Trichardis picta Hermann, 1906

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 : 195-197

publication ID 10.5733/afin.049.0210

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Trichardis picta Hermann, 1906


Trichardis picta Hermann, 1906 View in CoL View at ENA

Figs 37–40 View Figs 35–40 , 59 View Fig 59

Trichardis picta: Hermann 1906: 139–141 View in CoL ; Kertész 1909: 159; Engel 1924: 107; Hull 1962: 97; Oldroyd

1974: 119; 1980: 356 (catalogue).

Trichardis Lucifer : Oldroyd 1974: 120. Syn. n.

Trichardis lucifera: Oldroyd 1980: 356 View in CoL (catalogue), unjustified emendation.

Redescription (based on holotype in excellent condition):

Head: Dark red-brown except for brown-orange face, colours masked by strong silver pruinescence, setae white. Antenna brown-yellow except for brown distal part of postpedicel and style, setae white; postpedicel not markedly clavate (L:D=3.2:1). Mystax white. Ocellar tubercle with 6 macrosetae. Proboscis red-brown, palpi brown-orange. Thorax: Dark red-brown, colour masked by strong silver pruinescence, pale yellow-white setose. Postpronotum entirely pruinose, mesonotum entirely pruinose, but more weakly posteriorly. Scutellum pruinose except for hind margin. Anepisternum with pale yellow posterior macroseta, entirely pruinose. Proepimeron, katepisternum and anepisternum entirely pruinose. Legs: Dark red-brown, narrowly brown-orange proximally, pulvilli and empodium of similar length. Hind femur dark red-brown with brown-orange proximal parts, length:height ratio 3.9:1, ventral tubercles poorly developed. Hind tibia lacking ventrodistal spur. Wing: 5.8× 2.2 mm. Costal vein strongly developed as far as wing tip, then very weakly developed along posterior margin of wing and absent from alula. Membrane devoid of microtrichiae, including discal and r 5 cells.

Abdomen: Red-brown, extensively silver pruinose except for hind margins of terga and transverse bands across each tergite at about mid-length, setae white. T2 red-brown, strongly pruinose except for apruinose hind margin and weakly pruinose central area.

ơ genitalia ( Figs 37, 38 View Figs 35–40 ): Epandrium in lateral view slightly longer than basal part of gonocoxite (i.e. excluding distal projection of gonocoxite and gonostylus). Proctiger hardly dorsoventrally compressed. Hypandrium greatly reduced and simple. Gonocoxite in ventral view without projections and with about 7 small, distally arranged macrosetae; mediodistal projection fairly stout with upturned sclerotised distal end. Gonostylus stout, laterally flanged, with broad laterally compressed tip. Aedeagal prongs small, straight.

Notes on type material: Hermann (1906) based his description on ‘ ơ ’ (number of specimens not stated) from ‘Capland, Willowmore (Dr. Brauns) ’. While Engel (1924: 107) records the following material ‘^Lichtenburg, Transvaal. – 1 ơ^Willowmore, Kapland, Dr. Brauns leg.’, and these ZSMC specimens (listed below) carry type labels, as do a pair of ‘cotype’ specimens in the AMGS (also listed below), only one specimen was collected before the published description. The single 1905 specimen must be considered the holotype, others were presurably mislabelled as types by Engel and possibly other workers.

The two BMNH specimens of lucifer (holotype and paratype) when received, were incorrectly labelled—the female from Kahn River being labelled as the holotype. As Oldroyd (1974) clearly indicated that the male from Satansplatz was the holotype, these labels have been switched. While Oldroyd (1974) called the species lucifer , presumably because the type locality was Satansplatz (i.e. Satan’s Place, referring to Lucifer), the spelling was amended to read lucifera in the Afrotropical Diptera catalogue (1980) by the Editor R.W. Crosskey, a change I consider both unnecessary and inappropriate as the name lucifera has a totally different derivation (from Latin lux).

I consider the synonymy of lucifer with picta to be entirely justified. T. picta is a widely distributed species displaying variation over its range. The paler colour of the lucifer types represents variation, and while the male genitalia do show slight differences ( Figs 39, 40 View Figs 35–40 ), these too are considered to be within acceptable limits of variation.

Type specimens studied: SOUTH AFRICA: 1 ơ (holotype picta ) ‘Capland / Willowmor [Willowmore: 33°17'S: 23°29'E] / 20 1 1905 / Dr. Brauns’, ‘Sammlung / F. Hermann’, ‘Type von / ơ Trichardis / p icta Herm.’ [orange] (ZSMC); NAMIBIA: ơ (holotype lucifer ) ‘Holo- / type’ [circular with red border], ‘S. W. Africa: Satansplatz. [24°51'S: 17°31'E] / 1300m. / 17–19.xii.1933. / K. Jordan’, ‘Brit. Mus. / 1934–288’, ‘ Trichardis / lucifer Oldr. / det. H. Oldroyd 1972 / Paratype’ [white] (BMNH); 1^(paratype lucifer ) ‘Para- / type’ [circular with yellow border], ‘Southern / African Exp. / B.M. 1972–1’, ‘S.W. Africa (29) / Kahn River, 5 mls. / N. Usakos [22°00'S: 15°34'E] / 30–31.i.1972 ’, ‘ Trichardis / lucifer Old. / det. H. Oldroyd 1972 / Holotype’ [white] (BMNH).

Other material examined: NAMIBIA: 1^Otjitundua [18°39'S: 14°14'E], iii.1926, Mus. Exped. ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 1^60 km E Otjiwarongo , 20°39'S: 17°05'E, 20.iii.1984, Londt & Stuckenberg, Acacia thornveld and dry river course GoogleMaps ; 2 ơ 1^26 km N Windhoek , 22°20'S: 17°04'E, 29.iii.1984, Londt & Stuckenberg, dry river bed Acacia riparian woodland GoogleMaps ; 2 ơ 1^191 km E Walvis Bay [22°57'S: 14°30'E], 12.xi.1963, Moore ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ 3^1? Hakas Mts [Hakos Mts, 23°10'S: 16°20'E], 12.xi.1963 (1^), 13.xi.1963 (1 ơ 2^1?), Moore ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; 4 ơ 3^Gobabeb [23°33'S: 15°02'E], 17.xi.1963, Moore ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; 3 ơ 1^Namib Desert Park , Kuiseb R. at Gobabeb, 2315 Ca, 12.ii.1974, Irwin, riverine forest and sand ; 1 ơ Kuiseb R., 9.xii.1976, Cunningham; 2^Keetmanshoop Dist. , 17.5 km N Grünau, 2718 Bc, 1350 m, 30.i.1974, Irwin, dry river bed ; 2 ơ Fish River Canyon Park, Ai-Ais [27°55'S: 17°29'E], 19–21.xi.1993, Koch ( ZMHB) GoogleMaps . SOUTH AFRICA: 1 ơ Baberspan , 25°07'S: 26°05'E, 14–21.xii.1993, Joffe; 1^Lichtenburg [26°09'S: 26°10'E], Brauns ( ZSMC) GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ 2^10 km W Bloubos Farm , 28°07'S: 20°45'E, 900 m, 17.iii.1991, Londt & Whittington, red dunes [habitat] N Upington GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ Bloemfontein [29°10'S: 26°00'E], 13.ii.1918 ( SANC) GoogleMaps ; 1^5 km S Laingsburg, 33°14'S: 20°52'E, 700 m, 25.xi.1990, Londt & Whittington, Banks Buffels River GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ Gamka R. 40 km N Prince Albert , 3321BB, 500 m, 11.xi.1986, Londt & Quickelberge, sandy area/ Acacias ; 1 ơ Meiringspoort , 3322BC, 11–12.xii.1979, Londt & Stuckenberg, rocky hillside & stream edge ; 8 ơ 2^Diepkloof ca 20 km E De Rust, 3322BD, 12.xii.1979, Londt & Stuckenberg, dry rocky hillside & stream ; 1^Graaff-Reinet Urquhart Park Caravan Park , 32°15'S: 24°33'E, 4–6.xii.1988, Londt, riverine vegetation, sandy ground GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ Middelburg [31°29'S: 25°01'E], 13.ii.1925, Munro GoogleMaps ; 3 ơ 2^Rietvlei Nieuveld Escarpment [32°20'S: 21°30'E], i.1949, Zinn & Hesse ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 1^Tankwa Karoo [32°30'E 19°45'E], i.1949, Zinn & Hesse ( SAMC) ; 1 ơ Letjiesbosch Koup [32°34'S: 22°16'E], iii.1937, Mus. Staff ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 2 ơ 7^Merweville [32°40'S: 21°31'E], i–ii.1947, Zinn ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ 1^Merweville Lainsburg Dist. , i.1959, Zinn ( SAMC) ; 1 ơ Dikbome Merweville Koup , i.1953, Zinn ( SAMC) ; 1 ơ Oukloof Beaufort West [33°15'S: 22°06'E], i.1949, Zinn & Hesse ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 1^Willowmore [33°17'S: 23°29'E], 25.ii.1907, Brauns ( ZSMC) GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ 1^Willowmore , 5.ii.1907 (1^), 1.iii.1907 (1 ơ), Brauns ( AMGS) ; 2 ơ 3^Willowmore , 25.ii.1907 (1^), 1.xii.1909 (1 ơ), xii.1912 (1^), 25.xii.1916 (1 ơ), 10.xii.1920 (1^), Brauns ; 2 ơ 1^Willowmore , 5.ii.1907 (1 ơ), 1.xii.1920 (1^), no date (1 ơ), Brauns ( NMNH) ; 1 ơ 1^Willowmore , 20.i.1908, Brauns ( BMNH) ; 1^Willowmore , 25.xii.1915, Brauns ( MRAC) ; 1 ơ Willowmore , 15.xii.1917, Brauns ( SAMC) ; 6 ơ 3^Rooinek Lainsburg Dist. [33°20'S: 20°55'E], i.1949, Zinn & Hesse ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 1^Rooinek Pass , x.1952, Mus. Expd. ( SAMC) ; 4 ơ 1^Tierberg Res. Stat. Prince Albert Dist. , 33°07'42"S: 22°16'24"E, 26.xi–5.xii.1987, Gess ( AMGS) GoogleMaps ; 1 ơ 1^De Hoek Uitenhage [33°45'S: 25°24'E], 11.iii.1919, Munro ( NMNH) GoogleMaps .

Distribution and biology: The species is a southern African endemic being found in the western parts of the region. It ranges from northern Namibia southwards to the Western and Eastern Cape provinces ( Fig. 59 View Fig 59 ). Adults fly between October and March (Table 1). Personal experience and label data indicate that the species frequents Acacia woodland and is associated with sandy stream banks or dry river courses where individuals rest on the ground. Two prey records are known to me, both in AMGS: 1 ơ (Tierberg, Prince Albert Dist.) pinned with a pollen wasp ( Hymenoptera : Masaridae ), and 1^(same locality) pinned with a tachinid fly ( Diptera : Tachinidae ).

Similar species: T. picta has an entirely pruinose postpronotal lobe and in this respect can be grouped with apicalis , grisescens , ornata , terminalis , testacea , turneri and zinidi . The species is, however, distinctive and difficult to confuse with others in this group.


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Zoologische Staatssammlung


Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Research Institute


Albany Museum


Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale














Trichardis picta Hermann, 1906

Londt, Jason G. H. 2008

Trichardis picta: Hermann 1906: 139–141

HULL, F. M. 1962: 97
ENGEL, E. O. 1924: 107
KERTESZ, C. 1909: 159
HERMANN, F. 1906: 141
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