Elginus cultellus, Stiller, M., 2009

Stiller, M., 2009, Revision of Elginus Theron (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) with the description of two new genera and comments on the grassland leafhopper fauna in South Africa, Zootaxa 2135 (1), pp. 1-56: 10-11

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http://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.2135.1.1

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scientific name

Elginus cultellus


Elginus cultellus   sp.n.

( Figs 7, 8 View FIGURES 1–8 , 55, 56 View FIGURES 51–77 , 82, 83 View FIGURES 78–104 , 109, 110 View FIGURES 105–130 , 135 View FIGURES 131–156 , 160 View FIGURES 157–179 , 184, 185 View FIGURES 180–205 , 210, 211 View FIGURES 206–232 , 236, 237 View FIGURES 233–258 , 259, 260 View FIGURES 259–273 )

Diagnosis. Aedeagal shaft compressed, straight in dorsal view, curved or straight in lateral view; with ventral, long, thin process arising basally from shaft.

Etymology. Latin, for the aedeagal shaft that resembles a knife blade.

Colour. Pattern as in Figs 7, 8 View FIGURES 1–8 .

Dimensions. Male (n = 72). Lengths: apex of vertex to apex of tegmina 3.2–3.5 mm, apex of vertex to apex of abdomen 3.0– 3.3 mm; vertex medially 0.4–0.5 mm; vertex laterally next to eye 0.3–0.4 mm; pronotum medially 0.3–0.4 mm; scutellum medially 0.3 mm. Maximum widths: head 0.9–1.0 mm; pronotum 0.8–0.9 mm; scutellum 0.4–0.5 mm. Ocellus: diameter 26–30 µm; ocellocular distance 43–60 µm.

Abdominal apodemes. Male. Figs 259, 260 View FIGURES 259–273 .

Genital capsule. Male. Aedeagal shaft compressed; straight in dorsal view; curved or straight in lateral view, basally with wire-like spine, two-thirds length of shaft; gonopore on one side; shaft very long, 4.0–4.7 times as long as dorsal apodeme; dorsal apodeme rudimentary ( Figs 55, 56 View FIGURES 51–77 , 82, 83 View FIGURES 78–104 ). Connective short, wide, 1.9 times as long as wide ( Fig. 109, 110 View FIGURES 105–130 ). Plate apex truncate, medial angle obtuse, sometimes concave; medial margins contiguous; setation variable with 3–7 macrosetae in regular row ( Fig. 135 View FIGURES 131–156 ). Pygofer lobe narrowly rounded ( Figs 160 View FIGURES 157–179 , 184, 185 View FIGURES 180–205 ). Style apophysis tapering, slightly curved; almost reaching apex of plate; apophysis 1.0–1.1 times as long as anterior lateral lobe ( Figs 210, 211 View FIGURES 206–232 ).

Dimensions. Female (n = 57). Lengths: apex of vertex to apex of tegmina 3.2–3.8 mm, apex of vertex to apex of abdomen 3.2–3.7 mm; vertex medially 0.5–0.6 mm; vertex laterally next to eye 0.3–0.4 mm; pronotum medially 0.4 mm; scutellum medially 0.3–0.4 mm. Maximum widths: head 1.0– 1.1 mm; pronotum 0.9 mm; scutellum 0.5 mm. Ocellus: diameter 25–31 µm; ocellocular distance 48–67 µm.

Genital capsule. Female. Sternite VII with deep slit (two-thirds of median length of sternite) or shallow slit (less than one-third of length), usually with 2 large sclerotized areas ( Figs 236, 237 View FIGURES 233–258 ). Third valvula with 0, 2 or 3 long setae (23.0±6.0 µm long, 4.3±1.3 µm basal width). Second valvula with rounded serration.

Material examined. Holotype male. South Africa, Mpumalanga. Long Tom Pass near Lydenburg, 25°06ʹS 30°34ʹE, 18.xii.2000, M. Stiller, sweeping short grass & forbs ( SANC). Paratypes (89♂, 96♀, 17 nymphs). Free State. 4♂, 5♀, Buckland Downs Farm near Harrismith, 27°58ʹS 29°07ʹE, 15.i.1998, sweeping grass; 3♂, 5♀, 7 nymphs, Muller’s Pass near summit 27°51ʹ39.68ʺS 29°41ʹ10.15ʺE 1878 m 25.xii.2008, sweeping grass & forbs. Gauteng. 2♀, Faerie Glen Koppies, 25°46ʹS 28°17ʹE, 18.iii.1998, DVac off deep clay/sand soil, common grass species: Aristida   & Trachypogon spp   ( Poaceae   ). KwaZulu-Natal. 2♂, 1 nymph, Witsieshoek Mountain Resort, 29°40ʹS 28°53ʹE, 2140 m, 16.iv.2002, E. Breytenbach, DVac short grass & forbs, S-slope, windward, wet; 5♂, 6♀, sandstone hills in valley near Fika Patso Dam, 28°41ʹS 28°41ʹE, 8.iv.2007, M. Stiller, sweeping grass and forbs. Limpopo. 15♂, 5♀, Happy Rest Nature Reserve, 22°59ʹS 29°46ʹE, 10.iii.1990, sweeping Helichrysum kraussii   ( Asteraceae   ); 2♀, ibid. above, sweeping grass; 9♀, Blouberg NW Polokwane 23°05ʹS 29°00ʹE, 20–23.v.1993, sweeping trees & shrubs; 13♂, 25♀, ibid. above, sweeping Aristida sp.   late afternoon; 4♂, 3♀, Bluegumspoort Farm, 23°00ʹS 29°47ʹE, 6–8.xii.1997, Loudetia simplex   ( Poaceae   ); 4♂, 2♀, ibid. above, sweeping grass and forbs; 2♂, 4♀, Buzzard Mountain Retreat W Louis Trichardt, 23°00ʹS 29°46ʹE, 27.xii.1998; 2♂, 2 nymphs, Lajuma Farm, 23°11ʹS 29°33ʹE, 31.xii.2001, sweeping grass, sedges & forbs on plateau on ridge path; 1♂, 1♀, ibid. above, sweeping grass & forbs. Mpumalanga. 3♂, Tafelberg Farm near Piet Retief, 27°15ʹS 30°44ʹE, 5.iv.1992, sweeping grass; 1♀, Kaapsehoop, 25°35ʹS 30°46ʹE, 11.ix.1993, sweeping grass; 13♂, 13♀, 5 nymphs, ibid. holotype; 9♂, 4♀, Steenkampsberg Pass Summit, 25°16ʹS 30°09ʹE, 9.iii.2002, J. du Plessis, DVac grass, common grass species: Andropogon schirensis   , Eragrostis racemosa   , Microchloa caffra   , Monocymbium ceresiiforme   , Sporobolus sp.   , Themeda triandra   ( Poaceae   ); 3♀, Mauchsberg Pass near summit, 25°08ʹ6"S 30°36ʹ3"E, 2150 m, 7.iii.2003, DVac moribund grass; all M. Stiller ( AMNH, BMNH, SANC).

Remarks. This species depicts a long wire-like basal spine as is also found in E. falcatus   . In many specimens it was broken off, probably during copulation, but a short stub is always present. The species has two forms of the aedeagus, namely with the shaft gradually curved ventro-posteriorly or with the shaft straight and directed posteriad. The former were collected on Blouberg, about 50 km west of some localities (e.g. Buzzard Mountain, Happy Rest Nature Reserve) where the specimens with the straight configuration were found. However, specimens further to the east and south had a curved shaft. Females also depict two shapes of the sternite VII, that has a shallow or a deep notch. Specimens from Blouberg only have the shallow notch, but that is also present in specimens further to the east and south. The summit vegetation of Blouberg and Soutpansberg is classified as Soutpansberg Summit Sourveld by Mucina and Rutherford (2006), and together all the localities fall in the Grassland Biome in a number of other vegetation units. Specimens from Happy Rest Nature Reserve, in the Soutpansberg, were host-labeled Helichrysum kraussii   ( Asteraceae   ), but this is probably an error. This locality was re-examined with the DVac but no specimens were found probably due to dry conditions of the vegetation.


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American Museum of Natural History