Oligopogon penicillatus Loew, 1858

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 : 301-302

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Oligopogon penicillatus Loew, 1858


Oligopogon penicillatus Loew, 1858 View in CoL

Figs 2A, 32

Oligopogon penicillatus Loew, 1858: 350 View in CoL [1860: 165–166]; Kertész 1909: 62; Hull 1962:212; Oldroyd 1970:

296 (key); 1974:124 (key, fig. 113 wing); 1980: 371 (catalogue); Scarbrough & Marascia 1996: 212. Loew (1858) indicated that he had seen ♂ material, recording available data as ‘ Caffraria (Wahlb.)’. In his subsequent extended description (Loew, 1860) he indicated material as being ♀, recording the type data as ‘(Caffrerei, Wahlberg.)’. Oldroyd (1974) states ‘ Type in Berlin’ , but there is no type material there. There is, however, little doubt that the single defective specimen listed below, in Stockholm, is Loew’s type. This holotype is in very poor condition. It was obviously broken at some stage and the head and legs are now glued to the pin and the only available wing is glued to a piece of card. Yngve Brodin ( NHRS) kindly assisted by taking a series of digital photographs that were sent to me and also interpreted some characters not clearly evident in the photographs. With this helpful assistance I have been able to assign a number of specimens to this species with some confidence .

Redescription (based on all available material listed below. Note:All diagnostic character states used to key the species were confirmed as being possessed by the holotype): Head: Dark red-brown to black, red-gold and weakly silver pruinose, extensively dark red-brown to black setose. Antenna: Dark red-brown. Segmental ratios: 1:1.0: 4.0: 2.4 (scape, pedicel, postpedicel, style). Scape and pedicel of similar development, black setose. Postpedicel long, circular in cross-section, gradually tapering distally. Style of similar diameter to distal end of postpedicel, equipped with few longish dark red-brown setae projecting from all surfaces. Face, frons and vertex extensively red-gold pruinose (most specimens have weakly silver pruinose face), mystax black, ocellar macrosetae black. Occiput uniformly dull red-gold pruinose (See Fig. 2A), black setose dorsally, white ventrally. Face to head width ratio in anterior view 1:4.0 (face much narrower than one eye). Proboscis dark red-brown, straight, white setose. Palpi minute, 2-segmented, white setose.

Thorax: Dark red-brown to black, extensively red-gold and silver pruinose, extensively dark red-brown to black setose. Mesonotum: Extensively red-gold pruinose (silver pruinose laterally) except for small apruinose areas as follows: small posterior spot on postpronotal lobe, suboval area posterolaterally involving part of postalar lobe. 2 black npl, 1 black spal, 1 poorly developed black pal (other macrosetae poorly developed), general setae longish dark red-brown. Scutellum dark red-brown, largely apruinose except for pair silver-gold areas anteriorly, fine dark red-brown setose (2 apical macrosetae poorly differentiated). Pleura fairly uniformly silver pruinose. Katatergal setae dark red-brown (may be a few pale yellow setae – one Boesmansriviermond specimen is exceptional in having entirely yellow katatergals). Legs: Coxae dark red-brown, silver pruinose, white setose. Trochanters dark red-brown, white setose. Femora dark red-brown with yellow-brown proximal ends, mixed dark red-brown and yellow-white setose. Tibiae yellow-brown, mostly dark red-brown (some small yellow) setose. Tarsi yellow-brown, mostly dark red-brown setose. Wings: 3.4 × 1.2 mm (Umhlanga ♂). Veins yellow-brown. Membrane transparent, unstained, entirely lacking microtrichia. Abdomen: Terga dark red-brown, largely shiny apruinose except for narrow silver pruinose lateral margins, extensively white setose (few dark red-brown). Sterna yellow-brown, extensively gold-silver pruinose except for large apruinose lateral areas, white setose. Terminalia yellow-brown (♂), red-brown (♀).

Holotype: SOUTH AFRICA:1? (♂ now defective) ‘105’, ‘254’[significance of numbers unknown] ( NHRS) . Other material examined: KENYA: 1♀ Mukaka Forest , 4.32530°S, 39.52445°E, 52 m, 27–30.v.2013, Copeland , 6m Malaise trap indigenous forest ( NMKE); 1♀ Mukaka Forest , 4.32530°S, 39.52445°E, 52 m, 30.v–19.vi.2013, Copeland , 6m Malaise trap indigenous forest ( NMKE). SOUTH AFRICA: 1♀ 1.5 km E Mtunzini, Umlalazi Nature Res. , 2831DD, 1–4.xi.1979, Miller , coastal dune vegetation, Malaise trap; 13♂ 15♀ Umngazi Mouth , 3129DA, 20.x.1972, Irwin , 3 to 10 m coastal dunes; 9♂ 1♀ Boesmansriviermond , 3326AD, 27–31.xii.1985, Londt , Hill above caravan park; 1♂ 1♀ Kosi Bay Nature Reserve , 26.957589°S 32.827366°E, 15 m, 9–13.x.2011, Miller, Malaise trap close to chalet; 5♂ 7♀ 1? Umhlanga Bush [29°42'S 31°06'E], 9.xi.1962, Stuckenberg, From coastal forest; 1♂ 1♀ Umhlanga, 26.xi.1944, Marley, in blooms of Heywoodia lucens in cop. [2 minutens together on 1 polyperous strip] ( SAMC); 2♀ Mtentwana, 31°05’12”S 30°11’08'E, 30.x.1990, Whittington, Coastal bush; 1♂ Umzamba Mouth [31°07'S 30°10'E] Bizana District , 25.xi.1960, Stuckenberg; 1♀ Nahoon [river] Mouth, East London , 32°59’07”S 27°56’51”E, 2.xi.1998, Leftwich, Dune Forest beside campsite; 1♂ 1♀ Port Alfred [33°36'S 26°54'E], xi.1953, Cottrell ( BMNH #1030004 ♂, #1029997 ♀); 1♂ Riet R. Mouth [33°36'S 26°54'E], 17.xii.1971, Greathead ( BMNH #1029988 ) GoogleMaps ; 2♀ ‘ Mossel Bay [34°11'S 22°08'E], xii.1921, Turner ( BMNH #1030006 , # 1030010 ); 2♂ 4♀ 1? Mossel Bay , 18–30.xi.1921, Turner ( BMNH #1029992 , # 1029994 , # 1030000 , # 1030005 , # 1030009 , # 1030011 , # 1030012 ); 2♂ Mossel Bay, 1–14.xi.1921, Turner ( BMNH #1029991 #1029996); 1♂ Mossel Bay, i.1922, Turner ( BMNH #1029999 ) GoogleMaps .

Literature records: Bezzi (1906: 281) recorded penicillatus from ‘Sabarguma’ ( Eritrea), but his identification was almost certainly incorrect. Engel and Cuthbertson (1939) recorded penicillatus from ‘Umtali’ [= Mutare] District, ‘Southern Rhodesia’ (= Zimbabwe). I have not seen their material and so the identification cannot be confirmed. Oldroyd (1974) recorded BMHN material from ‘Mossel Bay; Aliwal North; Port Alfred.’ The specimen from Aliwal North is now considered to belong to argolagon sp. n., the other material being correctly identified.

Distribution ( Table 1), phenology (Table 2) and biology: Although two females are recorded from coastal forest in Kenya, the species otherwise has a ‘coastal’ distribution restricted to South Africa ( Fig. 32). The occurrence in Kenya requires confirmation. South African specimens have been collected from October to January, while the Kenyan females were collected in May and June. The species is known from coastal dune-forest situations in South Africa.


Swedish Museum of Natural History, Entomology Collections


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Iziko Museums of Cape Town














Oligopogon penicillatus Loew, 1858

Londt, Jason G. H. 2014

Oligopogon penicillatus

HULL, F. M. 1962: 212
KERTESZ, C. 1909: 62
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