Diario del proyecto Insects - Southern Africa (identified for the 1st time on iNat or difficult to identify)

Archivos de diario de marzo 2024

02 de marzo de 2024

Comythovalgus fasciculatus (Gyllenhal, 1817)

Comythovalgus species are short, thick and very small and have many tufts of squamose hair on thorax and elytra. Elytra truncate at apex, much broader than throrax. Head retractile. Sexual differences can be found in the teeth of the front tibiae (5-dentate in males; 3-dentate in females). This sexual dimorphism was previously mistakenly interpreted as a species difference.
Only two species have been described from Southern Africa: Comythovalgus plumatus (Fåhraeus, 1857) and Comythovalgus fasciculatus (Gyllenhal, 1817). The species described by Fåhraeus (https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/48646#page/67/mode/1up) could be conspecific with Comythovalgus fasciculatus, since sexual dimorphism in the tibia was not yet known at that time and the descriptions do not mention any other substantial differences other than colour of setae.

Description and illustration in:
Péringuey, L. Descriptive catalogue of the coleoptera of South Africa (Lucanidae and Scarabaeidae)

Fuscous, entirely covered with extremely dense scale-like, appressed, light fulvous hairs, and having in well-preserved examples a very plain, lighter-coloured patch of scales on each side of the scutellum; clypeus acuminate, slightly emarginate at tip; head bearing two small fascicles of hairs; prothorax with ten fascicles of squamose hairs disposed as follows: two in the middle of the anterior margin, two in the centre of the disk, two in the centre of the base, and two on each side of the discoidal parts; the two anterior tufts are sometimes greatly reduced; elytra almost twice as broad as the prothorax, plane, narrower at apex than at base, plane, vertical laterally, leaving the sides of the dorsal part of the abdominal segments uncovered as well as the propygidium, they have on each side four fascicles of squamiform hairs, viz., one somewhat bi-fasciculate at the shoulder, two along the outer margin, and one at the apex; the broad propygidium has two long ones at the apical margin, and the pygidium two in the centre, and two smaller ones at the apex; anterior tibiae with five outer teeth in the male, three of these are strong and the two intermediate ones very small, only tri-dentate in the female, the pygidium of which is shaped as in the male, intermediate and hind tibiae sub-fasciculate.
Length 5-5.25 mm.; width 3.5 mm.

Distribution: South Africa (Eastern Cape: Uitenhage, Port St. John and KZN: Durban, Maritzburg) and Zimbabwe.

Original description:

iNat observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11045384

Publicado el marzo 2, 2024 10:06 MAÑANA por traianbertau traianbertau | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

04 de marzo de 2024

Plagiostenopterina submetallica (Loew 1852)

Plagiostenopterina is a large genus with 10 Afrotropical species described. Plagiostenopterina is distinct in having microtrichia on the face, setulae on the scutellum, widely distributed over the surface and not restricted to the lateral margin.

Plagiostenopterina submetallica is blackish-aeneous metallic with a short whitish pubescence on thorax and abdomen. Frons entirely shining brownish-red. Antennae blackish with long thin arista, with apical palette in the male. Wing cell br is brown in colour and the costal margin is dark, and there is a dark infuscation along the crossvein dm-m. Knobs of halters pale yellow.

Original description:
Translated from Latin:
Greenish-black grayish, opaque; the costa of the hyaline wings is narrowly black-margined from the stigma to the apex of the fourth longitudinal vein; a black stripe runs from the base of the wing to the anterior crossvein (then thinner, finally fading) to the posterior crossvein which is black-margined.

Wing illustrated in:
Lamb, C.G. 1914. No. XV.—Diptera: Heteroneuridae, Ortalidae, Trypetidae, Sepsiae, Micropezidae, Drosophilidae, Geomyzidae, Milichidae. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. Second Series–Zoology 16

Key and redescription in:
Hendel, F. 1914. Die Arten der Platystominen. Abh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 8(1)

Type locality: Inhambane, Mozambique

iNat observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/164647036

Publicado el marzo 4, 2024 12:21 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Paropioxys negus Distant, 1906

Paropioxys negus is one of about twenty species of Paropioxys described from Africa. In South Africa it occurs together with the very similar Paropioxys jucundus (= P. gloriosus), from which it differs by the usually bronzy or olive brown tegmina, the brown hindwings, and most noticably by a broad black transverse band at the anterior margin of the head continuing onto the basal margin of the frons. In contrast, P. jucundus only has a few small spots in front of the eyes and is usually greenish in color. The color of the forewings may be subject to variation, however, and the the markings on the face should be more reliable for identification. Additionally, both species have only two dark spots on the top of the head between the eyes (as opposed to 4 in some similar species).

Paropioxys negus has been recorded from South Africa, Namibia, and Ethiopia, indicating that it probably has a fairly broad distribution.

Description from Distant, 1906:
Head and thorax above ochraceous, vertex with the anterior margin and two spots near base black; pronotum with a transverse series of four black spots; mesonotum with two small transverse linear spots on anterior margin, four discal subtransverse spots, and a spot near apex, black; abdomen above pale sanguineous, slightly greyishly tomentose and tinged with ochraceous on basal half; face stramineous with the basal margin black; clypeus ochraceous, black at base and with a central longitudinal sanguineous line; anterior and intermediate legs pale ochraceous, coxæ, trochanters, the whole of posterior legs, and abdomen beneath, sanguineous; tarsi black, the base of apical joint sanguineous; tegmina tawny brown, more palely finely maculate and paler on costal and apical areas, four large spots on costal area, two on inner area, and a double series (some 15 in number) of apical spots black; wings bronzy brown, fuscous on apical area, where there are nine or ten marginal black spots, and subviolaceous on posterior and anal margins; anterior tibiæ dilated, much spotted with black, and with a sanguineous apical spot

Observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?taxon_id=1538070

Publicado el marzo 4, 2024 05:29 TARDE por psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

05 de marzo de 2024

Trupanea decora (Loew 1861)

A whitish-greyish-blueish fly with a stellate subapical wing spot.

Original description & illustration of wing in:
Loew, H. 1861. Über die afrikanischen Trypetina. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 5
Translated from Latin:
Gray, head and legs yellow, proboscis not genticulate, scutellum with two bristles, ovipositor black, brownish-hairy, equal in length to the three last segments of the abdomen taken together; wings white-hyaline, with large subapical black spot (emitting four parallel rays towards the posterior margin, one to the costa, not emitting any towards the apex and including a single costal drop).

Type locality: Cape of Good Hope

iNat observation:

Publicado el marzo 5, 2024 10:51 MAÑANA por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de marzo de 2024

Xylocopa (Xylomelissa) lugubris Gerstäcker 1857

A small black Xylocopa species with white-griseous setae laterally and often ventrally on the abdomen. Body length 12-15 mm.
This species shows in both sexes considerable variation in the colour of pubescence.

Male: Pubescence either all black or with head, thorax, femora and tibiae pale brown or black and brown, all tarsi orange, abdomen above and below black, pale brown or white. Clypeus pale yellow.
Female: Pubescence mostly black, ventrolateral parts of abdomen black or white, middle and hind tarsi black, yellow or orange.

Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Original description in:
Gerstäcker, C.E.A. 1857. Diagnosen der von Peters in Mossambique gesammelten Käfer und Hymenoptera (Apiariae, Vespariae). Bericht über die Verhandlungen der Klg. Sächsischen Gesellschaft (Akademie) der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.
Redescription and illustration in Peters Reise: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/103636#page/475/mode/1up

Type locality: Tette, Mozambique

Description in Friese 1909:

Description in Eardley 1983:

Photos on Exotic Bee ID:

iNat observations:
Male: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/171241767
Female: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/200403139

Publicado el marzo 6, 2024 01:13 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Callipteroma sexguttata Motschulsky, 1863

A distinctive encyrtid wasp that holds its spotted wings upright in life. Funicle and clava unicolorous, no segments yellowish white; anterior margin of forewing with 3 hyaline spots.
Callipteroma sexguttata
Noyes, J. S. (1978). A Revision of the Encyrtid Genus Callipteroma Motchulsky (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 26(3), 539-553. https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO9780539

Publicado el marzo 6, 2024 04:43 TARDE por alandmanson alandmanson | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de marzo de 2024

Oestrus variolosus (Loew 1863)

Members of the Oestrine genera Oestrus, Gedoelstia, Kirkioestrus and Rhinoestrus look superficially similar to one another, having mottled patterns of black, brown, gold and white.

In Oestrus variolosus, the wings are long and narrow; the cross vein r-m is situated before the middle of the discal cell; wing vein M1 without a stump vein. Median carina of antennal fovea interrupted between the third antennal segments; parafrontalia with pits. Thorax mahogany brown, covered mainly with golden shimmering pruinosity. Scutellum brownish yellow, the integument very finely rough, with a small number of black spots. Abdomen relatively elongated, a little longer than the thorax, light reddish brown at the base, on the ventral side and on the flanks; very dark brown almost black at the posterior edge of the 1st segment and on the dorsal region of the following rings. The integument is almost completely covered with a shimmering pruinosity with velvety black, golden or silver-gold reflections.

Key to genera and species in:
Papavero, N. 1977. Subfamily Oestrinae Leach. The World Oestridae (Diptera), Mammals and Continental Drift, 71–98. doi:10.1007/978-94-010-1306-2_10

Description and illustrations in:
Rodhain, J., and Bequaert, J. 1916. Matériaux pour une étude monographique des Diptres parasites de
l’Afrique. Deuxime partie. Revision des Oestrinae du continent africain. Bulletin scientifique de la France et de la Belgique, 7 (1-2)

Hosts: Antelopes of the tribes Alcelaphini and Hippotragini: Connochaetes taurinus; Alcelaphus buselaphus and A. lichtensteinii; Damaliscus lunatus, and D. dorcas; Hippotragus niger; Oryx gazella.
Nasal bots spend a significant part of their larval life in the nasal cavities and paranasal sinuses of mammals. They are grouped in the Oestrinae (sensu Zumpt, 1965) and comprise five genera whose larvae parasitize those ungulates which have suitable noses and sinuses. Adult females lay first stage larvae in and around the nostrils of the host. The remainder of their parasitic life cycles is completed in the nasal passages, paranasal sinus cavities or peripharyngeal regions. Mature larvae drop to the ground and pupate into flies.

Distribution: Afrotropical. Type locality: Bloemfontein, South Africa

iNat observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/201560341

Publicado el marzo 7, 2024 06:10 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de marzo de 2024

Leptocoris cinnamonensis Izzard 1960

A robust yellowish species with hemelytra black-margined, often brachypterous. Pronotum appears raiesed and is coarsely dotted. Scutellum shaped like an equilateral triangle.

Description in:
Göllner-Scheiding, U. 1980. Revision der afrikanischen Arten sowie Bemerkungen zu weiteren Arten der Gattungen Leptocoris Hahn, 1833, und Boisea Kirkaldy, 1910. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, N. F. 27: 103–148. https://doi.org/10.1002/mmnd.19800270113

Translated from German:
Yellow-colored, robust and broad, quite typical animals with sparse, short dark pilosity, pronotum roughly dotted and lateral edge of the corium black-brown.
Head yellowish, convex and broad, clypeus slightly longer than paraclypeus and at the end narrowly dark colored; Antennae blackish-brownish with strong segments and short protruding pilosity; pronotum unicolor yellow, more or less clearly convex, roughly dotted and wrinkled with non-continuous median line, posterior corners slightly rounded; scutellum yellow, about as wide as it is long, finely patterned and with a dark spot above; corium of the hemelytra yellow with black-brown lateral margin, sparsely coarsely dotted and wrinkled, membrane dark brown, often brachypterous; legs black-brown; back yellowish; underside yellowish colored, anterior thorax segments each blackish-brown; rostrum reaching the hind coxae.

Distribution: Namibia, Botswana, South Africa

iNat observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&taxon_id=1539067

Publicado el marzo 8, 2024 06:28 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de marzo de 2024

Meliprivesa disturbata (Melichar, 1898)

The genus Meliprevisa has been decribed by Melichar (first as Neoprivesa, later renamed to Meliprivesa by Metcalf 1952) and contains only two Afrotropical species.
The shape of the tegmina is the same as in Privesa: Tegmina twice as long as wide.
Description of wing venation in:
Melichar, L. 1923. Homoptera; fam. Acanaloniidae, Flatidae et Ricaniidae. Genera Insectorum. Bruxelles 182

Description of Meliprivesa distrubata in:
Melichar, L. 1898. Monographie der Ricaniiden (Homoptera). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums. Wien 13
Yellowish-brown, frons as wide as long, significantly less narrowed towards the clypeus than in exuta, the lateral margins almost semicircular, pale yellowish-white, with three distinct carinae, which reach only to the middle of the frons, along the upper edge of the frons a broad brown transverse band, which is interrupted by the yellowish-white carinae of the frons, in the middle of the frons a brown transverse spot. Clypeus keeled in the middle, with a series of oblique transverse stripes on either side of the carina. On the side of the head two black dots in front of the edge of the eyes, the antennal pits black, ocelli ruby ​​red; on the thoracic lobe of the pronotum a large black spot. Vertex and pronotum yellowish brown, with indistinct darker spots. Scutellum strongly arched, rusty brown on the disc, with three longitudinal carinae, the bifurcation of the lateral carinae very indistinct, the lateral carinae united with the median carina far from the anterior edge of the scutellum. Tegmina marked similarly to exuta, on the costal edge three hyaline spots, the first two are semicircular, the second, middle one is the largest and does not contain a dark marginal spot, the third in front of the apical tip is small and square. From the edge of the clavus (namely from the angle of the clavus), a brown wavy line runs towards the costa, which disappears in the darker color of the costal margin between the first two costal spots. This line is absent in exuta. The apical margin is speckled with numerous hyaline spots. Hindwings glassy, ​​with brown veins, which are somewhat denser than in exuta, the posterior edge broadly smoky brown. Thorax ventrally and legs yellowish white, the tips of the spines and the claws dark, abdomen yellow brown.

Type locality: Maputo, Mozambique

iNat observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/195068512

Publicado el marzo 11, 2024 07:41 MAÑANA por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de marzo de 2024

Identification of encyrtid wasps

Encyrtidae is a family of small (< 5 mm) parasitic wasps. These are fairly easy to identify to family level (with reasonable-quality photos), but it is far more difficult to find the genus, unless the individual is from one of the few genera that are easily recognised.

These are features of the family:

  • Large mesopleuron, usually covering more than half of the thorax (mesosoma) in side view.
  • Mid coxae join the thorax near the middle of the mesopleuron.

annotated photo from wikimedia commons
Encyrtid parasitic wasp - lateral view. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Encyrtidae_lateral_view_with_annotations.jpg

  • Mesoscutum transverse (width greater than length), and generally not segmented by notauli.
  • The axillae are usually visible as triangles with two long sides, one adjacent to the mesoscutum and the other adjacent to the scutellum; the short side of the triangle is adjacent to the base of the forewing. The axillae touch, or nearly touch, medially; appearing as wedges between the mesoscutum and the scutellum.

annotated photo from wikimedia commons
Encyrtid parasitic wasp - dorsal view. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Encyrtidae_dorsal_view_with_annotations.jpg

  • Cercal plates (at the base of the cercal bristles) are advanced; rather than being near the posterior tip of the metasoma (abdomen); they are usually within the anterior (front) two-thirds of the metasoma.

annotated photo from wikimedia commons

Encyrtid parasitic wasp - dorso-lateral view. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Encyrtidae_dorso-lateral_view_with_annotations.jpg

  • In Encyrtidae with fully developed wings, the marginal vein of the forewing is usually shorter than stigmal vein; there is also an oblique band on the forewing that lacks setae (a linea calva).

annotated photo from wikimedia commons
Forewing of Anagyrus minipedicellus - from Zu, G. H., Zhang, X., & Zhang, Y. Z. (2018). A new species of Anagyrus (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae) from Malaysia, parasitoid of Lanceacoccus sp.(Hemiptera, Pseudococcidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 65, 141-148. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forewing_of_Anagyrus_minipedicellus_from_Malaysia_Fig7_Zu_et_al_2018.jpg

There is a key to the Afrotropical encyrtid genera (Prinsloo and Anneke, 1979 https://journals.co.za/doi/pdf/10.10520/AJA00128789_2641), but effective use of the key usually needs a specimen under a microscope. I am in the process of using the key as a basis for a guide that includes photographs, created mainly to see whether I can get my head around the group (I'm still floundering). The guide (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/African_Arthropods/Afrotropical_Encyrtidae_Key) is on Wikiversity as part of a project called "African Arthropods" (https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/African_Arthropods).

Please feel free to edit or add to the Wikiversity project.

Publicado el marzo 15, 2024 09:19 MAÑANA por alandmanson alandmanson | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario