Printer Friendly

A new species of mistletoe inhabiting plant bug from Western Australia: Hypseloecus schuhi (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae).

Abstract--A new species, Hypseloecus schuhi is described from seven specimens collected on Amyema nestor (Loranthaceae) in Charles Darwin Reserve, in the Avon Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. This is the first species recorded solely from Western Australia on an endemic host plant.

Key words: Taxonomy, host plant.


The genus Hypseloecus Reuter is the only representative of the tribe Pilophorini in Australia, with the first eight Australian species recently described by Schuh and Menard (2011). Hypseloecus spp. are associated with parasitic mistletoes in the plant order Santalales. The genus is recognized by a generally elongate-ovoid body shape, broad head, lanceolate scalelike setae on the dorsum, and by the patch of glassy spicules on the endosoma proximate to the secondary gonopore (Schuh and Menard, 2011). The Australian material described in that paper was largely collected by G. Cassis and R. T. Schuh in their many and extensive fieldtrips across the country (Cassis et al., 2007). Three species were recorded from Western Australia, but part of a wide distribution across the country, in particular eastern and central Australia, on widely distributed hosts.

Recent intensive survey work by the author of a few reserves in the Avon Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, as part of the Australian Government's Bush Blitz species discovery program (, has yielded some distinctive, endemic Heteropteran species new to science, among them a new species of Hypseloecus that appears to be endemic to Western Australia.


The seven specimens examined for this study are deposited in the collections of the Western Australian Museum (WAM) and University of New South Wales (UNSW). Each has been labelled with a unique specimen identifier (USI) code, and the associated specimen information entered into the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (PBI) locality database ( pbi/databases/locality_database) (Schuh et al., 2010). USI codes are prefixed with the institutional project code 'AMNH_PBI' and are included in the data for all specimens examined. Specimen information can be viewed online through the Discover Life website (http://www. This species description is limited for the most part to species specific characters. For the full generic description and morphological terminology, refer to Schuh and Menard (2011). Standard measurements were made using a digital micrometer, with values given in millimeters in Table 1. Photographs of specimens were taken with a Visionary Digital imaging system through a Canon 40D camera and Infinity K2 microscope lens. Multiple photographs were taken and compiled into a composite, fully focused image using Helicon Focus software (http://www. The map was prepared using the online mapping tool 'Simple Mapper' linked to the PBI database (http://research. The host plant distribution was obtained from Australia's Virtual Herbarium online plant mapping tool ( avh). Illustrations of male genitalia were produced using a Leica compound microscope and attached camera lucida, with the pygophore drawn using the 10x objective and parameres, phallotheca and endosoma drawn using the 20x objective. In the illustration plate (Fig. 2), the pygophore is therefore at a different scale to the other parts.

Hypseloecus schuhi, new species Figures 1-4, Table 1

HOLOTYPE: [male], AUSTRALIA: Western Australia: Charles Darwin Reserve, Edna Springs, 29.50683[degrees]S 117.05286[degrees]E, 295 m, 07 May 2009, C. Symonds, A. Molan, A. Wheeler, B. Yardley, ex. Amyema nestor (S.Moore) Danser (Loranthaceae), det. T.D. Macfarlane, WA Herbarium (AMNH_PBI 00030480) (WAM).

DIAGNOSIS: Recognized by pale pinkish orange dorsal coloration in males and generally pale creamy white of females, with distinctive carmine red markings on head, anterolateral angle of pronotum, all thoracic pleura, abdomen and legs; hind legs with red spots at base of tibial spines; dorsum with mixed vestiture of golden scalelike setae and longer decumbent, thick, black, simple setae; venter with golden scalelike setae only; male endosoma with marginal processes, large flattened and right laterally projected medial spinelike process and smaller ridge of spines proximate to base.

DESCRIPTION: Male. Elongate, ovoid, lateral hemelytral margins weakly rounded; total length 3.25-3.30 mm (see Table 1). COLORATION (Fig. 1): Dorsum overall pale pinkish orange; antennae, legs, thoracic pleura and abdomen generally pale cream with orange tinge; antennae light, cream; head cream with orange markings submedially on frons and mandibular plate, eyes dark red; carmine red markings as follows: paired spots at posterior of vertex submedially and on frons just dorsal of clypeus, longitudinal stripes on clypeus, fine lateral stripe across ventral margin of clypeus, two lateral bands on maxillary plate and red band from base of eye to antennal insertion point, base of the first antennal segment red; carmine red markings on remainder of body as follows: lateral red stripelike patches on anterior of pronotum just posterior of eyes, red patches on pro-, meso- and metapleura, weak red stripes laterally on abdomen, a few red spots at distal end of hind femur, red spots at base of tibial spines on all legs; wing membrane slightly darkened in patches, veins cream. VESTITURE: Dorsum with moderately dense and evenly scattered distribution of short pale golden lanceolate scalelike setae intermixed with longer, thicker, black, decumbent, simple setae; venter with moderate distribution of short pale golden lanceolate scalelike setae; tibial spines light brown. STRUCTURE: Head: broad, anteriorly flattened, posterior margin concave and following and closely adjacent to anterior margin pronotum; eyes conform with head, not protuberant; clypeus only weakly elevated from surrounding parts of head; mandibular plate slightly convex; gena about one-half height of eye; antenna inserted adjacent to ventral margin of eye and insertion point slightly removed from eye; labium elongate, extending to abdomen. Hemelytra: broader than abdomen; lateral margins weakly convex. Legs: hind tibia pretty much straight in lateral view. Abdomen: tapering to apex, three quarters length of hemelytra. GENITALIA (Fig. 2): Pygophore: transverse, strongly tapered distally; opening small, rounded; proctiger covering all or most of phallotheca + endosoma and most of left paramere except for sensory lobe and sclerotized, dorsal process on anterior margin of left paramere. Left paramere: moderately splayed out; relatively elongate, strongly sclerotized, distally recurved apophysis or posterior process; anterior process sclerotized, fingerlike projected medially and sitting flat in repose, hooked over proctiger; additional process on anterior dorsal margin present, moderate size, weakly pointed apically, oriented in plane of anterior and posterior processes; few elongate, bristlelike, ventrally projected setae medially along outer posterior margin of apophysis. Right paramere: moderately short, spoon-shaped, mesial surface excavated; broad, of uniform width over most of length, with small sclerotized apical process. Phaliotheca: heavily sclerotized and dark in-color, aside from medially on dorsal surface; extreme distal portion only at a very slight angle to rest of body; mostly broad, only slightly tapered to a bluntly rounded apex; subapical rounded lobe present; opens ventrally in three sections divided by internal sclerotized sheaths, aligned parallel. Endosoma: J-shaped, elongate, slender, broadening at base, tubular with sides thickened; with a sclerotised backbone distad of secondary gonopore; mostly strongly sclerotized; apical rim pale, trumpet-shaped with a slender spine at tip; secondary gonopore opening oval in shape, extending distally to patch of moderately elongare, straight, erect, glassy spicules; medial spine present, large, flat, sclerotized, lanceolate, basally slightly twisted, projected right laterally, originating proximally from a relatively elongate sclerotized ridge, tapering on both sides to endosomal margin; additional narrow, broken, scalloped ridge with scattered small spines present, proximate to base of endosoma.

Female. (Fig. 1) Larger, more strongly ovoid than male; total length 3.50-3.70 mm (see Table 1); hemelytra wider; abdomen wider and laterally extending closer to hemelytral margin than in male; generally pale cream coloration, sometimes with pinkish to orange tinge, other coloration and red markings as in male.

HOST ASSOCIATION: Ex. Amyema nestor (S.Moore) Danser (Loranthaceae) in flower (Fig. 3C). This species was observed growing specifically on various Acacia spp. in open Acacia shrubland surrounding a (previously used) stock well (Fig. 3A, B). Interestingly, when the site was revisited in September of the same year, the Amyema nestor was not flowering and no Hypseloecus (or other previously collected Miridae, including another smaller pale phyline) were found. Amyema nestor is endemic to Western Australia, distributed rather broadly across the central inland region of the state.

DISTRIBUTION: Known from a single locality on the northern edge of the southwest botanical province in the Avon Wheatbelt bioregion (Fig. 4).

REMARKS: Hypseloecus schuhi, on the basis of male genitalic characters, appears most closely related to H. amyemi Schuh & Menard, H. amyemicola Schuh & Menard, H. grossi Schuh & Menard, and H. neoamyemi Schuh & Menard. These four species form a clade in the morphological phylogeny constructed by Schuh and Menard (2011, Fig. 16). The clade is supported by the presence of the following three characters, also found in H. schuhi (character number and state in brackets, from Schuh and Menard (2011)): an extra process on the dorsal anterior margin of the left paramere (67-1), a well developed, mesial spine arising medially on the endosoma (56-1), with this mesial endosomal spine being flattened and broadest at midpoint (60-1) (rather than cylindrical). Within this clade [H. amyemi, H. neoamyemi, [H. amyemicola, H. grossi]], the presence of a curved hind tibia (49-1) groups H. amyemicola and H. grossi, but for H. schuhi the hind tibia is somewhat straight. The presence of pale third and fourth antennal segments (2-1, 3-1) in H. schuhi would place the new species with H. amyemi, but the spotted bases of the tibial spines in H. schuhi would place it with H. neoamyemi, H. amyemicola, and H. grossi, rather than with H. amyemi which has pale tibiae (4-1).

One character that is possibly an autapomorphy for H. schuhi is the presence of a more reddish colored rather than velvety black patch on the metapleuron (1-1), present in the majority of Hypseloecus taxa.

Diagnostically, the male endosoma is close in structure to that of H. amyemi with a large, broad, scimitar or lanceolate-shaped, medial spine projecting from a proximal scalloped ridge. However, H. schuhi may be distinguished from H. amyemi by the presence of further small spines proximate to the base of the endosoma (Fig. 2). Externally, H. schuhi is also pale like H. amyemi but is distinguished from H. amyemi by the slightly larger size, the presence of numerous distinctive red markings on the head and body (H. amyemi with only brown patches on meso- and metapleura and without colored spots at base of tibial spines, just slightly darkened at most), and the more pinkish-orange tinge to the overall coloration in the males. Hypseloecus schuhi is distinguished externally from H. amyemicola, H. grossi, and H. neoamyemi by its larger size and pale coloration. Hypseloecus schuhi also appears similar to H. metamyemi Schuh & Menard but the latter species is darker orange-red to reddish brown.

ETYMOLOGY: Named in honor of Toby Schuh on the occasion of his 70th birthday and in acknowledgement of his significant contributions to the endeavour of both collecting and describing the diversity of Australian Heteroptera. In particular, this includes recently (with Katrina Menard) the first records of this genus from Australia.

PARATYPES: Same data as for holotype: 2[female] (AMNH_PBI 00030481, 00030482) (WAM); 1[male] (AMNH_PBI 00399980), 2[female] (AMNH_PBI 00399981, 00399982) (UNSW).

OTHER MATERIAL EXAMINED: Same data as for holotype: 1 nymph (AMNH_PBI 00030483) (WAM).


Many thanks to Gerry Cassis and Toby Schuh for supporting my research work on Australian Heteroptera through the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project. I also thank Toby for his comments which assisted in the identification of the bugs described in this paper. I acknowledge the Bush Blitz program, a partnership between the Australian Government, Earthwatch and BHP Billiton, and staff at the Australian Biological Resources Study, who made the fieldwork possible, in particular: Cameron Slatyer, Brooke Glasser, and Annabel Wheeler. Additional thanks are given to Bush Heritage Trust for hosting fieldwork at Charles Darwin Reserve and to staff volunteers from BHP Billiton who participated in collecting. At the Western Australian Museum, I thank Terry Houston for the loan of specimens and Mark Harvey for arranging collecting permits, and Terry Macfarlane of the Western Australian Herbarium for identification and vouchering of the host plants collected from the Bush Blitz survey. Thanks also to Hannah Mathews (nee Finlay) for tuition in the art of scientific illustration. Final thanks to the editor Thomas Henry and reviewers Katrina Menard and Michael Schwartz whose comments have all improved the manuscript.


Cassis, G., M. E. Wall and R. T. Schuh. 2007. Biodiversity and Industrializing the Taxonomic Process: The Plant Bug Case Study (Insecta: Heteroptera: Miridae), pp. 193-212 in T. R. Hodkinson, J. Parnell and S. Waldren (eds.), Reconstructing the Tree of Life: Taxonomy and Systematics of Species Rich Taxa. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Schuh, R. T., S. Hewson-Smith and J. S. Ascher. 2010. Specimen databases: A case study in entomology using web-based software. American Entomologist 56: 206-216.

Schuh, R. T. and K. Menard. 2011. Santalalean-feeding plant bugs: ten new species in the genus Hypseloecus Reuter from Australia and South Africa (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae): their hosts and placement in the Pilophorini. Australian Journal of Entomology 50(4): 365-392.


School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia;

Table 1. Measurements of Hypseloecus schuhi.


                      Body    Clyp-Cun   Head    Prono   Scut     Cun

male         Mean     3.31      2.49     0.24    0.59    0.65    0.35
N = 2        SD       0.03      0.05     0.02    0.03    0.04    0.08
             Range    0.04      0.06     0.03    0.05    0.05    0.12
             Min      3.29      2.46     0.23    0.56    0.63    0.29
             Max      3.32      2.53     0.25    0.61    0.68    0.41
female       Mean     3.70      2.83     0.27    0.63    0.70    0.43
N = 4        SD       0.15      0.07     0.03    0.02    0.04    0.07
             Range    0.31      0.17     0.07    0.05    0.09    0.15
             Min      3.54      2.76     0.23    0.60    0.66    0.39
             Max      3.85      2.92     0.31    0.64    0.75    0.54

              Head    Prono     Scut    Inter0c     Seg2

male          1.26     1.51     0.80      0.75      0.96
N = 2         0.02     0.00     0.02      0.05      0.03
              0.03     0.00     0.03      0.07      0.05
              1.25     1.51     0.79      0.72      0.94
              1.27     1.51     0.82      0.79      0.99
female        1.33     1.63     0.86      0.83      1.00
N = 4         0.03     0.04     0.03      0.01      0.08
              0.05     0.10     0.07      0.01      0.12
              1.32     1.57     0.82      0.82      0.94
              1.36     1.67     0.89      0.84      1.06


Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
COPYRIGHT 2012 New York Entomological Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Symonds, Celia
Publication:Entomologica Americana
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Previous Article:The myrmecomorphic female of Coquillettia schuhi Wyniger (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae).
Next Article:New genera and species of the phyline plant bugs from Thailand (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters