Borboroides shippi, 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: 195-198

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Borboroides shippi


Borboroides shippi   n.sp.

Figs 108–116

Material examined. HOLOTYPE.?, New South Wales: Mount Wilson, Blue Mountains [Waterfall Reserve, c. 900 m, 33°31'S 150°23'E], 12.iv.2004, D.K.M. ( AM K219755). Mounted on card point, postabdomen in microvial on same pin GoogleMaps   . PARATYPES. New South Wales: 8??, 26!!, Mount Wilson, April, Aug. Sept. , Oct., 1970–2004, D.K.M. ( AM, ANIC)   ; 3??, 2!!, Lahey’s Creek Road, 12 km NW of Gulgong, April 1979, B.J.D., D.K.M. ( AM)   ; 7??, 4!!, 8 miles [c. 13 km] N of Rylstone , Aug. 1956, D.K.M. ( AM)   ; 2??, 4!!, Tinda Creek, Putty Road , 33°10'S 150°42'E, April, May 2002 –2003, D.K.M. ( AM) GoogleMaps   ; 13??, 22!!, Putty Road , 41 km N of Colo River bridge, 33°11'S 150°41'E, May, June. Sept., 2002–2003, D.K.M. ( AM, MV) GoogleMaps   ; 1?, Colo Heights, 33°21'S 150°44'E, May 2002, D.K.M. ( AM) GoogleMaps   ; 1?, 1!, Mount York, Blue Mountains , May 2003 D.K.M. ( AM)   ; 1?, Katoomba , May 1958, G.H.H. ( AM)   ; 1?, La Perouse, Botany Bay , 33°59'S 151°14'E, Oct. 2002, B.M., B.J.D. ( MHNG) GoogleMaps   ; 2??, 3!!, Rudy’s Road turn-off, 15 km N of Jenolan, April 2004, B.J.D. ( AM, MHNG)   .

Other material (including some lots without males, some with slightly atypical male genitalia characters, some from localities remote from type locality;?g indicates that male genitalia have been checked for the lot or specimen and are in approximate agreement with type material; otherwise localities only given). New South Wales: Warrumbungles National Park ( AM)   ; Mount Royal State Forest, Singleton district ( AM)   ; Baerami Creek, near Denman ( AM)   ; Kanangra-Boyd National Park (several localities, AM)   ; Murrumbateman ( ANIC)   ; Clyde Mountain, Braidwood district ( ANIC)   ; Mogo, near Bateman’s Bay ( ANIC)   . Australian Capital Territory: Canberra ,?g ( ANIC)   ; Blundell’s ( ANIC)   ; Tidbinbilla ( ANIC)   . Victoria: Swan Reach ,?g ( AM)   ; Providence Ponds Reserve , 27 km W of Bairnsdale,?g ( AM)   ; Toolangi State Forest , 31 km S of Yea,?g ( AM)   ; Saint Arnaud ( ANIC)   ; 4 miles [c. 6 km] W of Dimboola ( ANIC)   . Tasmania: Mount Field National Park ( AM)   ; Lake Saint Clair ( ANIC)   . South Australia: Yumali, near Mount Barker ( ANIC)   ; Hahndorf, near Mount Barker ( ANIC)   ; upper Ravine des Casoars, Kangaroo Island ,?g ( AM)   . Western Australia: Williams ,?g ( AM)   ; 27 miles [c. 43 km] N of Bunbury , coast road ( ANIC)   ; 8 miles [c. 13 km] N of Bunbury ( ANIC)   ; Jalbarragup Road , 15 km S of Busselton,?g ( AM)   ; Pemberton ( ANIC)   ; 9 miles [c. 14 km] W of Pemberton ,?g ( ANIC)   ; 3 miles [c. 5 km] NE of Pimelia, Pemberton district ,?g ( ANIC)   ; Mount Barker ( ANIC)   ; Napier , 16 miles [c. 26 km] N of Albany ( ANIC)   ; Bolganup Dam, Porongorup ( AM)   ; Porongorup National Park ( ANIC)   ; Thomas River , 63 miles [c. 101 km] E of Esperance,?g ( ANIC)   .

Description (male, female). Very small largely black fly, resembling B. corynetes   in most characters and agreeing with description of that species except as indicated below.

Coloration. Postfrons with distinct tawny-yellow anterior marginal zone of variable width, with subshining black zone on each side of ocelli often larger than in B. corynetes   ; face tawny-brown to tawny-yellow; cheek usually tawny to tawny-yellow on anterior part, more extensively yellowish in males. Antennal segment 3 predominantly tawny-yellow in male, predominantly brown in female. Palpus tawny-yellow, sometimes more brownish in females. Thorax: hypopleuron with distinct zone of dense grey pruinescence on or very near posterior margin in addition to anterior pruinescent zone, or, infrequently, more extensively pruinescent on ventral part.

Head. Height of cheek c. 0.37–0.56 of height of eye. Prelabrum slightly smaller in male than in female. Dorsocentral bristles usually one well-developed pair or a small more anterior additional bristle distinguishable from setulae.

Thorax. Fore tibia not sexually dimorphic, often with weakly differentiated preapical dorsal bristle, without ventral excavation. Wing: apical section of vein 4 3.1–3.9 times as long as penultimate section.

Abdomen. Tergite 5 of male not markedly shorter than tergite 4. Male postabdomen: sternite 6 symmetrical, paired anterior prominences on its ventral angles produced into rounded lobes; epandrium with relatively large anterior foramen, with scattered coarse setulae, and with anteroventral bridge less extensive than in B. fimbria   and B atra   ; prehypandrial membrane extensive, with numerous short microtrichia, mostly arranged in short comb-like series; surstylus somewhat compressed in transverse-suboblique plane, concave on inner-posterior surface before mid-length, not strongly bent, but with distal third sloping inwards from the broadly rounded postero-external gibbosity, with few, large anterior setulae and, on distal part of inner surface, with numerous blunt, peg-like spinules; process at outer extremity of lateral hypandrial sclerite simple, with one long and several short setulae, no additional processes present between this and basiphallus; aedeagus resembling that of B. corynetes   , with extensive fine parallel rugosity on lateral convexity, the ridges becoming sharp and tooth-like between gonopore and acuminate apex, with pair of brown triangular sclerites on basal part of posterior surface; cercus very stout and rather short, basally articulated with epandrium, densely pubescent on most of outer surface, with setulae and mollisetae of various sizes, some of the largest inserted near or on basal margin, its inner surface with broad gibbosity which is glabrous except for a few small setulae.

Dimensions. Total length,? 1.0– 1.8 mm,! 1.1–2.3 mm; length of thorax,? 0.56–0.85 mm,! 0.57–0.98 mm; length of wing,? 1.5–2.0 mm,! 1.5–2.4 mm.

Distribution. Eastern New South Wales: widely distributed. Victoria: widely distributed but records sparse. Tasmania: single record. South Australia: southern districts, including Kangaroo Island. Western Australia: southwest district as far east as Thomas River. This is one of the most widely distributed species of the genus, only one other ( B. gorodkovi   ) being known from both eastern and western states.


Borboroides shippi   differs from most species of the atra   group in the more extensively pruinescent postfrons, without a distinct glossy zone in front of the anterior ocellus, but B. menura   , B. gorodkovi   , and B. corynetes   agree to a variable extent in this character. From B. menura   it differs in having any anterior dorsocentral bristle much shorter than the posterior one, in having several quite long posteroventral bristles on the fore femur, in the lack of strong apical curvature in vein 2, also in the quite different male cercus, surstylus, etc. Those specimens of B. shippi   with more developed dorsocentral bristles can be distinguished from B. gorodkovi   by the much smaller hind tibial subapical spur, by having that part of the mesopleuron smooth and glossy where it meets the upper part of the fore-coxal cavity, and by the differently shaped discal cell. The most closely related species is B. corynetes   , from which it differs as indicated under that species and in the key to species.

Borboroides shippi   as here delimited shows variation in the distribution of pleural microtrichiation, in the size of the subapical spur of the hind tibia, and in the precise shape of the surstylus and cercus of the male. There appear to be intermediate conditions connecting the more extreme variants, and the variation does not show a consistent geographic correlation. These conclusions were reached after a prolonged but not exhaustive study of the available material. The specific distinction of this species from B. corynetes   is unambiguous, but occasional female specimens may be hard to place.

Borboroides shippi   has been collected around wombat dung baits and on old carcasses (wombat, domestic fowl), often but not always in natural wombat habitats.

The specific epithet refers to Erik Shipp, formerly of the University of New South Wales, who kindly invited me on the field trip in 1956 when I first collected this species.


Australian Museum


Australian National Insect Collection


University of Montana Museum


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle