Vol. XXXVII No. 3
DOBROVSKY, T. M.--Laboratory Observations on Conoderus
vagus Candeze (Coleoptera, Elateridae) .....-..--..--........ --123
DRAKE, CARL J., and, ROLAND F. HussEY-Notes on Some
American Vellidae (Hemiptera), with the Description
of Two New Microvelias from Jamaica ........------------.. 133
CARRIKER, M. A., JR.-Report on a Collection of Mallophaga,
Largely Mexican (Part I) ....------.......------.------.--.-- 139
BUTCHER, F. GRAY-A Muscid Fly, Atherigona orientalis
Schin., a Pest on Cantaloupes ..............-........................ .. 147
HEIDT, JAMES H.-A Report on a Case of Tick Paralysis in
Dade County, Florida ...---.---..........- ...---..---....-..... 149
DRAKE, CARL J., and HAROLD C. CHAPMAN-New American
Waterstriders (Hemiptera) .. ------......... --..-........---........ 151
Notes ................---------------------- -... 138
Book Notice .--................. -------------..------..---.. 155
Published quarterly by the FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Box 2425, University Station, University of Florida, Gainesville
TIHE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
VOL. XXXVII SEPTEMBER, 1954 No. 3
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VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
LABORATORY OBSERVATIONS ON CONODERUS VAGUS
CANDEZE (COLEOPTERA, ELATERIDAE) 1
T. M. DOBROVSKY
Potato Investigations Laboratory, Hastings, Florida
There is an abundance of information on the biology of many
elaterids. The review of literature on this topic which Thomas
published in 1940 lists twelve genera, but among them Conoderus
takes a modest place and is mentioned only in Bryson's notes of
1930 and 1932. At that time, however, Conoderus and Hetero-
deres were still considered as separate genera and some addi-
tional information on Conoderus is available in the papers of
Eagerton (1925) and of Cockerham and Deen (1936) which dis-
cuss the biology of two "Heteroderes" species.
Since 1940, the biology of some species of Conoderus has
become better known in North America, chiefly through the
work of Jewett (1944, 1945, 1948). But he has not discussed
Conoderus vagus Cand. The notes which follow are a prelimi-
nary report on studies conducted at the Potato Investigations
Laboratory at Hastings, Florida, during the period of March
1952 July 1953.
TEST TUBE METHOD OF REARING WIREWORMS
Glass containers for rearing wireworms have been used by
other investigators. Rawlins (1937) transferred wireworm
prepupae into glass vials and then filled the vials with moist
soil. Thus he was able to observe the pupal stage. Among
other laboratory facilities employed in wireworm studies, Raw-
lins mentions also petri dishes being . usually used as
breeding cages" and "rearing cages". To the author's best
knowledge, there are no previous records of rearing wireworms
in test tubes.
Test tubes for housing wireworms (Dobrovsky, 1952) are
filled with moist soil to a depth of five or six centimeters. A
single newly-hatched larva is then introduced into each tube.
An easy way to accomplish this is to place the tiny larva first
on a small potato cube, then to lower the cube and larva into the
container with the aid of forceps. A normal wireworm larva,
tiny as it may be, finds the soil easily. On the next day the
1 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 280.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
potato cube may be removed and a moist kernel of corn whose
seed base has been cut off to expose the germ is given for food.
The germ-side of the seed is pressed slightly into the soil for
best results. Moist wheat may be used instead of corn. When
potatoes are used as food, they are cut in small cubes. A plug
of cotton inserted into the mouth of the test tube serves well for
a stopper. Test tubes, thus stocked, are labeled and placed up-
right on a rack or in any deep container with a soft bottom.
Friction-top tin pails are quite satisfactory for this purpose
because stocked test tubes kept in them do not dry out rapidly
when the lids are pressed in place; when water is needed, it is
added to the soil with an eye-dropper.
Almost any size test tube can be used in rearing wireworms,
but for making observations on the behavior of laboratory speci-
mens of C. vagus, a test tube with a diameter of 10 mm. was
best. The larva of this species, when full grown, is 12 14 mm.
long, and, while it does not appear to suffer from cramped quar-
ters in this size test tube, it is forced to do a considerable amount
of tunneling next to the glass. The larva is thus exposed for
observations a relatively large part of the time.
When feeding records are to be made, kernels of grain or
cubes of Irish potato are inspected by removal from the test
tube with a pair of forceps. A potato cube may also be pierced
with a large dissecting needle and withdrawn.
The intervals between inspections are determined by factors
such as type of diet and nature of information sought. When
larvae are fed corn, for instance, one kernel supplies enough
food for one to three weeks, depending on the size of the larva,
on the temperature, or on the biological disposition of the larva
at the moment. On the other hand, when cubes of potato are
being fed at summer temperatures, inspection and changing of
food are necessary at least every two days, because the potato
cube rots or molds easily during warm weather. If behavior
is to be observed, the shorter the intervals between inspections,
the greater the possibility of seeing the larva perform its vari-
Counting of instars accurately can be done quite easily by
the test tube method of rearing. The contents of the test tube
are first emptied on a sheet of white paper, then the larva is
found and removed. The soil is now dumped into a 100 cc.
beaker or a similar container half full of 70% alcohol. The en-
tire contents quickly sink to the bottom of the container, but the
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
cast skin floats on the surface of the alcohol. After taking the
necessary records, new soil is placed in the empty test tube,
and the larva is returned to its quarters.
When pupation is completed in a test tube and the adult is
not needed for breeding, it can be preserved together with its
own pupal and last larval skin by the same flotation method. It
is necessary to make sure that the beetle does not escape, as
newly-emerged ones are lively. If any difficulty is encountered
in this respect, a few drops of ether or chloroform on the cotton
plug of the test tube will slow down the beetle quickly. The
entire contents of the test tube are then emptied into the flota-
tion alcohol. While everything else drops to the bottom, the
beetle, its own pupal skin, and its last larval skin, float to the
surface of the alcohol. They are collected and placed together
in an individual vial of alcohol properly labeled for future ref-
erence. If the adult is needed for breeding purposes, it is re-
moved, and only the larval and the pupal skins are floated.
TEST TUBES FOR MATING
Test tubes 10 mm. in diameter are used also for breeding
purposes. The tubes are prepared with soil and cotton plugs as
for larvae. Then four or five beetles are transferred into each
"mating test tube". Since the sex of the adults can not be deter-
mined without time-consuming individual examinations, groups
of four or five provide a higher probability that both sexes may
be brought together than do single pairs. A larger number of
beetles of this species causes overcrowding.
Oviposition can be maintained at a satisfactory rate only if
the beetles receive a proteinaceous food. Best results were ob-
tained with a diet of sweetened water and yeast. Either sugar
or honey may be used for sweetening. A satisfactory formula is
about 10 grams of sugar or honey in 100 ml. of water. Only
pure powdered yeast was used in these studies. Jewett (1944)
used "a,5 percent solution of brown sugar and water to which
a small amount of baker's yeast was added".
The method of feeding the sweet-water-yeast mixture is the
following: Four or five drops of the sweetened water are placed
on a strip of blotting paper about 4 cm. long and 5 6 mm. wide.
Then enough powdered yeast to absorb the excess liquid is placed
on one side of the blotter with a spatula. This makes a small
mass of yeast with the consistency of a thin paste on the sur-
face of the blotter. The blotter is then lowered into the test
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
tube with forceps and allowed to rest on the soil. The paper
should be stiff enough to stand straight so that the beetles may
climb on it. A new blotter with sweetened water and yeast is
needed at least every two or three days. In hot weather, it is
often necessary to replace. it daily.
Eggs are laid in the upper part of the soil. The following
method is used in collecting the eggs. The beetles are first
transferred into a new test tube with soil. Then the soil of the
first test tube is emptied on a smooth sheet of paper and spread
in a thin layer. A "reading glass" is helpful in spotting the
eggs. After some practice, one acquires considerable skill in
differentiating between eggs and grains of sand or other white
particles in the soil. This method permits also the hatching
and keeping of many larvae in one test tube, thus it provides
opportunities for making observations on cannibalism among
them. One group of five adults kept in a test tube and fed
sweetened water and yeast lived and oviposited for approxi-
mately six months (Dobrovsky, 1953a).
As in the case of adults, the problem of larval nutrition is
important. Rawlins (1937) recognized it fully when he stated:
"The food requirements of young wireworm larvae needs further
investigation, for our present knowledge is contradictory and
incomplete." Jewett (1944, 1945, 1948) reared many specimens
of three Conoderus species on sprouting wheat. He does not
mention mortality rates, thus it is not possible to judge about
the balance of this diet. It has not been tested in this laboratory
yet, nor has a completely satisfactory diet for young larvae been
In a preliminary experiment with diets for Conoderus vagus
larvae, 106 young specimens were placed in individual test tubes.
The history of each of these larvae was recorded from day to
day for the first five months, and once a week thereafter. All
of these larvae received only potato for food after they were
isolated in individual test tubes. However, prior to their isola-
tion, some of these larvae were kept in test tubes with other
larvae during which time they may have obtained one or more
cannibalistic meals. Table 1 gives a summary of the fates of
the larvae in this experiment in relation to whether or not they
had practiced cannibalism.
The figures in Table 1 demonstrate that young larvae of C.
vagus are unable to grow and develop without some protein;
potatoes alone are totally inadequate for the growth of newly-
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
hatched larvae. Even only a few cannibalistic meals after
hatching of the larvae may furnish food for growth to nearly
full size and prolong their lives to over three hundred days. The
fact that one specimen with a history of cannibalism completed
its life cycle on this diet would further strengthen the emphasis
on protein early in larval life. On the other hand, full grown
or nearly full grown larvae which have had a normal diet in
nature when brought into the laboratory, can complete their
development on Irish potatoes alone (Dobrovsky, 1953b).
TABLE 1.-SUMMARY OF THE HISTORIES OF 106 SPECIMENS OF Conoderus
vagus CAND. OBSERVED IN THE LABORATORY BY THE TEST TUBE METHOD.
Con- Did not Complete Life Cycle Totals
pleted Died in
e 1-29 30-99 100-199 200-299 300 or
Days Days Days Days More
Total Number of
Specimens .. 1 65 10 12 16 2 106
Number of Test
Believed to Have
Been Cannibals 1 1 5 9 15 2 33
Percent Cannibals 100.0 1.5 50.0 75 0 93.0 100.0 31.1
OBSERVATIONS ON BEHAVIOR
TUNNELING OF LARVAE.-When wireworms are introduced
into test tubes, they promptly burrow into the soil. An inspec-
tion on the following day usually shows many tunnels next to
the glass. They traverse the soil column in every direction,
forming a network. These tunnels remain permanently in
place as long as the soil in the test tube is undisturbed. The
larva uses them as regular travel routes in which it crawls
either forward or backward. Locomotion in either direction
seems quite natural for the larva in any of the tunnels. When
using an outside tunnel, the larva may crawl either on the soil
or on the glass. Newly hatched larvae or ones in the early
instars seem to tunnel next to the glass with the same ease as
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
FEEDING BEHAVIOR OF LARVAE.-The following observations
were made on several occasions when larvae of C. vagus were
given small cubes of potato placed on the surface of the test tube
soil. With mandibles wide open, a larva approaches the potato
cube, sinks its mandibles in the flesh of the potato and pulls.
The pulling action is executed by anchoring the posterior end
of the body on the substratum and backing up with the thoracic
legs. It pulls in this manner until it tears off a piece of potato.
As the larva chews, the mandibles and maxillae move in a
lateral direction while the labium slides forward and backward.
After chewing for a while, another piece is broken off.
Since a larva does not have any control over the size of
potato piece it may tear off, it chews only on part of a large piece,
allowing the remainder to protrude between and above the man-
dibles. The excess is eventually cut off and discarded.
Other manners of feeding have been observed in test tubes.
A larva may move up to the piece of potato, sink its mandibles
in the flesh, but instead of pulling, may remain in contact with
the potato cube and work its mouth parts in chewing manner.
Then it may withdraw and continue chewing. At other times,
once the larva has brought its mouth parts in contact with the
potato, it remains there for some time during which its mouth
parts work continuously. After one or two minutes of such
chewing, some potato pulp appears protruding dorsally between
the mandibles. As the larva keeps feeding, the pulp grows into
a long, white, cord-like mass. On one occasion this process was
observed in progress without interruption for slightly over
fifteen minutes during which time the resulting pulp cord grew
about 8- 10 mm. long. That larva continued feeding in this
manner for about 4 hours with only brief interruptions.
The last method of feeding described above indicates that
larvae of C. vagus do not swallow all of the potato tissue which
they may chew. There are three possible processes involved in
their feeding to explain the discarding of pulp: either only the
liquid portions are extracted and swallowed; or in the chewing
process, some predigestionn" may occur by which some of the
solids are liquefied and then swallowed; or some solids are
broken down mechanically into minute fragments and are swal-
lowed together with liquids extracted from the potato, while the
coarser solids are rejected in the form of pulp, as observed
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
Apparently, C. vagus larvae are able to discriminate to some
extent among the physical characteristics of the things which
they swallow. In that respect, this species may resemble some
other wireworms. According to Woodworth (1938), larvae of
Limonius canus Lee. have a rather elaborate oral mechanism
which can regulate the swallowing of solids of different particle
sizes, and may even be "sufficient" to discriminate between de-
sirable and undesirable liquids. The extent to which Conoderus
vagus resembles Limonius canus in this respect is not known.
PUPATION BEHAVIOR IN TEST TUBES.-A few days before the
prepupal stage sets in, the larva of Conoderus vagus feeds
voraciously. Then it suddenly stops feeding and spends about
two days making a pupal chamber. Sometimes it takes a small
amount of food while the chamber is under construction.
Most of the larvae which have pupated in test tubes in this
Laboratory have selected the soil near the bottom of the test
tube for the locale of their pupal chambers. Thus, of a group of
22 specimens, 19 pupated in the lower part of the soil column,
one in the middle of the soil column, and two in the upper half.
In this group of specimens, 18 of the pupae were visible through
the glass, most of the time without soil obstructions.
The size of the pupal chamber of C. vagus is somewhat vari-
able. It may reach 21 mm. in length, 10 mm. in width, and 7
mm. in depth. These dimensions approach the upper limit.
More typical chambers measure about 12 x 7 x 5 mm. The
shape of the pupal chamber inside the test tube is also variable.
It may be a roughly spherical or pear-shaped pit, or it may re-
semble a wide tunnel.
From one to three days before turning to pupa, a larva, be-
comes sluggish, then motionless and finally pupates. Pupation
in test tubes occurred from 2 to 9 days after completion of the
pupal chamber. Pupal periods of 4 to 12 days were recorded.
The pupa usually lies on its back but sometime on its side.
When disturbed, it makes rapid and violent snapping motions
with its abdomen.
BEHAVIOR OF ADULTS IN TEST TUBES.-When the adult
emerges, it remains in the pupal chamber for several days. The
beetles are vivacious, and in the test tubes used in these studies,
they made quick darting runs in the space above the soil. On
occasions, beetles were seen darting back to the soil and in a
matter of seconds digging themselves to the bottom of the test
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
When several virgin beetles were to be assembled in one
test tube for mating purposes, their vivacious nature made their
transfer difficult. A light exposure to ether subdues them long
enough to make the transfer and prevents the loss of any speci-
Mating has not been observed in test tubes thus far. On one
occasion a pair was seen in mating position but the beetles sepa-
rated as soon as the test tube was disturbed. It has been demon-
strated that parthenogenesis does not occur in the elaterid
Limonius canus Lec. (Woodworth, 1942). If we assume that
the same is true for Conoderus vagus, then we must conclude
that mating takes place in test tubes judging from the numbers
of viable eggs and young larvae obtained by this method.
A method using test tubes for rearing wireworms in the
laboratory is described. Full grown and nearly full grown
larvae of Conoderus vagus Cand. collected in potato fields com-
pleted their development in test tubes when fed only Irish
potatoes. Newly hatched larvae, fed Irish potatoes exclusively,
lived usually not more than 30 days. Similar larvae which had
obtained a few cannibalistic meals survived much longer, but
failed to complete their development if after their limited num-
ber of cannibalistic meals they were fed only Irish potatoes. In
one case a specimen, allowed to practice cannibalism for several
days and then placed on a potato diet, completed its development
in 10 weeks. The germ of seeds such as corn and wheat ap-
parently furnishes food for growth. However, mortalities have
been high under this diet, and it has given eratic results.
Some observations on the behavior of larvae, pupae, and
adults kept in test tubes are given. Tunneling and feeding of
larvae, preparations for pupation, and the behavior of adults
Bryson, H. R. 1930b. Kansas Agr. Exp. Sta. Bienn. Repts., pp. 109-111.
From Thomas, C. A. 1940.
1932. Kansas Agr. Exp. Sta. Bienn. Repts., pp. 91-93. From
Thomas, C. A. 1940.
Cockerham, K. L., and 0. T. Deen. 1936. Notes on the life history, habits
and distribution of Heteroderes laurentii Guer. Jour. Econ. Ent. 29(2):
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954 131
Dobrovsky, T. M. 1952. Life history, habits and control of wireworms.
Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Ann. Rept., p. 143.
-1953a. Wireworm studies. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Ann. Rept.,
1953b. Another wireworm of Irish potatoes. Jour. Econ.
Ent. 46(6) : 1115.
Eagerton, H. C. 1925. The spotted click beetle. S. C. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull.
179. From Thomas, C. A. 1940.
Jewett, J. H. 1944. Life history of the wireworm Conoderus auritus
(Herbst). Ky. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 466.
1945. Life history of the wireworm Conoderus bellus (Say).
Ky. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 472.
.1948. Life history of Conoderus lividus (Deg.). Ky. Agr.
Exp. Sta. Bull. 514.
Rawlins, W. A. 1937. Rearing methods for wireworms. In "Culture
Methods for invertebrate animals," p. 455. Comstock Publishing Co.,
Ithaca, N. Y.
Thomas, C. A. 1940. The biology and control of wireworms. Penn. Agr.
Exp. Sta. Bull. 392.
Woodworth, C. E. 1938. The reaction of wireworms to arsenicals. Jour.
Agr. Res. 57(3) : 229-238.
1942. Will click beetles mate more than once and are they
parthenogenetic? Jour. Econ. Ent. 35(3): 418-419.
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VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
NOTES ON SOME AMERICAN VELIIDAE (HEMIPTERA),
WITH THE DESCRIPTION OF TWO NEW MICROVELIAS
CARL J. DRAKE' and ROLAND F. HUSSEY
Several veliid species of the American tropics occupy an
ecological niche which is very different from the ones where the
great majority of their congeners are found. Instead of living,
like their fellows, on the surfaces of ponds or streams, they dwell
in the small pockets, filled with rain water, at the bases of
the leaves of certain bromeliaceous plants. The bromeliads in
question are sometimes epiphytes, growing on forest or other
trees, sometimes ground plants growing directly on the rocks
or soil. Three such veliid species have been known before: these
are treated below, and a fourth one is described herewith." All
of these are very pretty forms, and are strikingly marked with
The present paper also contains the description of another
Microvelia which lives near shore on running water, together
with comparative notes on a related species; and one name is
reduced to a synonym. For comparative purposes, the same
magnification was used for all measurements in the following
descriptions, with 80 units equal to one millimeter.
Velia recens Drake and Harris
Velia recens Drake and Harris, 1935, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 48: 192.
When this species was described from Panama the authors
knew nothing of its habits. Recently Drake and Maldonado
Capriles (1952, Great Basin Nat. 12 (3-4) : 47-48) reported the
finding of V. recens in the water pockets of bromeliads in the
Amazonas region of Venezuela; and to this it was added that
no specimens were found on nearby pools. The British Museum
has many specimens of this species taken from bromeliads on
mangrove in the Bartica Triangle, October, 1948, to March,
1949, by D. J. Atkinson. In May, 1950, Dr. Jose C. M. Carvalho
took six specimens of V. recens from water pockets of a brome-
Iowa State College, Ames.
2 University of Florida, Gainesville.
SMicrovelia ancona Drake and Chapman, a fifth species with similar
habits, is described elsewhere in this issue of THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
liad about 10 meters above the ground, at Eirunepe, Rio Jurui,
Microvelia distant Lundblad
MicroveFa insignis [n. preocc.] Distant, 1912, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (8)
10: 437, P1. X, figs. 4, 5.
Microvelia distant [new name] Lundblad, 1933, Arch. Hydrobiol., Stuttgart,
Suppl. 12: 286.
This species was described from specimens collected in
bromeliads on the summit of El Tucuch6, elevation 3,100 feet,
in the northern part of Trinidad, and Distant reported one
additional specimen from Dominica, B. W. I. The following
descriptive notes are based on three apterous topotypes from
El Tucuch6, elevation 3,000 feet, collected February 25, 1940,
by Dr. E. MacC. Callan.
Deep velvety black; first three segments of connexiva testaceous to
orange-testaceous; first two visible tergites of abdomen quite bluish. Lengths
of antennal segments: I, 20; II, 14; III, 20; IV, 30. Pronotum large,
wider than long (55:35), broadly rounded behind, not covering all of meso-
notum at sides or narrow posterior margin of metanotum; surface smooth
above, not scabrous, without median carina. Wing pads not present.
Microvelia laesslei, n. sp.
Slightly longer than M. distant Lundblad, very differently
colored, and with different proportions of the antennal segments.
MICROPTEROUS FORM. Small, rather slender, nearly parallel. Dark
fuscous; head and much of pronotum brown or faintly reddish-brown; wing
pads small but very conspicuous, snowy white, reaching only to base of
second abdominal tergite; beneath dark fuscous, sometimes brownish on
middle of venter, usually with considerable bluish tinge; dorsal surface
with numerous very small bluish spots; head and pronotum with minute,
sparse, scale-like, golden hairs; pronotum variable in amount of infusca-
tion, sometimes nearly two-thirds darkened. Legs pale testaceous, tips of
femora and tips of tarsi slightly infuscated. Antennae testaceous, third
segment and basal part of fourth sometimes slightly embrowned.
MICROPTEROUS MALE. Length 2.28 mm., width 0.80 mm. Head almost
one-third shorter than its width across eyes, very strongly convex above,
with distinct median furrow. Antennae moderately long, clothed with very
short, pale hairs, and with some longer erect hairs on each segment; first
segment moderately stout, slightly curved; second segment slender at base,
increasingly thick toward its apex where it is but little thinner than first
segment; third and fourth segments very slender, subequal to one another
in length and in thickness; lengths of segments: I, 20; II, 13; III, 26; IV,
26. Legs moderately long and moderately stout, hind femora stoutest,
fore femora not much thinner, middle femora somewhat more slender; all
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3"- SEPTEMBER, 1954
trochanters, femora, and tibiae unarmed; fore tibiae with a short, dark
comb projecting slightly beyond apex; all tibiae with somewhat longer
hairs on under side; hind tibiae usually lightly but distinctly curved on
basal third, the apical two-thirds thicker, straight, cylindrical, and often
rather thickly clothed below with hairs which are about as long as thick-
ness of tibia; middle tibiae less evidently curved near base, and with less
dense pilosity on distal two-thirds below. Measurements of fore legs:
femur, 52; tibia, 40. Middle legs: femur, 58; tibia, 52; tarsus I+II, 12+16.
Hind legs: femur, 65; tibia, 52; tarsus I+II, 10+14.
Pronotum large, wider than long (65: 42), as long as head, broadly
rounded behind, but entirely covering rest of thorax; sides nearly parallel
before the lightly prominent humeral angles, then convexly rounded and
converging in front; surface scabrous, coarsely and deeply punctate on
basal two-thirds, impunctate in front except for a row of pits behind
front margin; median carina fairly distinct, with only one or two punctures.
Abdominal tergites very gradually narrowed posteriorly; last tergite a
little longer than the preceding one, about three-fourths as wide as the
first entirely visible tergite, its hind margin sharply truncate. Connexiva
moderately wide, obliquely reflexed; outer margins very gently rounded,
almost straight. Venter without spine or tubercle. Genital segments small,
usually retracted and largely concealed (specimens mounted from alcohol).
MICROPTEROUS FEMALE. Usually slightly shorter and very slightly more
robust than micropterous male. Connexiva scarcely wider than in male,
reflexed as in male, not turned in over the tergites. Antennae, wing pads,
and general aspect very similar to the male; hind tibiae straight, cylindrical,
hairs on their lower side not more conspicuous than elsewhere on the tibia.
MACROPTEROUS FORM. Length 2.30 mm., width 0.85 mm. Very slightly
larger than micropterous form, the snowy-white basal part of hemelytra
very strongly contrasting with the general dark coloration. Pronotum large,
wider than long (70: 60), nearly 1% times as long as head, slightly convex
between humeral angles, posterior part triangular, with narrowly rounded
apex; lateral margins straight, obliquely converging anteriorly, humeral
angles a little less prominent than in micropterous form; surface coarsely
punctate, median carina quite distinct. Hemelytra nearly or quite reach-
ing apex of abdomen, dark fuscous, the basal one-third to two-fifths snowy
white, rarely with a short, subobsolete, median pale streak at apex; costal
margin shortly ciliated, veins of corium with a few short, erect hairs. Other
characters as in micropterous form.
Holotype (micropterous male) and allotype (micropterous
female) : Christiana, Jamaica, B. W. I., elevation 3,000 feet,
August 1952, collected from bromeliads by Dr. Albert M. Laessle,
of the University of Florida, in whose honor the species is named.
Paratypes: 7 micropterous and 21 macropterous specimens,
taken from bromeliads in August and early September, 1952, at
Christiana, Juan de Bolas (elevation 2,500 feet), and Mocho
(elevation 2,000 feet), Jamaica. These specimens, together
with numerous nymphs of all ages, were collected by Dr. Laessle
in an investigation of the fauna of the rain-water pockets of
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Jamaican bromeliads. Holotype and allotype are in the collec-
tion of C. J. Drake, paratypes in the collections of both authors
and of the University of Florida (Florida State Museum).
Dr. Laessle investigated numerous species of bromeliads in
various parts of Jamaica. This Microvelia was found princi-
pally in Aechmea paniculigera Griseb., and in species of Hohen-
bergia and of Vriesia. These are large bromeliads, sometimes
holding as much as two liters of water; the Aechmea has rela-
tively few leaves, and some of its individual axils may contain
nearly one-third liter. The water in all these plants abounded
with small arthropods of various kinds, among which were ento-
mostracans, and larvae of helodid beetles, mosquitoes, and Chi-
ronomidae. These afforded a plentiful supply of food for the
The Aechmea and the Hohenbergia species are widely dis-
tributed in Jamaica, occurring often as epiphytes, but also grow-
ing directly upon rocks in exposed situations. The Microvelia,
however, was found in them only in the central and west-cen-
tral parts of the island, and only at elevations of 2,000 feet or
more. Microvelia laesslei is not restricted to any one area in
the plant, but occurs in the water pockets from the outermost
to the innermost whorl of leaves.
Even the youngest nymphs are strikingly banded with white
across the basal segments of the abdomen, simulating the broad
white marks on the hemelytra of the fully winged form, or the
white wing pads of the micropterous form. No truly apterous
individuals have been seen.
Microvelia oaxacana Drake
Microvelia oaxacana Drake, 1951, Great Basin Nat. 11 (1-2) 37-38.
MACROPTEROUS FORM. Moderately large; brownish, the hemelytra
marked with pearly white. Pronotum moderately convex, dark reddish
fuscous, the anterior border tinged with orange; without median carina
or stripe; wider across humeri than median length (82: 65), humeri very
little elevated; pubescence short, golden. Hemelytra dark fuscous, with
the following pearly white marks: a long stripe in outer basal cell, one
or two shorter stripes in inner basal cell, one or two short marks near
inner margin, one or two spots in discal cell, a larger spot on outer cell
adjacent to discal cell, and a large apical spot in apical cell extending
onto outer margin of membrane; membrane with apex and apical part of
sides densely fringed with short brownish hairs. Other characters as in
This species was originally described from apterous speci-
mens, taken from bromeliaceous plans from Oaxaca, Mexico,
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
and from Ciudad Victoria, that were intercepted by federal plant
inspectors at New York, N. Y., ,and Laredo, Texas. Many other
specimens, of both apterous and macropterous forms, were
found in bromeliaceae from Mexico City, D. F., by federal plant
quarantine inspectors at Laredo, Texas, May 9, 1951.
Microvelia cinchonana, n. sp.
Belongs to the americana group, with pronotum (apterous
form) not produced backward. Male and alate forms unknown.
APTEROUS FEMALE. Length 2.55 mm., width 1.12 mm. Head, dorsal
surface of thorax (except short, transverse, submarginal, orange band on
pronotum) and abdominal tergites velvety black, faintly tinged with
brownish; body beneath blackish fuscous, with scattered silvery hairs,
rather uniformly tinged with bluish. Connexiva entirely yellowish-brown
above and below. Head beneath, and all actetabula, coxae, and trochanters,
pale testaceous. Rostrum testaceous, its last segment and a median streak
on the preceding one dark ferrugineous. Leg testaceous, slightly darker
Head with the usual impressed dark median line. Antennae long,
very slender, sparsely clothed with short, pale pubescence, brownish, basal
segment pale; lengths of segments: I, 30; II, 25; III, 29; IV, 38. Width
across eyes .70 mm. Lengths of middle legs: femur, 70; tibia. 62; tarsus
I+II, 18+22. Hind legs: femur, 80; tibia, 104; tarsus I+II, 18+22.
Last abdominal tergite without long hairs on hind margin; last ventrite
less than twice as long as the preceding one.
Holotype (female) : Cinchona, Jamaica, Feb. 4, 1911, in
collection of C. J. Drake.
This species can be distinguished from other members of
the americana group by the velvety black color, the wholly yel-
lowish brown connexiva, and the long, slender antennae.
Microvelia paludicola Champion
Microvelia paludicola Champion, 1898, Biol. C. Amer., Het. 2: 127, P1. 8,
Microvelia alachuana Hussey and Herring, 1950, Florida Ent. 33(3): 117.
Microvelia paludicola also occurs in Jamaica. Its antennal
structure differs from that of M. cinchonana, n. sp., and the
female has a dense row of moderately long hairs on the hind
margin of the last abdominal tergite.
This row of hairs also occurs on the female of M. alachuana,
and the male genital segments of this form are like those of
paludicola. M. alachuana, described from northern Florida,
seems at most to be a local race of paludicola, with pale-banded
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
antennae whose fourth segment is relatively longer than in
Champion's types from Guatemala. Dr. R. J. Izzard has very
kindly compared paratypes of alachuana with the types of pa-
ludicola in the British Museum; and while he feels that they
may be distinct species because of the difference in antennal
structure, it seems that this character is subject to some varia-
FORCIPOMYIA SPLENDID WIRTH IN FLORIDA.-A specimen of
Forcipomyia splendid Wirth was among a group of insects
attracted to a lighted window the evening of February 17, 1954.
It was collected with an aspirator by the writer at a country
dwelling about nine miles northeast of Gainesville, Florida. The
specimen has been identified by Dr. W. W. Wirth of the United
States National Museum. He writes that it is a new record for
Florida, and the first south of Tennessee.
FRANK W. MEAD,
State Plant Board of Florida
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
REPORT ON A COLLECTION OF MALLOPHAGA,
LARGELY MEXICAN (PART I)
M. A. CARRIKER, JR.
This paper is the first of several dealing with a collection
of Mallophaga in the Louisiana State University Museum of
Zoology. These lice were taken mostly from birds collected
in the state of San Luis Potosi, M6xico, in 1946-1947, by various
persons connected with that museum.
This report lists all species in the collection which can be
identified and includes critical notes on the known forms and
descriptions of those which appear to be new to science. The
types of all new forms have been returned to the Louisiana
State University Museum of Zoology, but paratypes, when avail-
able, have been retained in the author's collection, along with
duplicates of other species when represented by sufficient series.
All measurements are in millimeters, and all drawings have
been prepared by the author. The drawings have all been made
as accurately as possible by the use of the eye-piece micrometer.
Whenever there has been any doubt as to the accuracy of any
detail, mention is made of this fact. Such doubts have some-
times arisen in the case of poorly prepared specimens or speci-
mens with extraneous food matter within the body that ob-
GENUS Actornithophilus FERRIS
Actornithophilus hirsutus, n. sp.
Type female adult, from Ereunetes pusillus (Linn.), collected by D. S.
Farner at Lawrence, Kansas, U. S. A., May 25, 1946.
DIAGNOSIS.-Does not resemble any of the known species of the genus
thus far recorded from the sandpipers. The head is rather small, with nar-
row, rounded temples and with the manner of attachment of the head with
the prothorax rather unusual and difficult to explain (see figure). The
ocular blotches are small and rounded, with darker shading inward to the
oval clear spot, in which is set a stout spine, and with shading also extend-
ing backward to the occiput. The gular plate is quadrangular, longer than
wide, and does not fill the dorsal clear area above it; there are four setae
140 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
on each side of the gular plate, the two anterior ones short and the two
posterior ones long.
The thoracic sternal plates are of the same general type as in the various
species that I have seen from the Charadriiformes, but differ slightly in
detail and chaetotaxy. The complete chaetotaxy of the metasternal plate
is not visible. There is a clear line at the suture between the meso- and
metathorax, with an unusual lateral constriction at this point, while the
lateral dorsal band connecting the metathorax with the abdomen is strongly
developed (see figure).
The pleurites are wider ventrally than dorsally and deeply colored but
entirely devoid of darker markings. The tergites are rather deeply colored,
entire across abdomen, but separated from the pleurites by a narrow clear
space. The sternites are also rather heavily chitinized and are separated
from the pleurites by a wide clear area on segments II to VIII. There is
a small, oval, single sternite in the posterior portion of IX, with a single
row of fine setae on posterior margin; the tip of segment IX is clear,
with a dorsal fringe of fine setae. There is a line of strong hairs across
posterior margin of tergites II to VII which reaches but little beyond the
middle of the succeeding segment, and another line of 8 shorter, stout hairs
across the middle of the same tergites. Segment VIII has but 8 marginal
hairs and 6 in the middle. Sternites I to VIII have a scattering of very
short, but coarse, setae set sparingly over their entire surface, with the
usual patch of fine setae on III and a slight patch on IV. The species is
represented only by the female holotype.
MEASUREMENTS OF THE TYPE:
Body ......... -........ ......... ............. 2.02 -
Head ............... ......... ........-. .37 .456
Prothorax .-..... ................ .- ..........---- .174 .35
Mesothorax ...-.........----------..-.--....-- .12 .39
M etathorax ...........- ..... .......... .... ... .152 .49
Abdomen .... ~~..... ..-...- ...... ... 1.30 .64
Actornithophilus albus Emerson, 1948
Ent. News, vol. 59, p. 178, figs. 1, 2. Host: Crocethia alba (Pallas). Nom.
nov. for Colpocephalum spinulosum minor Kell. & Chap., 1899, preoccu-
pied by C. minus Piaget, 1880.
One male and two females were taken on Erolia fuscicollis (Vieillot)
at Lawrence, Kansas, by George H. Lowery, May 11, 1947. These speci-
mens have been very carefully compared with Col. Emerson's redescription
of the species and his figures, and with females from the type host in the
author's collection; and they prove to be exactly the same. It is possible
that there was some error in the labelling of the specimens from Kansas,
or that they were stragglers from Crocethia alba, since I hardly think it
probable that these two hosts would have the same species of Actornitho-
philus parasitic on them. Until additional authentic material from Erolia
fuscicollis has verified this record, I prefer to leave the matter of the host
Actornithophilus hirsutus, female
Colpocephalum fusconigrum Giebel, male
C. fusconigrum, female, tip of abdomen
C. fusconigrun, male, genitalia
C. scalariforme Rudow, male
C. scalariforme, male, genitalia
C. scalariforme, female, head and tip of abdomen
Plegadiphilus plegadis (Dubinin), female
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Actornithophilus mexicanus Emerson, 1953
Host: Himantoprs mexicanus (P. L. S. Miller).
There are two females in the collection. They were taken on the type
host collected by Robert J. Newman at Tamuin, San Luis Potosi, M6xico,
November 17, 1946. These have been compared with the paratype female
sent to me by Col. Emerson and with specimens taken by myself in Mexico
in 1930 and are identical with them.
Actornithophilus flavipes (Giebel), 1874
Colpocephalum flavipes Giebel, Insecta Epizoa, p. 276. Host: Squatarola
A single female of this species was taken from the type host collected
by Charles Shaw at Ebano, San Luis Potosi, November 1, 1946. I have
compared this female with material in my own collection from the type
host and find it to be identical.
Ciconiphilus femoratus (Piaget), 1885
Colpocephalum femoratum Piaget, Pediculines Suppl., p. 124, pl. 13, fig. 7.
Host: Mycteria americana (Linn.).
There are two males from the type host, taken at Tamuin, San Luis
Potosi, November 17, 1946, by Charles Shaw. Hopkins & Clay (Checklist of
Mallophaga, 1952) doubt the correctness of the host for this species. I
have compared this male with Piaget's description and figure, and they seem
to agree very well, and I see no reason to doubt the validity of the host.
There is another species of this genus, C. maczlipes (Giebel), listed as from
Mycteria americana, but all the knowledge we have concerning it is a brief
description by Giebel (without figure) and a translation of the same by
Piaget (Pediculines, p. 488). According to thrse descriptions the present
specimen cannot possibly be C. maculipes (Giebel).
Colpocephalum fusconigrum Giebel, 1874
(Figures 2, 3 and 4)
Insecta Epizoa, p. 274. Host: Guara alba (Linn.), nec Piaget, Pediculines,
1880, p. 555, pl. XLVI, fig. 4.
Two males and two females were taken on the type host, collected at
Tamuin, San Luis Potosi, September 16, 1946, by Charles Shaw. These
specimens agree fairly well with Giebel's description of the species, but
not at all with that given by Piaget and his figure. Piaget gives as hosts
for the species both "Ibis" alba and I. melanocephala, but there is
nothing to indicate from which host the species was figured. He further
says that Giebel's description, taken from a single male in poor condition,
There is no question as to the correctness of the host for the Mexican
specimens, and the only explanation I can offer for the difference between
SA description of this species has been published, and I have not as yet
received a copy of it, but Col. Emerson sent me a female paratype.
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
them and Piaget's figure and description is that he described and figured a
specimen from "Ibis" mclanocephala instead of from "Ibis" alba, which was
most likely a different species.
I can find no note in literature by either Clay, Hopkins or Thompson
regarding Piaget's type of this species. I herewith present a figure of one
of the males which I have examined. A comparison of this with Piaget's
figure will clearly show that they represent different species. I also give a
figure of the apical abdominal segments of the female, which, as may be
seen, are quite different from that given by Piaget.
Of course it is possible that there may be two distinct species of Col-
pocephalum parasitic on Guara alba, but this is hardly likely. I think that
the real explanation of the difference between the two is that Piaget
described and figured a different species whose host is Guara melanocephala.
If this conjecture should prove to be correct, then Piaget's species is without
The parasite here figured is a distinctive one and can be readily sepa-
rated from closely related forms. The shape of the head, with its extensive
pitchy brown markings, the shape of the thorax, and the general chaetotaxy
are distinctive characters, as are also the features of the male genitalia.
Length Width Length Width
Body ......~.~.................... 1.69 1.90 -
f frons .......-----. .32 .347
Head temples ......... .36 .51 .38 .52
occiput ---- .31 .326 -
Prothorax ...................... .16 .355 .185 .347
Pterothorax ...................... .24 .40 .27 .48
Abdomen ....--- .........-.. ...... 1.01 .52 1.19 .60
Basal Plate .....-----............... .58 .097
Paramers ...........-............-. .066 .097
Endomera .-..................... .12 .066
Colpocephalum ajajae Ewing
Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 43, p. 126. Host: Ajaia ajaja (Linn.)
There is a single female of this species taken on the type host collected
by Charles Shaw at Pujal, San Luls Potosi, October 30, 1946.
Emerson has published a note on the identity of this species, giving
good figures of it (Bull. Brooklyn Ent. Soc., October 1948, p. 130). In my
own collection there are 3 males and 1 female, also from the type host,
collected in Costa Rica. They agree perfectly with Col. Emerson's figures
and with the single Mexican specimen here listed.
144 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Colpocephalum scalariforme Rudow, 1866
(Figures 5, 5a and 6)
Zeit. ges. NatWiss., vol. 27, p. 471. Host: Mycteria americana Linn.
There are one adult and two juvenile females of this species that were
taken from the type host collected by Charles Shaw at Tamuin, San Luis
Potosi, October 17, 1946. The specimens were compared with a good series
of the species in my own collection, taken on the type host in Colombia, and
were found to be the same. The only published information extant con-
cerning this species is the very brief, very bad description by Rudow and
the pungent remarks by Piaget concerning the same. There is, however,
no doubt but that these specimens and my own series represent the species
described by Rudow from this host.
The species is a large, very strikingly colored one, a typical Colpo-
cephalum, with very large pitch-black ocular and occipital blotches, the
latter connected by a wide band of dark brown, and the two black blotches
connected also by a paler, brown band (see figure). The sexes are rather
strongly dimorphic in the shape of the head, the shape of apical abdominal
segments, and in the chaetotaxy of the whole abdomen. The pleurites,
tergites, and sternites of the male are thickly set with short, thick bristles
(see figure), which are almost wanting in the female. The tergites are
deeply colored and continuous across the abdomen in the male, but in the
female they are broken medially in V to VIII.
The chaetotaxy on the apical abdominal segment of the female is char-
acteristic of the genus (see figure). The male genitalia seem to be unique.
The basal plate is very long and very narrow (as in fusconigrum), with
the paramers straight, and the endomeral plate of a curious design, also
somewhat similar to that of fusconigrum.
Length Width Length Width
Body .......~.-.......... ....... 2.28 2.62 -
Sfrons .................... .434 .423
Head temples ............ .50 .575 .53 .586
occiput ..-...-..-...... .44 .47 -
Prothorax ....-..... .....-. .... .21 .39 .22 .40
Pterothorax ........ ........... .28 .48 .28 .52
Abdomen ..................... .. 1.35 .564 1.70 .716
Basal plate ..........-........... .79 .102 (at base)
Paramers ....................... .08 .102
Endomera -.... ..............- .153 .071
Colpocephalum unciferum Kellogg, 1896
Proc. California Acad. Sci., (2), vol. 6, p. 140, pl. 12, figs. 1-3. Host:
Pelecanus occidentalis californicus Ridgway and P. erythrorhynchos
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
Two males were taken on Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, collected by Charles
Shaw at Ajinche, San Luis Potosi, November 10, 1946. I have not been
able to compare these specimens with material from the type host but have
done so with a series of both sexes from P. o. occidentalis, collected by me in
Colombia, and they are the same thing. Since the same parasite has been
recorded from both P. o. californicus and P. erythrorhynchos, there is little
doubt but that my specimens from P. o. occidentalis are all C. unciferum
Dennyus dubious (Kellogg), 1896
Nitzschia dubius Kellogg, Proc. California Acad. Sci., vol. 6, p. 540, p., 73,
fig. 6. Host: Chaetura pelagica (Linn.).
Two males and a female of this species were taken from the type host,
collected by Charles Shaw at Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, April 18, 1947. This
species has been fully discussed, in connection with others of the genus,
in a paper by the author now in press at the U. S. National Museum, so
that no further remarks are necessary.
Piagetiella peralis (Leidy), 1878
Menopon peralis Leidy, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philadelphia, 1878, p. 100.
Host: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Gmelin.
A series of 18 males and females was taken from the type host collected
by Charles Shaw at Ebano, San Luis Potosi, November 10, 1946. This
is a large, strikingly marked species and one easily recognized and well
known. They are found attached to the lining of the throat pouch and feed
either on the mucous lining of the pouch or on blood secured by piercing
the membrane with their slender, sharp-pointed mandibles. The genus is
also found in the throat pouches of various species of cormorants, as well
Plegadiphilus plegadis (Dubinin), 1938
Menopon plegadis Dubinin, Tray. Reserve Etat Astrakhan, vol. 2, p. 178,
fig. Host: Plegadis (f.) falcinellus (Linn.).
One adult female and one nymph were taken on Plegadis (falcinellus?)
chihi (Vieillot) collected by Charles Shaw at Tamuin, San Luis Potosi,
September 27, 1946. I have not had access to the original description and
figure of this species, but I have compared the material with specimens of
both P. mammilatus (Piaget) (from Theristicus caudatus) and with P.
threskiornis Bedford (from Threskiornis aethiopicus), the only other known
species of the genus.
Since the host on which these parasites were taken is now considered
to be conspecific with P. f. falcinellus (Linn.), there is no reason to assume
that the lice of P. f. chihi would be different from those on falcinellus. The
present species is without doubt a Plegadiphilus, and although I have not
been able to compare it with the description of P. plegadis, I assume from
analogy that they are that species.
Since this is an interesting, little known form, the description of which
is not easily available, I herewith present a figure of it, together with its
146 THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
The single adult (?) female is not in the best of condition, being either
recently moulted or cleared too much. The structure and chaetotaxy are
clearly visible, but the markings, if any, are only faintly indicated. As
may be seen from the figure, the pre-ocular slit is deep and well marked,
while the dorsal integument of the head covers completely the antennary
fossae. The pre-antennary portion of the head is wider than in the geno-
type, but the chaetotaxy of the head and body in general is very similar.
It is unfortunate that no male was taken, for the genitalia of this genus
MEASUREMENTS OF THE FEMALE:
Body ................................... .. 1.52 -
Sfrons ........................... .358
Head temples ...................... .347 .52
occiput .....................--.. .31 -
Prothorax ............... ...... ....... .206 .38
Pterothorax ................................ .25 .467
Abdomen ..............................-... ..836 .66
Myrsidea interrupt (Osborn), 1896
Menopon interruptus Osborn, Bull. U. S. Bureau Ent. (n. s.), 5, p. 245,
plate II, fig. h. Host: Corvus corone brachyrhynchos Brehm.
A male and two females of this species were taken on the type host
collected by R. Baker, at Altair, Texas, December 11, 1938. I have compared
these specimens with material collected by myself on the type host in
Nebraska and find them to be identical.
Amyrsidea spicula spicula Carriker, 1950
Rev. Acad. Colombia Sci., vol. 7, p. 506, figs. 54 and 55a. Host: Ortalis v.
A single male of this species was taken on a specimen of Ortalis vetula
mccalli (Baird), collected at Xilitla by Robert J. Newman on February 13,
A careful comparison of this male with the type of spicula shows no
differences worthy of mention and hence may safely be regarded as that
(To be continued)
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
A MUSCID FLY, ATHERIGONA ORIENTALIS SCHIN.,
A PEST ON CANTALOUPES
F. GRAY BUTCHER
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
In May, 1953, a grower in the Miami region noted a small
maggot associated with a rapid breakdown in the stem-attach-
ment area of his cantaloupes. These melons were picked for
shipping, so were not overripe, but the wet rot in the stem-end
developed rapidly enough to result in heavy loss by the time
the melons reached northern markets.
Investigation revealed typical dipterous maggots in the mel-
ons, tunnelling through the flesh at the stem-attachment wound.
The larvae were found in the melons just as they came from
the field, and elongate eggs were observed attached around the
edges of the abscission area. Adult flies reared from these
larvae were identified by C. W. Sabrosky, U. S. National Mu-
seum, as Atherigona orientalis Schin. In advising the writer of
this identification, Dr. C. F. W. Muesebeck stated "we had sup-
posed this form to live principally as a scavenger following dam-
age by other insects or feeding upon overripe fruit." He
referred this record to Dr. D. J. Caffrey of the Division of Truck
Crop and Garden Insect Investigations of the Bureau of En-
tomology and Plant Quarantine, who advised that no record
of damage from this species had previously been reported. Dr.
Caffrey also quoted correspondence from Dr. Orin A. Hills of
the Bureau's laboratory at Phoenix, Arizona, to the effect that
the species had not been observed on cantaloupes in the South-
west. Further search of available literature has revealed no
reference to this species as an economic pest.
Through the courtesy and cooperation of local melon grow-
ers 1 many fruits were brought into the laboratory directly from
the field as they were picked for detailed life history studies
and trials on possible control methods. For the latter, various
insecticide and fungicide dusts were applied to the stem-end
of the fruit. Of the different materials tested, a 20-80 copper-
lime dust proved quite effective in preventing development of
the larvae and protecting the fruit from the accompanying wet
SCharles Burr, Thomas Mitchell and J. N. Vernam generously permitted
access to their fields for observations and collection of material. The author
wishes to express, herewith, his appreciation to these men for their kind
cooperation in this study.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
rot. Several growers later reported that use of this material,
applied with a soft brush as the fruit was packed, proved en-
tirely satisfactory in preventing loss of fruit shipped.
Field observations revealed that the eggs of this fly were
attached to the melons before they were picked. As soon as
the abscission of the stem began, eggs were attached at this
area. The fruit was considered ready for picking as soon as
this abscission completely encircled the stem. Eggs were fre-
quently found attached to the edge of the stem break as well
as on the fruit edge of the abscission wound.
Adult flies collected in the field for life history observations
were placed in small glass cages with a portion of ripe can-
taloupe. As typical of such observations, the following record
is from three female flies caged at 7:00 p.m. on July 24. Numer-
ous eggs had been deposited along the edge of the cut surface
of the fruit by 9:00 a.m. the following morning, when the flies
were removed from the cage. First larvae were observed from
these eggs at 9:00 p.m., July 25, with several eggs still unhatched.
First maggots appeared full grown, as indicated by their ex-
tensive crawling through the cellucotton in the bottom of the
cages, at 9:00 a.m. on August 1, and first puparia were found
completed that evening at 9:00 p.m. Adult flies emerged from
these puparia on August 6, thus completing the life cycle. These
observations revealed the minimum duration of the various
stages of this fly as follows: egg incubation, 36 hours; larval
stage, 7 days; pupal stage, 5 days.
These studies clearly indicate that this species is a primary
pest cn uninjured cantaloupes picked before they are fully
ripe for shipping. The infestation is established in the field
by egg deposition at the time of abscission of the stem from
the fruit. The larvae begin feeding in the exposed fleshy area
at the stem-end as soon as they hatch, and continuous break-
down in this area soon renders the fruit unmarketable. The
fly is not limited in its development to this stem-end area. Numer-
ous infestations of this species were observed in other wound
areas, growth cracks, and overrip fruit discarded in the field.
Other species of this genus are listed in economic entomologi-
cal literature. A. exigua Stein is known as the Rice Stem Fly
in India. Cassava, sorghum and pineapple are other host plants
for related species in various countries. However, no reference
has been found to any species of the genus in the literature of
North American economic studies.
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
A REPORT ON A CASE OF TICK PARALYSIS
IN DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
JAMES H. HEIDT
Dade County Anti-Mosquito District
In November, 1953, a case of tick paralysis in a six-year-old
girl living in the southern part of Dade County, Florida, was
reported by a local pediatrician. Although a very common dis-
ease of dogs in Florida, this is believed to be the first case of
human tick paralysis in Dade County. The Florida State Board
of Health has only one other record of human tick paralysis
in Florida, but other cases may have occurred which were never
reported. The single case on record with the State Board of
Health occurred in the Jacksonville area in April, 1953. A small
girl was also the victim in this case.
Briefly, a day-by-day account of the tick paralysis started
with the frightened parents bringing the child to the home of
the pediatrician on a Friday night. Both legs of the child were
paralyzed. Naturally the parents and the pediatrician suspected
polio. The symptoms did not indicate this disease as there was
no rigidity of the spine as in polio-the child was able to bend
from the sitting position and put her head between her knees.
The child was taken to a hospital, where a lumbar puncture
proved negative for the common, known paralytic ailments such
as spinal meningitis. All of Friday night the physicians were
puzzled as to the cause of the paralysis.
Saturday the paralysis continued ascending, causing the arms
to be paralyzed. The girl could neither stand nor move her
arms, and arms and legs were completely limp. The pediatricians
soon realized the child was suffering from some type of ascend-
ing paralysis which begins at the extremities. Unless some-
thing was discovered soon, the respiratory centers would become
affected and the child might die due to respiratory failure. Sev-
eral experts from the various medical branches were called in
to study the case.
It was on Saturday that a nurse, while tidying up her little
patient, discovered a tick on the head of the girl. The tick was
removed and the child began to improve rapidly. Sunday the
little girl walked and on Monday was discharged from the hos-
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
The writer was requested to identify the tick by the Dade
County Health Department. The tick was identified as Derma-
centor variabilis (Say), the American dog tick, and the identifica-
tion was confirmed by Dr. George Bradley, Chief Entomological
Consultant, Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
Tick paralysis in humans, although rare in Florida, is com-
monly found in the western United States and Canada, adjacent
to the Rocky Mountains. Numerous cases have occurred in
Georgia and South Carolina. In North America the ticks in-
volved are Dermacentor variabilis and D. andersoni and probably
some of the species of Ixodes. The paralysis is caused by a
toxin apparently secreted from the salivary glands of the preg-
nant engorged ticks. The removal of the tick brings about a
The question as to how the tick became attached to the
head of the child is still unanswered. The home of the child is
located south of Miami in a high-pine, woody section. This
woody area is located a few hundred feet to the rear of the house.
The child has a dog and often put her arms around the neck of
her pet and placed her head on the neck of the animal. Also,
the mother stated the girl had gone to sleep on a couch, which
is a frequent resting place for the dog. It is also possible that
the tick could have been picked up by the girl as she played in
the nearby woody area. No other ticks were located in the area
or on the dog, which had been treated before the writer was
able to examine it.
Local veterinarians reported tick paralysis to be common in
dogs in Dade County. Some veterinarians reported treating over
fifty such cases a year.
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3- SEPTEMBER, 1954
NEW AMERICAN WATERSTRIDERS (HEMIPTERA)
CARL J. DRAKE and HAROLD C. CHAPMAN 2
This paper is based upon a study of specimens in the U. S.
National Museum and the collections of the authors. It contains
the descriptions of three new species of Hebridae, one new
Veliidae and one new Gerridae. The types have been deposited
as stated under the description of each new species. The units
of measurement employed in the characterizations of species
are all to the same microscale, and may be converted into milli-
meters by dividing by 80.
Hebrus canposi, n. sp.
Head dark fuscous with some bluish pruinose bordering the eyes and at
apex, with short golden pubescence, the median impressed line barely indi-
cated; eyes reddish fuscous, coarsely faceted. Antennae slender, dark fus-
cous with first two segments testaceous, with scattered long hairs on last
three segments, measurements-I, 14; II, 11; III, 19; IV, 15; V, 19. Rostrum
long, fulvous with apical half flavous. Legs flavous, slightly darker at
Pronotum dark fuscous, moderately clothed with short golden pubescence,
without median longitudinal groove, with prominent humeral angles; collar
crescentic, widest at middle, with a transverse row of deep pits along hind
border; front lobe with two large pits (one on each side of median line)
behind, then demarcated from hind lobe on each side by irregularly ar-
ranged pits; humeri impressed within so as to form a shallow longitudinal
furrow. Scutellum rounded behind, without apical notch, without distinct
median carina. Hemelytra as long or nearly as long as abdomen, with
prominent dark fuscous veins, the veins and darkened apical part of corium
and clavus with scattered golden pubescence; basal two-thirds of space
between corial veins and basal part of clavus (two-thirds of length next
to vein and only about one-half within) pearly white; membrane dark
fumose, with three whitish spots (an elyptial apical spot and a smaller one
on each side at middle), sometimes also another transverse whitish spot
on each side of corium near apex. Apterous form unknown.
Length, 1.90-2.20 mm.; width, 0.78-0.81 mm.
Type (male) and allotype (female), Guayaquil, Ecuador,
Oct. 20, 1952, Dr. F. Campos R., Drake Collection. Paratype;
1 female, taken with type; and 2 females, Guayaquil, C. L. Fagan,
U. S. Nat. Mus.
1Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.
2Entomology Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service, U. S.
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
Separated from H. plaumanni Porter by the darker color,
more slender antennae, pearly white markings at base of hemely-
tra, non-bifed apex of scutellum and flavous legs.
Hebrus tuckahoana, n. sp.
APTEROUS FORM: Very small, black, with a broadly U-shaped mark at
base of head (arms extending anteriorly along sides of eyes) and the
anterior and posterior margins of pronotum brown. Head moderately con-
vex above, with a median longitudinal furrow, thinly clothed with very
fine, reclining, pale hairs; eyes reddish brown, with large facets; bucculae
long, pale testaceous. Rostrum long, testaceous; sulcus deep, uninterrupted
between hind coxae. Antennae quite slender, pale testaceous, measure-
ments-I, 16; II, 11; III, 17; IV, 10; V, 16. Legs pale testaceous, the
Body beneath black, thoracic pleura dark fuscous. Pronotum dark fus-
cous to blackish, scarcely more than twice as long as wide (50: 22), nearly
flat, with a transverse row of irregularly arranged large pits separating
front and posterior lobes; front lobe short, not much narrower than hind
lobe, with an encircling row of large pits at base of collar; hind lobe
scarcely twice as long as fore lobe, with numerous large pits, truncate
behind with outer corners obliquely narrowed, the humeral angles low,
almost flat, not raised or prominent. Scutellum very short, much wider
at base than median length (32: 8), the apex very broad, subtruncate and
nearly five-sixths as wide as the base. Pronotum and scutellum rather
thinly clothed with very fine, decumbent, whitish hairs, these hairs not
as numerous on tergites. Male and alate form unknown.
Length, 1.85 mm.; width, 0.82 mm.
Type (female) and one paratype (female), both apterous,
Tuckahoe, New Jersey, June 2, 1953, Drake Collection.
Allied to H. buenoi Drake and Harris, but readily distinguish-
able by the pale hairy vesture of dorsal surface, especially pro-
notum, and slenderer antennae. The short-winged or apterous
form of the common and widely dispersed H. buenoi is not repre-
sented in our collections.
Hebrus acapulcana, n. sp.
MACROPTEROUS FORM: Large, dark fuscous-brown with a large, sharply
defined, pearly white patch at base of clavus, which extends posteriorly
almost to apex of scutellum; membrane dark fuscous with four white
marks; body beneath blackish with underside of head acetabula brownish
flavus. Head black, without median longitudinal furrow or anastomosing
rows of pits, with a little bluish lustre next to eyes; eyes reddish fuscous.
Antennae testaceous with a little tinge of brown or fuscous; segments III,
IV and V quite slender and rather longly hairy, measurements-I, 25; II, 15;
III, 22; IV, 16; V, 20. Rostrum long, flavous, sulcus wide, shallow, dark
(sometimes partly brown or flavous), not interrupted between hind coxae,
venter not flattended beyond sulcus; stern and rostral sulcus dark, moder-
ately clothed with short pale hairs.
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1954
Pronotum much wider than long (90:50), with median longitudinal
furrow rather narrow and not very deep, with front and hind lobe de-
marcated by an irregular row of large pits, clothed with very short, slightly
flattened golden pubescence; fore lobe much narrower than hind lobe, with
an encircling row of small pits at base of collar; hind lobe slightly convex,
about three times as long as front lobe, with pits only partly visible, the
humeri within set-off by a longitudinal impression; scutellum with apex
broad, rounded and bifed, with lateral edges feebly raised, with median
carina hardly distinct. Elytra nearly as long as abdomen, with corium
and clavus black-fuscous, rather densely clothed with golden hairs, with
hairs along outer edge a little longer, then shorter and not so numerous
in pearly white part of clavus, without distinct median vein, with apical
end strongly, sharply, obliquely truncate. Legs whitish testaceous with tips
of femora, tibiae and tarsi slightly infuscate.
Lengtn, 2.60 mm.; width, 1.12 mm.
Type (male) and allotype (female), Acapulco, Mexico, Aug. 3,
1951, Drake Collection. Paratypes; 2 specimens, same data as
type. Closely related to H. major Champion, but readily sepa-
rated from it by the dark and little elevated rostral laminal, the
uninterrupted sulcus (between hind coxae) and the non-flattened
venter just behind the rostral channel. The antenna measure-
ments are slightly different, and the pearly white mark at the
base of clavus is slightly larger.
Merragata brevis Champion
Merragata brevis Champion, Biol. Centr.-Amer., Rhynch., 2: 122-123, 1 fig.
Merragata brevis Drake and Harris, Not. Mus. La Plata, Arg., 8: 45-46.
Numerous specimens of this species were taken among grow-
ing emergent vegetation in quiet brackish and saline waters
near the east coast of Florida. Specimens are at hand from Salt
Lake (Mims) and the Indian River (between Cocoa and Indian
River City). The species is also recorded in the literature from
Texas and California. In the original description, Champion
included specimens from Mexico, Guatemala, Panama. In addi-
tion to the latter records, Drake and Harris (1943) added Costa
Microvelia ancona, n. sp.
Small, oblong, velvety blackish fuscous with the basal two-fifths of
hemelytra and a large apical spot pearly white. Head black, convex above,
with an impressed, median, longitudinal, black line; eyes large, fuscous.
Antennae moderately long, flavo-testaceous; segments I and II moderately
stout; III and IV quite slender, with scattered long hairs; measurements-
THE FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST
I, 17; II, 12; III, 19; IV, 30, legs moderately stout, flavous, femora unarmed
Pronotum pentagonal in outline, slightly convex above, rounded at apex
behind, black-fuscous, without markings, longer across humeri than median
length (70: 50), without median longitudinal carina or impressed line.
Hemelytra as long or nearly as long as abdomen; connexiva entirely dark
fuscous, not testaceous beneath the basal pearly white part of hemelytra as
in M. distant. Body beneath dark fuscous. Male and apterous forms un-
Length, 2.10 mm.; width, 0.75 mm.
Type (female, macropterous), Ancon, Canal Zone, Panama,
intercepted in bromeliad plants, at Loredo, Texas, Feb. 26, 1953,
in U. S. National Museum.
Separated from M. distant Lundblad by the concolorous con-
nexiva, slenderer legs and slightly small size. In M. distant
the visible basal three segments of the connexiva (both dorsal
and ventral surfaces) are testaceous beneath the pearly white
basal part of hemelytra. The latter breeds in numbers in the
rain water pockets of bromeliads in Trinidad.
Rhematobates hamatus, n. sp.
APREROUS MALE: Small, dark velvety brown with small, slightly tes-
taceous areas as described in structural characters. Antennae moderately
long, moderately stout, dark brown with the basal segment testaceous; seg-
ment I considerably incrassate, thickest a little beyond base, slightly nar-
rowed anteriorly; II very short, stout, cylindrical; III slender, slightly
enlarged subbasally, there with two very long, dark brown hairs, the
apical part a little flattened beneath; IV considerably flattened, curved,
convex within, with dorsal edge beset with 8 or 9 rather short, dark brown,
bristly hairs; measurements-I, 22; II, 6; III, 15; IV, 15. Rostrum brown.
Eyes large, fuscous-brown. Body beneath dark brown, the prosternum,
acetabula and last two segments of venter testaceous.
Pronotum very short, with the median part broadly testaceous. Meso-
notum without color markings, a little wider than long (55: 38). Abdomen
above concolorous, slowly tapering posteriorly. Genital segments above
slowly tapering posteriorly, truncate behind, brown with first segment tes-
taceous, beneath entirely testaceous. Anterior legs rather stout, brown,
with coxae, trochanters and femora testaceous. Middle legs very long,
brown, with coxae and trochanters testaceous; femora long, considerably
swollen; tibiae slender, fringed on the inner side with a row of very long
hairs from slightly before middle nearly to apex; tarsi slender; measure-
ments-femora, 60; tibiae, 50; tarsi I, 38 and II, 12. Hind legs much
shorter, modified; trochanter rather long, with very long, subapical, hook-
like projection on the inner side, which extends considerably beyond apex
of abdomen, tapers apically, testaceous at base with hook-part brown and
sharply turned downward; femora narrowed at base (as far anteriorly
as hook-projection of trochanter), then slightly enlarged (not strongly
swollen), with a short fringe of long hairs within subbasally; tibiae slender,
VOL. XXXVII, No. 3- SEPTEMBER, 1954
straight; tarsi short; measurments-trochanters, 22; femora, 58; tibiae,
70; tarsi I, 7 and II, 12. Venter with the last two segments testaceous.
Length, 1.55 mm.; width, 0.65 mm.
Type (male), Belem, Para, Brazil, September 20, 1950, Drake
Separated at once from other small species of the genus by
the large, subapical hook-like projection of the hind trochanters.
INSECT FACT AND FOLKLORE, by Lucy W. Clausen. xiv + 194 p.,
illustrated. 1954. The Macmillan Company, New York. Price
This little book, written by Lucy W. Clausen who is in the
Department of Public Instruction at the American Museum of
Natural History, brings together facts about insects, their folk-
lore, superstitions, products, and the many uses to which they
have been put throughout the world. Miss Clausen begins with
an elementary discussion of insects in general. From the brief
introduction, she leads the reader into the heart of the book,
giving many examples to show that the majority of insects are
interesting, necessary, and an important part of everyday life.
For entertaining and informative reading about insect facts
and folklore, Miss Clausen's book can be recommended. L. B.