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An apterous, possibly phragmotic new species representing a new genus and subfamily of Elipsocidae (Psocoptera) from South Australia

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

A new subfamily (YUNTAPSOCINAE, subfam. n.) is proposed for Yuntapsocus hollowayi gen. & sp. n., an apterous, cryptic and possibly phragmotic new taxon of Elipsocidae (Psocoptera) described from near Yunta, in arid South Australia. This remarkable species is known from one adult female only which was beaten from vegetation alongside a dry river bed. The unique modifications of several morphological features strongly suggest that the insect lives in a dark, confined, habitat such as a tunnel in wood or a termites' or ants' nest and may use a clunial plate to close the tunnel. Analogous morphological modifications in the only confirmed wood boring, phragmotic psocopteran, Psilopsocus mimulus Smithers, are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: C.N. Smithers, Entomology Department, Australian Museum, College St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2000


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