Hoplistomerus serripes ( Fabricius, 1805 )

Londt, Jason G. H., 2007, A review of the genus Hoplistomerus Macquart, 1838 (Diptera: Asilidae: Laphriinae), African Invertebrates 48 (2), pp. 167-198 : 183-186

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.7667859

persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Hoplistomerus serripes ( Fabricius, 1805 )


Hoplistomerus serripes ( Fabricius, 1805) View in CoL

Figs 33–36 View Figs 33–39 , 41 View Fig

Laphria serripes: Fabricius 1805: 159 View in CoL .

Laphria maculipennis Macquart, 1834: 285 View in CoL .

Hoplistomerus serripes: Macquart 1838: 60 View in CoL ; 1839: 176; Oldroyd 1940: 312–313 (figs 5a–b ơ claspers); 1980: 350 (catalogue); Hull 1962: 96 (figs 437 wing, 880 & 889 head).

Hoplistomera serripes: Loew 1958: 356 ; 1860: 118–119.

Hoplistomera auriventris Loew, 1858: 356 View in CoL ; 1860: 119–120; Hull 1962: 96.

Hoplistomerus auriventris: Engel 1928: 250 View in CoL .

ssp. auriventris Hull, 1962: 96 ; Oldroyd 1980: 350 (catalogue).

ssp. serripes [by inference]: Oldroyd 1980: 350 (catalogue).

Diagnosis: Size: Large (wing length from humeral cross-vein to tip> 11 mm). Head: Eye narrower than face (in anterior view measured at level of greatest head width). Relative proportions of antennal segments (scape, pedicel and postpedicel) 1.0:0.7:3.1 (i.e. scape clearly longer than pedicel; postpedicel more than three times length of scape). Thorax: Presutural macroseta(e) present. Anepisternal macroseta present. Prosternal ventromedial setation long. Male metatibial spur small. Scutellum lacking a transverse groove at mid-length. Wing cell m 3 with microtrichia limited to a fairly broad posterior strip. Prothoracic coxa and prosternum both dark red-brown. Prothoracic femur dark red-brown (tips may be paler). Abdomen: T3 setulae golden (those in eastern part of distribution with longish white setulae laterally, or all setulae longish white). ơ genitalia as in Figs 33–36 View Figs 33–39 .

Type specimens studied: GUINEA: 1? [probably ơ] lectotype [ serripes ], ‘ L. serripes / Guinea Meien [?]’ [cream, hand written] (UZMD). Condition: Fair. Left antenna broken off beyond scape, right broken off beyond pedicel. Left metathoracic tarsus broken off beyond fourth tarsomere, right entirely missing. Postmetacoxan area and most of sterna 1–3 missing (dermestic damage). Genital bulb missing (terminal parts suggestive of the ơ condition). 1ơ paralectotype [ serripes ], ‘Type’ [red, printed] (UZMD). Condition fair, but specimen lacks its head. 1ơ 1^syntypes [ auriventris ], SUDAN: ‘ Chartum [Khartoum, 15°35'N: 32°32'E] / Vierthaler’ [blue, handwritten], ‘ auriventris ’ [white, handwritten], ‘10137’ [white, printed], ‘Coll. / H. Loew’ [white, printed], ‘Typus’ [red, printed], ‘Zool. Mus. / Berlin’ [white, printed] (ZMHB). ^has similar labels to ơ but lacks the second and third labels, and has an additional tiny violet label without writing. Condition: Good. Both specimens are complete.

Notes : Fabricius (1805) provided a short Latin description of unlisted material from ‘ Habitat in Guinea Muf. Dom. de Seheftedt. ’ There are two specimens bearing ‘Type’ labels and these must be considered syntypes.The specimen lacking genitalia is here designated as lectotype, while the ơ lacking head is considered a paralectotype. Loew’s (1958) brief description of auriventris was based on ‘ơ & ^’ from ‘Chartum. (Vierthaler)’ and did not include the designation of a holotype. As this is a well-established synonym I do not believe the designation of a lectotype is necessary .

Macquart’s (1834) short description of maculipennis suggests that he studied at least one male specimen. Although he states ‘ Du Sénégal ; cabinet de M. Percheron’, I have not been able to ascertain with any certainty where the material is housed. The MNHN does not hold the material and so it may be at the museum in Lille, France, but I have not been able to establish this for certain. This long-established synonym is, however, almost certainly correct and has been accepted as such.

Other specimens studied: CHAD: 1^Mara-Goulfez , NE de Fort Archambault [09°05'N: 18°23'E], ix.1904, Decorse ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 2ơ Tchad orient., Archipel Kouri [09°54'N: 17°40'E], 1904, Chevalier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 2ơ 1^Baguirmi, Tcheckna [Tchekna, 11°24'N: 16°10'E], viii.1904, Chevalier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 4ơ 1^Bas Chari, Fort Lamy [12°04'N: 15°08'E], x.1904, Decorse ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Bas Chari, Fort Lamy , viii.1904, Decorse ( MNHN) ; 1^Guéra Mongo [12°14'N: 18°43'E], viii.1992, Mahadjir; 2ơ Djimlilo [Djimtilo, 12°30'N: 14°35'E], viii.1908, Gailland ( MNHN, MCMI) GoogleMaps ; 1^Betha Ati [13°13'N: 18°20'E], viii.1992, Mahadjir; 2^Kanem Distr., N’Gouri [19°00'N: 19°00'E], x–xi.1958, Renaud ( MRAC) GoogleMaps . DR CONGO: 1^Moyen [Province, 02°00'N: 20°00'E], vii viii ix.1907 ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Kibali-Ituri, Mahagi Port [02°09'N: 31°14'E], 23.vii.1931, Scops ( MRAC) GoogleMaps ; 1^Mahagi Port , ix.1934, Brédo HJ ( MRAC) . ETHIOPIA: 1ơ Addis Abbaba [Addis Ababa = Adis Abeba, 09°02'N: 38°42'E], 1.vii.1920 ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 1^Abyssinie [? locality], 1854 ( MNHN) . THE GAMBIA: 1ơ Kiang West N.P. Headquarter [13°23'N: 15°55'W], 6.xi.1998, Schacht ( ZSMC) GoogleMaps ; 1^Gambia [no locality] ( NHMW) ; 3ơ 2^Gambia ( OXUM) . GHANA: 1ơ Keta [05°49N: 01°00'E], 10.xi.1951, Bowden; 1ơ Zuorungu [Zuorugu, 09°21'N: 00°53'W], i. vii.1949, Bowden GoogleMaps . GUINEA: 2^Guinea [? locality], Mus. Stieg ( UZMD) ; 2ơ Guinea , Mus. Western ( UZMD) ; 1ơ 1^Guinea [no locality] ( NHMW) . KENYA: 1ơ Nairobi [01°16'S: 36°46'E], 15.xii.1951, Edwards ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Kibwezi W. F [Kibwezi Forest, 02°26'S: 37°55'E], xii.1929, Van Someren ( BMNH ơ NMNH); 1^Rabai [03°55'S: 39°33'E], vii.1928, Van Someren ( NMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1^Mombasa [04°02'S: 39°40'E], 12–13.xi.1935, Zerny ( NHMW) GoogleMaps ; 1^Mombasa, 24.vi.1927 ( NMNH) ; 1^Mtwapa Creek , Mombasa, x.1951. Pinhey ( BMNH) ; 1^1? Muhaka Forest S of Mombasa, 04°14'S: 39°25'E, 19.x.1992, Abu-Zinid GoogleMaps . MALI: 1ơ Soudan Franç, Région de la Volta, Sikasso [11°19N 05°40'W] – Bobo-Dioulassou [Bobo Dioulasso, 11°11'N: 04°18'W (plotted as approximately halfway between these two places i.e. 11°15'N: 05°05'W)], 1900, Chevalier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Soudan Fr. Koulikoro [12°53'N: 07°33'W], 1900, Chevalier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Kogoni [Kogonè, 13°42'N: 02°53'E], 15.x.1957, Pointel ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Koulikoro [Koulikoïré, 13°52'N: 01°29'E], Linarix ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Soudan Franç, Yélimané [Yélouané = Yéléouani, 14°11'N: 01°26'E] Au N de Kayes, 1907, de Zeltner ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Soudan Franç, Niafunké [Niafounké, 15°56'N: 04°00'W], viii–ix.1909, de Zeltner ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 1^5 e U. Mocodo [or U. Mocogo,?], 25.ix.1956, Pointel ( MNHN) . MAURITANIA: 1ơ Near Nema [16°37'N: 07°15'W], 20.viii.1961, Popov ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Trarza [Distr.], Mederdra [16°55N: 15°39'W], vii–viii.1908, Mére ( MNHN) GoogleMaps . NIGER: 2^Gaya [11°52'N: 03°28'E], viii.1975, Popov ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 3^Sultanat du Damaghérim, Dungass [Dungas, 13°04'N: 09°20'E], viii–x.1910, Gaillard (Mission Tilho) ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ De Maradi, a Dungas , viii.1910, Gaillard (Mission Tilho) ( MNHN) ; 4ơ 3^Maradi, vii.1910, Gaillard, (Mission Tilho) ( MNHN) ; 4ơ 5^1? Tibiri-Maradi [13°35'N: 08°10'E], vii–viii.1910, Gaillard (Mission Tilho) ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Boucle du Niger, Au N du 14° de Lat. , Douentza ( Dounzou ) [Dounsou = Doulsou, 14°45'N: 00°53'E], 1907, Decorse ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Nr Dosso [Dourso, 15°16'N: 13°53'E], vii.1975, Popov ( BMNH) GoogleMaps . NIGERIA: 1^Near Gombe, Zambuk [10°19'N: 11°21'E], 18–21.ix.1970, Popov ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; Kafinsoli [Kafin Soli, 12°31'N: 07°44'E], 15.ix.1951, JB [Bowden] GoogleMaps . SENEGAL: 1^Boal [Tobor Boal, 12°40'N: 16°16'W] orientae, Diarhta ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Badi [13°09'N: 13°14'W], 15.viii–25.ix.1955, Mission IFAN an Parc National du Niokolo Koba ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 2^Ht Sénégal Niger, Yelimané, Cercle de Nioro [13°40'N: 15°50'W], vi.1918, Chudeau ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Terres- Neuves, Mereto [13°49'N: 14°27'W], 28.x.1976, Couturier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Koumpenntoum [13°59'N: 14°34'W], 29.viii.1967, Pointel ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; Nianing [14°21'N: 16°56'W], ix.1978, Sauer ( ZSMC) GoogleMaps ; M’Bour [Mbour, 14°24'N: 16°58'W], 17.ix.1980, Sigwalt ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 1? M’Bour , 31.viii.1979, Sigwalt ( MNHN) ; 1^Kayes [14°25'N: 11°30'W], 1905, de Zeltner ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; Barkedji [14°35'N: 14°49'W], 12.ix.1967, Descarpentries Leye & Villiers ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Forêt de Bandia [14°35'N: 16°58'W], 22.ix.1976, Couturier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1? Forêt de Bandia , 4.xi.1975, Couturier ( MNHN) ; 2ơ Dakar [14°40'S: 17°26'W], 20.viii.1976, Couturier ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1^Niayes Dakar, ( MNHN) ; 1ơ Dakar, 1907, Waterlot ( MNHN) ; 1^Dakar, 1906, Melon ( MNHN) ; 1^Dakar, Bel Air , 28.vii.1980, Sigwalt ( MNHN) ; 1^Dakar, Bel Air , 14.viii.1980, Sigwalt ( MNHN) ; 2? Ht Sénégal-Niger, Tengué ( Cercle de Nara ) [Teungué, 14°41'N: 16°13'W], ix.1918, Chudeau ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; Bambey [14°42'N: 16°28'W], 1958, Amadou ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Bambey 14 th enclose, 13.x.1966, Chenon ( MNHN) ; Africa occ., Thies [14°48'N: 16°56'W], 1912 ( MCMI) GoogleMaps ; Mèdine [14°52'N: 17°02'W] ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; Bakel [14°54'N: 12°27'W], 14.ix.1907, Neveu ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 43ơ 17^Linguère [15°24'N: 15°07'W], ix.1967, Descarpentries Leye & Villiers ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 4^Saint Louis [16°08'N: 16°27'W], xii.1896, Delestre ( MNHN) GoogleMaps ; 2^St Louis, 1869, Steindachner ( NHMW) ; 1^Dagana [?], 1870, Steind. ( NHMW) ; 1^[no locality] 1910, Dongé ( MNHN) ; 1ơ Senegal [no locality] ( NHMW) ; 5ơ 3^Seneg [Senegal] ( OXUM) ; 1ơ Haut Senegal [northern part] ( MCMI) ; SOMALIA: 1ơ Baidoa [03°04'N: 43°48'E], 22.xi.1983, Abdurahnan; 1^Baidoa, 16.xi.1983, Lavigne; 1ơ Baidoa, 10.xi.1953, Desert Locust Survey ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ El Rago [06°38'N: 45°47'E], 8.xii.1953, Desert Locust Survey ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1^It. Mer. [?], vi.1925, Abruzz ( MZUF) ; 1^It. Mer., vi.1926, Abruzzi ( MZUF) . SUDAN: 1ơ Manno [Mango, 10°16'N: 25°53'E], 1873 ( NHMW) GoogleMaps ; Kordofan [Province, 13°00'N: 29°00'E], ( NHMW) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ 1^Kartoum [Khartoum, 15°35'N: 32°32'E] ( OXUM) GoogleMaps ; 1ơ Hudeiba, Ed Damer [17°27'N: 34°00'E], 18.xi.1961, Remane ( ZSMC) GoogleMaps ; 2ơ 1^Marno [or Mario], Nubien [Nubian Desert, 21°30'N: 33°30'E], 1871 ( NHMW) GoogleMaps ; 1^Sudan [? locality], 1881, Errun-Lado [? locality or collector] ( NHMW) . TANZANIA: 1ơ Gonja [04°16'S: 38°03'E], v.1958, Phipps ( BMNH) GoogleMaps ; 1^Usambara [Mountains, 04°55'S: 38°20'E], ii–iii.86, Schmidt ( ZMHB) GoogleMaps . UGANDA: 1ơ 1^E Lac Albert, Butiaba [01°50'N: 31°20'E], 20.ix.1937, Brédo ( MRAC) GoogleMaps . UNKNOWN COUNTRY: 1^Afr. Occid. ( MNHN) ; 1ơ 2^no labels (OXUM).

Notes: Oldroyd (1940) regarded auriventris ‘as a form of serripes ’ but later (1980) listed it as a subspecies.There is now no doubt that auriventris is a synonym of serripes . The analysis of variation (below) shows clinal variation that makes acceptance of subspecies and forms no longer admissible. The caption of Hull’s (1962) fig. 889 (head in anterior view) merely reads ‘ Hoplistomera sp. ’. However, there is little doubt that he depicted serripes , as the face is clearly wider than the eye (a feature of this species) and his anterior view of a head is specifically identified as being that of serripes .

Analysis of variation:

Individual variation: Based on a fairly large sample of 43ơ 17^from Linguère ( Senegal) the following variation in size and coloration within a single localised population has been established.

Size: Based on wing length measured from humeral cross-vein to tip: range 11.1– 15.5 mm (mean 13.3 mm). Females (12.0– 15.1 mm, mean 13.6 mm) were on average slightly larger than males (11.1–15.5 mm, mean 13.1 mm).

Coloration: Based on the colour of abdominal T3 setation. All golden except for one female specimen with a few white setae laterally.

Geographocal variation: A large sample (138), including most of the specimens listed above, was examined from countries across the African continent— Chad (17), DR Congo (2), Ethiopia (2), The Gambia (2), Ghana (2), Guinea (8), Kenya (5), Mali (11), Mauritania (2), Niger (27), Nigeria (2), Senegal (39), Somalia (6), Sudan (7), Tanzania (2), Uganda (2), unknown (2)—in respect of the colour of abdominal tergal setation. The vast majority possessed golden setae (111 or 80%); there were some with a mixture

(various degrees) of gold and white setae (20 or 14%), and a few possessed entirely white setae (4 or 3%). Those with entirely white setae were all from Somalia. Those possessing a mixture of gold and white setae were from the following countries (the number and percentage of specimens from that country are indicated)— Ethiopia (2 or 100%), Tanzania (2 or 100%), Kenya (4 or 80%), Sudan (5 or 71%), DR Congo (1 or 50%), Somalia (2 or 33%), Mali (1 or 9%), Senegal (3 or 8%). These figures show that while most specimens have entirely golden setose tergites, the incidence of white setae increases as one moves from the extreme west of the continent (i.e. Senegal) to the extreme east (i.e. Somalia), where all specimens have some white setae and some are entirely white setose. While detailed analysis has not been undertaken, it is interesting to note that specimens possessing white setae tend to have longer tergal setae and individuals also tend to be larger. Oldroyd (1940) used this size difference to key auriventris from more typical serripes .

One of the main characters used to differentiate auriventris from serripes has been setal colour. As it has now been shown that this character demonstrates clinal variation, it is impossible to define reliably identifiable subspecies or ‘forms’ within the species.

Distribution and biology: The species is distributed right across the African continent from Senegal in the west to Somalia in the east ( Fig. 41 View Fig ), the distribution agreeing well with the occurrence of grassy biomes. While there are a few records from regions associated with equatorial forest, these may represent grassland localities adjacent to forests or range extensions caused by deforestation. Interestingly, the most south-eastern record coincides with the most north-eastern records of nobilis , and these species may even be sympatric in the vicinity of Mombasa. H. serripes has been collected almost throughout the year (no records for January, February and April) and is most common during northern hemisphere summers (the single March record is from south of the equator in Tanzania).

Only two prey records are available to me.A specimen lacking terminalia from Muhaka Forest, south of Mombasa ( Kenya), has been pinned with a 10.2 mm long scarab beetle, Allogymnopleurus umbrinus (Gerstaecker, 1871) , while a male from Zuarunga ( Ghana), has a smaller (6.0 mm long) scarab beetle ( Neocolobopterus maculicollis Reiche, 1847 ) associated with it. These records suggest that the feeding habits of serripes are similar to those of nobilis .


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Zoologische Staatssammlung


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Museo Zoologico La Specola, Universita di Firenze














Hoplistomerus serripes ( Fabricius, 1805 )

Londt, Jason G. H. 2007

ssp. auriventris

HULL, F. M. 1962: 96

Hoplistomerus auriventris: Engel 1928: 250

ENGEL, E. O. 1928: 250

Hoplistomera auriventris

HULL, F. M. 1962: 96
LOEW, H. 1858: 356

Laphria maculipennis

MACQUART, P. J. M. 1834: 285

Laphria serripes: Fabricius 1805: 159

FABRICIUS, J. C. 1805: 159
Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF