Genus Lepidophorella Schaeffer.
Lepidophorella australis Carpenter, 1925.
Lepidophorella communis Salmon, 1937.
The distribution of these two species can now be given as common and general throughout the country. They are found particularly in leaf mould, but sometimes under the bark of trees.
Lepidophorella nigra sp. nov. Plate 42, figs. 48–51.
Colour: Greyish-black with narrow white intersegmental bands. The mesotergum intense black. Legs greyish-black. Antennae black with white banded joints. Ant. IV intense black. Furcula black with ochreous streaks on the manubrium. Typically, three inclined ochreous streaks on each side of the mesotergum.
Clothing: Densely clothed with many layers of scales. These scales are of the typical Lepidophorellan, form and lie over the body in layers set at different angles. When the body surface is closely examined their ribs give a distinct cross-hatched appearance. Setae very much reduced, sometimes entirely absent except for a few on the legs, furcula and antennae.
Body: Length up to 4.5 mm. Ant. I:II:III:IV as 2:5:5:7. Ant. IV with exsertile apical knob and cone bearing sensory hair. Ocelli, eight to each side. Anterior pair the larger; others medium-sized with central outer ocellus usually smaller. Abd. III one and a-half times longer than Abd. IV.
Legs: Claw with two outer lateral teeth as in L. communis, but with two large or two large and one very small, or three large, inner teeth. The dentition of the claws may vary over the individual. Tenent hairs absent. Empodial appendage, lanceolate, two-thirds length of claw, with two large outer basal teeth, one above the other.
Furcula: Mucro falciform, gently curved with basal scale-like lamella extending from near tip to apex of dens. Corrugated portion of dens passes into finely serrated lamella, which extends over mucro and joins it near point of contact of basal scale-like lamella.
Localities: Turangakuma Range, Hawkes Bay, 3300 ft. in leaf debris; Titahi Bay, in leaf mould (Coll. R. Forster); Karori Hills, in leaf mould, under stones and in old logs (Author's Coll.)
Type: Slide 3/1243, Dominion Museum Collection.
Remarks: I am inclined to the view that this striking species may be a hybrid form produced by the interbreeding of L. australis and L. communis, as it combines the characters of both of these species.