Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 70, 1940-41
This text is also available in PDF
(23 MB) Opens in new window
– 298 –

Genus Ceratrimeria Börner, 1906.
Platanurida Carpenter, 1925.

Generally large insects of flattened form measuring up to 10 mm. in length and having the paratergal regions swollen and enlarged. Frequently provided with spine-like processes of the cuticle or the cuticle with a hexagonal pattern. Ocelli either eight or five to each side. Postantennal organ present or absent and if present round or elliptical with from eight to thirty peripheral lobes or simply a closely-packed group of small indistinct lobes. Empodial appendage absent. Furcula either present or absent, and if present sometimes reduced.

This peculiar genus is represented in New Zealand by five indigenous species which may be keyed as follows:—

1. Body dorsally and laterally with spine-like processes of the cuticle. Eight ocelli to each side. 2
Body without such spine-like processes of the cuticle. 4
2. Body dorsally completely covered with spine-like processes. Claw with one inner tooth. Furcula absent. C. spinosa Lubbock
Body not completely so covered. 3
3. Spine-like processes of cuticle shorter and blunter and more widely spaced so that segmentation can be plainly seen from above. Claw with inner tooth and outer lateral teeth. Furcula absent. C. paucispinosa sp. nov.
– 299 –
4. Eight ocelli to each side. 5
Five ocelli to each side. 6
5. Deep blue-black species; claw with single inner tooth. Furcula well developed. C. novae-zealandiae Womersley
6. Bluish-black, covered all over with small bright orange spots. Claw with one inner tooth and one outer tooth. P.A.O. flat with nine lobes. Furcula reduced. C. marplesi sp. nov.
Purplish-gray with small yellow spots and yellowish pleural areas, P.A.O. dome-like with thirteen lobes. Furcula very much reduced. C. lata Carpenter

After a careful study of all of the above species I have been forced to the conclusion that there is insufficient difference between Carpenter's genus Platanurida and the genus Ceratrimeria to warrant the retention of the former. Platanurida was stated to differ essentially from Ceratrimeria in the absence of the furcula and in the presence of a circular postantennal organ with thirteen peripheral lobes. The furcula is, however, absent in several known species of Ceratrimeria. Moreover, re-examination of Carpenter's paratype of P. lata shows on the ventral surface of Abd. IV two small swellings similar to the furcula in C. marplesi n.sp., and which probably are the rudiments of a very much reduced furcula. These structures are very much more clear in the specimens of lata that I obtained from Bullock Creek. The circular rosette-like postantennal organ cannot be used as a character for the separation of Platanurida from Ceratrimeria as a similar postantennal organ occurs in the species C. novaezealandiae which could not be placed in the former genus on account of its well-developed furcula. Furthermore, the cuticle of P. lata shows very distinctly the hexagonal pattern characteristic of many species of Ceratrimeria. Abd. VI in both genera is hidden beneath Abd. V, and no other morphological detail can be found in Platanurida which would serve to distinguish it from Ceratrimeria. It seems necessary, therefore, that the former genus will have to be sunk as a synonym of the latter.

Ceratrimeria spinosa (Lubbock, 1899). Plate 44, figs. 76–77.

1925. Holacanthella spinosa Lubbock. Carpenter (in part).

1899. Anoura spinosa Lubbock.

1906. Holacanthella spinosa Lubbock. Börner.

Colour: Dark bluish-grey with some of the cuticular processes tipped with orange-yellow.

Clothing: Of fine short setae.

Body: Broad and flat, half as wide as long, length reaching to 10 mm.

Antennae shorter than head, segments indistinctly separated. First two antennal segments with cuticular processes. Ocelli eight to each side, but hidden in head-folds by cuticular processes. Post-antennal organ similarly hidden, but when observed, with about 25 peripheral lobes.

Spine-like processes on dorsal surface completely cover it and hide segmentation. Many of these processes bear two or more branches.

– 300 –

Legs: Claw large, with large inner tooth about one-third down. Tenent hairs absent.

Furcula: Absent.

Localities: Reported from Mount Arthur tableland, at 4,500 ft., by Womersley, 1937. A single specimen of this species was given to me some years ago by Miss M. Thomson, who collected it from an old rotten log on the Ngaio Hills at the back of Wellington, at an altitude of about 600 ft. This is the only specimen of this species I have ever seen, and I do not think that the species is at all as common as has been thought, being often confused with C. paucispinosa sp. nov. Apparently it is possible to find it at quite low altitudes; in fact, I find that the genus Ceratrimeria occurs in New Zealand at very low altitudes as compared with other countries, specimens frequently being found in moist situations down to within a few feet of sea-level.

Ceratrimeria paucispinosa sp. nov. Plate 44, fig. 81, Plate 45, figs. 82–83.

1925. Holacanthella spinosa Carpenter (in part).

Colour: In life dark slatey-blue, with bright red tubercular processes. In spirit and mounted body colour a dark greenish-blue and tubercular processes of cuticle yellow to orange.

Clothing: No dorsal setae, but a few ventro-lateral and lateral, plain setae around the posterior region.

Body: Length up to 3·5 mm. with width up to 2 mm. Body oval and fringed from rear of head backwards around posterior margin with long, orange to red tubercular or spine-like outgrowths of the cuticle. These also occur on the dorsal surface; but are shorter here and some are blue coloured. In this species these processes are shorter, blunter, fewer, and more widely spaced than in C. spinosa. The processes around posterior border may be considerably longer than those elsewhere. Segmentation distinct, with Abd. VI hidden below Abd. V. Very little folding or “humping” of the cuticle such as is found in C. tasmaniae. Head, however, divided by a transverse fold giving appearance of an extra segment. Antennae slightly longer than head, with third and fourth segments completely fused. Ant. I: II: III+IV as 6: 5: 17. Ocelli eight to each side. Post-antennal organ absent. Ant. IV with very short sensory hairs and at apex with one short curved strongly-ciliated seta. Cuticle finely tuberculate.

Legs: Claws tuberculate to tips. A strong inner tooth at one-quarter and a pronounced lateral ridge with two closely adpressed external lateral teeth.

Furcula: Absent.

Localities: Maruia Valley, under moss on the trunk of a beech tree in the heart of the native forest; Lake Mapourika, under the bark of kahikatea trees in the forest. Two specimens in the Canterbury Museum from Mount Algidus, Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury, and

– 301 –

labelled by Carpenter as Holacanthella spinosa, I find on re-examination are the above-mentioned species. In this connection it is interesting to note that Carpenter in describing these specimens states: “Though Dendy referred all the New Zealand forms to Lubbock's spinosa, I feel doubtful if all are really co-specific.”

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Type: Slide 3/349 and Figured Paratype: Slide 3/350, Dominion Museum Collection.

Ceratrimeria marplesi sp. nov. Plate 44, figs. 78–80; Plate 45, fig 84.

Colour: Bluish-black covered all over by small, irregular-shaped, bright orange spots, and with a brownish under colour showing through in places. Basal antennal segments black, terminal segment light blue speckled with dark blue. Cuticle with somewhat indistinct hexagonal pattern.

Clothing: Well clothed, with short, plain setae. Cuticle finely tuberculate.

Body: Length 3·2 mm., width 1·8 mm. Segmentation distinct, with Abd. VI hidden under Abd. V. Antennae shorter than head with segments III and IV fused. Ant. I: II: III+IV as 7: 8: 22. Body flattened above, but with prominent lateral paratergites, especially on Th. III and Abds. I–IV. Ocelli on dark brown fields situated on forward edge of head beside antennae. Five ocelli to each side all large, equal, and on posterior inner edge of field, between two of the ocelli, there are three minute circular black spots. Mouth parts cone-like. Postantennal organ rosette-like, but flat with central boss and nine peripheral lobes, slightly larger than an ocellus.

Legs: Claw with one prominent inner tooth at one-third and single strong outer tooth at two-thirds, claw strongly rugose. Tenent hairs absent.

Furcula: Present, but much reduced to two stumps without mucrones.

Locality: Bench Island, Dunedin. From a collection sent to me by Professor Marples, of Dunedin, after whom I have much pleasure in naming it.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Type: Slide 3/351, Dominion Museum Collection.

At present this species is known only from the type specimen.

Ceratrimeria lata (Carpenter, 1925). Plate 44, figs. 73–75.

1925. Platanurida lata Carpenter.

Colour: Dorsally purplish-grey with irregular-shaped yellow areas and numerous very small yellow spots. The pleural areas yellow to orange. Ventrally pale grey with darker markings. Cuticle with strongly marked hexagonal pattern.

Clothing: Sparsely clothed with small plain setae.

Body: Length up to 4 mm. Width up to 2 mm. Antennae as long as or slightly shorter than head. Sensory organ at base of Ant. III not always present and probably peculiar to males. Always a very small bilobed sensory knob at apex of Ant. IV. Five large ocelli to each side. Postantennal organ circular, rosette-like with thirteen tubercles arranged on dome-like elevation slightly larger than an ocellus. Cuticle finely tuberculate.

– 302 –

Legs: Claw with two large outer lateral teeth about two-thirds down and one large inner tooth at one-quarter. Empodial appendage absent or very rudimentary. Tenent hairs absent. Claw tuberculate and pigmented basally.

Furcula: Very much reduced to two small knobs on anterior margin of Abd. IV.

Localities: First reported by Carpenter from Mount Algidus, Rakaia Gorge, and Lake Wakatipu. I have taken it at Bullock Creek, South Westland, amongst the leaf debris of the forest floor.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Hypotype: Slide 3/948, Dominion Museum Collection. Paratype in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ceratrimeria novae-zealandiae (Womersley, 1936). Plate 45, figs. 85–87.

1936. Pseudachorutes novae-zealandiae Womersley.

Originally described under the genus Pseudachorutes in 1936, this species later (1937) was discussed as a Ceratrimeria. I am of the opinion that the species is a true Ceratrimeria.

Colour: Deep blue-black. Ocelli on black pigment patches.

Clothing: Sparsely clothed with short, fine setae. Cuticle finely-granulate.

Body: Length 5·0 mm. Antennae shorter than head, with third and fourth segments indistinctly separated. Ant. I: II: III+IV as 8: 10: 20. Ant. IV with 4–6 curved sensory rods. Ocelli eight on each side, all large and equal. Postantennal organ as large as an ocellus and with 8–10 lobes around central boss. Body with distinct pleural areas but without spine-like processes.

Legs: Claw with inner tooth at one-third. No outer teeth.

Furcula: Well developed. Dens three times as long as mucro. Mucro with indistinct apical knob or lobe and with rows of fine granulations along its length. Dens granulate with six fine ventral setae.

Locality: Reported from humus from Davies Bush, Manurewa, Auckland, by Womersley, in 1936. So far, not found elsewhere.