Lomachaeta hicksi Mickel, 1936

Williams, Kevin A., Cambra, Roberto A., Bartholomay, Pedro R., Luz, David R., Quintero, Diomedes & Pitts, James P., 2019, Review of the genus Lomachaeta Mickel, 1936 (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) with new species and sex associations, Zootaxa 4564 (1), pp. 101-136 : 113-118

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Lomachaeta hicksi Mickel, 1936


Lomachaeta hicksi Mickel, 1936

( Figs 24–26 View FIGURES 21–26 , 30–32 View FIGURES 27–32 , 43–46 View FIGURES 41–46 , 65 View FIGURES 65–72 )

Lomachaeta hicksi Mickel, 1936: 289 . Holotype, ♂, USA, California, Los Angeles Co. (UMSP). Pitts & Manley (2004): Hosts.

Lomachaeta coloradensis Mickel, 1936: 292 . Holotype, ♂, USA, Colorado, Boulder Co. (UMSP). Pitts & Manley (2004): Synonymy.

Lomachaeta punctinota Mickel, 1936: 293 . Holotype, ♂, USA, Illinois, Jackson Co. (INHS). Pitts & Manley (2004): Synonymy.

Lomachaeta minutula Mickel, 1936: 294 . Holotype, ♀, USA, Tennessee, Shelby Co. (USNM). Pitts & Manley: Synonymy.

Lomachaeta variegata Mickel, 1940: 128 . Holotype, ♂, USA, California, Riverdale Co. (CASC). Pitts & Manley (2004): Synonymy.

Lomachaeta formosula Mickel, 1940: 130 . Holotype, ♂, Mexico, Coahuila, Puerta de la Goriona (UMSP). Pitts & Manley: Synonymy.

Lomachaeta mickeli Manley & Deyrup, 1987: 132 . Holotype, ♂, USA, Florida, Highlands Co. (UMSP). Pitts & Manley (2004): Synonymy.

Diagnosis. MALE. The following combination of characters is diagnostic for L. hicksi : the body is black, though T2–3 are often largely red-brown; the mandible has a ventral tooth basally; the mesoscutum is variably punctate, but never contiguously punctate throughout; the forewing has its veins encompassing the basal 0.8 × of the wing; the T1 shape is disciform; the head and T2 disc have separated punctures; the T2 fringe is composed of thick bristles; and the paramere is virtually straight and lacks elongate setae. Body length 3–6 mm.

FEMALE. This is a hugely variable species in color, setation, and punctation. The following characters are consistent to all L. hicksi : the baso-ventral mandibular margin has a hyaline lamella; the pronotal spiracle is swollen, almost tuberculate; the lateral mesonotal tooth is usually distinct; the propodeal spiracle is sharply swollen and tuberculate; the lateral propodeal face is impunctate; the mesosoma is compact, with the thoracic dorsal length 0.85 × its width; the mesosomal dorsum is areolate without subparallel thickened setae, many intervals are either obliterated or raised to tuberculate corners; the T1 shape is sub-disciform, often with the dorsal and anterior faces separated by a weak carina; T2 has sparse punctures, mostly erect brachyplumose setae, and mostly smooth intervals; and the S6 lateral carina is low angular. Body length 2.5–5 mm.

Material examined. USA: Arizona, Coconino County, 3 mi S Sedona , reared, F. D. Parker (1♀, EMUS, Figs 25 View FIGURES 21–26 , 31 View FIGURES 27–32 ) ; California: Kern County, Short Canyon, 35.7093 o N 117.9112 o W, 1200m, 21–29.V.2008, M.E. Irwin, malaise trap (1♂, EMUS); Los Angeles County , Placentia County Park, Walker Ranch, 34.38 o N 118.44 o W, 8– 17.IX.1998, B.V. Brown, malaise trap (1♂, EMUS, Fig. 45 View FIGURES 41–46 ); Riverside County : Palms Springs, Araby Wash, 33.750 o N 116.5319 o W, 538m, F.D. Parker and T.D. McIntyre, malaise trap: 14–21.IV.2015 (1♂, EMUS, Fig. 44 View FIGURES 41–46 ); 21–28.IV.2015 (1♂, EMUS); 21–24.IV.2016 (1♂, CSCA); 17–21.V.2016 (1♂, CSCA); Riverside, 30.VI.1969, J.C. Hall, malaise trap (1♂, EMUS); San Diego County , 2 km SE Pine Valley near Laguna Summit, 32 ° 48.2’N 116°30.4’W, 1280m, 31.V–5.VI.2002, M.E. Irwin and F.D. Parker, malaise trap in sandy ravine (2♂, CSCA EMUS) GoogleMaps ; Florida, Alachua County, additional data unavailable (1♂ 1♀, FSCA, Figs 24 View FIGURES 21–26 , 30 View FIGURES 27–32 , 43 View FIGURES 41–46 ) , Utah, Cache County, Logan Canyon #3, reared, F. D. Parker (1♀, EMUS, Figs 26 View FIGURES 21–26 , 32 View FIGURES 27–32 ) .

Distribution. This is the most widespread Nearctic mutillid species, ranging from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans, North to Massachussetts and South to Florida ( USA) and Puebla ( Mexico).

Remarks. As one of the World’s most widely distributed mutillid species, L. hicksi has the longest synonym list in this genus, belying its tremendous morphological variation. Although fewer females than males have been available to study, they also reveal high variation in color and punctation ( Figs 24–26 View FIGURES 21–26 ). The mesosoma and metasoma each vary from nearly entirely pale orange to nearly black. The mesonotal areolations vary from broadly to tightly areolate, though when the mesonotal areolations are tightly spaced, there are fewer than 12 areolations between the pronotal spiracles and the propodeal areolations are much broader.

The males mentioned above in the Material Examined section are the first known to have orange femora, a trait that was apparently unique to males of L. cirrhomeris . Males of L. cirrhomeris , however, always have cuticle of the metasoma entirely black and contrasting with their orange femora ( Fig. 42 View FIGURES 41–46 ), while these L. hicksi from California have the metasoma predominantly orange and concolorous with the femora ( Fig. 44, 45 View FIGURES 41–46 ). Pitts & Manley (2004) suggested that L. cirrhomeris may eventually prove to be a synonymous color variant of L. hicksi . These males lend additional credence to that hypothesis.


California State Collection of Arthropods


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology














Lomachaeta hicksi Mickel, 1936

Williams, Kevin A., Cambra, Roberto A., Bartholomay, Pedro R., Luz, David R., Quintero, Diomedes & Pitts, James P. 2019

Lomachaeta mickeli

Manley, D. G. & Deyrup, M. A. 1987: 132

Lomachaeta variegata

Mickel, C. E. 1940: 128

Lomachaeta formosula

Mickel, C. E. 1940: 130

Lomachaeta hicksi

Mickel, C. E. 1936: 289

Lomachaeta coloradensis

Mickel, C. E. 1936: 292

Lomachaeta punctinota

Mickel, C. E. 1936: 293

Lomachaeta minutula

Mickel, C. E. 1936: 294