Austropsyche acuta, Wells & Contents, 2018

Wells, Alice & Contents, Arturs Neboiss Table Of, 2018, Australian Diplectroninae reviewed (Insecta: Trichoptera), with description of 21 new species, most referred to a new genus, Zootaxa 4415 (1), pp. 1-44: 16-18

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Austropsyche acuta

sp. nov.

Austropsyche acuta   sp. nov.

( Figs 59–60 View FIGURES 59–69 , 73, 78, 80–81, 83 View FIGURES 70–83 , 92, 100–101)

Material examined. Holotype ♂, New South Wales, Crystal Creek Rainforest Resort , Upper Crystal Creek, 26– 27.xii.2016, A. Wells ( ANIC).  

Paratypes, Queensland: 45♂ 13♀, Crystal Creek Rainforest Resort, Upper Crystal Creek , 28°15'S 153°15'E, 26–27.xii.2016, A. Wells; data as for holotype ( ANIC) GoogleMaps   ; 4♂ 3♀, same locality, 26.xii.2006, A. Wells ( NMV) GoogleMaps   .

Other material examined. New South Wales: 1♂, Korumbyn Creek , 28°24'S 153°19'E, eastern slope of Mt Warning,, A. Neboiss GoogleMaps   ; 2♂ 5♀, Orara West State Forest, Tucker's Knob , 29°41'S 152°48'E, 22.xi.1990, G. Theischinger GoogleMaps   ; 13♂ 3♀, Upper Crystal Creek at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, 28°15'S 153°15'E, 24.xii.2006, A. Wells GoogleMaps   ; 18♂ 13♀, same locality, 25.xii.2006, A. Wells GoogleMaps   ; 1♀, same locality, 22.xii.2016, A. Wells GoogleMaps   ; 4♂ 3♀, same locality, 22.xii.2016, A. Wells GoogleMaps   ; 42♂ 6♀, ♀, same locality, 25–26.xii.2016, A. Wells. SE Queensland GoogleMaps   : 1♂, Coomera Creek , Lamington NP, 8.ii.1961, F.A. Perkins [TRI-13850]   ; 1♂, Queen Mary Falls, Killarney , 12.x.1973, A. Neboiss   ; 1♂, Teviot Brook nr Wilson’s Peak , 18.xi.1980, M. Schneider   ; 1♂ Conondale Range, Bundaroo Creek , rainforest, 1.xii.1983, G. Cassis & D. Bickel [TRI-39868]   ; 8♂, same data [TRI-39499].  

Diagnosis. This species forms a set with Austropsyche ambigua   , here termed the Au. acuta   Group, characterised by having the forewing median cell short, about equal in length to the discoidal cell; in the male genitalia, paired elongate sclerotised spines arise internally at the base of the deep apodeme connected to the gonopods and the mesal processes on the coxopodites arise apically, not subapically or basally. It is distinguished from Au. ambigua   by having the apicomesal process on the coxopodite at least half length of harpago, needle-like, and subtended dorsally by a small conical lobe.

Description. Length of each forewing: ♂ 9.2–11.1 mm (n = 10), ♀ 11.4–12.2 mm (n = 9); cross-vein r-m anterad of cross-vein closing median cell.

Male. Abdomen swollen, internal sacs all elongate, each sack extending length of two segments; on segment V lateral filament length slightly less than length of segment ( Fig. 83 View FIGURES 70–83 ). Genitalia ( Figs 59–60 View FIGURES 59–69 ): Segment IX subquadrate, tergites IX and X partly fused; gonopods each with coxopodite almost equal width throughout length, narrow sharp process apicomesally, small conical dorsal lobe at base, harpago about length of coxopodite, elongate digitiform; phallic apparatus cylindrical, dilated apically, without endothecal spines; pair of elongate slender spines lateral to phallus, arising at base of apodemes connected to gonopods, converging apically.

Female. Abdominal segment VIII ( Figs 100–101 View FIGURES 84–101 ) with sternal plates separated, but indistinctly, tapered distally with apicolateral angles triangular; cerci and apical papillae on segment X relatively large, as for Au. victoriana   .

Distribution. Found in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. A single specimen in the NMV collection, PT-1041, labelled "NT, Alligator River", is almost certainly mislabelled as no other specimens of any diplectronine species have been taken from very far west of the Great Dividing Range, and no Austropsyche   further north of south-eastern Queensland. The locality may have been Alligator Creek near Mackay, in central eastern Queensland; but even that is well north of any other collections of Austropsyche   .

Remarks. Unlike males of most caddisfly species, males of Au. acuta   are as large as, or larger than the associated females, and have sizeable, swollen abdomens. On dissection one finds that much of the abdominal cavity is occupied by the 2 pairs of reticulate-walled sacs. That, coupled with the fact that most of the light trap specimens collected in 2017 were male, leads to speculation that the sacs, which appear to be glands, may be involved in male-male attraction, in lekking behaviour.


Australian National Insect Collection


Museum Victoria


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales