Abstract

The new athericid Suraginella macalpinei n.gen., n.sp. is described on specimens from the Claudie River and Jardine River systems in the north of Cape York Peninsula. This distinctive taxon is compared with the widespread Old World genus Suragina Walker, 1858, to which it has some misleading resemblances. Many differences are detailed between these genera. In the closure of wing cell m3, and in having dorsal setae on certain radial and cubito-anal veins in the female, Suraginella resembles the rare monotypic Brazilian genus Xeritha Stuckenberg, 1966. Although these conditions are apomorphies, they are considered unreliable for cladistic analysis. A survey of the occurrence of such setose veins in other Athericidae and in the sister-group Tabanidae shows them to be sporadic, variably developed, and probably subject to homoplasy. No sister-group of Suraginella can be identified. The presence of a hard, dark mass in the abdomen of half of the available females indicates with high probability that S. macalpinei takes bloodmeals from a vertebrate host. A test of gut contents for the presence of blood, using urological test strips, gave a strong positive result but is not conclusive. Biological considerations suggest that Suraginella, although occurring in both 'tip-of-peninsula' and 'mid-peninsula' rainforest regions of Cape York Peninsula, may be independent of the forest biome. The preferred range of the aquatic larval stages in river profiles may determine distribution. Present information suggests that Suraginella may be part of the old 'autochthonous' element in Australia.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Stuckenberg, 2000, Rec. Aust. Mus. 52(2): 151–159
Author
B. R. Stuckenberg
Year
2000
Title
A new genus and species of Athericidae (Diptera: Tabanoidea) from Cape York Peninsula
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
52
Issue
2
Start Page
151
End Page
159
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.52.2000.1312
Language
English
Date Published
29 November 2000
Cover Date
29 November 2000
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
INSECTA: DIPTERA; TAXONOMY
Digitized
29 November 2000
Available Online
29 November 2000
Reference Number
1312
EndNote
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Complete Work
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