Afroestricus flavipes (Loew) Scarbrough, 2010

Scarbrough, A. G., 2010, An overview of the Afrotropical Ommatiinae (Diptera: Asilidae) with a key to genera, Zootaxa 2540, pp. 1-47 : 7-9

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Afroestricus flavipes (Loew)

stat. nov.

Afroestricus flavipes (Loew) , new status

Figs. 1, 7, 13–18

Ommatius flavipes Loew, 1860: 128 View in CoL ; Hull 1962: 436; Oldroyd 1980: 347.

Ommatius minutus Bromley, 1936: 129 View in CoL ; Hull 1962: 436; Oldroyd 1980: 347. New synonymy.

Afroestricus minutus (Bromley) , Scarbrough 2005: 35.

The identity of Ommatius flavipes and O. fuscovittatus has been uncertain for many years. The original descriptions of the 2 species are very similar, and are without comparable diagnostic characters. Hence museum specimens of O. flavipes may have labels with either name. Unfortunately, the description of O. flavipes , including the male terminalia, could be confused with that of O. fuscovittatus . Loew (1860) noted the deeply notched epandrium with small denticles and Ricardo (1900) reported the color of the male terminalia but neither provided an illustration of it. The epandria of both species have a deep apical notch ( Figs. 13, 31). The confused taxonomy originated with Bromley’s (1936) study of South Africa Ommatius where he misidentified O. fuscovittatus as O. flavipes , described O. flavipes as a new species, O. minutus , and the 2 names in a key while excluding O. fuscovittatus . Subsequently, others perpetuated the error by using this key. Initially Oldroyd (1974) questioned Bromley’s identification of O. flavipes , commented on the species and included an illustration of the male terminalia. Unfortunately his illustration does not correspond well with specimens carrying his labels. For example, the diagnostic apical notch of the epandrium is not included in the illustration even though it is clearly visible in his dissections / slides (see Natal / Weenen / iii.1924 / [terminalia slide 53] / H.P. Thomasset ~ Ommatius fuscovittatus Ric. / Det. H. Oldroyd 1973 (1 ♂, BMNH). Further, he failed to associate specimens of O. minutus in the BMNH with O. flavipes . However, Oldroyd (1980) included both species in the Afrotropical catalogue.

Distribution. Subsaharan Africa ( Botswana, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe). Adults collected between November and June in grassveld and bushveld communities and tree lined waterways. Perch sites includes tree trunks, grass, bare soil, and mud shores.

Remarks. Afroestricus flavipes is distinguished from congeners by its small size (6.3–7.7 mm) and distinctive terminalia ( Figs. 13–17). It is similar to A. sadaukii Scarbrough, 2005 , but is distinguished by the long, stout, ventral lobe of the epandrium whereas the dorsal corner is much shorter and thin, and the epiphallus is uniformly wide in dorsal view. Additionally, the short carrot-shaped spermathecae distinguish the female. In A. sadaukii , the ventral corner of the lobed epandrium is contrastingly shorter and weaker than the dorsal corner, and the epiphallus is strongly constricted medially in dorsal view. The somewhat deflated tubelike spermatheca is reflected and the rounded apices further distinguish the female of A. sadaukii .

The male type of Ommatius flavipes is in good condition, and has a small squared purple label [Walberg used this color code label for South Africa specimens, but it does not carry a type label. Labels the pin are: 1) purple square; 2) [rectangle with handwritten] 103; 3) [rectangle with handwritten] 310; 4) [rectangle typeset] Ommatius / flavipes ; [rectangle with typeset] NHRS-DIPT / 000000007 ( Fig. 18). The species is Ommatius minutus and thus is a junior synonym of O. flavipes . Recently, Ommatius minutus was redescribed, the terminalia of both sexes were illustrated, and transferred to Afroestricus (Scarbrough 2005; see pgs. 35–39, Figs. 81–90).














Afroestricus flavipes (Loew)

Scarbrough, A. G. 2010

Ommatius minutus

Oldroyd, H. 1980: 347
Hull, F. M. 1962: 436
Bromley, S. W. 1936: 129

Ommatius flavipes

Oldroyd, H. 1980: 347
Hull, F. M. 1962: 436
Loew, H. 1860: 128
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