Oligopogon nitidus Efflatoun, 1937

Londt, Jason G. H., 2014, A revision of Afrotropical Oligopogon Loew, 1847 (Diptera: Asilidae) with the description of eighteen new species, African Invertebrates 55 (2), pp. 269-269 : 299-301

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Oligopogon nitidus Efflatoun, 1937


Oligopogon nitidus Efflatoun, 1937 View in CoL

Figs 2E, 23–25, 33 Oligopogon nitidus Efflatoun, 1937: 290–293 (Plate V fig. 52 (entire ♂), figs 223, 224 head, 225 antenna,

226– 227 ♂ terminalia, 228 ♀ terminalia; Hull 1962: 212; Oldroyd 1970: 295 (key); 1980: 371

(catalogue); Geller-Grimm & HradskÝ 2003: 174 (figs 6 & 14 mesonotum, 22 & 30 abdominal terga).

Efflatoun (1937) did not designate a holotype, but studied a series of 13♂ 17♀ (30 specimens) then housed in the Egyptian University and the Ministry of Agriculture. All these specimens must be considered syntypes. According to Efflatoun , all material available to him was collected ‘in January (1930 and 1933) from Gebel Elba , Wadi Edeib and Wadi Kanssissrob’ . The following material, studied by Efflatoun and kindly listed for me by Gawhara M.Abu El-Hassan ( Ain Shams University , Cairo), is currently present in Egyptian collections – ESEC ( Entomological Society Collection ) : 1♂ 1♀, W. Edeib [ Wadi Edeib 22.15°N 36.24°E], Gabel [= Gebel] Elba, 23.I.1929 GoogleMaps ; 2♀ ‘types’ 1♀, Gabel Elba [Jabal Elba National Park ca. 22°11’N 36°21'E], South Eastern Desert , I.1930 GoogleMaps ; 2♂ ‘types’ 2♂ 2♀, Gabel Elba, I.1933; 1♂, W. Edeib, Gabel Elba, 30.VII.1933. CUC (Cairo University Collection): 2♀, Gabel Elba, I.1933; 1?, Gabel Elba, W [Wadi] Hekwal [= Akaw 22°13’N 36°31'E], 24.I.1933 GoogleMaps ; 1♂ 4♀, Gabel Elba, Wadi Kanssissrob [Kansisrob 22°16’N 36°32'E], 28.I.1933 GoogleMaps . MAC ( Ministry of Agriculture Collection ) : 1♂ 1♀, Gabel Elba, W. Hekwal, 24.I.1933; 1♂, Gabel Elba, W. Hekwal, 27.I.1933.

There are, therefore, 21 Efflatoun specimens known to me in Egypt (7♂ 13♀ 1?). 2♀ specimens, presumed to be syntypes as they are similarly mounted and have similar labels to those in the Egyptian collections, are in the CNC (see below). The whereabouts of Efflatoun’s remaining 7 specimens, however, is not known .

Although Egypt is not considered to be part of the Afrotropical Region , but part of the Palaearctic Region, the types are from a disputed region between Egypt and Sudan, a country included in the Afrotropical Region. For this reason the species is included in a study of Afrotropical species .

Redescription (based on the only available ♀ syntype).

Head: Dark red-brown to black, dull red-gold and silver pruinose, extensively black setose. Antenna: Dark red-brown. Segmental ratios: 1:1.3:4.5:2.5 (scape, pedicel, postpedicel, style). Scape and pedicel of similar development, black setose. Postpedicel circular in cross-section, parallel-sided. Style slightly smaller in diameter to distal end of postpedicel, equipped with many black setae projecting from all surfaces. Face and frons dull red-gold pruinose, vertex dull silver pruinose, mystax black, ocellar macrosetae black. Occiput silver pruinose except for two large subtriangular apruinose areas between dorsal eye margin and cervical region (see Fig. 2E), pale yellow to white setose. Face to head width ratio in anterior view 1:3.5 (face narrower than one eye). Proboscis dark red-brown, straight, pale yellow-white setose. Palpi minute, 2-segmented, white setose. Thorax: Dark red-brown to black, extensively silver pruinose, black and pale yellow setose. Mesonotum: Extensively pruinose with following apruinose areas: postpronotal lobe, large lateral area anterior to transverse suture, large posterolateral area postsuture including postalar lobe, pair broad medial bands converging at anterior margin and coalescing postsuture before extending to posterior margin as a narrow stripe. 2 black npl, 1 black spal, 1 black pal (weakly developed), general setae pale yellow. Scutellum dark red-brown, largely apruinose except for narrow silver pruinose anterior margin, fine yellow setose (apical macrosetae poorly differentiated). Pleura uniformly silver pruinose. Katatergal setae pale yellow. Legs: Coxae dark red-brown, silver pruinose, whitish setose. Trochanters dark red-brown, pale yellow-white setose. Femora dark red-brown with narrow brown-yellow distal ends, pale yellowish setose except for few dark red-brown macrosetae dorsodistally. Tibiae and tarsi brown-yellow, mixed dark red-brown and pale yellow setose. Wings: 3.6 × 1.4 mm (syntype). Veins pale yellow-brown. Membrane transparent, slightly yellow stained, entirely lacking microtrichia.

Abdomen:Terga dark red-brown, largely apruinose except for silver pruinose anterolateral margins, macrosetae pale yellow, smaller setae white. Sterna dark red-brown, extensively silver-gold pruinose except for apruinose posterolateral parts, white setose. Terminalia (Malawian ♂ illustrated – Figs 23–25) dark red-brown.

Syntype: EGYPT / SUDAN: 1♀ ‘Gabal Elba / W. Cansisrob [Wadi Kansisrob 22°16’N 36°32'E] / 28.i.1933 ’, ‘Zool. Dep’. Collection / Egyptian University / Collector Kassim’, ‘Frank M. Hull / Collection / C.N.C. 1973’, ‘ Oligopogon / nitidus Effl. / Det. Efflatoun’ (CNC).

Note: The CNC has a second female specimen that I have not seen which is labelled:‘Gabel Elba / W: Hekwal [Wadi Akaw 22°13’N 36°31'E] / 27.1.1933 ’, ‘Zool. Dept. Collection / Egyptian University / Collector. Hassim’, ‘Frank M. Hulls / Collection / C.N.C. 1973’, ‘ Oligopogon / nitidus Eff. / Det. Efflatoun’.

Comments: Geller-Grimm and Hradský (2003) did not study any types (Geller-Grimm pers. comm.), due to their inaccessibility, and based their description on material from Syria. While I experienced similar difficulties in gaining access to the types, Haitham Badrawy (Ain Shams University, Cairo) kindly arranged a series of photographs of the male holotype and a female paratype to be sent to me. These photos together with information relating to the syntype studied and Efflatoun’s description show inconsistencies with Geller-Grimm and Hradský’s description and so I conclude that the Syrian material is dispecific and may represent an undescribed species .

Other material examined: BURUNDI: 4♂ 1♀ 1? Bururi [03°57'S 29°37'E], x.1948, François (MRAC); 2♂ 1? Bururi, 1949, François (MRAC). DR CONGO: 1♀ 35mi. E. of Sandoa [09°42'S 22°56'E], 31.i.1958, 1000 m, Ross & Leech (CASC); 1? Nasoni [Nasogni 10°01'S 23°30'E], 28mi. N. of Kasaji, 1070 m, 31.i.1958, Ross & Leech (CASC). KENYA: 2♀ 50 kms [could be km S] Maralal [01°06’N 36°42'E], 24.viii.1983, Freidberg; 3♂ 1♀ 50 km SE Nairobi [Nairobi - 01°16'S 36°46'E], 30.iv.1991, Freidberg & Kaplan; 1♀ Ngong Hills [Forestry Station – 01°21'S 36°39'E], 2000–2300 m, 15.v.1991, Freidberg & Kaplan; 1♂ Taita Hills [03°25'S 38°20'E], 1200–1700 m, 4.v.1991,Freidberg & Kaplan. MALAWI: 8♂ 9♀ Viphia, Chikangawa, 1133DD, 27.ii.–1.iii.1987, Londt, Grassland & forest margins; 1♀ 5 km E. of Mzuzu, 1134AD, 6.iii.1987, Londt, Roadside woodland with very long grass; 2♂ 3♀ 4 mi. E. of Katumbi [10°48'S 33°31'E], 1460 m, 20.ii.1958, Ross & Leech (CASC); 1♂ 3♀ 1? 13 mi. W. of Njakwa [Njewa 13°59'S 33°43'E], 1100 m 21.ii.1958, Ross & Leech (CASC); 1♀ 53 mi. N. of Blantyre [15°47'S 35°00'E], 630 m, 25.ii.1958, Ross & Leech (CASC). NAMIBIA: 1♀ Regenstein, 15 mls. SSW. Windhoek [22°34'S 17°05'E], 8.ii.1972, African Exp. B.M. (BMNH). SOUTH AFRICA: 1♂ Lapalala Nature Reserve, 23°52’52”S 28°20’19”E, 1072 m, 16.ii.2005, Londt & Dikow, Acacia / Combretum woodland; 1♂ Warmbaths [= Bela-Bela 24°52'S 28°17'E], 22.xii.1964, Capener (SANC); 2♀ 20 mi. N. Jozini (2732Ac), 750 ft., 28.xi.1971, Irwin, dry hillside; 1♀ 5 km SW of Jozini, 2732AC, 3.xii.1982, Londt, Stuckenberg & Barraclough, Ubombos [mountain range]; 1♂ Itala Game Res. Louwsburg [27°34'S 31°17'E], 10–23.xii.1992, Koch (ZMHB); 1♀ Mkuzi, 27.62638°S 32.25995°E, 26.i.2005, Acacia grandicornuta Short Open Woodland ; 1♂ Narugas [28.375°S 20.125°E], i.1919 (SAMC A008895); 1♂ Mountain Zebra Nat. Park, 3225AD, 17–21.xii.1985, Londt, Bushveld vegetation; 2♂ Addo Elephant Nat. P. [33°27'S 25°45'E], 27–29.xii.1992, Koch (ZMHB). ZAMBIA: 1♀ 20 km S Kapri Mposhi, 14°13’ S 28°36’ E, 1140 m, 6.xii.2009, Kantner; 2♀ 20 km S Mbala, 08°59’ S 31°23’ E, 1720 m, 16.xii.2009, Kantner.

Distribution ( Table 1), phenology (Table 2) and biology: The species, as currently envisaged, is widely distributed ( Fig. 33) throughout the eastern parts of Africa from Egypt / Sudan in the north to the southern parts of South Africa in the south. It has been collected in almost every month of the year except June and September. Efflatoun (1937) states that the specimens he captured were all sitting on ‘rather high gramineous herbage’ while one female was caught while feeding on a ‘Trypetid fly ( Urellia )’. I have collected the species by sweeping tall grasses in habitats dominated by grass. It appears that the species can tolerate fairly dry, arid conditions.

Remarks: There is a large gap in the distribution of the species, between Egypt / Sudan and Kenya, and so there is still a possibility that the ‘Egyptian’ material represents a species distinct from all the other specimens listed. However, even though there is an absence of material from countries such as South Sudan and Ethiopia, I have decided to treat all the material listed as representing nitidus .













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