi  and St. sturni  species groups, there are hook-shaped structures on each side of the ventral surface of the mesosome in St. australafricanus  . The proximal mesosome of St. australafricanus  is widely trapezoidal, with a convex anterior margin, as in the St. basilewskyi  species-group, whereas in the St. sturni  species group the proximal mesosome is smaller with a concave anterior margin; the proximal mesosome of the St. pastoris  species-group is irregular, but still widens at the anterior margin. In all four groups the ames and pmes form a more or less obvious pair of distantly converging rows, but only in the St. australafricanus  group are the ames and pmes both of roughly equal size.

Unlike most other groups of Sturnidoecus  , St. australafricanus  ( Figs 399–400View FIGURES 399 – 400) have reduced sternal plates that are narrower than the subgenital plate in both sexes. Uniquely in Sturnidoecus  , female St. australafricanus  ( Fig. 400View FIGURES 399 – 400) have sternal plates only on segments III –VI, but not on segment II. The female genitalia are typical for the genus, and the lack of this sternal plate may be the best character to differentiate female St. australafricanus  from other species.

Description. Both sexes. Head shape, structure, and chaetotaxy as in genus description and Fig. 401View FIGURES 401 – 405; as1 present. Dorsal preantennal suture extends only slightly towards preantennal nodi. Coni broad and short compared to other Sturnidoecus  spp., barely or not reaching distal margin of scapes. Preocular nodi comparatively large, rectangular. Postocular nodi comparatively large, rounded; pos located just posterior to nodi. Gular plate slender, spade-shaped. Thoracic and abdominal segments as in genus description and Figs 399–400View FIGURES 399 – 400. Posterior margin of pterothorax rounded in both sexes. Sternal plates small in both sexes.

Male. Distal abdomen of male distorted in single available male, and not illustrated. Sternal plates present on segments II –VI, small ( Fig. 399View FIGURES 399 – 400). Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 11 and Fig. 399View FIGURES 399 – 400. Male genitalia as in genus and species group description and Fig. 402–404View FIGURES 401 – 405. Measurements ex Corvinella melanoleuca expressa  (n = 1): TL = 1.45; HL = 0.46; HW = 0.47; PRW = 0.30; PTW = 0.43; AW = 0.57.

Female. Sternal plates present on segments IV –VI ( Fig. 400View FIGURES 399 – 400). Abdominal chaetotaxy as in Table 11 and Fig. 400View FIGURES 399 – 400. Subgenital plate roughly triangular, narrowing considerably distally ( Fig. 405View FIGURES 401 – 405). Vulval margin ( Fig. 405View FIGURES 401 – 405) gently rounded, with 5–7 long, slender vms on each side, and 10–13 short, thorn-like vss on each side; 7–10 short, slender vos on each side; distal 1–2 vos median to vss. Measurements ex Corvinella melanoleuca expressa  (n = 6): TL = 1.63–1.77; HL = 0.48–0.52; HW = 0.49–0.53; PRW = 0.30–0.32; PTW = 0.44–0.47; AW = 0.61–0.71.

Etymology. The species epithet refers to the predominantly southern African distribution of the host.

Type material. Ex Corvinella melanoleuca  ex pressa [as Corvinella melanoleuca  ]: Holotype ♂, Nwamayiwane, South Africa, 24 Apr. 1983, Braack & Espie, PHTH-22 (NHML). Paratypes: 6♀, same data as holotype (NHML).