Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A new sharpshooter: Fonsecaiulus rectangularis

Sharpshooter is a term commonly used to describe a group of leafhoppers in the family Cicadellidae. One explanation for the use of this term is to describe the feeding damage of one of the species, on cotton. Researchers also reported "rapid and forcible ejection of minute drops of fluid". 

Disturbed sharpshooters will slip quickly behind branches and stems to avoid predators, an action not unlike the behavior of army sharpshooter riflemen who would hide behind the trunks of trees to avoid detection by the opposition as they passed by their position.

Our new species is actually one of three described in one publication. The specific name refers to the shape of the reproductive organ.

For the experts: Three new sharpshooter species of the genus Fonsecaiulus Young, 1977 are described and illustrated from specimens collected in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, F. rectangularis sp. n. and F. guttiformis sp. n. , and in the Brazilian Cerrado, F. filiformis sp. n. The descriptions are based on features from the external morphology, color pattern, and male and female genital structures. Comparisons of the three new taxa with the remaining six Fonsecaiulus species are provided. An identification key to males of all known species of the genus is given.

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