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Dustywing, lateral - Coniopteryx - male

Dustywing, lateral - Coniopteryx - Male
Sandia Mountains, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2011
Size: 0.98 mm
Download high resolution image here.

Any help in identifying this insect is appreciated.

I collected this specimen on Tree Spring Trl. 147, 8500 ft, Sandia Crest 7.5’ quadrangle in the Sandia Mountains, Bernalillo Co, NM from a Berlese funnel loaded with forest floor detritus collected from under and around a rotting log in a conifer forest.

I originally misidentified it as Hymenoptera from its four membranous wings and apparent small downward pointed stinger visible in the lateral closeup. The strongly sculpted thorax and short wrinkly abdomen make its appearance very un-wasplike, though. The abdomen's appearance is as it was when trapped in alcohol. It was treated with HMDS(1) to prevent shrivel from dessication.

This image is from a CombineZP processed stack of 41 images with a 28 micron step taken with a Nikon CFN Plan 4X 0.13 NA microscope objective + adapter/extension tube + Nikon D300 camera.

Images of this individual: tag all
Dustywing, lateral - Coniopteryx - male Dustywing, lateral closeup - Coniopteryx - male Dustywing, anterior - Coniopteryx - male

Moved from Dustywings.

This specimen's wing veins are clearly visible in the high resolution image linked above. From the keys of Johnson 1980(1), "One radio-media cross-vein in middle of fore wing" and "M of hind wing unforked" identifies it as Coniopteryginae and Coniopteryx, respectively. For comparison, veins so described are illustrated for a species of Coniopteryx in Strange 1981(2), Fig. 3. By contrast (to better understand the terminology), Johnson 1980(1), Fig. 1, illustrates the wings of a species of Aleuropteryginae with two R-M cross-veins and a forked hind wing M vein.

Expert check of my ID is welcome.

ID confirmed by Dr György Sziráki:
"Really nice photographs! The identification is correct: the specimen (a male) is surely a Coniopteryx. However, at species level, it is impossible to determine without examining the genitalia cleared with KOH. The visible part of the genitalia resembles C. (Xeroconiopteryx) texana, but the antennal hairs are different, and differently positioned. The specimen may even represent an undescribed species..."

wing venation rules Hymenoptera out at once...
very nice!

Moved from ID Request.

Coniopteryx sp.?
Thanks. The "dust" must have washed off in the alcohol trap of the Berlese funnel. There is a close resemblance to a posted image of Coniopteryx.

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