Lucilia ochricornis ( Wiedemann, 1830 )

Whitworth, Terry, 2014, A revision of the Neotropical species of Lucilia Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Zootaxa 3810 (1), pp. 1-76: 35-38

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Lucilia ochricornis ( Wiedemann, 1830 )


12. Lucilia ochricornis ( Wiedemann, 1830)  

Figs. 4, 5 View FIGURES 1–6. 1–2 , 16, 18, 19 View FIGURES 16–21 , 51, 52 View FIGURES 51–54 , 75, 76 View FIGURES 73–82 , 105–107 View FIGURES 99–110 , 129 View FIGURES 123–134 , 141 View FIGURES 139–142 , 153 View FIGURES 147–158 , 160 View FIGURE 160 , 161 View FIGURE 161 , Tables 1, 2

Musca ochricornis Wiedemann, 1830: 408   . Lectotype male (ZMHB), by present designation (see below). Type locality: Uruguay, Montevideo.

Lucilia ochricornis: Gaminara 1930: 1267   ; Aubertin 1933: 425; Kosmann et al. 2013: 77.

Phaenicia ochricornis: Baumgartner & Greenberg 1985: 584   . These authors relied on Aubertin’s (1933) key to identify this species; her concept of this species appears to have been mistaken, so their identification may have been incorrect. However, this species is found in Peru where their research was conducted.

Lucilia mera Shannon & Del Ponte, 1926: 586   . Lectotype male (USNM), by present designation (see below). Type locality: Argentina, San Pedro de Jujuy. Syn. nov.

Lucilia primaveris Shannon & Del Ponte, 1926: 586   . Lectotype male (USNM), by present designation. Type locality: Argentina, Buenos Aires, San Isidro. Syn. nov.

Phaenicia eximia: Hall 1948: 239   ; James, 1970: 10. Misidentifications, not eximia (Wiedemann)  

Type information. Musca ochricornis Wiedemann, 1830   .

Described from 2 males and 4 females from Montevideo, Uruguay. The specimens are syntypes   , no type specimen was chosen. One male and 2 females from ZMHB were examined, they are all in excellent condition and they are conspecific. The male specimen was selected as the lectotype   ; the female specimens were labeled paralectotypes.

Lectotype male ( ZMHB) in good condition, completely intact, see Fig. 16 View FIGURES 16–21 for the figure of specimen and specimen labels. The labels say Montevid. Sello., # 6935. The collection location was Montevideo, Uruguay, the collector was Sello. It appears the label Lucilia ochricornis   was added by Dr. Enderlein. According to Joachim Ziegler, curator of Diptera   at ZMHB (pers. comm.), Wiedemann wrote “Aus Brasilien ” (from Brazil) in his description, but Ziegler notes that Montevideo ( Uruguay) was a province of Brazil until 1828. Wiedemann likely was not aware of the change at the time of his publication.

Aubertin’s (1933) description leaves one uncertain of what she was seeing. She stated “squamae dark in both sexes”. In fact the upper calypter is pale in both sexes; the lower is dark in the male and pale in the female. She also stated the male frons width ranges from half the width to equal to the width of the first flagellomere. Such a large range of variation in male frons would be very unusual, and leaves one wondering if she was looking at more than one species. This species has a broad frons about equal to the width of the first flagellomere. Aubertin stated that she examined the male type of the series from the Vienna Museum ( NMW) and that there were two males and a series of females in the Berlin Museum ( ZMHB). In the process of discussing Wiedemann types, Pont (1997) searched NMW for syntypes of this species and could not find any specimens. Later, a dusty, squashed male specimen was found by another researcher and Pont concluded this was the specimen Aubertin examined. He stated that she had designated it as the lectotype by inference. He also noted that, at that time, this species was considered a synonym of L. eximia ( James 1970)   . To resolve the identity of this species, I contacted NMW and asked that they try to locate this specimen, or other specimens under this name. In a search of NMW by curator Peter Sehnal, he found no evidence of any specimens labeled L. ochricornis   , nor were there any calliphorids with this species name under any other genus names (pers. comm.). He concluded that it was not present in their museum and was either lost or had been sent elsewhere. Therefore I contacted Joachim Ziegler at ZMHB who stated that he had two males and four females from Wiedemann’s original series which are detailed above.

I contacted Pont (pers. comm.) and he agreed that in Aubertin’s statement regarding the Vienna specimen being “the male type of the series”, she was most probably not saying that this was “the type male”. Thus it was not a lectotype designation, but a reference to the fact that this specimen, like the rest of Wiedemann’s series, was labeled “type”. In any event the specimen could not be located and it seemed prudent to designate a lectotype for this species to finally resolve the identity of this name.

Baumgartner & Greenberg (1985) listed this species from their collections in Peru. However they relied on Aubertin’s key to identify this species; her concept of this species appears to have been mistaken, so their identification may have been incorrect.

Lucilia mera Shannon & Del Ponte, 1926  

Described from 3 males and 2 females. One male and 1 female each have the USNM number 40813. Two males and 2 females are from San Pedro de Jujuy, Argentina. One male is from Concepción, Tucumán, Argentina. The specimens are syntypes   , no holotype was selected. Two males and 2 females were examined from this series, they are conspecific, 1 male from San Pedro was not located. One male examined (from San Pedro) was labeled cotype, the other male (from Concepción) and 2 females were labeled syntypes   . The male labeled cotype was selected as the lectotype   ; the other specimens were labeled paralectotypes.

Lectotype male ( USNM) in good condition, see Fig. 18 View FIGURES 16–21 for a figure of the specimen and the specimen labels. Though not given on the labels, the authors stated that this specimen was collected April 28, 1926, by Shannon and Shannon. This nominal species is a synonym for Lucilia ochricornis   .  

Lucilia primaveris Shannon & Del Ponte, 1926  

Described from 7 males and 9 females from San Isidro , Buenos Aires, Argentina. One male and one female were examined, the male was labeled cotype, the female was labeled syntype   , each specimen was labeled USNM# 40814. The two specimens are conspecific. The specimens are syntypes   , no holotype was selected. The male specimen was selected as the lectotype   ; the female specimen was labeled paralectotype.

Lectotype male ( USNM) is in fairly good condition, the dorsum of T4 and T5 have been cut out in the process of extracting the genitalia which are in a vial under the specimen. The dissected genitalia are in good condition. T3 has some damage from the pin, both midlegs are missing. See figure of specimen and specimen labels, Fig. 19 View FIGURES 16–21 . Though not on the label, the authors state these specimens were collected September 16, 1926 by R.C. Shannon. This nominal species is a synonym for Lucilia ochricornis   .

I have concluded that both L. mera   and L. primaveris   represent a single species. The L. mera   type specimens are bright green while the L. primaveris   types are purple. The green coloration appears to be most common, the purple variant, though less common, was seen regularly (a total of over 100 specimens were examined). This sort of color variation occurs with many other Lucilia species   as well. The authors further separated these species based on the number of posterodorsal setae on midtibia, they stated that L. mera   has one seta and L. primaveris   has two setae. A careful examination of both color variants (as well as several blue colored specimens) showed this character was unreliable. Furthermore, specimens of these species were virtually identical in every other way, including male and female genitalia. I was prepared to use L. mera   as the valid name for this species until I examined the types for L. ochricornis   . They clearly all belong to the same species and L. ochricornis   has precedence, making both names synonyms.

Diagnosis. Lucilia ochricornis   can be distinguished by the following characters: the upper calypter is white in both sexes, the lower is tan; in males, in females both calypters are white, this combination is as in L. eximia   and L. mexicana   . Both sexes have one or more strong rows of stout dark setae below the postocular row of strong setae. They also usually have an orange parafacial with the anterior third or more of gena orange.

Identification. This species shares many characters with L. vulgata   and ranges can overlap. In good specimens, upper calypters of L. ochricornis   are usually bright white in color in both sexes, and the lower calypter is bright white in females, and light tan in males. In specimens exposed to high humidity or stored in liquids, calypters may darken, causing them to key to L. vulgata   . In L. ochricornis   , normally most of the parafacial and the anterior third of the gena are orange; in L. vulgata   , usually only the antero-ventral edge of the parafacial is orange and the gena is tan. Male genitalia are very similar, but T7 of the ovipositor in L. ochricornis   is fully divided vertically midway by weak cuticle ( Fig. 141 View FIGURES 139–142 ); while in L. vulgata   , the anterior two-thirds is divided by membrane ( Fig. 145 View FIGURES 143–146 ). This species was found only in southern South America, in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, where its range overlapped with L. vulgata   . However, L. vulgata   is more widespread, ranging from Argentina to Venezuela.

Lucilia ochricornis   shares a row of stout dark setae behind and below the postocular row with L. mexicana   ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–6. 1–2 ). It can be separated from L. mexicana   with the following characters: L. ochricornis   vs. L. mexicana   , lower parafacial and anterior half or more of gena orange to yellow vs. parafacial and gena dark silvery; T1–T4 with microtomentum, except rear edge of T4 and T5 polished vs. only rear half of T5 polished in males, all but front edge of T5 polished in females; males have a broad frons to head ratio, a character shared with L. mexicana   (0.05–0.07) which separates both species from L. eximia   (0.03); in males, cerci almost parallel in posterior view ( Fig. 52 View FIGURES 51–54 ) vs., cerci, upside down Y-shape in posterior view ( Fig. 48 View FIGURES 47–50 ); known only from the southern half of South America vs. known only from Central America and the Nearctic Region.

Description. Male. Frons 0.06 (0.05–0.075/5) of head width at narrowest; eye facets small, anterior facets 1.48x posterior facets (0.46mm, 0.31mm), see Table 1. Fronto-orbital plates bright silvery, broad and touching twothirds of way up toward vertex, obliterating frontal vitta; frontal vitta reddish brown; upper parafacial silvery, lower parafacial orange which extends onto the anterior half to two-thirds of the gena, the remainder of gena dark silvery, gena with dark setae only; postgena dark silvery, the anterior edge with dark setae, the remainder with pale setae; pedicel and first flagellomere light to dark orange with light gray microtomentum, width of first flagellomere about equal to width of parafacial. Ocellar triangle small and black with a pair of small ocellar setae, anterior ocellus about 2x posterior ocelli; frontal setae ascend to just below ocellar triangle. Intrapostocular area is silvery; with one or more irregular rows of stout, black setae below and behind postocular row ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–6. 1–2 ), remaining setae on occiput pale and weak; upper quarter of occiput shining black, remainder covered with whitish microtomentum. Color of thorax and abdomen is variable, green, blue or purple. Thoracic spiracles medium sized, brown in color; leg coloration brown to reddish brown; proepisternal depression usually with pale setae, occasionally tan; disc of upper calypter pale, rim light tan, disc and rim of the lower calypter tan; base of wing with darker veins and parts of some cells darkened, remainder of wing hyaline; basicosta dark brown, except note that occasional specimens have been found with orange basicostas (see discussion later); tegula black; subcostal sclerite pubescent orange-brown; presutural area of the thorax with whitish microtomentum, remainder of thorax shining. Abdomen with rear edge of T4 and all of T5 polished. Surstylus digitate, short and broad, cerci short and stout ( Fig. 51, 52 View FIGURES 51–54 ). Phallus, hypandrium, pre- and postgonite, ejaculatory sclerite, and sternites as in 75, 76, 105–107, 129 respectively.

Female. Characters similar to males except frons 0.26 (0.24–0.26/5) of head width at narrowest; anterior eye facets 1.5x posterior facets (0.46mm and 0.31mm). Upper and lower calypters white with white rims, occasional specimens are seen with some darkening of lower calypter. The ovipositor and spermathecae as in Figs. 141 View FIGURES 139–142 , 153 View FIGURES 147–158 .

Specimens Examined. (67 males, 104 females). Argentina (6 males, 20 females)   : 3 males, 9 females, Entre Rios, Liebig ( Rio Uruguay ), April, 1977, S. Bolle ( CNC)   ; 1 male, La Plata, Punta Lara , Jan. 13, 1970, Malaise trap, Vardy, Arguin-deguy ( BMNH)   ; 2 females, same data except Jan. 1, 1970   ; 1 female, Tuc., Horco Molle , c. 12 km W Tucuman, March 18–21, 1974, 700m, Malaise trap, C.R. Vardy ( BMNH)   ; 1 female, Alto Parana, Bemberg, March 13, 14, 1934, K.J. Hayward ( BMNH)   ; 2 females, Mis., Iguazu , Oct. 4–10, 1927, R.C. & E.M. Shannon ( USNM)   ; 1 female, Iguazu Nat. Park, hosteria, Hoppe, April 10, 11, 1974, c. 140m, Malaise trap, C.R. Vardy ( BMNH)   ; 1 female, Jujuy, April 10, 1927, R.C. Shannon ( USNM)   ; 1 female, Jujuy, Agua Caliente , NE Guemes, Oct. 18, 19, 1968, 110m, Pena ( CNC)   ; 1 female, Delta , April 6, 1927, ( USNM)   ; 1 female, Oct. 6, 1926, H.E. Box ( USNM)   ; 1 male, B. Ayres , Bigot Coll., B.M. 1960-539 ( BMNH)   ; 1 male, Catamarca, Andalgala , Oct. 25, 1972, G.E. Bohart ( LACM)   . Bolivia: 1 female, Chipiriri , Dec. 1964, T. Steinbeck ( CNC)   . Brazil (3 males, 12 females)   : 1 male, São Paulo, Guarulhos , Jan. 29, 2003, D.J. Cavan ( LACM)   ; 1 female, São Paulo, Nov. 14, 1972, G.E. Bohart ( LACM)   ; 1 female, Maua , Oct. 20, 1961, N.L.H. Krauss ( USNM)   ; 1 male, 1 female, Mato Grosso, YellowFeverService, MES, May 1937 ( USNM)   ; 2 females, Alto Para, Curitiba , April, 1940, Claret ( USNM)   ; 1 female, same data except Jan. 3, 1961, N. Marston ( WSU)   ; 1 male, UFPR Campus , April 16, 1996, feces trap, Pont ( BMNH)   ; 5 females [BNNR155–159], R.G.S., Fed. Univ. Pelotas campus, May 26, 1992, liver trap, M.J.R. Hall ( BMNH)   ; 1 female, same data except Nov. 30, 1963, C.M. Biezanko ( BMNH)   ; 1 female, Tocantins Porto Nacional , Feb. 1, 2003, D.J. Cavan ( BYU)   ; 1 female, Pelotas , Oct. 31, 1959, C.M. Biezanko ( BMNH)   ; 1 female, same data except Oct. 30, 1963   . Paraguay (1 male, 3 females)   : 1 male, Villarrica , Oct. 1936, F. Schade ( USNM)   ; 1 female same data except Dec. 1936   ; 2 females, same data except Aug. 1938   . Peru (1 male, 1 female)   : 1 male, San Martin, 8–13 km from Tarapoto Urimaguas , Dec. 10, 1991, 650– 800m, John R. MacDonald ( MEM)   ; 1 female, Pasco, Puerto Bermudez , June 28, 1980, 200m, fruit bait, D. Goodwin ( BG)   ; Uruguay (56 males, 64 females)   : 2 females, Montevideo, H.L. Parker ( USNM)   ; 1 female, Paras Lab , Oct. 23, 1942, Parker ( USNM)   ; 56 males [BNNR184], 61 females [BNNR72, 73, 75, 76 180–183] Soriano, Cardona , 33°52'60"S 57°22'60"W, May 20, 2008, T.W. Whitworth ( TW) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution. Known from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay ( Fig. 160 View FIGURE 160 ).

Discussion. Lucilia ochricornis   is similar to L. eximia   , which explains why many authors synonymized it with that species; however, it is clearly distinct. About 5% of the specimens examined had orange basicostas. Initially they were thought to be a different species from the majority of specimens with brown basicostas. The genitalia of both sexes with orange and brown basicostas were dissected and only the basicosta color was different, otherwise those with orange basicostas appeared to be identical to the species with brown basicostas. Normally in Lucilia   , basicosta color is a consistently reliable character state to help distinguish species. Barcodes were obtained for 14 specimens of this species and they formed a distinct cluster distinct from other species ( Fig. 161 View FIGURE 161 ). Of these specimens, one male and four females had orange basicostas. The fact that they grouped tightly based on barcodes, and no other differences were found between them led to the conclusion that this was intraspecific variation. The barcode results supported the conclusion, based on morphology, that this species is distinct from L. vulgata   .


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Weber State University, Bird and Mammal Collection


Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum














Lucilia ochricornis ( Wiedemann, 1830 )

Whitworth, Terry 2014

Phaenicia ochricornis: Baumgartner & Greenberg 1985: 584

Baumgartner, D. L. & Greenberg, B. 1985: 584

Phaenicia eximia: Hall 1948: 239

James, M. T. 1970: 10
Hall, D. J. 1948: 239

Lucilia ochricornis: Gaminara 1930: 1267

Kosmann, C. & Mello, R. P. de & Harterreiten-Souza, E. S. & Pujol-Luz, J. R. 2013: 77
Aubertin, D. 1933: 425
Gaminara, A. 1930: 1267

Lucilia mera Shannon & Del Ponte, 1926: 586

Shannon, R. C. & Del Ponte, E. 1926: 586

Lucilia primaveris

Shannon, R. C. & Del Ponte, E. 1926: 586

Musca ochricornis

Wiedemann, C. R. W. 1830: 408