Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A new species of Anisopleura

There are currently 10 species of Anisopleura known. Recently Zhang & Hamalainen (2014) described a new species from Yunnan (A. pelecyphora), but A. lieftincki was shown to be a junior synonym of A. subplatystyla. Some species are very similar to others. A. yunnanensis is closely related to A. subplatystyla. That species occurs in northern Thailand and Zhang 7 Hamalainen hypothesize that it may also occur in northern Vietnam. However, for now we assume that it is A. yunnanensis that occurs in northern Vietnam. The commonest of Anisopleura in Vietnam appears to be A. qingyuanensis. During the road trip around northern Vietnamese provinces end of June and beginning of July I saw it in Lang Son, Yen Bai and Cao Bang provinces. I did not see A. yunnanensis, which until now I have only seen in Yen Bai. But in Cao bang Province in early July I ran into an Anisopleura that had the general pattern of A. qingyuanensis, but rather different coloration. In hand the appendages were clearly different, more close to A. yunnanensis. It was neither of these two species, the only two known from Vietnam, so I contacted Matti Hamalainen to ask him to please help me out. Matti pointed out that no known species has the combination of characters of my specimen. It is a new species to science and a beautiful one at that, even amongst Anisopleura species.

Anisopleura sp. novum, note the blueish antehumeral and yellow flanks, truly striking

Close-up of dorsum of thorax

Another in hand shot of this stunning insect

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