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First record of female Tipula (Formotipula) vindex Alexander with description of eggs, and redescription of male (Diptera: Tipulidae).

Abstract--The adult female of Tipula (Formotipula) vindex Alexander, 1940 is reported for the first time. The ovipositor and eggs are described and illustrated. The original description of the male is expanded upon with the description of new morphological characters and detailed illustrations. Examined specimens are deposited in the animal specimen room, at the School of Life Science, Anqing Normal University, Anqing, Anhui Province, China.

Key words: Nematocera, Crane flies, Ovipositor, China.


Tipula (Formotipula) Matsumura is an Asian subgenus of at least 29 species (Oosterbroek, 2014). The range of most of the Tipula species extends from southeast Asia into southern China, only two species are from India. The Chinese fauna of Tipula (Formotipula) is extremely rich with 20 species recorded (Alexander, 1924, 1931, 1933, 1935a, b, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1950; Edwards, 1916, 1926, 1932; Li et al., 2013; Matsumura, 1916; Savchenko, 1960; Young, 2009).

Tipula (Formotipula) vindex was described by Alexander (1940) based on males collected in Tian-mu Shan, Zhejiang, China. To date, the female of this species has been unknown, in part, because the extreme sexual dimorphism of many species of crane flies makes it difficult to associate females with the males.

While sorting and identifying crane flies collected from Eluang Shan, Anhui, China, 1 found a pair of T. (F.) vindex that had been preserved in copula. Subsequently, five other specimens of female T. (F.) vindex were identified. In the present paper, we provide the first descriptions of the female and the eggs. We also expand on the original description of the male by including descriptions of a tooth on the dististyles and leg segment coloration, and provide detailed illustrations.


The specimens examined in this study were collected from Huang Shan, Anhui Province, by the author and undergraduates of the School of Life Science, Anqing Normal University. The genitalia, including oocytes, were dissected and soaked in 10% NaOH for 12 hr to clear them for examination. The cleared genitalia and oocytes were immersed in glycerin jelly and examined and drawn using a Leica MZ125 (Leica, Germany) stereomicroscope. All measurements were made with the aid of a digital caliper in millimeters (mm). The terminology and methods of description and illustration follow that of Frommer (1963) and Li et al. (2013).


Tipula (Formotipula) vindex Alexander, 1940 Fig. 1A-I

Tipula (Formotipula) vindex Alexander, 1940: 11, Figs. 7, 8. Type locality: Tian-mu Shan, Zhejiang, China.

Redescription: Male (Fig. 1A-F). Length: Body. 9.0 mm (not including antenna, N = 1); Wing: 13.4 mm (N = 1); Antenna: 4.0 mm (N = 1). Head: Rostrum black with black nasus. Vertex and occiput black. Setae on head black. Antenna (Fig. 1A): 12-segmented, relatively short, if bent backward not extending to the stalk of halters; scape black, elongated, cylindrical; pedicel black, very short, cup-shaped; flagellum black, long-cylindrical, basally expanded, each of flagellomere subequal in length; verticils black, dorsal verticils subequal to the corresponding flagellomeres from which they arise. Palpi black, the setae on palpi black. Thorax: Pronotum (Fig. 1A) black. Mesonotal prescutum (Fig. 1A, B) black with four grayish black stripes, the median two long and apically expanded, reaching to the anterior margin but not attaining posterior margin, the lateral two short, slightly longer than half of the median stripes. Scutum (Fig. 1B) black, each lobe with two grayish black areas, the apical one ball-shaped, the basal one apically truncated and basally rounded. Scutellum black. Pleura entirely black. Setae on thorax mainly distributed on the lateral side of the prescutum. Legs (Fig. 1A) with coxae and trochanters black, femora dark brown with the tip black, the remainder of leg black. Tibial spurs black with the formula 1-1-2. Setae on coxae and trochanters long and black, setae on remainder of segments relatively short. Wings (Fig. 1A) uniformly tinged with blackish gray, not darker in cells C and Sc; stigma conspicuous, brown and oval-shaped. Venation (Fig. 1A): Sc relatively long, slightly surpassing m-cu and shorter than half of the length of [R.sub.4]; [R.sub.1+2] present; basal section of [R.sub.4+5] shorter than r-m; the first cell [M.sub.2] small; petiole of cell [M.sub.1] nearly two times longer than the length of m; distal section of [Cu.sub.1] slightly longer than m-cu; m-cu shortly before fork of [M.sub.3+4]. Halters entirely black. Abdomen: Abdomen (Fig. 1 A) with the first segment black on basal half, orange-yellow on apical half; segments 2 to 4 orange-yellow except posterior corners weakly black; the remainder of segments, including hypopygium black. Male hypopygium with ninth tergite (Fig. 1C, D) elongated, apically narrowed, distinctly exceeding the end of ninth sternite, almost reaching the end of dististyles in lateral view (Fig. 1C); the lateral margins of ninth tergite parallel, narrowed into two lobes with obtusely rounded apices, which are separated by a deep V-shaped notch in dorsal view (Fig. 1D). Ninth sternite (Fig. 1C, E) subquadrate in lateral view, the posterior margin with a wisp of very long and black setae laterally, with a sclerotized and shallowly V-shaped median notch ventrally, the notch with a pair of oval-shaped processes on each side. Dististyles (Fig. 1C-F) subquadrate in dorsal view, a long acute spine arising from posterior margin, basad of which with 4 or 5 small and blackened teeth (Fig. 1C-F). The upper half of dististyles depressed, basally with a stout and blackened tooth (Fig. 1F); anterior margin of dististyles relatively straight with a U-shaped notch on dorsal side (Fig. 1F).

Description: Female (Fig. 1G-J). Length: Body: 12.5-12.8 mm (not including antenna, N = 5); Wing: 16-16.5 mm (N = 5); Antenna: 3.0-3.2 mm (N = 5). Body: General color and external characters as in male, with body and wings slightly larger, antenna slightly shorter, fourth abdominal tergite dark brown with irregular spots, sometimes orange-yellow on basal half and brown on apical half, fourth abdominal sternite dark brown, sometimes uniformly black. Ovipositor: Ovipositor with ninth tergite (Fig. 1H, G) narrower than the base of cerci, apically concaved in dorsal view; ninth sternite (Fig. 1H-G) elongated, surpassing the end of cerci in lateral view, terminating into two truncated lobes, which separated by a deep V-shaped median notch and depressed medially; cerci (Fig. 1H, G) short, narrowed into two pairs of lobes, the upper pair apically rounded, divided by a V-shaped median notch, the lower pair terminating into truncated tip (Fig. 1K), which also separated by a more shallow emargination; hypovalves (Fig. 1I) slender, not exceeding the end of ninth sternite, acutely pointed. Egg: Egg (Fig. 1J) with overall appearance kidney-shaped or elongatedoval, length 0.9 [+ or -] 0.2 mm, width 0.4 [+ or -] 0.1 mm, N = 8. Egg surface smooth, densely covered with small rounded sockets.

Remarks: This species reveals intraspecific variation in the number of small teeth on posterior margin of dististyle. In the original description of Alexander, the dististyle bears 2 or 3 teeth. However, 4 or 5 teeth are observed in the present specimen.

Specimens Examined: CHINA: Anhui Province: I male 1 female, [in] Huangshan, Xiangxi, 23 May 2012, collector unknown. 4 females, [in] Huang Shan, Hougu, 1 Jun 2013, Qiulei Men.

Distribution: China (Anhui, Zhejiang).

Caption: Fig. 1. Tipula (Formotipula) vindex. A. Lateral habitus (male). B. Thorax, dorsal view. C. Hypopygium. lateral view. D. Hypopygium, dorsal view. E. Hypopygium, ventral view. F. Dististyle, lateral view. G. Ovipositor, lateral view. H. Ovipositor, dorsal view. I. Ovipositor, ventral view. J. Egg. K. Lobes of the cerci, laterodorsal view.


I wish to express sincere thanks to Dr. Pjotr Oosterbroek, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for his help with the literature and for his valuable web site, the Catalogue of the Craneflies of the World, from which I obtained a lot of valuable information. This study was supported by grant from the National Science Foundation of China (No. 31300551) and the start-up grant of scientific research from Anqing Normal University (No. 044-K05000130005).

Received 25 April 2014; accepted 4 May 2014


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Savchenko, E. N. 1960. Scientific results of the Chinese-Soviet zoological-botanical expeditions of 1955-1957 to South Western China. On the crane flies (Diptera, Tipulidae) of SW China. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 39: 885-892.

Young, C. W. 2009. New species and immatures of crane flies of subgenus Formotipula Matsumura from Taiwan (Diptera: Tipulidae: Tipula). Zoosymposia 3: 309-321.

Qiulei Men

School of Life Science, Anqing Normal University, Anqing, Anhui 246011, P. R. China

E-mail address for correspondence:


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Author:Men, Qiulei
Publication:Entomologica Americana
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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