A systematic and phylogenetic revision of the family Elipsocidae (Insecta : Psocoptera), with the erection of two new families: Lesneiidae and Sabulopsocidae Academic Article uri icon


  • The phylogeny of the Elipsocidae is reappraised to aid understanding of generic relationships within the family, leading to its clear definition as a monophyletic entity and clarification of its position within the infraorder Homilopsocidea. Examination of new material and generic-level revision results in descriptions of ten new elipsocid genera: Prionotodrilus, gen. nov. for P. parvus (Smithers & Thornton), comb. nov. and P. serratus (Schmidt & Thornton), comb. nov.; Ausysium, gen. nov. for A. joyceorum, sp. nov.; Diademadrilus, gen. nov. for D. annulatus (Smithers), comb. nov., for which a description of the female is given, and D. masseyi (New), comb. nov.; Euryphallus, gen. nov. for E. badonneli (New & Thornton), comb. nov., E. cinqueportsae (Thornton & New), comb. nov., E. cooki (Thornton & New), comb. nov., E. defoei (Thornton & New), comb. nov., E. selkirki (Thornton & New), comb. nov., E. skottsbergi (Thornton & New), comb. nov. and E. stigmaticus (Tillyard), comb. nov.; Gondwanapsocus, gen. nov. for G. australis, sp. nov.; Onychophallus, gen. nov. for O. diemenensis, sp. nov.; Psocophloea, gen. nov. for P. sarahae, sp. nov.; Telmopsocus, gen. nov. for T. waldheimensis, sp. nov.; Villopsocus, gen. nov. for V. tasmaniensis, sp. nov., and Weddellopsocus, gen. nov. for W. avius (Smithers), comb. nov., W. carrilloi (Thornton & Lyall), comb. nov., W. flavus (Thornton & Lyall), comb. nov., W. griseus (New & Thornton), comb. nov. and W. valdiviensis (Blanchard), comb. nov. A rediagnosis of Spilopsocus is given, the male of Sabulopsocus tractuosus Smithers is described and Nepiomorpha phragmitella Smithers is transferred to Clinopsocus New. We provide a phylogenetic analysis to assess the monophyly of Elipsocidae. Sixty-one characters are scored for 38 taxa, including the putative new genera and four outgroups. Monophyly of Elipsocidae is supported with the exclusion of four genera: Palmicola Mockford is transferred to Mesopsocidae; Sabulopsocus Smithers and Moapsocus, gen.�nov. for M. angelicus, sp. nov. are placed in the new family Sabulopsocidae; and Drymopsocus Smithers, which is the sister-taxon to Elipsocidae, is incertae sedis. Other taxa previously regarded as elipsocids are reassigned: Elipsocus impressus (Hagen), Elipsocus modestus Banks and Elipsocus boops (Hagen) are redescribed and respectively placed in Valenzuela Navás (Caeciliusidae), Dasydemella Enderlein (Dasydemellidae) and Mesopsocus Kolbe (Mesopsocidae). Lesneia Badonnel is placed in the new family Lesneiidae. The position of Eolachesilla Badonnel is discussed briefly. A key to genera and comment on characters diagnosing the family Elipsocidae is presented. We retain two subfamilies and discuss the merits of our proposed higher classification. A brief biogeographical interpretation suggests that the family has a southern origin and may be as old as the Mesozoic.

publication date

  • 2004