Bombyliidae (Bee Flies) - Southern Africa's Journal

Journal archives for December 2023

December 27, 2023

Euligyra nigripennis (Loew, 1852)

Original description by Loew:

nigricans, tota tomento obscure aureo, nitente tecta, quod in thorace brunnescit; alae totae aequaliter nigroinfumatae, cellulis marginalibus quatuor.

Groundcolour blackish, but totally covered with dark golden shining tomentum, brownish on the thorax; wings all uniformly black, with four marginal cells.

Description & key by Hesse:

Distribution: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Tanzania, Zambia

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 27, 2023 12:13 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Litorhina nyasae (Ricardo, 1901)

Description by Ricardo:

Red, with a black dorsal line on the abdomen.
Face yellowish brown, with black pubescence and whitish scaly hairs.
Proboscis not quite so long as the fore femora and tibiae together.
Hind part of head red, with white scaly hairs bordering the eyes.
The collar is composed of yellow-brown hairs, with a few black ones intermixed.
Thorax brown, with black pubescence and bristles and yellowish scaly hairs; the pubescence on the sides, the breast, and above the halteres consists of yellow-brown hairs and a few black ones, and a white tuft above the base of the wings.
Scutellum reddish, black at the base.
Abdomen bright red, with the first segment black, and a dorsal black stripe, consisting of triangular spots with their bases on the fore borders and their apices on the hind borders of the segments, diminishing in size and extending from the second to the sixth segment, becoming fainter on the last two; the last segment is wholly red; there is a short line of white scaly hairs on the posterior border of the first segment, and on the anterior border of the second, and an oblong spot of thick white scaly hairs on the posterior border of the third segment; the last two segments are more or less covered with white scaly hairs.
Legs red, with black pubescence and bristles.

Illustration of wing:

Description by Hesse:
Easily recognized by the wing-pattern in which the infuscation in marginal cell extends farther apicalwards than in other South African species except dentiferus in which there is however also a projection down the first posterior cell and in which the entire body is reddish and the white scaling across tergite 3 is band-like.

Distribution: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa ("Transvaal"), Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 27, 2023 02:02 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Litorhina macroptera (Loew, 1860)

Description by Loew:

Body, apart from the usual reddish humeri, postalar calli, scutellum and extensive reddish on sides of abdomen and across hind margins of tergites, mostly black above.
Collar yellow-brownish, bordered with black hairs on its posterior edge. On the lateral edge of the thorax, as well as on the sides and in front of the wings, the hair is yellow-brown.
Three longitudinal stripes on the thorax.
On the upper side of the abdomen, white scales form a transverse line on each side of the first ring and
there is a patch of white scales on sides of tergite 3 in form of a transverse quadrangular spot; white scaling also completely covers the last two rings; the remaining scaling is partly brownish, partly black, without a clear separation of the two colors.

Description by Hesse:

Wing illustrated in Loew:

This is the common Litorhina species of the Cape and is easily recognized by its characteristic wing-pattern, long stylar element and the long proboscis.

Distribution: Namibia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, Western Cape)

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 27, 2023 03:43 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 29, 2023

Spogostylum punctipenne (Wiedemann, 1821)

Wings vitreous or hyaline; extreme base, costal cell and anterior basal part of first basal cell subopaquely yellowish, with 6 or 7 brownish or blackish brown spots: three large conspicuous ones at base of vein between basal cells, at base of third vein and on middle cross vein region respectively, two smaller
ones at base of fourth posterior cell and base of upper cubital branch respectively, a still smaller one at base of third posterior cell and sometimes with a faint spot at apex of discoidal cell; veins yellowish or reddish brown; stumps present at bases of both second vein and upper cubital branch.

Photos of Wiedemann's type:

Description by Loew:

Wing illustrated in Loew, fig 15:

Description by Hesse:

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 29, 2023 02:26 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 30, 2023

Toxophora coeruleiventris Karsch, 1887

Ground colour black, scutellum and abdomen blue, with white longitudinal stripes forming a pattern: with three dorsal stripes, with two wider lateral ones, one middle stripe, shortened anteriorly, and with two wider ventral stripes.
The female has almost all of the wing infuscated dark brown except for a narrow hyaline posterior edge, in the male the infuscation does not extend beyond the longitudinal vein that delimits the discoidal cell at the rear.

Original description by Karsch:

Key and description by Hesse:
More than front half of wings very dark smoky brown, the infusion extending in apical half almost to hind border or apices of all the cells beyond third posterior cell; longish scales on outer sides or at least on more than outer basal halves of first antennal joints white; pale scaling on abdomen entirely white, that along middle above in form of a narrow white line; dark scaling on thorax posteriorly, on scutellum and on abdomen above very characteristically deep purplish or ultramarine blue, with a submetallic sheen; venter dark-scaled or with a broad central stripe of dark scales; hind tibiae entirely dark-scaled, only a patch at base above shining silvery.

Dirstribution: Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Sengal, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Province), Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 30, 2023 08:23 AM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 31, 2023

Heterotropus munroi, Bezzi 1926

Heterotropus is a monophyletic genus of small, rather bare flies with hyaline wings. Coloration of body with
distinctive pale yellow/ivory/cream and black markings. Larvae are predatory and live in loose sand.

This species is easily distinguished amongst the 5 known Heterotropus spp from Southern Africa by:
Wing with anal cell (cup) closed and stalked, other marginal cells open; discal cell longer than wide.
Scutum and scutellum not all black, scutum black with two mediolateral yellow stripes
Head ivory with black markings.
Abdominal terga black with narrow pale hind margins.

Description of female by Hesse 1938:

Description of male by Greathead 2006:

Photos of a female from Namibia (BMNH):

Taxonomy: The subfamily Heterotropinae sould probably raised to family level. Publication of the biological data on the Afrotropical species of this genus (Yeates and Irwin, 1992

was a certain breakthrough since these findings suggest that Heterotropus Loew does not belong to Bombyliidae but should be elevated to a separate family. Also, the genus Heterotropus clearly differs from the known representatives of Bombyliidae in the morphology of the wing, antenna, abdomen, and body pubescence.
(N. P. Krivosheina (2012). The position of the genusHeterotropusin the system of Brachycera-Orthorrhapha (Diptera). , 92(7), 798–807. doi:10.1134/s0013873812070068

Observation on iNat:

Posted on December 31, 2023 06:44 AM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Exoprosopa argentifrons Macquart, 1855

This species is unmistakable due to the sharply defined or dimidiate, very dark basal and anterior infuscation in wings of which the hind margin is irregular, with deep indentations and distinct extensions or projections opposite base of fourth posterior cell and across apical part of discoidal cell, the anterior infuscation usually ending truncately in marginal cell.
The abdomen, especially in males, usually has a pattern of black, yellowish and whitish scales which is not arranged in regular bands and also has longish scales in tufts on sides among the hairs in both sexes. The head in front and the posterior part or sides of abdomen in males sometimes with specially modified very brilliant, silvery scales.

Description by Hesse:

Wing illustrated in Hesse

Photos on PINDIP:

A common species in the Cape.

iNat observation:

Posted on December 31, 2023 03:52 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Anthrax triatomus Hesse, 1956

Wings with infuscation distinctly broken up with large gap in front of large triangular discal spot, extending broadly right across to costal cell; with three constant and large spots on cross veins and a distinct whitish spot near base of first basal cell.

Description by Hesse:

Wing illustrated in Hesse:

iNat observation:

Posted on December 31, 2023 07:01 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Anthrax trisinuatus Hesse, 1956

This species has mainly black scaling on the body above, with white scales on abdomen present across hind border of tergite 2 and interrupted across 3 and 4 where they are dense on sides only and very dense on almost entire last three tergites in
Wings hyaline, but with an anterior and costal very dark blackish brown or very dark chocolate-brownish infuscation extending obliquely across from apex of second basal cell to near apex of costal cell; its hind border with three indentations.

Description by Hesse 1956:

Wing illustrated in Hesse:
Fig 17:

A common species in the Western and Northern Cape.

iNat observation:

Posted on December 31, 2023 07:38 PM by traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comments | Leave a comment