Taxonomic observations regarding four genera of Afrotropical robber flies, Choerades Walker, 1851, Laphria Meigen, 1803, Nannolaphria Londt, 1977 and Notiolaphria Londt, 1977, and the description of Ericomyia gen. n. (Diptera, Asilidae, Laphriinae)

J.G.H. Londt

Abstract


Four established genera of Afrotropical Asilidae: Laphriinae, Choerades Walker, 1851, Laphria Meigen, 1803, Nannolaphria Londt, 1977 and Notiolaphria Londt, 1977 are discussed, and a new genus, Ericomyia gen. n.described. As no true Laphria are known from the afrotropics the following nine species are newly combined with Choerades pending review: auricorpus (Hobby, 1948) comb. n., ctenoventris (Oldroyd, 1970) comb. n., fortipes (Walker, 1857) comb. n., hera (Bromley, 1935) comb. n., luctuosa (Macquart, 1847) comb. n., metalli (Walker, 1851) comb. n., ricardoi (Bromley, 1935) comb. n., rueppelii (Wiedemann, 1828) comb. n., schoutedeni (Bromley, 1935) comb. n. This brings the number of recognised Afrotropical Choerades species to 25.
New records are provided for the monotypic Nannolaphria, known only from South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces).
Notiolaphria is reviewed with many new records provided. Six species are recognised, four transferred from Laphria and two new to science: (1) No. coerulescens (Macquart, 1834) comb. n., a widely distributed species (Indian Ocean Islands and African Mainland), and six species newly synonymised with it (Laphria albimaculata Macquart, 1838, Laphria breonii Macquart, 1838, Laphria cyaneogaster Macquart, 1838, Laphria submetallica Macquart, 1838, Laphria macra Bigot, 1859 (with existing synonym Laphria nusoides Brom­ley, 1931), No. africana (Londt, 1977); (2) No. dimidiatifemur (Oldroyd, 1960) comb. n. (Madagascar); (3) No. microtheres sp. n. (Madagascar); (4) No. miltothorax sp. n. (Madagascar); (5) No. rufitibia (Oldroyd, 1960) comb. n. (Madagascar); (6) No. stuckenbergi (Oldroyd, 1960) comb. n. (Madagascar). The species are well illustrated and a key for their separation is provided along with distribution maps.
Ericomyia gen. n. is described and illustrated based on Madagascan material previously assigned to Laphria atomentosa Oldroyd, 1960.
The considerable variation in size of No. coerulescens specimens and the species’ wide distribution, presently involving five Indian Ocean islands and a number of African countries, is discussed. It is suggested that oceanic currents are responsible for the distribution, while deforestation may have resulted in a decreased size of individuals.

To cite this paper: Londt, J.G.H. 2015. Taxonomic observations regarding four genera of Afrotropical robber flies,Choerades Walker, 1851, Laphria Meigen, 1803, Nannolaphria Londt, 1977 and Notiolaphria Londt, 1977, and the description of Ericomyia gen. n. (Diptera, Asilidae, Laphriinae). African Invertebrates 56 (1): 191–228.

Published electronically: 30 June 2015.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:60830600-0054-4C90-8398-EAE73BC66678


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