Corethrella (Corethrella) puella Shannon and Del Ponte

Published, First, 2008, The Frog-Biting Midges of the World (Corethrellidae: Diptera), Zootaxa 1804, pp. 1-456: 166-169

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Corethrella (Corethrella) puella Shannon and Del Ponte


Corethrella (Corethrella) puella Shannon and Del Ponte  

Corethrella puella Shannon and Del Ponte 1928:101   (error as arborealis   ). Type locality: Ledesma, Canitas Viejo, Jujuy, Argentina. Lectotype ♀ designated by Casal in Belkin et al. 1968:16 (INMA). Lane 1953:88.

Corethrella puebla: Shannon and del Ponte 1928:126   (misspelling).

Corethrella laneana   Vargas 1946:64. Type locality: Monterrey , Nuevo León, Mexico. Holotype ♂ (depository unknown). New synonym.  

Corethrella metcalfi McKeever 1988:400   . Type-locality: Tuxpan , Vera Cruz, Mexico. Holotype ♀ (USNM). New synonym.

DIAGNOSIS: Male adult: only extant species of Corethrella   in the New World with clypeus elongate (as in Fig. 18 AC), a distinct midlength wing band (Fig. 64N), wing veins with well-developed scales (as in Fig. 73F), thorax dark brown (as in Fig. 55D), halter pale and lighter than scutellum, midfemur dark brown and equal to that of base of hind femur, base of hind tibia darkly pigmented (contrasting with pale apex of hind femur), mid- and hind leg tarsomeres 2-4 uniformly pigmented (no bands on any tarsomeres) (as in Fig. 55D), midfemur without scales, abdominal segments 7 and 8 equally medium brown, segment 9 and base of gonocoxite equally dark brown (Fig. 80G). Female adult: only extant species of Corethrella   in the New World with the clypeus elongate ( Fig. 18 AC), flagellomeres 2 and 3 elongate ( Fig. 31F), a distinct midlength wing band but with dark scales absent on R 4+5 and CuA 2 (Fig. 71F), thorax dark brown ( Fig. 55D), midfemur dark brown and equal to that of base of hind femur, base of hind tibia darkly pigmented (contrasting with pale apex of hind femur) ( Fig. 55D), and midfemur without scales.

DESCRIPTION: Male adult. Descriptive statistics: see Tables 2-5. Head: Outline in anterior view laterally elongate (as in Fig. 13D). Two large setae on frons between ventromedial area of ommatida (as in Fig. 16B). Antenna medium brown; pedicel with at least one distinctive, more elongate, stout, dorsal or dorsolateral seta; flagellomeres as in Fig. 24C, sensilla coeloconica distributed as in Table 1; flagellomere 13 with well-developed apical bifurcation. Palpus medium brown with apical portion of segment 3, all of segment 4 lighter; segment 3 of nearly constant width. Thorax (as in Fig. 55D): Medium to dark brown, pale sclerites around base of wing, scutellum with darker anteromedial spot. Posterior portion of dorsocentral row with group of about 6 elongate setae. Prescutal suture short, not extending more than half way to dorsocentral row of setae. Anterior anepisternum divided diagonally by sinuous suture, dorsal portion about equal to ventral portion. Ventral portion of posterior anepisternum triangular, uniformly brown, with anterodorsal margin thick. Wing (Fig. 64N): Apex of R 2 basal to apex of M 1. Anterior margin with differently, discretely pigmented scales (indicating anterior margins of wing bands), with distinct midlength band but with dark scales absent on R 4+5, CuA 2, subbasal band with dark scales on C, Sc, R, M, subapical band with dark scales of the latter extending to wing margin but dark scales not on R 4+5, dark scales on M 2 apex present or absent; veins (other than costa and wing margin) with well-developed scales. Halter pale. Legs (as in Fig. 55D): Medium to dark brown, with fore-, midleg knees pale, fore-, midtibiae lighter at midlength, hind femur with apical 0.4 pale, hind tibia pale with basal and apical non-discrete dark brown pigmentation. Midfemur with slightly thicker setae, otherwise with only slender setae, lacking scales (except for some in patch of whip-like setae on posterior portion of hind tibia). Midleg with thick, subapical setae on each of at least tarsomeres 1-3. Apices of fore-, midleg fifth tarsomeres undivided, with claws slightly subapical to apical (as in Fig. 75F). Claw of foreleg longer than those of mid-, hind leg. Each claw without inner tooth. Anterior claws of each leg without a basal prong. Foreleg claws unequal. Midleg claws equal. Foreleg third tarsomere shorter than fourth tarsomere. Empodia slender. Abdomen (Fig. 80G): Medium brown. Genitalia (Fig. 96C): Gonocoxite medium brown, slightly lighter apically, gently tapering; anteromedial area with spicules similar in length to those elsewhere on gonocoxite; with well-defined dorsal row of setae, with setae 1, 2, 3 slightly thicker than others; with row restricted to dorsal portion of gonocoxite. With one dorsomedial stout seta, tapering from base. Gonostylus (partially extended) nearly straight, gently curved near apex, slender, of more or less equal thickness for entire length but somewhat thicker apically, pointed apically; one elongate, slender, subbasal seta, situated anteriorly or anteroventrally; apical seta slender, elongate, simple. Aedeagus slender, elongate, tapering gradually to near apex, with slender apex, pointed apically, with lateral margins fused subapically or near apex.

Female adult. Descriptive statistics: see Tables 6-11. As for male, with following differences. Head: Coronal suture elongate, extending ventrally past ommatida (as in Fig. 16B). Antenna; with flagellomeres as in Fig. 31F, sensilla coeloconica distributed as in Table 1. Clypeus ( Fig. 18 AC) elongate. Mandible with small, pointed teeth. Palpus as in Fig. 35I. Wing (Fig. 71F). Legs: Claws of each leg equal to those of others; equal on each leg, simple (without inner teeth). Abdomen: Medium brown with segments 8-9 dark brown. Cercus dark brown.

Pupa. Mostly undescribed. Thorax: Scutum, metathorax each with spherical sensory pit (as in Fig. 100A). Respiratory organ (Fig. 103F): Tubular. Abdomen (Fig. 110C): Segments 3-7 not expanded laterally. Paddle only moderately elongate; apicodorsal thick spine articulating; apicoventral seta longer than thick spine.

Larva. Undescribed.

Egg. With sculpturing, similar to that described by McKeever and French (1991b) ( Fig. 5A).

DISTRIBUTION AND BIONOMICS: Corethrella puella   is known from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Brazil and northern Argentina (Fig. 133) at altitudes ranging from 3-1780 m. The missing paratypes of C. metcalfi   and holotype of C. laneana   indicate that the species is likely more broadly distributed in Mexico (Santiago Tuxtla; Veracruz; Monterrey, Nuevo León). Specimens have been collected using light, Malaise and frog-call traps (using both Hyla gratiosa   in Costa Rica and Physalaemus pustulosus   simple call (whine) in Panama) and have been reared from a stream margin. The serrate mandibles of the female adults and their attraction to frog calls suggest that they feed on frog blood in nature. The specimens from the Belkin “Mosquitoes of Middle America” project are identified in Table 12. A group of eggs was obtained from a single female collected with a sweep net 2 km NE Tárcoles in Costa Rica and, of the resultant larvae and pupae, one female adult emerged. The behavior of the larvae and pupae were typical of that of the genus (described above). Larvae rarely came to the surface to breath and the pupae assumed an approximately 60° angle at the water surface.

TAXONOMIC DISCUSSION: Males and females were associated through the shared presence of a common pigmentation pattern, elongate clypeus and distribution of sensilla coeloconica. They have been collected together in Mexico.

Corethrella metcalfi   is considered a synonym of C. puella   because they could not be distinguished morphologically. Because many of the previously described species of Corethrella   were poorly characterized, McKeever (1988) did not recognize the similarity between the two species. McKeever (1988) described three paratypes of C. metcalfi   which could not be located at the USNM. They are likely there but in a hidden spot; McKeever returned all type material in one package to the USNM after he described the species (pers. comm.). The synonymy of C. laneana   is likely correct, even though the unique holotype appears to be lost (Huerta, pers. comm.). Fortunately, Vargas (1946) provided some photographs in his description of C. laneana   which show an elongate clypeus, the typical wing pattern (his Fig. 1) with thick scales on the veins (his Fig. 4), somewhat thicker apical seta on the gonostylus and a slender aedeagus tapering slightly more sharper near its apex, all features in combination being diagnostic of C. puella   .

Previous descriptions of C. laneana   from California, USA ( Belkin and McDonald 1955; Cook 1956; McKeever and French 1991b) are referred here to C. aridicola   .

The dark scales on the apex of M 2 were not present in the Argentinian specimens of C. puella   (type material) but I consider this minor variation. In some specimens from Costa Rica and Tobago, there are only a few dark scales on M 2. There is also some variation in the number of dark scales on R 4+ 5 in the midlength band, with some having many dark scales and others with just a few.

Corethrella puella   was originally described by Shannon and Del Ponte (1928) as C. arborealis   , the same name given to the subsequent newly described species. On page 126 of the same publication they refer to the species as C. puebla   . Shannon (1930) noted that this was a misspelling and that the name should have been C. puella   , which is now the recognized name for the species. The original syntype series was composed of five female adults. Casal (in Belkin et al. 1968) designated a lectotype (at INMA) but did not mention the presence of any paralectotypes. Three females in the USNM were labeled with the same locality label as the lectotype and were similarly collected by R.C. Shannon. Although they did not have an identification label, they were in a tray which was labeled as C. puella   . These three specimens are here considered as paralectotypes and I have added a label to each to indicate this. The lectotype of C. puella   was originally on a pin but was placed on a microscope slide for this study.

MATERIAL EXAMINED: Lectotype, adult female on microscope slide, labeled “ Corethrella puella   S & D-P.”, “ Lectotypus ”, “Ledesma Jujuy, 30.3.27”, “R.C. Shannon coll.” ( INMA). Holotype, adult female on microscope slide, labeled “ ♀ WM115-84, S. McK, Corethrella metcalfi   Holotype USNM“, “ Corethrella metcalfi   sp. nov. Holotype Veracruz Estado Tuxpan, Mexico 8-9 X-1984 LT col. R.H. Jones ”, “WRBU ACC 1260” ( USNM)   . Paralectotypes of C. puella   : 3 ♀, Ledesma , Jujuy, Argentina, labeled as for lectotype ( USNM)   . Other material: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Arroyo Dolores, El Cercade, Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, 17-VI-1986 ( CNCI)   ; 1 ♂, Colejio Superior de Agricultura Tropical , Cardenas, Tabasco, Mexico, 20 m, 15-VII-1970 ( USNM)   ; 1 ♂, Las Coloradas, km 10 Carretera Ria Largartos, Peten Tucha, Mpio Ria Largartos, Reserva Ria Largartos, Yucatán, Mexico, 0-15 m, 14-15-X-1996 ( IDRE)   ; 4 ♀, entrada a Zac bo, Mpio Tizimin, Reserva Ria Largartos, Yucatán, Mexico, 0-15 m, 9-VII-1996 ( IDRE)   ; 1 ♀, C. Monte, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 23-XI- 1943 ( USNM)   ; 1 ♂, Sector Palo Verde, Palo Verde National Park , Costa Rica, 50 m, 5-I-7-II-2000 ( INBC)   ; 1 ♂, Extremo E. de Campo de Aterrizaje, Bagaces, Palo Verde National Park , Costa Rica, 50 m, 9-XII-1999 - 5-I- 2000 ( INBC)   ; 1 ♀, Bosque Nacional Dirai, Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 120-140 m ( INBC)   ; 3 ♀, Loma Indio, Las Tablas Z.P. Puntarenas, Costa Rica, 1780 m, 7-VI-2000 ( INBC)   ; 1 ♀ with larval and pupal exuviae, 2.3 km W. San Mateo on road to Esparta, Alajuela, Costa Rica, 190 m, 27-XII-1971 ( USNM)   ; 1 ♀, Herradura, Costa Rica, 6-VIII-1993 ( CNCI)   ; 1 ♀ with larval and pupal exuviae, 2 pupae each with larval exuviae, 2 km NE Tárcoles , 17-XII-1993 ( CNCI)   ; 2 ♀, Tárcoles , Costa Rica, 28-IX-1993 ( CNCI)   ; 4 ♀, from previous locality but 11-XI-1993 ( CNCI)   ; 4 ♀, Manuel Antonio National Park , Costa Rica, 17-XI-1993 ( CNCI)   ; 2 ♀, nr administration building (9°58.52'N, 83°27.15'W), Barbilla National Park , 500 m, 10-II-2006 ( CNCI) GoogleMaps   ; 6 ♀, Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve , nr. administation building (9°40.30'N, 83°01.20'W), 100 m, 11-X-2003 ( CNCI) GoogleMaps   ; 1 ♀, Canal Area , 9°07.0'N, 79°41.9'W, Gamboa, Panama, 27 m, 19-VII-2003 ( USNM) GoogleMaps   ; 4 ♀, St. Patrick , about 3 km NW of Scarborough, Orange Hill, Trinidad and Tobago, 150 m, 24-25-XI-1965 ( USNM)   ; 1 ♀, CEIBA Biological Center , 06°29 N, 58° 13 W, Guyana, 20-III-2006 ( CNCI) GoogleMaps   ; 1 ♂, Bahia, Brazil, 12-XIX- 1930 ( BMNH)   .

DERIVATION OF SPECIFIC EPITHET: The name puella   (girl) may refer to the presence of only females in the type series.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Canadian National Collection Insects


Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)














Corethrella (Corethrella) puella Shannon and Del Ponte

Published, First 2008

Corethrella metcalfi

McKeever, S. 1988: 400

Corethrella laneana

Vargas, L. 1946: 64

Corethrella puella

Belkin, J. N. & Schick, R. X. & Heineman, S. J. 1968: 16
Lane, J. 1953: 88
Shannon, R. C. & Del Ponte, E. 1928: 101

Corethrella puebla: Shannon and del Ponte 1928:126

Shannon, R. C. & Del Ponte, E. 1928: 126