Sperchonopsis orientalis, Smit, Harry & Pešić, Vladimir, 2014

Smit, Harry & Pešić, Vladimir, 2014, Water mites from Mount Kinabalu and the Crocker Range, Borneo, Malaysia (Acari: Hydrachnidia), with the description of 34 new species, Zootaxa 3876 (1), pp. 1-71: 13-15

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Sperchonopsis orientalis

n. sp.

Sperchonopsis orientalis  n. sp.

( Fig. 6 A –EView FIGURE 6 A – E)

Type series. Holotype female, dissected and slide mounted, Mahua stream at crossing with main road, Crocker  Range, Borneo, Malaysia, 5 º 45.225 N, 116 º 26.085 E, alt. 752 m asl., 22 -ix- 2012 ( RMNH). Paratype: one female, same data as holotype ( RMNH); one female, stream Kemantis, Sayap, Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia, 6 º 0 9.841 N 116 º 33.936 E, alt. 928 m asl, 16 -ix- 2012 (bar-coded, RMNH).

Diagnosis (Male unknown). Colour yellow; idiosoma slender (length/width ratio 1.5); mid dorsum with a pair of elongate platelets.

Description. Female: Colour yellow. Glandularia enlarged, mid dorsum with a pair of elongate plates ( Fig. 6 AView FIGURE 6 A – E); integument papillate. Coxal field: tips of Cx-I projecting and covered by numerous setae. Genital field: Ac- 1- 2 longish, Ac- 3 roundish. Excretory pore surrounded by a sclerotized ring. Capitulum with rostrum slightly shorter than base ( Fig. 6 EView FIGURE 6 A – E). Palp: P 2 with a long ventrodistal projection bearing 2 setae, P 4 with a ventral projection close to segment base, bearing 2 setae ( Figs. 6 C –DView FIGURE 6 A – E).

Measurements— Idiosoma (ventral view: Fig. 6 BView FIGURE 6 A – E) length 640 (664), width 420 (478); distance between anterior tip of Cx-I and posterior margin of Cx-IV 347, Cx-III width 423; genital flap length 102, width 37, length Ac- 1–3: 27 –31, 28–31, 26– 27. Capitulum ventral length 200; chelicera total length 195; palp: total length 363–369, dorsal length/height, dorsal length/height ratio: P1, 33/ 43, 0.77; P 2, 105 / 54, 1.94; P 3, 103 – 105 / 45–48, 2.2–2.3; P4, 88– 91 / 27–29, 3.2–3.3; P5, 34/ 15, 2.3; length P 2 /P 4 ratio 1.19. Legs: dorsal length of I-leg- 1–6: 47, 63, 69, 98, 109, 109.

Male: unknown.

Etymology. Named after the Oriental fauna region.

Remarks. The specimens examined from Borneo agree in general morphology of idiosoma and palps with Sperchonopsis verrucosa (Protz, 1896)  , a species widely distributed in the Holarctic and Oriental regions. The latter species differs in the brownish colour (sometimes with bluish sclerotized parts) and in more stout idiosoma (length/width ratio <1.5, data taken from Di Sabatino et al. 2010). These small differences obviously do not reflect the genetic distance as the molecular distance between a Sperchonopsis orientalis  n. sp. specimen from Borneo and S. verrucosa  from The Netherlands were found to be high (18.8 % in COI). These high divergence values suggest a long independent evolutionary history of these species.

Wiles (1999) reported Sperchonopsis verrucosa  from several sites in the catchment area of the Rivers Temburong and Belalong in Brunei Darussalem, without discussion of differences with the original description. Most probably his specimens refer to S. orientalis  n. sp. Further, all Oriental records of Sperchonopsis verrucosa  need revision, at best with application of molecular techniques.

Distribution. Borneo.


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


University of Coimbra Botany Department