Liaghinella tuberculata, Castro-Huertas & Forero, 2017

Castro-Huertas, Valentina & Forero, Dimitri, 2017, Small range distributions in the high Andes: two new species of Liaghinella (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Emesinae) from Colombia, Zootaxa 4277 (3), pp. 399-412 : 404-411

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Liaghinella tuberculata

sp. nov.

Liaghinella tuberculata sp. nov. Forero & Castro-Huertas

( Figs. 3‒6 View FIGURE 3 View FIGURE 4 View FIGURE 5 View FIGURE 6 , 7 View FIGURE 7 )

Holotype: Male: COLOMBIA: Cundinamarca, Reserva Chicaque , refugio, 4°36,892´N 74°18,677´W, 2,221 m, 8‒12 abr 2013, D. Forero leg. / cerca al refugio bajo Ficus , en hojarasca, noche [near to refuge, under Ficus , in forest litter, at night] / Liaghinella tuberculata sp. nov. Forero & Castro-Huertas 2017 / MPUJ _ ENT 0 0 10584 ( MPUJ) GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 3 Females. Same locality data / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 10771 / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 29637 / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 46844 (MPUJ); 2 Males. Same locality data / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 29636 / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 29638 (MPUJ); 1 Male. Same locality data / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 29639 (AMNH); 1 Male. Same locality data / MPUJ_ENT 0 0 29635 (NMNH). Other specimens examined: Last instar nymph: Same locality data.

Liaghinella andina Forero, 2007 : Male: COLOMBIA: Cundinamarca, Reserva Chicaque , robledal, 0 4.6172500 °N 74.3139500 °W, 2,250m, 23 ene 2015, E. Tulande / colecta manual, bajo hojarasca de Quercus sp. y Clusia sp., colecta nocturna [manual collecting, under forest litter of Quercus spp. and Clusia sp., night collect], 23h. / MPUJ _ ENT 0 0 47555 ( MPUJ). GoogleMaps

Diagnosis. Recognized by a pair of medial tubercles on the posterior margin of the pronotum ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 C‒E; 4C‒E), meso- and metanotum with three longitudinal carinae and posterior margin of the meso- and metanotum with paired short tubercles on lateral carinae ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 A, 5B), clypeus with a short spine ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 F, 5F), posterolateral angles of dorsal laterotergites produced as a short tubercle ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 B, 5B).

Description. Apterous male (total length, holotype 11.6 mm; head length, 1.5 mm; prothorax length, 1.9 mm; meso- and metathorax length, 2.2 mm; abdomen length, 5.9 mm).

Color. Head: Ventrally dark brown, dorsally with several pale brown spots ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 F). Clypeus spine dark brown, first and second segments of the labium basally dark brown and distally whitish, third segment of the labium dark brown. Scapus pale brown and distally dark brown, flagellomeres dark brown. Thorax: Ventrally dark brown, dorsally pale brown, laterally with several whitish spots ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 C‒D); procoxal cavity pale brown, meso- and metacoxal cavities dark brown with a whitish fine line on the posterior margin; proleg dark brown with several whitish portions, procoxae ventrally dark brown and dorsally pale brown, protrochanter dark brown, profemur ventrally dark brown and dorsally pale brown with some spots whitish laterally; protibia dark brown, medial and basally whitish; protarsus dark brown basally yellow; meso- and meta coxae and trochanter dark brown, meso- and metafemur dark brown with a several dispersal spots whitish, meso- and meta tibiae pale brown with several dark brown dispersal spots, meso-and metatarsi dark brown. Abdomen: Pale brown with several whitish spots; pygophore pale brown ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 A).

Vestiture: Body covered with numerous setiferous tubercles. Head: Dorsally with setiferous tubercles, ventrally with dense setae; antennal scapus with numerous, short setae; labium glabrous. Structure. Head: Elongated, interocular sulcus deep, clypeus with a short spine; eyes globose in dorsal view, elongate ovoid in lateral view ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 F); antenna slender, scapus longer than others segments; first flagellomere shortest segment; first visible labial segment short, second visible labial segment swollen, about as long as second segment, third visible segment slender, about twice the length of the fourth segment. Thorax: Pronotum longer than wide, about as long as meso- and metanotum together; lateral angles of the anterior margin with rounded tubercles ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 C‒E), posterior margin with a pair of conspicuous medial tubercles directed dorsad; meso- and metanotum with three longitudinal carinae, posterior margin of meso- and metanotum with paired short tubercles each on lateral carinae; stridulitrum narrow. Legs: Proleg distinctly wider and shorter than meso- and metaleg; procoxa elongate, profemur about as long as three times the protibiae and wider; profemur with posteroventral series composed by spiniform process and setae, and located near to the base of article ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 D), profemur with anteroventral series compose by a row of setae; protibia ventrally with a row of triangular denticles; protibial comb present; protarsus one segmented about as long as protibia and with two claws; meso- and metalegs larger and slender. Abdomen: elongate, abdominal tergites I‒VI with a short median tubercle on the posterior margin; dorsal laterotergites with projections on lateroposterior margin produced dorsad ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 B), distal margin of tergite VII acute. Male genitalia: Pygophore elongated and ventrally produced ( Figs. 4 View FIGURE 4 C‒E); posterior margin of the pygophore with a medial process (mpp), dorsal margin concave ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 E), process nearly vertical with a broad basal caudad protuberance ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 C); genital opening (go) and anterior opening (ao) separated by a wide transverse bridge (br) ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 D); area surrounding paramere socket (ps) with long, delicate setae ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 E). Paramere elongated and curved in their apical portion; body of the paramere with uniform diameter; apical curved portion cylindrical and apex acute, lateroventrally with long setae on distal region ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 G). Arms of articulatory apparatus (apt) strongly curved in lateral view ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 G); dorsal phallothecal sclerite elongated; dorsoapically with a drop-like notch. Aedeagus symmetrical, cylindrical; endosoma with numerous tubercle-shaped sclerites (tss) ( Figs. 4 View FIGURE 4 F‒G).

Apterous female ( Figs. 5 View FIGURE 5 A‒F) (total length, 12.3 mm; head length, 2.8 mm; prothorax length, 3.5 mm; meso- and metathorax length, 2.2 mm; abdomen length, 6.5 mm). Similar to male, slightly larger and wider.

Color. Very similar to male’s except as follows. Thorax: Dark brown, dorsally with several whitish spots ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 E). Abdomen: Dark brown with several spots whitish, abdominal tergite IX pale brown.

Structure. Abdomen: laterotergites with posterolateral dorsad projections larger than on the male ( Figs. 5 View FIGURE 5 A‒B). Female genitalia: Tergite 8 (T8) oval, with the caudal margin (mpm8) rounded, medially with a longitudinal carina; tergite 9 (T9) nearly rectangular with the distal margin (mpm9) emarginated ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 C); gonocoxa 8 (gcx8) nearly quadrangular, short and wide, with the lateral anterior area produced into a prolongation (lap) sinuous apically ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 D); gonapophysis 8 (gap8) nearly triangular with some sparse setae medially; gonocoxa 9 (gcx9) elongated; gonapophysis 9 (gap9) small and elongated; gonoplac (gpl) rounded, fused medially, with a subapical ventral projection and longer setae on the apical margin ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A); bursa copulatrix (bc) elongate, ventral medial surface of bursa copulatrix transversely striated; with ring gland (gr) present, situated transverse across to the bursa ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A).

Etymology. The specific name tuberculata is taken from the Latin “tuberculum” (protuberance, tubercle) because of the conspicuous paired tubercles of the posterior margin of the pronotum of this species.

Biology. The specimens were founded under forest litter and in very humid conditions. The specimens were collected when active, exclusively at night, similar to what was found for L. andina ( Forero 2007) .

Distribution. Specimens of L. tuberculata were recently collected in one of the few relicts of high Andean forest near to urban areas ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 ). “Parque Natural Chicaque” is a private reserve with 300 hectares of the wet montane forest with an altitudinal gradient between 2,000 to 2,700 meters (Jardin Botánico de Bogotá 1998).

Discussion. This new species is very similar to L. heldamariae sp. nov., but can be separated from the characters stated in the key above. It is also related to L. andina and L. farri , but several differences, particularly in the structure of head, structure of the thorax, and male and female genitalia, as stated above, allow distinguishing this species.

The male and female genitalia in Liaghinella have valuable taxonomic information to separate species. The medial process of the pygophore is spiniform in L. farri ( Wygodzinsky 1966) , rectangular with a straight apex in L. andina ( Forero 2007) and rectangular with the apex concave in L. tuberculata sp. nov. The apex of the paramere is strongly curved in L. andina and L. farri . The anterior and posterior opening of the pygophore are narrow in L. andina and wider in L. tuberculata . The particular sclerotizations of the endosoma are different between the known males: in L. farri are small and more homogeneous, whereas in L. andina and L. tuberculata sp. nov. are more strongly sclerotized and less homogenous. In the female genitalia, the structure of the tergites 8 and 9 are characteristic at least in L. andina , L. heldamariae sp. nov., and L. tuberculata sp. nov. All these attributes found in the Colombian species point to a marked difference between L. farri and the Colombian species. The holotype of L. farri is not well preserved (D.Forero, pers. obs), thus a reexamination of it will not be very helpful, in particular with regard to the male genitalia. Only further collecting for additional specimens and sexes, coupled with a phylogenetic analysis of all related taxa will clarify the relationships among species and will help to decide if the species from Colombia are really congeneric with the species from Jamaica.

Small range distributions of Liaghinella in the high Andes . Biogeographic hypotheses of Heteroptera have focused on the groups with medical and economic importance. Within the Cimicomorpha, Triatominae among Reduviidae have been the focus of studies about distributional patterns ( Ferrari et al. 2015). However, the distribution of the Heteroptera fauna in the Neotropics is still poorly known, particularly on the high Andes in Colombia. This lack of information hinders the ability to identify and prioritize critical areas for conservation efforts and to understand the evolution of these areas in the Andes .

Species of Liaghinella found Colombia have small range distributions on the eastern Colombian Andes . Harvey (2002) proposed that less than 10.000 km 2 can qualify as a short-range endemic group, as is apparently the case with the Andean Liaghinella species. Liaghinella andina is found in two localities less than 50 kilometers apart, L. heldamariae is found again in two localities set apart by about 130 kilometers, and L. tuberculata is found only in its type locality ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 ). At least two species of Liaghinella are always in the same or very close localities for most of its range. This might be considered as sympatric, but in fact L. tuberculata and L. andina are not found at the same altitude in Chicaque, with L. andina always higher than L. tuberculata . It is not clear if this difference is due to an association to particular habitats, but at least with the data at hand it might not be the case. Liaghinella andina was described from a high Andean forest, and the habitat of the specimen from Chicaque is an Oak forest ( Quercus humboldtii ). Similarly, L. heldamariae is found in paramo in Monserrate at about 3,000 meters, whereas L. andina is found nearby but at a lower altitude in a high Andean forest. Therefore, we argue that although all these species are found in relatively nearby localities, they are separated by the altitude in which they are found.

In Colombia, only a broad-shouldered water strider heteropteran ( Veliidae : Rhagovelia, Padilla & Moreira 2013 ) has been documented with respect to altitudinal ranges. Studies with carabid beetles indicate that the high rates of microendemism in the high Andes of Ecuador are associated with climate, humid areas, volcanism, and others variables, resulting in conditions for the diversification of a highly specialized montane fauna ( Moret 2005, 2009). This could be also the case for some groups in Heteroptera , highlighting the importance of Andean forests in diversification processes of Colombian Heteroptera .

If further collecting show that the high Andean species of Liaghinella have in fact small distribution ranges, this will affect negatively the extinction probabilities of their populations because they will be more susceptible to climate change ( Prather et al. 2013) and anthropogenic transformations of the landscape affecting the Andes .


Ministry of Natural Resources














Liaghinella tuberculata

Castro-Huertas, Valentina & Forero, Dimitri 2017

Liaghinella andina

Forero 2007


C. Linnaeus 1753


C. Linnaeus 1753