Valim, Michel P. & Palma, Ricardo L., 2015, A new genus and two new species of feather lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera: Philopteridae) from New Zealand endemic passerines (Aves: Passeriformes), Zootaxa 3926 (4), pp. 480-498: 482-483

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The Brueelia  -complex

At present, the Brueelia  -complex includes the following genera: Brueelia Kéler, 1936  , Bizarrifrons Eichler, 1938  , Penenirmus Clay & Meinertzhagen, 1938  , Pseudocophorus Carriker, 1940  , Debeauxoecus Conci, 1941 b  , Meropsiella Conci, 1941 a  , Corvonirmus Eichler, 1944  , Sturnidoecus Eichler, 1944  , Picophilopterus Ansari, 1947  , Traihoriella Ansari, 1947  , Turdinirmus Eichler, 1951  , Formicaphagus Carriker, 1957  , Formicaricola Carriker, 1957  , Hirundiniella Carriker, 1963  , Maculinirmus Złotorzycka, 1964  , Rostrinirmus Złotorzycka, 1964  , Buerelius Clay & Tandan, 1967  , Osculonirmus Mey, 1982 b  , Motmotnirmus Mey & Barker, 2014, and Nitzschnirmus Mey & Barker, 2014 (see Mey & Barker 2014: 81). Clay & Tandan (1967: 34) defined the Brueelia  -complex by giving an exhaustive list of characters, which allow placing the genera mentioned above within the complex. For brevity, we do not repeat that list of characters here.

Although Valim & Palma (2012: 29) and Mey & Barker (2014: 81) included Furnariphilus Price & Clayton, 1995  as a member of this complex, the shape of the ventral carina, the pterothoracic chaetotaxy, the shape of tergal plates, and the position of the male genital opening in species of this genus do not agree within the definition of the Brueelia  -complex as given by Clay & Tandan (1967: 34). Also, we disagree with Mey & Barker (2014: 81) regarding the inclusion of Penenirmus  , Picophilopterus  and Rostrinirmus  in the Brueelia  -complex. In our opinion, these features: (1) tergites fused medially in both sexes, (2) anterior setae on tergites II, (3) male genital opening ventrally, (4) male parameres fused with basal plate, and (5) male subgenital plate with setae, exclude those three genera from the Brueelia  -complex. Furthermore, based on DNA evidence, Johnson et al. (2001) clearly showed that Penenirmus  is more closely related to the Philopterus  - and Rallicola  -complexes than to the Brueelia  -complex. Also, we believe that the genus Debeauxoecus  belongs in the Philopterus  -complex based on morphology of the head and molecular evidence ( Eichler 1963: 177; M.P. Valim unpublished data).

Conversely, other genera such as Paragoniocotes Cummings, 1916  and Meropoecus Eichler, 1940  should also be included in the Brueelia  -complex because they possess the key characters listed by Clay & Tandan (1967: 34). Species of Paragoniocotes  have thick setae situated postero-laterally to the subgenital plate, as in species of the Rallicola  -complex, but in the former genus those setae are situated on the 'gonapophyses' as in species of the Brueelia  complex, and not between the gonapophyses and the vulvar margin as in species of the Rallicola  - complex.


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