Avititerra xerophila, Symonds & Cassis, 2018

Symonds, Celia L. & Cassis, Gerasimos, 2018, Systematics And Analysis Of The Radiation Of Orthotylini Plant Bugs Associated With Callitroid Conifers In Australia: Description Of Five New Genera And 32 New Species (Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae), Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2018 (422), pp. 1-229: 69-75

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.1206/0003-0090-422.1.1

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scientific name

Avititerra xerophila

new species

Avititerra xerophila   , new species

Figures 12 View FIG , 16–19 View FIG View FIG ; map 1

DIAGNOSIS: Defined by the following characters: eyes medium to large, rather bulbous; labium extending only to mesepisternum; dorsum bright pale green, cuneus concolorous with rest of forewing and dorsum; forewing membrane uniformly light brown, veins all yellowish orange; dorsum with white scalelike setae; lateral margins of hemelytra curved ventrally; pygophore dorsal margin weakly concave, irregular shape with very small left lateral tergal spinelike process; sclerotized and serrate proctiger covering phallotheca and aedeagus; left paramere subtriangular, strongly expanded medially, sensory lobe bulbous with few small spinelike serrations on outer margin, apophysis broad and tapering slightly apically; right paramere apex moderately curved inward; with serrate bulbous apex and subapical/medial dorsal lobes; phallotheca apex partially membranous; aedeagus with all three spicules bifurcate, PES ventral branch curved and apically serrate, dorsal branch with smooth margins and small threadlike processes subapically; female dorsal labiate plate with pair of spiniferous pads on posterolateral walls proximate to valvulae; interramal lobes with short inner branch, one small basal lobe.

DESCRIPTION: Male: Moderately small size, very slender, lateral margins of hemelytra curved ventrally, body length 3.49–3.83 mm, pronotal width 0.86–0.99 mm. COLORATION: Dorsum, overall bright pale green; head, antennae, pronotum and scutellum faded to pale yellowish green or very pale green and almost white; mesoscutum orangey yellow; forewing membrane uniform light brown; forewing membrane veins yellowish orange (fig. 12). VESTITURE: Dorsum with pale simple setae and white scalelike setae (fig. 12). STRUCTURE: Head: Eyes medium to large size, three-quarters height of head, strongly exerted from outline of head and extending well beyond anterolateral angle of pronotum (figs. 12, 16A–D); labium short in length, extending only to mesepisternum. Pronotum: Trapezoidal, 1.3× wider than head, lateral margins strongly angled 45° to midline (fig. 16C). Mesoscutum and scutellum: Mesoscutum one-quarter length of scutellum, sometimes partially hidden under pronotum. GENITALIA: Pygophore: Dorsal margin of genital opening weakly asymmetrically concave, margin rather sinuous, with one left lateral tergal process; tergal process small, spinelike; phalloguide without (sclerotized or serrate) lobe ventrad to right paramere articulation; aedeagus and phallotheca covered with sclerotized and spiniferous proctiger (figs. 17A, C, 18A). Left paramere: L-shaped; strongly expanded medially, subtriangular; sensory lobe prominent, expanded, and bulbous, with few spinelike serrations; apophysis moderately elongate, broad, narrowing slightly apically; apex truncate, round with weakly recurved hook (figs. 17B, 18B). Right paramere: C-shaped; apex moderately curved inward dorsally and forming moderately elongate, serrate, bulbous lobe; subapical to medial dorsal margin expanded, forming serrate, bulbous lobe directed inward; mesiolateral surface not excavated (figs. 17A, B, 18C). Phallotheca: Apex round, partially membranous; lateral/dorsal margins reduced (fig. 18D, E). Aedeagus: Spicule arrangement and orientation as in generic description; PES bifurcate medially, branches subequal in length and tapering to narrow pointed apex, ventral branch with apex curved downward and margins serrate, dorsal branch with two threadlike processes and margins smooth; DES2 bifurcate in distal half, right branch short and uniformly narrow, almost threadlike, margins smooth, left branch elongate with bisected apex, apical margins weakly serrate; DES1 bifurcate in distal third, branches subequal, one with serrate apex, other with mostly smooth margins, with short basal keel (DESk) (figs. 17D–F, 18F, G).

Female: As in generic description, body length 3.50–3.77 mm, pronotal width 0.86–0.94 mm.

GENITALIA: Interramal lobes (IRL) bisected medially with inner branch short and outer branch elongate, margins and surface of IRL covered with minute spinelike serrations, IRL with single small spiniferous basal lobe (fig. 19C).

ETYMOLOGY: Named in reference to the hot, dry climates of the regions this species inhabits, from the Greek xēros (dry) in combination with phila (lover).

HOST PLANTS: Known from Callitris glaucophylla   (after Hill, 1998, see also appendix 2) across much of this host’s range with one specimen collected from C. canescens   (table 2).

HOLOTYPE: AUSTRALIA: Western Australia: Charles Darwin Reserve , 4 km N of Wanarra East Rd, track directly N of homestead, 29.54497 ° S 116.93527 ° E, 299 m, 06 May 2009, C. Symonds, A. Molan, A. Wheeler, B. Yardley, Callitris columellaris   , det. T.D. Macfarlane WA Herbarium, 1♂ ( AMNH _ PBI 00030446 View Materials ) ( WAMP). GoogleMaps  

PARATYPES: AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Euglo South State Forest, 33.53305 ° S 147.20888 ° E, 11 Dec 1998, AM Terr. Ecol. Dept., Callitris glaucophylla   , 3♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00016255–00016257), 1♀ ( AMNH _PBI 00016258) ( AM). Queensland: 5.9 km E of Mitchell, 26.48726 ° S 148.0361 ° E, 380 m, 31 Oct 1998, Schuh, Cassis, Silveira, Callitris glaucophylla   , det. RBG Sydney NSW427493, 4♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00000155, 00000160, 00000166, 00000169), 1♀ ( AMNH _PBI 00000156) ( AMNH), 1♀ ( AMNH _PBI 00000170), 2♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00003922, 00003923) ( QM). South Australia: 12 km E of Nepabunna, Gammon Ranges National Park, 30.60057 ° S 139.092 ° E, 440 m, 07 Nov 1998, Schuh, Cassis, Silveira, Callitris glaucophylla   , det. RBG Sydney NSW427486, 2♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00016253, 00016254) ( AM), 1♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00016252) ( SAMA). Western Australia: Charles Darwin Reserve, 4 km N of Wanarra East Rd, track directly N of homestead, 29.54497 ° S 116.93527 ° E, 299 m, 06 May 2009, C. Symonds, A. Molan, A. Wheeler, B. Yardley, Callitris columellaris   , det. T.D. Macfarlane WA Herbarium, 2♀ ( AMNH _PBI 00404854, 00404855), 1♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00404856) ( UNSW), 2♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00030445, 00030447), 3♀ ( AMNH _PBI 00030448–00030450) ( WAMP). Charles Darwin Reserve, Wanarra East Rd, NW of Homestead, 29.55577 ° S 116.90005 ° E, 04 May 2009, C. Symonds, L. Botten, R. Gilmore, K. Reynolds, K. Woods, Callitris columellaris   , det. T.D. Macfarlane WA Herbarium, 2♀ ( AMNH _ PBI 00404857, 00404859), 1♂ ( AMNH _PBI 00404858) ( UNSW).

OTHER SPECIMENS EXAMINED: AUSTRA- LIA: Western Australia: Charles Darwin Reserve, 4 km N of Wanarra East Rd, track directly N of homestead, 29.54497 ° S 116.93527 ° E, 299 m, 06 May 2009, C. Symonds, A. Molan, A. Wheeler, B. Yardley, Callitris columellaris   , det. T.D. Macfarlane WA Herbarium, 1 juv. (UNSW_ENT 00027086) (UNSW), 1 juv. (UNSW_ENT 00027087) (WAMP). Credo Station, 4.8 km along Telstra track off Coolgardie Nth Rd, 30.07069 ° S 120.57025 ° E, 503 m, 08 Sep 2011, M. Cheng & C. Symonds, Callitris canescens   , det. WA Herbarium, 1♀ (UNSW_ENT 00027094) (UNSW).

DISTRIBUTION: Known from all mainland states and territories, except the Northern Territory, from six semiarid inland localities. It is the most widespread callitroid-inhabiting Orthotylini   species (map 1). It cooccurs with six other callitroid-inhabiting Orthotylini   across its range (table 2).

REMARKS: Some specimens of Avititerra xerophila   are partly or completely faded to white by alcohol preservation. This species is most easily distinguished externally from A. lepidothrix   by the white scalelike setae on the dorsum, the lighter and paler green coloration less yellowish, the cuneus concolorous with the hemelytra (all pale green), the hemelytral membrane a lighter brown, and the membrane veins all yellow-orange. Avititerra xerophila   is also distinguished more subtly by having larger and more bulbous eyes, the labium slightly shorter, the lateral margins of the pronotum projected at slightly less of an angle, the lateral hemelytral margins flexed more downward (fig. 12), the dorsal margin of the pygophore irregular, with a sclerotized and serrate proctiger covering the phallotheca and aedeagus (figs. 17A, 18A). The major internal male genitalic characters that distinguish this species from A. lepidothrix   are the membranous apex of the phallotheca (fig. 18D), DES1 and DES2 bifurcate distally (figs. 17D–F, 18F–G), PES with small threadlike processes on the dorsal branch with the ventral branch serrate to the apex (figs. 17D–F, 18F–G), and the female interramal lobes with a short inner branch and just one basal lobe (fig. 19C). See also remarks for A. lepidothrix   .


American Museum of Natural History


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South Australia Museum


John T. Waterhouse Herbarium