Pravistylus mecistoplacus, Stiller, 2010

Stiller, M., 2010, Revision of the Southern African leafhopper genus Pravistylus (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Deltocephalinae) 2468, Zootaxa 2468 (1), pp. 1-81: 29-30

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2468.1.1

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scientific name

Pravistylus mecistoplacus


Pravistylus mecistoplacus   sp.n

( Figs 1 r; 2 b; 3 h; 4 h; 5 f; 6 g; 7 ar–at; 8 af)

Diagnosis. Plate unique, distinctly elongate, longer than in any other species; generally narrowly triangular; apex long, pointed; apex directed dorsad or posterodorsad, sometimes inserted between ventral margins of pygofer lobe; 2.4–3.0 times as long as wide; macrosetae near apex; apex 0.1–0.2 times as long as length to base of plate ( Fig. 2 b). Aedeagal shaft base narrowly C-shaped; apex straight, slightly twisted ( Figs 3 h, 4 h). Style situated near valve ( Fig. 2 b). Sternite 7 with base almost square, ligula of similar length as base, ligula triangular, or margins slightly convex ( Figs 7 ar–at).

Etymology. Greek, compound word for elongate (mekistos) and plate (plakos), to describe the shape of the plate.

Male and female. Ochraceous. Sometimes with brown marking in central anteapical cell ( Fig. 8 af). Hind wing small, round, about one third as long as tegmina.

Male. Dimensions. (n = 25) Length: apex of vertex to apex of tegmina 2.5–2.9 mm; apex of vertex to apex of abdomen 3.0– 3.5 mm; vertex medially 0.5–0.6 mm; vertex next to eye 0.3 mm; pronotum medially 0.4 mm. Width: head 0.9–1.0 mm; pronotum 0.8–0.9 mm. Ocellar diameter 25.5–29.4 µm; ocellocular distance 39.5–53.4 µm.

Genital capsule. Pygofer, in lateral view, rectangular; ventral posterior margin widely bulbous, posteriorly contiguous with pygofer lobe ( Fig. 1 r). Pygofer lobe narrowly rounded, triangular, base of lobe about as wide as pygofer ( Fig. 1 r). Plate very long, acutely triangular; apex deflected dorsally (up to 90°) or dorsoposteriorly; apex narrowly produced, sometimes inserted between ventral margins of pygofer lobe; subapically 3–4 macrosetae; subbasal lateral margin with rounded protrusion, bearing tuft of short setae ( Fig. 2 b); plate 2.4–3.0 times as long as wide. Aedeagus, in lateral view, with shaft arising dorsally from atrium; dorsal apodeme short; preatrium long, robust; basal part of shaft narrowly C-shaped, apex straight; shaft partially twisted at transition between curved and straight section; gonopore subapical, ventral, at base of straight section of shaft ( Figs 3 h, 4 h). Style distal part close to anterior medial lobe; acute preapical angle, lobe; positioned near valve ( Fig. 5 f). Connective, in lateral view, straight; in dorsal view with stem constricted, about one third as long as arms ( Fig. 6 g).

Female. Dimensions. (n = 41) Length: apex of vertex to apex of tegmina 2.6–2.9 mm; apex of vertex to apex of abdomen 3.2–3.6 mm; vertex medially 0.5–0.6 mm; vertex next to eye 0.3–0.4 mm; pronotum medially 0.4 mm. Width: head 1.0 mm; pronotum 0.9 mm. Ocellar diameter 28.0 µm; ocellocular distance 41.7–57.6 µm.

Genitalia. Sternite 7 base almost square, sometimes slightly rectangular, or trapezoid; hind margin with long ligula; similar in length to base; ligula lateral margins straight ( Fig. 7 at) or sometimes convex ( Figs 7 ar & as), margins converging to just below apex, apex almost parallel-sided, with V-shaped notch.

Material examined. Holotype male. South Africa, Mpumalanga. Paardeplaats Farm, Long Tom Pass, 25°05ʹS, 30°35ʹE, 2000 m, 22.xi.1997, sweeping, regrowth of grass 1–2 years after burn, Eragrostis curvula   ( Poaceae   ) ( SANC). Paratypes. 21♂, 42♀, 5 nymphs. Mpumalanga. 10♂, 24♀, same data as holotype; 5♀, Long Tom Pass, 25°07ʹS, 30°35ʹE, 18.xii.2000, sweeping, short grass & forbs; 3♂, 3♀, Paardeplaats, 25°06ʹS, 30°34ʹE, 18.xii.2000, sweeping, moribund grass, dominant Themeda triandra   ( Poaceae   ); 9♂, 10♀, 5 nymphs, Rooikat Hut, Sterkspruit Nature Reserve, 25°09ʹS, 30°32ʹE, 1600–1700 m, 7.iii.2003, sweeping, moderate regrowth after burn at higher altitude; dominant grass: Ctenium concinnum   , Eragrostis racemosa   , Monocymbium ceresiiforme   , Panicum natalensis   , Trachypogon spicatus   ( Poaceae   ); more dense regrowth after burn at lower altitude, with dominant grass: Elionurus muticus   , Loudetia simplex   , Rendlia altera   , Sporobolus sp.   ( Poaceae   ); all M. Stiller ( BMNH, INHS, SANC).

Remarks. This species has the second longest plate of the known species of Pravistylus   (with the largest length to width ratio because the apex of the plate is not always right-angled dorsally). The longest plate, viewed laterally is found in P. varicudiscus   . Pravistylus mecistoplacus   is similar to P. digitidiscus   . The latter has a similar narrow process at the apex of the plate, that often is inserted between the ventral margins of the pygofer lobe, but it mostly does not have macrosetae at the apex of the plate, or occasionally only 1–2 macrosetae at the apex ( Figs 1 h, 2 c). The aedeagus of P. digitidiscus   in lateral view is C-shaped, with the apex only slightly straightened, and with a narrow ( Figs 3 ad, 4 ab) diameter, at least narrower apically than in P. mecistoplacus   ( Figs 3 h, 4 h). In the female the sternite 7 differs distinctly: in P. digitidiscus   the base is square and the posterior margin has a ligula that is short and sometimes retracted into the base ( Figs 7 m & n); in P. mecistoplacus   sternite 7 base is rectangular, the ligula is elongate triangular, and somewhat longer than base ( Figs 7 ar–at).


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Illinois Natural History Survey