Afroptera maraisi 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: 51-53

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Afroptera maraisi Abdalla & Mansell

sp. nov.

Afroptera maraisi Abdalla & Mansell   sp. nov.

( Figs 53 View FIGURES 50–53 , 62 View FIGURES 56–66 , 85 View FIGURES 79–86 , 106 View FIGURE 106 , 154 View FIGURES 153–154 )

Etymology. This species is named for Andre P. Marais (Cape Town) for his systematic surveys of Nemopteridae   that contributed significantly to this project, and to our knowledge of the Neuroptera   of the Western and Northern Cape provinces of South Africa.

Type locality. South Africa, Northern Cape Province, Stofbakkies Farm, Prieska District , 29°39’02’’S 22°44’19’’E GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. A small species that resembles A. aequabilis   in having a similar body size and appearance, but it can be separated by the elongate forewings that taper apically and end in an acute apex ( Fig. 85 View FIGURES 79–86 ), while in A. aequabilis   the forewings are broad and end in a narrow rounded apex ( Fig. 117 View FIGURES 115–122 ). It also differs from A. aequabilis   by having long antennae that reach beyond the pterostigma ( Fig. 85 View FIGURES 79–86 , 106 View FIGURE 106 ); while in A. aequabilis   the antennae are short, not reaching the pterostigma.

Description. Size (mm). Male: body length 9.7 (9–10.2); forewing 23 (22.4–23.3); hind wing 48.0 (47.6–50.6); antenna 18.9 (16–20.4). Holotype ♂ ( Fig. 106 View FIGURE 106 ); Body length 8.4; forewing 22.8; hind wing 47.9; antenna 19.7. (N = 3).

Head. Frons, clypeus yellow. Vertex brown with two yellow areas laterally at hind margin and two ill-defined lateral yellow spots on each side near eye margins. Antennae long, reaching pterostigma, scape yellowish brown, pedicel yellow, proximal portion yellowish brown with scattered short setae, dark brown distally with long black setae ( Fig. 106 View FIGURE 106 ). Apical segment mostly membranous ( Fig. 62 View FIGURES 56–66 ). Eyes large with diameter approximaly same length as genae.

Thorax. Greyish, pruinose ( Fig. 53 View FIGURES 50–53 ). Pronotum with ill-defined stripes with only midstripe that is traceable as brownish grey shading posteriorly, while the lateral stripes form two lateral brown transverse spots. Pronotal margins with erect long black hairs intermixed with some long, soft white hairs; soft, white hairs situated behind black hairs on fore margin. Distal anterior lateral margins with very long black hairs admixed with white hairs, long, soft white hairs also present on disc. Midstripe on prescutum appears as light brown shading but indistinct on mesoscutellum. Stiff long black hairs present on anterior lateral portions of prescutum admixed with white long hairs. Long sparse black hairs present on disc, with long soft white hairs along lateral margins of prescutum. Mesoscutum with faint brown lateral stripes. Short white hairs on disc, two lateral long tufts of white hairs at each side. Mesoscutellum with scattered short white hairs over whole disc and two groups of long white hair at each side. Metanotum with very long white hairs laterally on hind margin. Legs yellow, with short setae. Femoral and tibial apices tinged dark brown, fore coxae with black and white setae.

Forewings. Appearing elongate, tapering towards apex, weakly emarginated before acute apex ( Fig. 85 View FIGURES 79–86 ). Pterostigma dark brown, broad at base, long but not reaching C. Costal cells before and beyond pterostigma slightly tinged brown. Venation dark brown. Costa whitish but appearing blackish due to dense black setae. Subcosta and R light brown. Proximal Cx shaded brown. Costal cells increase gradually in size towards pterostigma. Holotype with 18 Cx before pterostigma in right wing, 21 in left. Ten crossveins between R and M before origin of Rs in right wing, 11 in left. Eight radial crossveins before pterostigma in right wing, 10 in left. Hind wings pale creamy white. Proximal portion appears brown. Longitudinal veins pale creamy white, while crossveins appear much darker. Median portion before dark area white, longitudinal veins and crossveins white, dark area dark brown, shorter than white area.

Abdomen. Yellowish brown, tergites with yellowish hind margins. Longitudinal midstripe dark brown. Pleurites pruinose, tergites with dense, long white setae. Venter light reddish yellow, pruinose, with long white hairs but shorter than on tergites. Apex yellow with dense, long black setae.

Variation. Some males have a few black hairs intermingled with the white hairs on the abdomen.

Type material examined. SOUTH AFRICA, Northern Cape Province. Holotype ♂, NEUR12582   , Stofbak- kies Farm, Prieska Dist. 29°39’02’’S 22°44’19’’E, 938m, 30.ix.2010, A.P.Marais GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: 3 ♂, same data as holotype. (All SANC) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution and habitat. The range of distribution of this species is in the Northern Cape Province ( Fig. 154 View FIGURES 153–154 ) where it is situated in the Lower Gariep Broken Veld bioregion in the Nama Karoo Biome (see description of the habitat under distribution of S. arenaria   ).


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