Borboroides woodhilli, McAlpine, 2007

McAlpine, DK, 2007, Review of the Borboroidini or Wombat Flies (Diptera: Heteromyzidae), with Reconsideration of the Status of Families Heleomyzidae and Sphaeroceridae, and Descriptions of Femoral Gland-baskets, Records of the Australian Museum 59, pp. 143-219: 212-213

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Borboroides woodhilli


Borboroides woodhilli   n.sp.

Figs 152–154

Material examined. HOLOTYPE.?, Western Australia : Boranup, near [NW of] Karridale, 3.x.1970, D.H.C. ( ANIC). Double-mounted on micro-pin, postabdomen in genitalia vial on same pin   . PARATYPES. Western Australia : 1?, 8 mi. [c. 13 km] N of Bunbury, 1.x.1970, D.H.C. ( AM)   ; 1? (damaged), 3 miles [c. 5 km] SW of Karridale , 3.x.1970, D.H.C. ( ANIC)   ; 1!, Cape Naturaliste [near Dunsborough], 1.x.1970, D.H.C. ( ANIC)   ; 3!!, Meerup Springs Farm , near Northcliffe, 34°39'S 116°05'E, 27–28.xi.1998, B.J.D., D.K.M. ( AM, WAM) GoogleMaps   ; 2!!, William Bay , W of Denmark, 10.x.1970, D.H.C. ( ANIC)   .

Description (male, female). Minute blackish fly, agreeing with description of B. fimbria   , except as indicated below.

Coloration. Postfrons entirely black in fresh specimens (fading to brown), more extensively shining than in other species of atra   group, pruinescent between ocelli, elsewhere with very little pruinescence, even on anterior half, with a little very fine fingerprint ridging, thus any glossy zones (present in B. atra   and B. fimbria   ) not sharply defined. Antenna: segment 3 generally entirely dark brown or almost so. Palpus tawny-brown to dark brown. Mesopleuron with very narrowly grey-pruinescent upper and posterior margins. Legs brown; fore coxa dark brown, with grey-pruinescent anterior surface.Abdomen: tergite 5 of female shining blackish, with anterior margin very broadly grey-pruinescent.

Head. Height of cheek 0.36–0.46 of height of eye.

Thorax. Intradorsocentral setulae in two pairs of irregular rows anteriorly, or only the inner series distinct. Hind tibia with subapical spur distinct, but smaller than in B. fimbria   . Wing: apical section of vein 4 3.3–4.6× as long as penultimate section.

Abdomen. Preabdomen apparently similar to that of B. fimbria   . Male postabdomen: tergite 6 not observed; compound protandrial sclerite very long and slender, longer than preabdomen (in available dried specimens), with pair of very prominent posterior condyles (details of anterior part not investigated); epandrium very elongate, anteriorly tapering, posteriorly somewhat swollen, with general outline thus clavate, laterally and dorsally with scattered short setulae and, on each lateral margin just anterior to surstylus, two very long bristles, lateral margin near posterior end deeply V-cleft to accommodate posterobasal angle of surstylus; anterior foramen of epandrium of moderate size, very oblique; anteroventral bridge of epandrium very extensive, occupying perhaps half length of epandrium (posterior delimitation of bridge and prehypandrial membrane not discernable in preparations); surstylus broad on basal articulation with epandrium, with rounded anterobasal gibbosity, more slender posteriorly inclined distal part, and rounded apex, with setulae of various sizes some on anterobasal gibbosity large but simple, those on outer distal surface very small, and about six to ten modified spinules on inner distal surface, each stout basally, with distal fan-like fascicle of c. four to six rigid branches, in most cases lying in plane approximately transverse to longitudinal axis of surstylus; process of lateral hypandrial sclerite moderately short, with three terminal setulae; distiphallus stoutly ovoid, with small contracted but tumid apical section, its entire visible surface covered with fine, mostly closely parallel and transverse sclerotized ridges, with gonopore apparently on anterior surface close to apex; cerci closely approximated basally and thus remote from surstyli, rod-like, slender and slightly tapered distally, only slightly expanded basally, with rather numerous medium to small setulae.

Dimensions. Total length,? 0.91–1.14 mm,! 1.2–1.4 mm; length of thorax,? 0.46–0.54 mm,! 0.51–0.70 mm; length of wing,? 1.2–1.3 mm,! 1.2–1.6 mm.

Distribution. Western Australia: high rainfall districts south of 33°S and west of 118°E.


Borboroides woodhilli   is a little known species of the atra   group generally resembling B. fimbria   and other species with pale capitellum and a single dorsocentral bristle. Among these species it is distinguishable by the greatly reduced pruinescence of the postfrons (at least for clean, dry specimens), but, as usual, the most marked distinctions are in the male postabdominal characters, including the elongate, attenuated cercus and the digitate spinules on the distal part of the surstylus.

The few female specimens which B.J.D. and I collected were on fresh fox dung.

The specific epithet refers to Anthony R. Woodhill, formerly of the University of Sydney, on whose advice (1954) I took up the study of the Diptera   .


Australian National Insect Collection


Australian Museum


Western Australian Museum