Melanaspis nothofagi , Hardy, Nate B. & Williams, Douglas J., 2018

Hardy, Nate B. & Williams, Douglas J., 2018, Doubling the known endemic species diversity of New Caledonian armored scale insects (Hemiptera, Diaspididae), ZooKeys 782, pp. 11-47: 11

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Melanaspis nothofagi

sp. n.

Melanaspis nothofagi  sp. n. Figure 13

Material examined.

Holotype: New Caledonia: 1 adult female (0.79 mm long, 0.74 mm wide): ex Nothofagus  aequilateralis, Pic du Pin, 6.x.1978, JS Dugdale, BM 19 7 ( NHMUK).


Adult female, n = 1. Presumed to secrete scale cover. Body 0.79 mm long, 0.74 mm wide; outline circular, margin of posterior abdominal segments sinusoidal, i.e., appearing lobed, posterior part of each lobe bearing sclerotic tooth, tip pointed or rounded.

Pygidium with four lobes on each side of body, each roughly rectangular in shape, with apex notched or emarginate. L1 longer than wide; L2, L3, and L4 wider than long. One linear paraphysis between L1s, two paraphyses in every other interlobal space, lateral one in each pair near medial base of lobe delimiting lateral edge of interlobal space, this lateral paraphysis much shorter than medial one in same interlobal space. One simple plate with blunt apex between L1 and L2, and another between L2 and L3 (these are difficult to make out on holotype). Dorsum of pygidium with subtriangular area of smooth sclerotic cuticle, lateral edges converging to space between L2 and L3, two smaller elongate, oblique sclerites lateral of this sclerotic area, separated by furrows of membranous cuticle, the medial one near L3 and the lateral one anterior of L4. One-barred macroducts near L2, in and near furrows between sclerites, and along margin, decreasing in length anterolaterally. Anus small and compressed lateromedially (~5 μm wide and 15 μm long) in the posterior half of pygidium. Venter of pygidium with vulva in anterior half. One cluster of 8-10 quinquelocular perivulvar pores anterolaterally of each side of vulva.

Pre-pygidial segments. Dorsum with fine, hair-like setae, especially dense along margin, decreasing in length mesally. one-barred macroducts much shorter than those on posterior pygidial segments (~13 μm long scattered along margin of abdomen. Microducts scattered along submargin. On venter, microducts scattered along submargin of anterior abdominal segments, plus a few near posterior spiracle. Small setae in distinct longitudinal submedial and submarginal lines across abdominal segments, a few additional setae between these lines. Antenna with one long seta, one short seta evident from socket. No pores near spiracles.


With 63 described species, Melanaspis  Cockerell is one of the more diverse genera of armored scale insects ( García Morales et al. 2016). The type species is Aspidiotus obscurus  Comstock. They occur world-wide, but more than half of the species (35) can be found in the Nearctic Region. Only Melanaspis bromiliae  has been recorded from the South Pacific (in Guam). If we liberally define the Australasian biogeographic zone in a way that extends as far north as the Bonin Islands, we can also find Melanaspis marlatti  (Parrott). Both of those species feed on monocots. If we cast our net even further afield, to include the Indian Ocean, we find five species recorded from Madagascar: M. artemisiae  Mamet, M. casuarinae  Mamet, M. madagascariensis  Mamet, M. philippiae  Mamet, and M. sansevii  Mamet.

Following the generic diagnosis of Dietz and Davidson (1986), the adult female of Melanaspis  species have (1) a circular body outline; (2) four lobes on each side of pygidium; (3) paraphyses arising from interlobal spaces, and in some species the bases of lobes or the margin up to a short distance anterior to L4; (4) dorsum of pygidium with a large medial sclerotic area, and a smaller sclerotic strap extending anterolaterally from L3 and L4; (5) interlobal areas with small plates, each with simple or slightly fringed apex. With the addition of this new species, M. nothofagi  , no change to this diagnosis is necessary. The adult female of M. nothofagi  , can be recognized by having (1) one group perivulvar pores on each side; (2) sclerotic teeth on marginal protrusions of posterior pre-pygidial abdominal segments; (4) a pair of linear apophyses in each interlobal area; (5) no other apophyses; (6) a sclerotic tooth on posterior of marginal lobes of posterior pre-pygidial segments.


The epithet is taken from the genus name of the host plant genus Nothofagus  .