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1 June 2015 A New Species of the Genus Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in China
Xiaojing Han, Xiaofei Li, Xiaohui Hou
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A new species, Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) qinlingensis is described and illustrated after a male specimen in China. This new species is compared with its similar congener, Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) qionghaiensis Liu and Yu, 2001. A key to the adults of the subgenus from China is also provided.

Forcipomyia Meigen, 1818 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a worldwide genus, is one of the species-richest genera in the biting midges, with many species being important pollinators of tropical and subtropical cultivated plants (Young 1986; Martínez et al. 2000). This genus contains 1,182 (1,150 extant and 32 fossil) species worldwide (Borkent 2014). During the past 2 years, several entomological surveys of the Qinling Mountains were undertaken, which resulted in a large series of Ceratopogonidae deposited in the Insect Collection of the Zunyi Medical University, China. Among them, a new male specimen of the subgenus Lepidohelea Kieffer (1917) in the genus Forcipomyia was identified. The paper describes and illustrates the new Chinese species with comparison with adults of allied ones.

Materials and Methods

The specimen was collected by trapping at Taibai, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi Province, China. The specimen was slide-mounted in phenol-balsam after Wirth & Marston (1968) and Yu & Liu (2005). The morphological terminology and identification used in the study follow McAlpine et al. (1981), Liu et al. (2001), Spinelli et al. (2005), and Yu & Liu (2005). Diagnostic characters were observed and illustrated using a Leica MZ 12.5 stereomicroscope. Measurements of the wings, the flagellar segments, palpus segments, and legs are in millimeters (mm).

The type is deposited in the Insect Collection of Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou Province, China (ICZU).


Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) qinlingensis sp. nov. (Fig. 1).


  • The species of the subgenus Lepidohelea Kieffer is known by fore and mid femora light brown, hind femora brown, fore and mid tibiae light brown with light rings near base, hind tibia brown except near base, and extreme apex pale.


  • Male. Head dark brown. Eyes bare, broadly abutting medially, shorter than length of 1 ommatidia. Antenna (Fig. 1A) with lengths of flagellar segments in proportion of 7:6:6:6:6:6:6:6:7:18:14:11:12, total length 1.11 mm; AR 1.27. Palpus (Fig. 1B) dark brown, lengths of segments in proportion of 5:5:10:4:5; 3rd segment moderately swollen at base, with deep sensory pit at swollen portion opening by rounded pore, there are numbers of sensilia chaeticae in pit; 4th and 5th segments separated; PR 3.33.

  • Thorax. Brown. Scutum dark brown, without pattern. Legs (Fig. 1C) brown; fore and mid femora light brown, hind femora brown; fore and mid tibiae light brown with light rings at base, hind tibia brown except its base and extreme apex pale; hind tibial comb with two rows of spines, apical row with 7 spines, subapical row with 20 spines; foreleg with lengths of F-T in proportion of 50:48:23:14:10:9:6, TR 1.64; mid-leg with lengths of F-T in proportion of 59:62:18:25:14:9:6, TR 0.72; hind leg with lengths of F-T in proportion of 61:69:19:24:15:10:7, TR 0.79; claws slender, curved; empodia present. Wing (Fig. 1D) brownish, with abundant dense macrotrichiae, darker anteriorly, cells r1 ill-developed, r2 well-developed, oval; light brown spots covering cells r2, r5, cu1 and m4; wing length 1.5 mm; width 0.43 mm; CR 0.44.

  • Abdomen. Tergites 2–8 brown with lateral pale patches and dense spines. Genitalia (Fig. 1F): Tergite 9 short, not extending to apex of gonocoxite, caudal margin rounded; cercus short, extending beyond margin of tergite 9; sternite 9 broad, with apicolateral processes and median excavation. Gonocoxite moderately stout, about 2 times longer than maximum width, yellowish brown except its middle part pale, with apical spines; gonostylus pale, slightly shorter than gonocoxite, nearly straight, tip barely curved. Parameres disconnected at base, with 2 branches nearly parallel. Aedeagus (Fig. 1E) triangular, fused extending to ½ of total length, distal process resembling a stigma of female flowers, obtuse at apex.


  • Unknown.


  • China (Shaanxi Province).

  • TYPE

  • HELIOTYPE, 1 male, CHINA, Shaanxi Province, Qinling Mountains, vicinity of Taibai, 23-VIII-2013, leg. Xiaohui Hou.


  • This new species is similar to F. qionghaiensis Liu et Yu, 2001, but its adult differs clearly in 3rd segment of palpus swollen at the basal half, sensory pit in swollen portion, 4th and 5th segments separated; aedeagus with distal process thickened resembling a stigma of a female flower and branches of paramere nearly parallel.


  • The species is named for its type locality, the Qinling Mountains.

  • Fig. 1.

    Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) qinlingensis sp. nov., male; A: antenna; B: palpus; C: legs; D: wing; E: aedeagus; F: hypopygium, ventral view.


    Key to adults of the species of the subgenus Lepidohelea in China

    1. — Fore and mid femora of consistent color 2

    1′.— Fore and mid femora brown at least at the base and apex 5

    2. — Palpus segment 3 with a small sensory pit 3

    2′.— Palpus segment 3 with a deep sensory pit 4

    3. — Palpus segments 4 and 5 fused completely qionghaiensis

    3′.— Palpus segments 4 and 5 separated articulatus

    4. Hind femora consistent in color qinlingensis sp. nov.

    4′.— Hind femora light at the basal 1/3, brown in apical 2/3 pectinis

    5. — Fore and mid femora brown at the base and apex palliscuta

    5′.— Fore, mid and hind femora brown at the base and apex 6

    6.— Fore and mid tibia with light rings at the middle 7

    6′.— Fore tibia with basal, middle and apical rings or bands; mid tibia with mid and apical rings or bands only solutus

    7 — blind tibia with light ring at the base, near the middle and at the apex pulcherrima

    7′.— blind tibia with light ring at the middle and apex 8

    8.— Scutellar bristles, 7 maculatus

    8′.— Scutellar bristles, 12 xichangensis


    We thank Prof. Y. X. Yu (Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China) for reviewing the manuscript. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81360257), the Science and Technology Fund Project of Guizhou (No. LKZ [2011] 39), and the Education Department Fund Project of Guizhou (No. [2011] 56).

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    Xiaojing Han, Xiaofei Li, and Xiaohui Hou "A New Species of the Genus Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in China," Florida Entomologist 98(2), 759-761, (1 June 2015).
    Published: 1 June 2015
    Forcipomyia (Lepidohelea)
    new species
    nueva especie
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