Protaustrosimulium terebrans (Tonnoir)

Currie, Douglas C., Craig, Douglas A. & Moulton, John K., 2018, A new genus, Protaustrosimulium, for four species of Australian black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae), Zootaxa 4521 (3), pp. 301-334: 320-326

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Protaustrosimulium terebrans (Tonnoir)


Protaustrosimulium terebrans (Tonnoir)   . New combination

( Figs. 67–83 View FIGURES 67–72 View FIGURES 73, 74 View FIGURES 75 View FIGURES 76–77 View FIGURES 78–83 )

Simulium terebrans Tonnoir 1925: 238   . Original description, female only.

Simulium (Cnephia) terebrans   . Edwards, 1931: 131.

Cnephia terebrans   . Smart, 1945:499.

(Cnephia of authors) terebrans   . Crosskey, 1987: 443. Unplaced species of Prosimuliini   .

Paracnephia terebrans   . Crosskey & Howard, 1997: 18. Bugledich 1999: 329.

Paracnephia terebrans   . Adler & Crosskey, 2008: 26. Transferred to Simuliini   .

Redescription. Adult female (based on five pinned specimens from ANIC and one from McKenzie Falls). Body ( Fig. 67 View FIGURES 67–72 ): markedly evenly blackish brown with dark brown abdomen; total length ca. 3.5 mm. Head ( Figs. 68, 69 View FIGURES 67–72 ): frons moderately narrowed, tapered only slightly towards antennae; width ca. 0.13 mm; depth ca. 0.56 mm; postocciput black, vestiture of markedly sparse, long black hairs; frons, dark brown-black, vestiture of markedly sparse hairs; frons:head ratio 1.0:6.5. Eyes: interocular distance ca. 0.13 mm; ommatidia diameter 0.014–0.016 mm; ca. 33 rows across and down at mid-eye. Clypeus: width 0.23–0.25 mm; moderate vestiture of fine silvery hairs. Antenna ( Fig. 70 View FIGURES 67–72 ): dark brown; total length 0.70–0.72 mm; scape small, pedicel and flagellomere I similar in size, rectangular, next five flagellomeres broader than long, apical flagellomere cone-shaped; antenna overall not tapered. Mouthparts: substantive, 0.5–0.7× length of head depth (longest in McKenzie Falls specimen); cibarium ( Fig. 73 View FIGURES 73, 74 ) median depression flat, cornuae short, broadly flared and substantially sclerotized; mandible ( Fig. 71, 72 View FIGURES 67–72 ) with ca. 18 outer and 57 inner teeth, many finely expressed; lacinia with ca. 19 and 26 teeth; maxillary palp ( Fig. 71 View FIGURES 67–72 ), dark brown, total length ca. 0.70 mm, basal two palpomeres small, palpomere III darker brown than remainder, only slightly extended beyond articulation; palpomere IV markedly extended apicolaterally beyond articulation with palpomere V; proportional lengths of palpomeres III–V 1.0:0.7:1.0; sensory organ spherical, 0.3× length of palpomere III, opening 0.5× vesicle width. Thorax: length 1.6 mm; width 0.95–1.20 mm; evenly black; pronotal lobe slightly lighter in colour with fine hair longer than on scutum, scutum black with overall even sparse fine small golden hairs; scutellar depression similar; scutellum concolourous with scutum, vestiture of long hairs, black laterally, pale medially; postnotum concolourous with scutellum, pollinose in some lighting; antepronotal lobe (propleuron), proepisternum and forecoxa with long fine hairs; pleuron and anepisternal membrane dark brown, without hairs, pollinose in some lighting; katepisternal sulcus shallow. Wing ( Figs. 74 View FIGURES 73, 74 , 75 View FIGURES 75 ): length 2.3–3.5 mm; a:b ratio 1.0:2.7, width 1.5–1.7 mm; anterior veins dark brown, small basal cell present; costa with spines, R s not branched, M 2 markedly double, CuA sinuous, but not markedly so. Haltere: knob dark brown, stem testaceous. Legs: ( Fig. 76 View FIGURES 76–77 ): evenly dark brown; hind basitarsus lacking ventral row of stout spines; calcipala ca. half width of basitarsus, as long as wide; intersegmental plate ventrally between basitarsus and basal tarsomere distinct; pedisulcus deeply incised near base, area lacking pigmentation; tarsomere II not markedly elongated, 2.3× longer than apical width; claws small ( Fig. 77 View FIGURES 76–77 ), serrated, basal tooth small and distinctly lateral to broad heel, (as illustrated by Tonnoir, 1925: his Fig. 3H View FIGURES 1–6 . In Mackerras & Mackerras, 1949: their Fig. 10 View FIGURES 9–13 , the tooth is shown as double). Abdomen ( Fig. 78 View FIGURES 78–83 ): basal scale dark brown, vestiture of long yellow hairs; remaining segments dark brown, tergites dark orange brown; tergite II markedly broadly bowl-shaped, tergites III–VI rectangular, wider than long and similar sized; vestiture of markedly sparse small hairs increased in length and density posteriorly; remainder of tergites enlarged laterally and rounded; pleurites poorly developed, cuticle markedly pleated; sternites apparently absent; tergites broader in McKenzie Falls specimen. Genitalia: sternite VIII evenly pigmented across full width, vestiture of rows of microtrichia, large strong hairs posterolaterally; hypogynial valves ( Figs. 79, 80 View FIGURES 78–83 ), lightly pigmented, vestiture of triads of microtrichia, median edges of valves variable, either slightly concave or convex, but markedly strengthened, moderately rounded apicolaterally; genital fork ( Fig. 81 View FIGURES 78–83 ) anterior arm flattened laterally as a bar (distorted in Figure), two rounded lobes at junction with remainder, lateral arms broad, apodeme small and close to posterolateral expansions, rounded laterally, rectangular medially; spermatheca spherical, dark brown, externally smooth, sparse acanthae, clear area at junction with duct absent, pigment extended for short distance along spermathecal duct ( Fig. 82 View FIGURES 78–83 ); cerci in lateral view slightly extended, rounded apically, anal lobe not markedly expressed ( Fig. 83 View FIGURES 78–83 ).

Male: unknown.

Pupa: unknown.

Larva: unknown.

Types. Holotype. Pinned female. Label data: [Victoria, Sassafras/ 22-x-1922. Coll. Tonnoir / Caught while biting]. (ca. S37.8600° E145.3500°). ANIC. GoogleMaps  

Additional material. Tonnoir (1925: 238) mentioned four females of this species from Canoblas, NSW, 11-x- 1916, at the time deposited in the collection of the Board of Health, Sydney; however, he did not refer to them as paratypes. Although Bugledich (1999: 329) refers to them as such, she neither examined these specimens nor explained why she deemed them paratypes. Because Tonnoir (1925) did not explicitly designate these four females as paratypes, and given that they are not from the type locality, and of different date from the type, we consider them merely as ‘additional material'. One of these specimens was examined by us and is now mounted on a slide. We also examined three adult females from Middle Creek, one of which is also now slide mounted. One other specimen—from McKenzie Falls, Grampians—is slide mounted. All of this material is deposited in ANIC.

Etymology. Not given by Tonnoir (1925), but probably from Latin “ tenebris ” [= dark], in reference to the dark colour of the holotype female.

Distribution ( Fig. 99 View FIGURE 99 ). New South Wales: Mt. Canoblas, 11-x-1916, Coll. Tonnoir; Molong Creek, Mt. Canoblas, nr. Orange, 8-x-1950. det. Mackerras (S33.3192° E149.0239°, elev. 914m.). Colo Vale, 28-ii-1956, Coll. A.K. Grower (S34.3667° E150.4352°, elev. 690m.). Way Way, 3-x-1925, Coll. Mackerras (S30.7600° E152.9700°, elev. 26m.). Australian Capital Territory: Black Mountain, 8-ix-1953. Coll. A. Dyce (S35.2738° E149.1135°, elev. 580m.). Victoria: Sassafras, 22-x-1922. Coll. Tonnoir (S37.8628° E145.3536°, elev. 470m.). Middle Creek, Beaufort, 29-x-1952, Coll. Neboiss (S37.4032° E143.2415°, elev. 350m.). McKenzie Falls, Grampians, 26-ix-1953. Coll. Neboiss; 12-ix-2014, Coll. J.K. Moulton (S37.1109° E142.4088°, elev. 368m.).

Bionomics. Little is known about the biology of this species, although Tonnoir’s label data indicate that females bite. Males, pupae or larvae are unknown, despite extensive searching by Mackerras & Mackerras (1952: 105) and our own collecting efforts. With the exception of the Colo Vale locality, dates of collection indicate an Austral spring species. Colo Vale is at a higher elevation than other sites, so perhaps later emergence at that site is related to cooler temperatures.

Remarks. An attempt by DAC in 2014 to collect new material from Middle Creek, Victoria, was unsuccessful. As with many collection sites referred to in the early literature, human activities have rendered such streams unsuitable for simuliids (e.g., Moulton et al., 2018: 10).

The mouthparts of known females are substantial, in particular the single specimen from McKenzie Falls ( Fig. 69 View FIGURES 67–72 ). Such mouthparts suggest that females are blood-feeders, although the large size of their abdominal tergites is more typical of non-bloodsucking species.

The genital fork of Protaustrosimulium terebrans   is unique among Australian simuliids and differs in a number of respects from those of Prot. pilfreyi   and Prot. amphorum   . The stem is strongly curved ventrally and laterally flattened—thence contorted when slide mounted (e.g., Fig. 81 View FIGURES 78–83 ). There are unusual lobes at the junction of the anterior and lateral arms, and no evidence of membranous areas lateral to the anterior arm.


Australian National Insect Collection














Protaustrosimulium terebrans (Tonnoir)

Currie, Douglas C., Craig, Douglas A. & Moulton, John K. 2018

Paracnephia terebrans

Adler, P. H. & Crosskey, R. W. 2008: 26

Paracnephia terebrans

Bugledich, E. - M. A. 1999: 329
Crosskey, R. W. & Howard, T. M. 1997: 18

Cnephia terebrans

Smart, J. 1945: 499

Simulium (Cnephia) terebrans

Edwards, F. W. 1931: 131

Simulium terebrans

Tonnoir, A. L. 1925: 238