Merodon bombiformis Hull, 1944

Vujić, Ante, Radenković, Snežana, Zorić, Ljiljana Šašić, Likov, Laura, Tot, Tamara, Veselić, Sanja & Djan, Mihajla, 2021, Revision of the Merodon bombiformis group (Diptera: Syrphidae) - rare and endemic African hoverflies, European Journal of Taxonomy 755 (1), pp. 88-135 : 93-97

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Merodon bombiformis Hull, 1944


Merodon bombiformis Hull, 1944

Figs 1 View Fig , 3C View Fig , 4A View Fig , 5A View Fig , 6A View Fig , 9A View Fig , 10A View Fig , 11A View Fig , 12A View Fig , 13A–C View Fig , 14A View Fig , 15A View Fig , 16A View Fig , 21A–D View Fig , 24 View Fig

Merodon bombiformis Hull, 1944: 42–43 (type locality: Waterval, Republic of South Africa).


Large, golden species (10–14 mm) with reddish-yellow/golden face and frons ( Figs 9A View Fig , 11A View Fig ), lateral sides of scutum ( Fig. 10A View Fig ) and most of terga ( Fig. 5A View Fig ); oral margin reduced ( Fig. 9A View Fig ); antennal segments very short ( Fig. 4A View Fig ), frons inflated ( Fig. 9A View Fig ).

Material examined


REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA • 1 ♂; Waterval ; 25.183° S, 29.012° E; 27 Dec. 1898; Distant Collection 1911:383; BMNH. GoogleMaps

Additional material

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA • 1 ♂; Distant Bush ; 28.586° S, 24.658° E; 1182 m a.s.l.; 1911; unknown leg.; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♂; Pretoria, Baviaanspoort ; 25.664° S, 28.366° E; 1290 m a.s.l.; 15 Feb. 1920; H.K. Munro leg.; FSUNS ID 04277 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♀; Natal, Hilton Road ; 29.597° S, 30.336° E; 833 m a.s.l.; 22 Dec. 1953; P. Graham leg.; FSUNS ID 04280 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♀; Pietermaritzburg ; 29.597° S, 30.336° E; 833 m a.s.l.; 5 Nov. 1955; Oosthuizen leg.; reared from Gladiolus bulbs; FSUNS ID 04282 ; NBCN LML-05-5 GoogleMaps 1 ♂; same collection data as for preceding; FSUNS ID 04276 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♀; same collection data as for preceding; 19 Nov. 1955; FSUNS ID 04279 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♂; reared from Gladiolus bulbs in Wisley Horticultural Gardens (United Kingdom), which were brought from RSA; Jun. 1956; V.W. Fowler leg.; BMNH 1 ♀; Transkei, Pitseng Pass, banks from Luzzi River ; 30.749° S, 28.299° E; 1633 m a.s.l.; 11 Jan. 1979; J. Londt and B. Stuckenberg leg.; rocky hill and grassveld; FSUNS ID 04278 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♂; Eastern Cape, 5 km ENE of Rhodes ; 30.783° S, 28.000° E; 2066 m a.s.l.; 5 Feb. 1992; wet stream gully; unknown leg.; FSUNS ID 04275 ; NMSA GoogleMaps 1 ♀; Eastern Cape, Naudes Nek , near top of pass; 30.759° S, 28.137° E; 2500 m a.s.l.; 6 Feb. 2009; S.I. Morita leg.; FSUNS ID 05724 ; USNM SMPC_SIM_1844 GoogleMaps 1 ♂; Drakensberg Mountain, Maclear-Naudes Nek ; 30.759° S, 28.203° E; 1800 m a.s.l.; 9 Feb. 2016; S. Radenković and N. Veličković leg.; FSUNS ID ZA2_079 ; FSUNS GoogleMaps .

LESOTHO • 1 ♀; Colony of Basutoland, Orange Valley ; 29.15° S, 29.03° E; 1500 m a.s.l.; R. Ellenberger leg.; FSUNS ID 03317 ; MNHN PM-05-46 GoogleMaps .


Original description is insufficient, without any illustrations and based on a single male specimen from South Africa ( Hull 1944).

Length: large species, body 10–14 mm, wing 8–10 mm (n = 8).


HEAD ( Figs 4A View Fig , 9A View Fig , 11A View Fig , 12A View Fig ). Antenna ( Fig. 4A View Fig ) very short, reddish to dark brown; scape and pedicel covered with dense, yellow pilosity; pedicel elongated, approximately as long as basoflagellomere (relation scape:pedicel: basoflagellomere =1.0: 1.8: 1.8); basoflagellomere concave dorsally, with rounded apex; arista light brown to dark brown, thickened basally, 5 times as long as basoflagellomere. Face reddish-yellow to dark brown, covered with yellow pollinosity and dense yellow pile, except on bare medial vitta that occupies ¼ width of face ( Fig. 11A View Fig ). Oral margin reduced ( Fig. 9A View Fig ). Frons from black to reddish and golden-yellow, inflated, covered with golden-yellow pollinosity and pile. Vertical triangle isosceles ( Fig. 12A View Fig ), usually reddish to black, predominantly covered with a long, yellow pile. Ocellar triangle equilateral. Eye pile dense, long as the scape, often pale yellow to gray. Eye contiguity about 10–15 ommatidia long. Occiput reddish, covered with yellow pile.

THORAX ( Figs 6A View Fig , 10A View Fig ). Mesonotum matte black, except lateral side of scutum including postpronotum and postalar callus, and posterior margin of scutellum reddish-yellow, covered with reddish pile; scutum with five pollinose longitudinal vittae ( Fig. 10A View Fig ). Pleuron covered with gray pollinosity and the following parts with whitish pile: anterior part of proepimeron, posterior part of anterior anepisternum, most of the posterior anepisternum except anterior end, antero-ventral and postero-dorsal part of katepisternum, anepimeron, and metasternum; in some specimens anterior anepisternum and katatergum reddish. Wing hyaline, with dense microtrichia and yellow to brown veins. Calypter pale yellow. Halter with yellow pedicel and capitulum. Legs usually dark brown to black (in some specimens partly reddish), except yellow basal third of tibiae. Metatrochanter without calcar. Metafemur moderately thickened, with less developed apicoventral triangular lamina, not dentate, only the apical dens is distinct, posteriorly oriented ( Fig. 6A View Fig ). Pile on legs predominantly yellow.

ABDOMEN ( Fig. 5A View Fig ). Predominantly reddish-yellow ( Fig. 5A View Fig ). Reddish parts of terga 2–4 covered with yellow pile and dense pollinosity, while dark parts with short adpressed black pile; sterna from yellow to dark brown, covered with white or yellow pile.

GENITALIA ( Figs 3C View Fig , 13A–C View Fig ). Posterior lobe of surstyle broad, rounded apically ( Fig. 13A View Fig : pl); anterior lobe of surstyle undeveloped, virtually absent ( Fig. 13A View Fig ); cercus elongated ( Fig. 13A View Fig : c). Hypandrium with theca slightly medially narrowed ( Fig. 13C View Fig : marked with arrow). Lateral sclerite of aedeagus small, quadrilateral ( Fig. 3C View Fig : s).

Female ( Figs 14A View Fig , 15A View Fig , 16A View Fig )

Similar to the male except for normal sexual dimorphism: frons reddish-yellow, with broad goldish pollinose vittae along eye margins; frons completely covered with golden pile ( Fig. 15A View Fig ); metafemur with very small apicoventral triangular lamina; apical dens more or less distinct, slightly posteriorly oriented ( Fig. 16A View Fig ).

Period of flight and distribution ( Fig. 1 View Fig )

The species is distributed in the Republic of South Africa and Lesotho. On the basis of our data, the flight period was found to be from November to February. Merodon bombiformis was collected in different vegetation types, brush-grass savanna, temperate and mountain grasslands and montane foresttundra. On Drakensberg Mountain, at the locality between Maclear and Naudes Nek, it was found near the stream, within bushes of Leucosidea sericea Eckl. & Zeyh. ( Rosaceae ) and Gladiolus sp. on rocky soil ( Fig. 24 View Fig ). Leucosidea sericea grows in Afromontane regions of southern Africa, and is the sole species of this genus ( South African National Biodiversity Institute 2004).

Larval biology

Stuckenberg (1956) described the puparia of M. bombiformis , reared from larvae found feeding on commercially grown Gladiolus sp. ( Iridaceae ) corms. Specimens from Pietermaritzburg (5 Nov. 1955, 19 Nov. 1955) were reared from bulbs of Gladiolus L. too.


South Africa, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Museum


KwaZulu-Natal Museum


Faculty of Science, The University of Novi Sad














Merodon bombiformis Hull, 1944

Vujić, Ante, Radenković, Snežana, Zorić, Ljiljana Šašić, Likov, Laura, Tot, Tamara, Veselić, Sanja & Djan, Mihajla 2021

Merodon bombiformis

Hull F. M. 1944: 43