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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0373-5680

Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. vol.74 no.1-2 La Plata jun. 2015



First description of the male of Diaphanobezzia patagonica (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)

Primera descripción del macho de Diaphanobezzia patagonica (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)


Spinelli, Gustavo R. & María M. Ronderos

División Entomología, Museo de La Plata, CCT-CEPAVE-ILPLA, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. E-mail:;

Recibido: 12-II-2014
Aceptado: 28-IV-2015


ABSTRACT. The male of Diaphanobezzia patagonica Spinelli & Grogan is described and photographed from specimens collected in association with females in the Somuncura plateau, in the steppe area of central Patagonia. The male herein described is compared with the congeners D. pellucida Ingram & Macfie and D. spinellii Wirth & Grogan. Besides, D. patagonica is recorded from the Laguna Blanca National Park.

KEY WORDS: Diaphanobezzia patagonica; Male; Argentina; Somuncura plateau; Laguna Blanca National Park.

RESUMEN. Se describe e ilustra el macho de Diaphanobezzia patagonica Spinelli & Grogan sobre la base de ejemplares capturados en asociación con hembras en la meseta de Somuncura, en la estepa de la Patagonia central. El macho aquí descripto es comparado con los machos de los congéneres D. pellucida Ingram & Macfie y D. spinellii Wirth & Grogan. Además, se registra a D. patagonica del Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Diaphanobezzia patagonica; Macho; Argentina; Meseta de Somuncura; Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca.



The predaceous midge genus Diaphanobezzia was described by Ingram & Macfie (1931), and it consists at present of four extant species inhabiting Argentinean Patagonia: D. pellucida Ingram & Macfie, D. spinellii Wirth & Grogan and D. araucaria Spinelli from the temperate Nothofagus forests of northern Patagonia, and D. patagonica Spinelli & Grogan from a steppe area in the Valley of the Río Pinturas (Spinelli & Marino, 2009). of these, only the males of D. pellucida and D. spinellii are already described.

During a collecting trip recently undertaken in steppes of central Patagonia, males and females of D. patagonica were collected together in the Somuncura plateau. The purpose of this paper is to describe for the first time the male of this species and to compare it with the similar congeners D. pellucida and D. spinellii. Besides, the species is also recorded from the Laguna Blanca National Park in the Neuquen province, from a female previously collected


All specimens were slide mounted in Canada balsam and examined and measured with a binocular compound microscope. Photographs were taken with a digital camera Micrometrics SE Premiun, through a Nikon Eclipse E200 microscope. Terms of structures follow those used in the Manual of Central America Diptera (Brown et al., 2009). The antennal (AR), palpal (PR) and proboscis/head (P/H) ratios are described by Blanton and Wirth (1979). Specimens examined are deposited in the collection of the Museo de La Plata, Argentina (MLP).

Diaphanobezzia patagonica Spinelli & Grogan (Figs. 1-7)

Figs. 1-6. Diaphanobezzia patagonica Spinelli & Grogan, male. 1, head, in anterior view; 2, thorax, in lateral view; 3, fore coxae and trochanters; 4, wing; 5, halter; 6, genitalia, in ventral view. Scale bars: 0.05 mm.

Fig. 7. Distribution map of Diaphanobezzia patagónica Spinelli & Grogan. 1, Laguna Blanca National Park, Laguna del Tero; 2, Somuncura plateau, Rincón de Comi-Co; 3, Río Pinturas.

Diaphanobezzia patagonica Spinelli & Grogan, 1990: 127 (female; Argentina); Borkent & Wirth 1997: 97 (in World catalogue); Borkent & Spinelli, 2000: 46 (in New World catalogue south of uSA); Borkent & Spinelli, 2007: 80 (in Neotropical synopsis); Spinelli & Marino, 2009: 205 (in list, Patagonia).

Description. Male. Head (Fig. 1) dark brown. Eyes widely separated by diameter of 6-7 ommatidia, with interommatidial spicules. Clypeus with 6 pairs of setae. Antennal flagellomeres dark brown, plume well-developed, all flagellomeres separate, 1-9 short, 10-13 elongate; AR 0.49-0.53 (0.51, n = 3); palpus brown, with 4 segments; third segment slender, elongate, 1.15-1.30 (1.21, n = 3) times longer than fourth segment, with two sensilla on inner mesal surface; PR 4.10-5.10 (4.53, n = 3).

Thorax (Fig. 2) uniformly dark brown. Scutum with numerous elongate setae; scutellum with 11-12 setae. Anepisternum with one seta. Legs dark brown, tarsi slightly paler; coxae with numerous spine-like bristles, more abundant on foreleg (Fig. 3); femora with 1-2 elongate apical spines; tibiae armed with similar spines, more abundant, stronger on hind leg; hindtibial comb with 8-9 spines, second from spur longest; tarsomere 1 of midleg with 3-4 pairs of widely spaced spines; tarsomere 1 of hind leg constricted just beyond base with double row of palisade setae, armed with strong basal spine and pair of apical spines; tarsomeres 2-3 of foreleg with single apical spines, tarsomeres 2-3 of mid, hind legs with pair of apical spines; prothoracic TR 1.80-2.00 (1.90, n = 3), mesothoracic TR 2.00-2.12 (2.07, n = 3), metathoracic TR 1.72-1.75 (1.74, n = 3); tarsomeres 4 short, subcylindrical; claws equal, small, slightly curved, bifid at tip. Wing (Fig. 4) length 1.26 mm; width 0.37 mm; CR 0.58; anterior margin straight; membrane hyaline, translucent; anterior veins pale, other nearly imperceptible; R3 with unforked intercalary vein; one short radial cell; costa with fringe along its entire length. Halter (Fig. 5) pale, sac-shaped, lacking a distinct constriction below knob.

Abdomen dark brown. Genitalia (Fig. 6): tergite 9 broad, extending to or just anterior to level of apex of gonocoxites, posterior margin broad, rounded, cerci stout, rounded; sternite 9 with anterior margin slightly convex, 0.40 length of breadth, posterior margin straight or with narrow, very shallow posteromedian excavation; sternite 10 conspicuous, pilose. Gonocoxite stout, slightly longer than greatest (mesal) width, with conspicuous mesal process; gonostylus slender, 1.3 times longer than gonocoxite, slightly curved with pointed tip. Gonocoxal apodemes very slender, heavily sclerotized, directed mesally, both narrowly fused to paramere, latter hyaline, rod-shaped with blunt apex, reaching to level of end of tergite 9. Aedeagus triangular, 1.40 times longer than basal breadth; basal arch low, heavily sclerotized, straight, extending 0.1 of total length; basal arms short, heavily sclerotized, directed anterolaterally; lateral arms heavily sclerotized proximally, contacting mesally at 0.65 of total length; distal portion lightly sclerotized, slender with blunt tip, shortly produced beyond sternite 10.

Distribution. Diaphanobezzia patagonica is the only known species of the genus that inhabits steppes of Argentinean Patagonia, the Valley of the Río Pinturas in Santa Cruz province, the Somuncura plateau in Río Negro province, and the Laguna Blanca National Park in Neuquen province (Fig. 7).

Diaphanobezzia is one of the six Patagonian endemic genera, and the only that inhabits just the eastern slope of the Andes.

Type material. Holotype ♀, Argentina, Santa Cruz prov., Río Pinturas, 47º09'11.79''S 70º39'24.78''W, 439 m, 15-I-1988, G. Spinelli, sweep net (MLP, examined).

Other specimens examined. Argentina, Neuquen prov., Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, Laguna del Tero, 39º06'51.38''S 70º25'09.87''W, 1390 m, 16-XII-1995, G. Spinelli, 1 ♀ , sweep net; Río Negro prov., Somuncura plateau, Rincón de Comi-Co, 41º08'33.7''S 67º27'35.6''W, 938 m, 5/7-XII-2013, G. Spinelli - M. Donato -A. Siri, 3 ♀♀, 3 ♂♂, Malaise trap (MLP).

Taxonomic Discussion. The male of D. patagonica is very similar to D. spinelli and D. pellucida. However, in the latter species the intercalary vein in cell R3 is forked, the costal fringe is broadly interrupted mesally, the aedeagus lacks the distal hyaline portion and the tip of the paramere is pointed. Diaphanobezzia spinellii differs by the separate parameres, the aedeagus twice longer than basal breadth, with lower basal arch and pointed tip, and by the longer gonostylus.


The field work which provides the material herein described was supported by a Grant of the universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. We thank Nélida Caligaris and Luis Giambelluca for technical assistance.


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