Trichardis effrena, Londt, 2008

Londt, Jason G. H., 2008, A review of Afrotropical Trichardis Hermann, 1906, and the description of the first Oriental representative of the genus (Diptera: Asilidae: Laphriinae), African Invertebrates 49 (2), pp. 171-171 : 182-183

publication ID 10.5733/afin.049.0210

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Trichardis effrena

sp. nov.

Trichardis effrena sp. n.

Figs 4 View Figs 1– 4 , 15, 16 View Figs 11–16 , 59 View Fig 59

Etymology: From Latin effrena (unrestrained). Refers to the absence of the costal vein along the posterior margin of the wing.

Description (based on holotype in excellent condition):

Head: Brown-orange, entirely fine silver pruinose. Antenna brown-orange except for distal part of postpedicel and style which are red-brown, setae orange; postpedicel clavate (L:D=2.4:1). Mystax uniformly shiny orange. Ocellar tubercle with 4 macrosetae. Proboscis proximally orange-brown distally dark red-brown, palpi orange-brown.

Thorax: Brown-orange with some red-brown areas, extensively fine silver pruinose. Postpronotum medially pruinose, laterally apruinose; mesonotum brown-orange with red-brown dorsal stripe and laterally situated broad bands, apruinose except for narrow lateral and posterior margins. Scutellum entirely apruinose.Anepisternum with orange posterior macroseta, extensively pruinose except for small anteroventral area. Proepimeron pruinose; katepisternum red-brown pruinose posteriorly, apruinose anteriorly; anepisternum entirely pruinose. Legs: Brown-orange (femora, tarsomere 5 and hind tibiae darker), pulvilli and empodium of similar length. Hind femur orange-brown, length:height ratio 3.4:1, ventral tubercles poorly developed. Hind tibia lacking ventrodistal spur. Wing: 4.6× 1.8 mm. Costal vein strongly developed only as far as wing tip, very weak or absent along entire posterior margin of wing. Membrane not extensively microtrichose—discal and r 5 cell almost entirely lacking microtrichiae.

Abdomen: Brown-orange, macrosetae orange, fine setulae pale yellow.T2 brown-orange, apruinose except for strong silver pruinose spot posterolaterally.

ơ genitalia ( Figs 15, 16 View Figs 11–16 ): Epandrium in lateral view longer than basal part of gonocoxite (i.e. excluding distal projection of gonocoxite and gonostylus). Proctiger moderately dorsoventrally compressed. Hypandrium greatly reduced and simple. Gonocoxite in ventral view without median projections distally and with a distal row of about 7 macrosetae; mediodistal projection stout, with strongly upturned and scerotised distal end. Gonostylus fairly stout, with broadly rounded, fairly straight distal end. Aedeagal prongs small, more or less straight and with a small terminal end.

Holotype: SOUTH AFRICA: ơ ‘ South Africa: N Cape / Witsand Nature Reserve / 28°33.975'S: 022°29.279'E / 1150 m J Londt & T Dikow / 31.i.2004 Acacia mixed / woodland. Reception area’ ( NMSA). GoogleMaps

Paratypes: NAMIBIA: 1^‘ Brit. S. W. – Africa / Kalahari / L. Schultze S.’, ‘ Hoplistomere / cribrata / Lw / Kalahari / ı 968. a. / Det Dr. F. Hermann [sideways]’ (ZMHB). SOUTH AFRICA: 2 ơ 2^‘ S:Africa: NW Province / Molopo Game Reserve / Phiri Camp area / 25°46'43''S: 22°55'53''E / 990 m 14.iii.2003 J Londt / Acacia Erogrostis savannah’; 1^‘ S Africa: N Cape #15 / 14 km S of Hotazel / 27 19'S: 22 54'E 1050 m / Date: 14.iii.1991 / Londt & Whittington / Ga-Mogara River bed’; 1^‘ South Africa: N Cape / Vaalbos National Park / Riverside Picnic site 1055 m / 28°27.470'S 024°19.994'E / 28–29.i.2004 JGH Londt & / T Dikow Acacia savannah’; 1 ơ ‘S Africa: N Cape / Witsand Farm, 28°32'S / 22°30'E. 2–4.ii.1979 / B/ Lamoral, I Bampton / J. Barnley. Malaise tr’; 4 ơ 4^‘ South Africa: N Cape / Witsand Nature Reserve / 28°33.615'S 022°29.105'E / 1160 m J Londt & T Dikow / 31.i.– 1.ii.2004 Acacia / savannah & white dune area’; 2 ơ 1^‘ South Africa: N Cape / Witsand Nature Reserve / 28°33.673'S 022°29.656'E / 1200 m J Londt & T Dikow / 30.i.– 1.ii.2004 Acacia / savannah. Red sandy ridge’; 6 ơ 1^same data as holotype.

Other material examined: I have seen the following specimen, identified as testacea by Engel, which appears to belong to effrena . Because the locality is so far removed from the Northern Cape records, I refrain from including the specimen in the type series. ZIMBABWE: 1 ơ ‘Victoria Falls [17°55'S: 25°51'E], / 4.i.1920 / Rhodesia / Museum’, Pres. by / Imp. Inst. Ent. / Brit. Mus. / 1930-298.’, ‘ Trichardis testacea / Merh. / Dr. E. O. Engel det.’ (BMNH).

Distribution and biology: The species is a southern African endemic, being found in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and in western Zimbabwe ( Fig. 59 View Fig 59 ). While I hesitate to give type status to the single Zimbabwean specimen because of its isolated position relative to the other records, I am fairly confident that the specimen is correctly labelled and identified. Botswana is generally poorly sampled and so this kind of apparently disjuct distributional pattern should not cause undue concern. Other asilid species have been shown to have a similar distributional pattern. For example Londt (2004) demonstrated that Laphystotes albicans (Engel, 1932) is similarly distributed. Adults of the new species are active during summer and have been collected between January and March (Table 1). This species is associated with open Acacia savannah and mixed woodland.All the specimens captured at Witsand Nat. Res. were found resting on sandy pathways.

Similar species: Although sharing a number of characters with glabra and mellina , effrena is a distinctive species in that it displays a remarkable reduction in wing venation and has a distinctive male genital form.


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