Afroptera balli Abdalla & Mansell

Abdalla, Ishtiag H., Mansell, Mervyn W. & Sole, Catherine L., 2019, Revision of the southern African genera Nemopterella Banks and Nemia Navás (Neuroptera: Nemopteridae: Nemopterinae), with descriptions of new genera and species, Zootaxa 4635 (1), pp. 1-89: 32-34

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Afroptera balli Abdalla & Mansell

sp. nov.

Afroptera balli Abdalla & Mansell   sp. nov.

(Figs 44, 49, 61, 82, 154)

Description. Size (mm). Female: body length 10.5 (9.9–11.5); forewing 23.9 (22.7–24.7); hind wing 52.2 (47.9–54.6); antenna 13.9 (13.1–15.4). Holotype ♂ (Fig. 44), body length 10.2; forewing 26.4; hind wing 63.1; antenna 22.9. (N = 5)

Head. Rich yellow, with light yellowish brown vertex. Eyes small, widely separated. Antennae yellow, long, reaching pterostigma, with black setae. Apical segment much longer than preapical segments, mainly membranous ( Fig. 61 View FIGURES 56–66 ).

Thorax. Whitish, pruinose ( Fig. 49 View FIGURES 46–49 ). Only the longitudinal midstripe discernible on pronotum and mesoscutellum while midstripe on prescutum and lateral stripes on mesoscutum indistinct. The midstripe on pronotum forms a dark brown portion centrally in posterior half of pronotum while lateral stripes appear as two small transverse brown spots laterally on each side of pronotum. Stiff long black hairs intermingled with a few soft long white hairs present on fore and hind margins of pronotum, with soft long dense white hairs present behind these. Distal anterior sides of pronotum bear erect black hairs intermingled with long white hairs. Prescutum covered dorsally by long black hairs and antero-laterally by two groups of long black hairs intermixed with long white hairs. Long soft white hairs present along lateral sides of prescutum. Mesoscutum covered on disc by sparse, long white hairs admixed with a few long black hairs. Two tufts of long white hairs present on each side of prescutum. Midstripe on mesoscutellum manifest as dark midline centrally. Mesoscutellum with sparse short white hairs and two tufts of long white hairs on each side. Metanotum markedly pruinose with two tufts of long white hairs on each side. Legs yellow with black setae, tip of femora and tibiae tinged light brown. Coxae pruinose but mid and hind coxae more pruinose than fore coxae.

Forewings. Elongate, tapering towards apex, sub-acute with emargination before apex ( Fig. 82 View FIGURES 79–86 ). Pterostigma light brown, short, not reaching C. Venation yellow. Costa whitish, SC and R light brown. Proximal Cx shaded light brown. Costal cells increase in size towards pterostigma. In holotype, 26 Cx before pterostigma in both forewings. Eleven crossveins present between R and M before origin of Rs in both forewings. Eleven radial crossveins before pterostigma in right wing, 10 in left. Hind wings creamy white proximally, light brown before dark area. The portion just before dark area white. Longitudinal veins creamy white. Crossveins shaded faintly light brown. Dark area dark brown, shorter than white area.

Abdomen. Greyish, markedly powdered particularly at sides and venter, with longitudinal brown midstripe very distinct on tergites 3–7. Hind margin of tergites yellowish. Tergites with long white hairs, sternite 2 with short white hairs, sternites 3–9 black haired. Apex yellow, pruinose with stiff long black hairs.

Variation. No observed variation between female specimens.

Type material examined. NAMIBIA, Karas Region. Holotype ♂, NEUR08932   , Sendlingsdrift Gate, 28°04’S 16°49’E, 31.x.1999, M.W.Mansell, C.H.Scholtz. Paratypes: 4♀, same data as holotype. (All SANC)   .

Distribution and habitat. This species is known only from Namibia ( Fig. 154 View FIGURES 153–154 ). The range of distribution falls within the Nama Karoo Biome’s extension into southern Namibia. The habitat is dry, vegetated mostly by low shrubs, grasses, succulents and annual forbs. It receives predominantly summer rains ( Mucina & Rutherford 2006).


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute