Sargus Fabricius, 1798,

Lessard, Bryan D., Yeates, David K. & Woodley, Norman E., 2020, Review of Australian Sarginae Soldier Fly Genera (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), with First Records of Cephalochrysa, Formosargus and Microchrysa, Records of the Australian Museum 72 (2), pp. 23-43: 37-40

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.72.2020.1683

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Sargus Fabricius, 1798


Sargus Fabricius, 1798 

Figs 11–15View Figure 11View Figure 12View Figure 13View Figure 14View Figure 15

Sargus Fabricius, 1798: 549  . Type species Musca cupraria Linnaeus, 1758  , Europe, [LSL], by designation of Latreille (1810: 442). See Woodley (2001: 220) for full synonymy. Hardy (1918: 11, 1920: 48, 1932: 47); White (1916: 94).

Diagnosis. Small to medium sized (length 6–12 mm), slender, elongate species, with strong metallic colouration and occiput with a prominent fringe of posteriorly directed hair-like setae. Similar to Ptecticus  , but distinguished by the: anterior ocellus farther from posterior ocelli than they are from each other, forming an elongated triangle; wings with vein R 2+3 arising distal to r-m; lower calypter with strap-like lobe present; and strong metallic colouration.

Distribution. Far northern Qld to central coast of NSW ( Fig. 2View Figure 2).

Remarks. With the transfer of C. gselli  from Sargus  to Cephalochrysa  , there are now three recognized species of Sargus  from Australia. According to White (1916), Sargus  was previously unrecorded from Australia at the time, with Sargus meridionalis White, 1916  being the first species recognized from the continent. This was reinforced by Hill (1919: 460) in his description of S. gselli  (= C. gselli  ), stating that Sargus  “has been known in Australia by only one described species, S. meridionalis White. There  are one or two additional species… from North Queensland (Kuranda)”. Hardy (1932) later described the second species in the genus from Australia, Sargus darius Hardy, 1932  , including a paratype from Kuranda, which is presumably the additional species referred to by Hill.

It is possible that species names applied to the Australian fauna are erroneous, such as Sargus mactans Walker, 1859  (originally described from Indonesia), which has been used for specimens from Queensland. In a review of the Oriental Stratiomyidae, Brunetti (1923: 157)  identified specimens of S. mactans  deposited in the BMNH from “North Queensland ”. This Australian record was adopted by some workers ( Hauser & Rozkošný, 1999: 13; Woodley, 2001: 226), however, S. mactans  was not acknowledged by Hardy (1932) and the name has not been applied to material deposited in most Australian collections. Moreover, it seems unlikely that the southeast Asian fauna have travelled east of the Wallace Line. The identify of S. mactans  from Australia has been made further complicated by the damaged type specimen from the BMNH (head and left with missing; Fig. 11View Figure 11), in addition to the lack of available key to species and authoritatively identified collection specimens. Therefore, we tentatively retain S. mactans  as part of the Australian fauna until a much needed species-level revision can be completed for Sargus  from the Oriental and Australian regions.

Biology. According to James (1960), adults from the Nearctic are commonly found flying near or resting on leaves in sunlight, and visiting flowers such as Sedum  (stonecrop, Crassulaceae  ), Isocoma vernonoides  (goldenbush, Asteraceae  ), and Sambucus coetulea  (elderberry, Adoxaceae  ), whereas the larvae breed in decaying vegetation, including leaves, turnip roots, and/or mammal excrement. Regarding the Australian species, S. meridionalis  seems to decompose organic waste since it has been bred from human faeces [ANIC 29-037454, 29-037455].

Catalogue of Australian species

Genus Sargus Fabricius, 1798 

darius Hardy, 1932  . Qld.

Sargus darius Hardy, 1932: 47  . HT ♀ [location of type unknown]: Qld , Great Palm Island [PT ♀, QM T246603; Fig. 15View Figure 15].

mactans Walker, 1859  . Australasian: Australia (Qld),

Papua New Guinea ( Papua New Guinea).

Palaearctic: Japan. Oriental: India, Indonesia

(Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra), Malaysia,

Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Sargus mactans Walker, 1859: 97  . HT ♂  (stated ♀) 

[BMNH; damaged, head and left with

missing; Fig. 11View Figure 11]: Indonesia: Sulawesi, Ujung

Pandang. meridionalis White, 1916  . NSW. Sargus meridionalis White, 1916: 95  . HT ♂ [BMNH;

Figs 12–14View Figure 12View Figure 13View Figure 14]: NSW, Milson Island.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Authors would like to thank: Thekla Pleines (ANIC) for databasing specimens of Microschysa wrightae  ; Xuankun Li (ANIC) for imaging type specimens of Sargus mactans  and S. meridionalis  from the BMNH, and assistance with imaging the genitalia; Bronte Sinclair (ANIC) for imaging the paratype of S. darius  ; Thomas Pape and Anders Alexander Illum (UZMC) for imaging the type specimen of M. flaviventris  ; Neal Evenhuis and James Boone (BPBM) for imaging authoritatively identified specimens of Ptecticus longipes  ; Martin Hauser (California Department of Food and Agriculture) for sharing images of the holotype of Formosargus lineata  ; Erica McAlister (BMNH), Russell Cox and Derek Smith (AMS), Christine Lambkin and Susan Wright (Queensland Museum), Justin Bartlett and Desley Tree (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries), Peter Hudson (SAMA), Ken Walker (National Museum of Victoria), Cathy Byrne and Simon Grove (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) for providing access and/or loaning of material. This paper is a product of the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) National Taxonomy Research Grant Program project “A phylogeny, systematic revision and key to the genera of Australian Soldier Flies ( Diptera  : Stratiomyidae  )” ( RF 214-30) and the Australian American Fulbright Commission Specialist Grant “Training the next generation of Australian entomologist through research, fieldwork and scientific writing”.












Sargus Fabricius, 1798

Lessard, Bryan D., Yeates, David K. & Woodley, Norman E. 2020

Sargus darius

Hardy, G. H. 1932: 47


Woodley, N. E. 2001: 220
Hardy, G. H. 1932: 47
Hardy, G. H. 1920: 48
Hardy, G. H. 1918: 11
White, A. 1916: 94
Latreille, P. A. 1810: 442
Fabricius, J. C. 1798: 549