Research Article
Research Article
A new species of the leafhopper genus Maiestas Distant from Australia (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Deltocephalinae, Deltocephalini)
expand article infoYani Duan, Christopher H. Dietrich§, Yalin Zhang|
‡ Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, China
§ Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, United States of America
| Northwest A & F University, Yangling, China
Open Access


A new leafhopper species Maiestas irwini sp. n. is described and illustrated from Australia. A checklist of the genus from the Australian region is provided together with a key to species for males.


Auchenorrhyncha , morphology, new species, taxonomy


The grassland leafhopper genus Maiestas was established by Distant (1917) with the type species Maiestas illustris Distant from the Seychelles. It belongs to the Deltocephalus group as reviewed by Webb and Viraktamath (2009), as part of a larger study of Old World Deltocephalini and re-assessment of Maiestas Distant. Subsequently, Zhang and Duan (2011) revised the group in China and currently the genus comprises 98 species. It differs from Deltocephalus Burmeister and Recilia Edwards by the aedeagal shaft being at most only slightly curved dorsally with its apex not notched and sometimes produced into a thin process or spine with the gonopore apical on the dorsal surface. In this paper, a new species of Maiestas Distant is described from Australia bringing the total for the Australian region to six species (see checklist). A checklist and a key to these species for males are provided. Images of all previously known Australian species can be seen on Fletcher’s (2016) website.

Materials and methods

Morphological terminology follows Dietrich (2005). Digital photographs were taken with a QImaging Micropublisher 3.3 digital camera mounted on an Olympus BX41 stereo microscope and with a Nikon D1x digital SLR camera configured with lenses by Microptics, Digital Lab XLT system. Photographs were modified with Adobe Photoshop CS. Abbreviations used herein are INHS: Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign Ill, USA; QDPI: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane, Australia; QM: Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia.


Maiestas Distant

Maiestas Distant, 1917: 312. Type species: Maiestas illustris Distant, 1917, by monotypy.

Togacephalus Matsumura, 1940: 38. Type species: Deltocephalus distincta Motschulsky, 1859, by original designation.

Inazuma Ishihara, 1953: 15. Type species: Deltocephalus dorsalis Motschulsky, 1859, by original designation.

Inemadara Ishihara, 1953: 48. Type species: Deltocephalus oryzae Matsumura, 1902, by original designation.

Insulanus Linnavuori, 1960: 303. Type species: Stirellus subviridis Metcalf, 1946, by original designation.


The Old World.

Checklist of species of Maiestas Distant from the Australian region

Note: see Fletcher (2016) for full synonymy.

Maiestas dorsalis (Motschulsky, 1859) (Qld, NT, NSW, Oriental region)

Maiestas irwini sp. n. (Qld)

Maiestas knighti Webb & Viraktamath, 2009 (ACT, NSW, NT, Tas, Vic, WA, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Guam)

Maiestas lucindae (Kirkaldy, 1907) (Qld)

Maiestas samuelsoni (Knight, 1976) (Norfolk Island, New Zealand (Kermadec Islands), Fiji, New Caledonia)

Maiestas vetus (Knight, 1975) (ACT, NSW, NT, Vic, WA, NZ)

Key to species of Maiestas Distant from the Australian region (males)

Note: male genitalia of M. lucindae is unknown and this species is therefore omitted from the key.

1 Forewing with dark zig-zag marking (Webb and Viraktamath 2009, fig. 36o) M. dorsalis
Forewing without zig-zag marking 2
2 Aedeagal shaft with ventral margin extending beyond gonopore by approximately 5× apical width of shaft (Webb and Viraktamath 2009, fig. 35h) M. vetus
Aedeagal shaft with ventral margin extending beyond gonopore by approximately apical width of shaft 3
3 Style apophysis robust (Fig. 2E) M. irwini sp. n.
Style apophysis slim 4
4 Subgenital plate lateral margin slightly convex (Webb and Viraktamath 2009, fig. 39d) M. knighti
Subgenital plate lateral margin slightly concave (Webb and Viraktamath 2009, fig. 41d) M. samuelsoni

Maiestas irwini sp. n.

Figs 1, 2


Male: 2.6–3.0 mm.

Coloration and morphology

Ground color stramineous marked with orange and fuscous (Fig. 1A–C). Fore margin of head with fuscous marks and light fasciae extending to scutellum, coronal sulcus prominent (Fig. 1A–B). Face mostly brown, with paired white arcs corresponding to muscle scars of frontoclypeus (Fig. 1D). Pronotum with three pairs of fasciae. Scutellum with three fasciae (Fig. 1A–B). Forewing pale ochraceous, with two distinct, irregular fuscous maculae, one at the apex of the clavus and the other at the base of the central anteapical cell, veins contrastingly pale, veins of apex bordered with fuscous. Mesosternum light brown. Femora and tibiae with fuscous marks (Fig. 1C).

Figure 1. 

Maiestas irwini sp. n. A, B habitus, dorsal view C habitus, lateral view D face.

Head wider than pronotum, crown depressed, anterior margin distinctly angulate in dorsal view, slightly longer than distance between eyes (Fig. 1A–B). Ocellus closely adjacent to eye on anterior margin of vertex (Fig. 1A–C). Anteclypeus tapering toward the apex, not extended to ventral margin of face. Lorum semicircular, narrower than anteclypeus, well separated from lateral margin of face (Fig. 1D). Pronotum nearly as long as vertex (Fig. 1A–B). Forewing macropterous, with four apical and three anteapical cells, inner anteapical cell open basally, costal area with one cross vein (Fig. 1C).

Male genitalia

Pygofer lobe with numerous apical macrosetae, longer than its height, hind margin rounded (Fig. 2A–C). Subgenital plate subtriangular, lateral margin convex, length nearly as long as width. Valve rectangular (Fig. 2D). Style preapical lobe angulated, apophysis digitate, slightly laterally curved (Fig. 2E). Connective slightly longer than aedeagus. Aedeagal shaft short, stout, more or less of uniform width, curved dorsally with ventral margin produced into small spine beyond gonopore (Fig. 2F–G).

Figure 2. 

Maiestas irwini sp. n. A male pygofer lobe, lateral view B, C male pygofer and segments X–XI, dorsal view D valve, subgenital plates and styles, ventral view E style, dorsal view F, G connective and aedeagus, dorsal and lateral view, respectively.

Material examined

Holotype: 1 male, 4km up Black Mountain Road, via Kuranda, 14.ix.–12.x.1982, malaise trap (QM, T234944, ex QDPI). Paratypes: 1 male, same data as holotype (QDPI); 2 males, same data as previous but 14.ix–12.x.1982, G. Simpson (QDPI); 1 male, 1 female, same data as holotype but 12–26.x.1982 (QDPI); 3 males, 3 females, Moggill State Forest, 26 km W Brisbane, Queensland, 17.x.1983, M. E. Irwin, malaise trap in gully in eucalyptus (INHS); 1 male, Mount Baldy Rd via Atherton, N Queensland, vi.1981, J. D. Brown, malaise trap (QDPI); 1 male, Tully Falls Rd, 10.iii.1956, J. L. Gressitt, light trap (BPB).


The male genitalia of this species are similar to those of M. scriptus (Distant), from India (Webb & Viraktamath, 2009, Fig. 33) with a short and broad subgenital plate with lateral margin well rounded (Fig. 2D), style apophysis relatively long and straight (Fig. 2E), and aedeagal shaft short (Fig. 2F–G), but M. irwini differs in color pattern, the more strongly produced head (Fig. 1A–B), and less acute aedeagal apex in dorsal view (Fig. 2F). The new species differs from other Australian species (see Fletcher, 2016) in coloration and genital morphology.


This species is named for M. E. Irwin who collected much of the type series.


We sincerely thank Dr Murray J. Fletcher, Orange Agricultural Institute, Australia for providing additional locality details of this species. We express our sincere thanks to M. D. Webb, the Natural History Museum, London, UK and J. R. Schrock, Emporia State University, USA for revising this manuscript. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31000968), Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (1608085MC55), Anhui Provincial Outstanding Young Talent Support Plan Key Projects (gxyqZD2016036), and Anhui Provincial Colleges and Universities Natural Science Foundation (KJ2015A006). The senior author was supported by the National Scholarship Fund of China to pursue research at the Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, USA, from August 2013 to August 2014.


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