Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans ( Bigot, 1892 )

Morita, Shelah, 2008, A revision of the Philoliche aethiopica species complex (Diptera: Tabanidae), African Invertebrates 49 (1), pp. 129-158 : 148-150

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Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans ( Bigot, 1892 )


Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans ( Bigot, 1892) View in CoL View at ENA

Figs 1b View Fig , 8 View Fig , 9 View Fig

Mycteromyia elegans Bigot, 1892: 608 View in CoL . Cape of Good Hope [ South Africa] (BMNH).

Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans (Bigot) View in CoL : Oldroyd 1957: 335.

Diagnosis: P. elegans is the only species of Philoliche with a band of white-grey pruinescence which forms a sharply contrasting border along the sides and posterior margin of the scutum. It is separated from P. rubiginosa by this sharp contrast in colour, whereas in P. rubiginosa the white-grey pruinescence on the posterior margin of the scutum blends gradually into the brown of the scutum. Also, the frons in females of P. elegans is yellow-grey pruinose, versus the shining, dark red frons of P. rubiginosa .



Head: Eyes dichoptic; facets of similar size throughout. Frons parallel-sided from vertex towards antennae, covered with grey to yellow-grey pruinescence (pollinosity), slightly convex. Face conically produced forward a distance not more than length of antennae. Antennae with first two segments light brown to brown with black hairs; flagellum orange-brown to bright orange sometimes with dark apex. Palps slender; distal segment wider, with black hairs and sensory groove leading to an aperture; apex blunt. Proboscis length rarely longer than length of head and thorax combined.

Thorax: Mesonotum dark brown with faint or no sublateral stripes. If sublateral stripes are more evident, they are not narrow and grey but instead broad and brown or brownish red. Supra-alar areas of scutum sharply contrasting with white-grey pruinescence beginning at postpronotal lobes and continuing along the sides and in band across posterior margin of scutum. Scutellum colour ranging from white-grey to slightly pink. Pleura light grey to pinkish grey with numerous white to yellow hairs.

Wings: Slightly smoky, becoming clearer posteriorly; can be slightly darkened at crossveins. Fifth radial cell usually open although closed at margin or even closed and stalked in some specimens; third medial cell always open.

Legs: Coxae pinkish grey with white hairs; trochanters orange to brown; fore and mid femora orange; hind femur yellow. Tibia of foreleg and midleg paler than femora. Hind tibia with black hairs; colour darker than hind femur towards apex. Tarsi concolourous with apex of tibia of same leg; darkened at apex of fifth tarsomere in all tarsi.

Abdomen: Bright orange-yellow with black medial spot on segments 1 and 2; segments 3 and 4 may also be slightly darkened medially, but are most often darker throughout. Central posterior margin of segment 2 sometimes with white or yellow hairs. Posterior margin of segment 4 with black hairs (as rest of segment), except on posterolateral margin. Posterolateral margin of segments 3–7 with tufts of black or white hairs as follows: 3 – black, 4 – white, 5 – some black but mostly white, 6 – white, 7 – white.

Male similar to female except:

Head: Eyes holoptic; facets increasing in size from ventral to dorsal very abruptly. Frons extremely small and triangular, pruinescent, covered with long, silky yellow, golden or white hairs; eye margins beginning to diverge a distance from vertex similar to length of antennae. Face conically produced, but not as prominent as in female, clypeus highly reduced. Palps reduced compared to female, but with sensory pit. Clypeus reduced to frontoclypeal membrane.

Thorax: Mesonotum with longer, more dense, golden or yellow hairs.

Legs: With short distally projecting dorsal process on tarsomeres 1 and 2 (lappet). Lappet of tarsomere 2 never extending beyond proximal margin of tarsomere 4.

Abdomen: Narrower and often more brightly coloured.

Type material examined:

Mycteromyia elegans Bigot

Syntypes: 1♀1♂ Cape of Good Hope [ South Africa ], J. Bigot & G.H.Verrall, #240246, #240247 ( BMNH) . Additional material examined: SOUTH AFRICA: Western Cape: Willowmore (33°18'S: 23°29'E), Dr Brauns: 1♀1♂ 1.xii.1918 ( SAMC) GoogleMaps , 1♀1♂ 1.xii.1918, iii.1920, 20.xii.1921, 20.i.1922, 3.i.1926 (all NMSA) . Eastern Cape: Sundays River Valley (33°43'S: 25°51'E), 29.xii.1977 – 12.i.1978, J.G.H. Londt ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 5♀ Baviaanskloof (33°38': 24°19'E), 9–10.ii.2004, S.I. Morita ( SMPC) GoogleMaps ; Clifton , 18 km SW of Grahamstown (33°27'S: 26°20'E), 21.i.1986, F.W. & S.K. Gess ( AMGS) GoogleMaps ; 1 ♂ Drainage on R67 (32°56'S: 26°07'E), 6.ii.2004, S.I. Morita ( SMPC) GoogleMaps ; Dunbrody (33°28'S: 25°33'E): 2♀1897 and 1900, O’Neil (both SAMC) GoogleMaps ; V. Powers ( AMGS) ; Grahamstown (33°18'S: 26°32'E): 22.iii.1973, J.G.H. Londt ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; Martin , iii, xii.1956 ( AMGS) ; Strowan , 5 km W of Grahamstown (33°18'S: 26°27'E), 30.xi.1970, F.W. Gess ( AMGS) GoogleMaps ; Hilton , 20 km NW of Grahamstown (33°15'S: 26°21'E), 21–18.x.1970, F.W.Gess ( AMGS) GoogleMaps ; 1♀Loerie (33°52'S: 25°02'E), i.1960 ( SAMC) GoogleMaps ; 2♀4♂ Rd to Glen Craig Farm at Bosberg (32°41'S: 25°39'E), 6.ii.2004, S.I. Morita ( SMPC) GoogleMaps ; Resolution , 20 km NNE of Grahamstown (33°10'S: 26°43'E), A. Walton: 7–30.i.1928 ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 8.i.1928 ( AMGS) GoogleMaps ; Somerset East Boschberg (32°42'S: 25°39'E), 17.i.1986, K. Steiner ( NMSA) GoogleMaps ; 1 ♂ Stream Crossing, Bosberg (32°42'S: 25°39'E), 6.ii.2003, S.I. Morita ( SMPC) GoogleMaps ; 1♀Zwartkops (Swartkops) Port Elizabeth Cape Colony , 20.xii.1922, Dr Brauns ( NMSA) .

Distribution: Limited to the western portion of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa ( Fig. 8 View Fig ).

Remarks: Bigot (1892) described both the male and female of Mycteromyia elegans . This species was later transferred to Philoliche (Philoliche) by Oldroyd (1957: 336), where he comments that “Apart from the grey thoracic border, elegans is closely related to rondanii [sic]”. This is noteworthy, since on the next page Oldroyd (1957: 337) classifies P. (P.) rondani as a subspecies of P. (P.) aethiopica .


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


KwaZulu-Natal Museum


Albany Museum














Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans ( Bigot, 1892 )

Morita, Shelah 2008

Philoliche (Philoliche) elegans (Bigot)

OLDROYD, H. 1957: 335

Mycteromyia elegans

BIGOT, J. M. F. 1892: 608
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