Congomochtherus elferinki Londt & Tsacas, 1987

Jason G. H. Londt, 2014, The Afrotropical Robber Fly Genus Congomochtherus Oldroyd, 1979 (Diptera: Asilidae: Asilinae), African Invertebrates 55 (2), pp. 333-350: 336-338

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Congomochtherus elferinki Londt & Tsacas, 1987


Congomochtherus elferinki Londt & Tsacas, 1987 

Figs 1View Fig. 1, 2View Fig. 2, 6View Figs 5-11, 17View Fig. 17

Congomochtherus elferinki Londt & Tsacas, 1987: 32  (figs 1 whole ♂, 2 postmetacoxal area, 11 wing, 12-17 ♂ terminalia, 18 ♀ terminalia).

Previously recorded material: Londt & Tsacas (1987) listed the following type material: SOUTH AFRICA: 2♂ (paratypes), F. Oldreives Outlook Est., 22°59'S 29°50'E, Louis Trichardt, Zoutpansberg, 1415 m, 4-8. xii.1978, Falc. Coll. Exp. (NHMZ); 1♀ (paratype), Mogoto Nature Res., Zebediela, 24°15'S 29°15'E, [c. 1405 m], 22-25.x.1979, Prinsloo (SANC); 1♂ (paratype), Nyl Rivier 8 km SW of Nylstroom [Modimolle c. 24°46'S 28°21'E c. 1190 m], 2428CD, 29-31.i.1978, Londt, bushveld near river (NMSA); 1♂ (paratype), Gladdespruit river headwaters at Kaapsehoop [Kaapschehoop c. 25°35'S 30°46'E c. 1635 m], 2530DB, 5000ft, 3.xi.1970, Stuckenberg, grassland & gallery forest (NMSA); 1♂ (paratype), Pretoria. Roodeplaat Hort. Res. Inst., 25°41'S 28°18'E, [c. 1280 m]. 1.xi.1979, Van Tonder (SANC); 3♂ 2♀ (paratypes), Barberton, Havelock Road, 2531CC, 7.xi.1970, Stuckenberg, Lomati River [Barberton Nature Reserve c. 25°51'S 31°06'E c. 1505 m], headwaters montane meadow (NMSA); 2♂ 3♀ (paratypes), Johannesburg, Sandton [c. 26°06'S 28°03'E c. 1630 m], 2628AA, 7 (1♂ 2♀) & 14.ii.1982 (1♂ 1♀), Elferink (NMSA); 1♂ (paratype), Argent [Argent Ave., Roodepoort 26°08'S 27°53'E c. 1600 m], 24.xii.1939, Capener (NMSA); 1♂ 1♀ (paratype), Halfway House, 28.ii.1982, Elferink, Jukskei River [26°08'S 28°08'E c. 1570 m] (NMSA); 7♂ (holotype & paratypes) 8♀ (paratypes), Johannesburg, Highlands North [c. 26°09'S 28°05'E c. 1675 m], 2628AA, 21.ii.1981 (2♀) 7.iii.1982 (7♂ 6♀), Elferink, [possibly James & Ethel Gray Park - c. 26°08'21"S 28°03'50"E] (NMSA 5♂ (inc. holotype) 4♀, MNHN, BMNH); 1♂ (paratype), Klipfontein, 28°18'S 24°08'E, [c. 1300 m], 4.xii.1979, Falc. coll. Exp. (NHMZ); 6♂ 2♀ (paratypes), Cathedral Peak area, 2829CC, 4100', 20.xi.1979, Londt, Mhlwezine Riv. [c. 28°56'S 29°14'E c. 1320 m] (NMSA); 2♂ 2♀ (paratypes), Giant's Castle Game Res., Injasuti [Injisuthi c. 29°07'S 29°26'E c. 1455 m] area, 2929AB, Londt, 5-11.xii.1983, (NMSA); 5♂ 1♀ (paratypes), 5 km W of Matatiele [c. 30°19'S 28°44'E c. 1435 m], 3028BC, 8.i.1979, Londt & Stuckenberg, open grassveld nr. stream or river banks on grass (NMSA); 2♂, (paratypes), Xuka River, 10 km E Engcobo [c. 31°40'S 28°07'E c. 720 m], 3128CA, 26.x.1978, Londt & Miller, river bank (NMSA). ZIMBABWE: 1♂ (paratype), Penhalonga [= Penalonga c. 18°53'S 32°40'E, c. 1160 m], 6.xii.1978, Wheeler (NMSA).

Newly recorded material: SOUTH AFRICA: 1♀, Pietersburg [= Polokwane], 29°29'S 23°45'E [error - c. 23°54'S 29°27 'E, c. 1250 m], 13.ii.1987, Erasmus, Dept. Entomology Pretoria University (NMSA); 1♂, O.T.K. Reserve, Loskopdam, 25°27'S 29°24'E, [c. 1300 m], 4-11.xii.1985, Millar (NMSA); 1♀, Witbank [25°52'S 29°13'E c. 1593 m], 2529CC, iii.1979, Buitendag (NMSA); 1♂ 1♀, Melmoth District, Vergelegen farm, 28°32'S 31°21'E, 760 m, 4.ii.1986, Hurt, sitting on rock adjacent to stream (NMSA); 2♀, Kelvin Grove [c. 28°55'S 29°28'E c. 1210 m], 28°50'S 29°20'E, 20.xi.1993, Cradock, grass near river (NMSA); 2♂ 2♀, Mhlopeni Nature Reserve, 29°01'09"S 30°24'56"E, 900 m, 15.iii.2 000, Londt & Dikow, Acacia  thornveld (NMSA); 1♂, Injisuthi Nature Reserve, 29°07'29"S 29°26'24"E, 14 70 m, 21-23.iii.2013, Londt, montane grass Proteas bridge area (NMSA); 2♂, Injasuti [= Injisuthi] Nature Res., 29°12'S 29°22'E [error - 29°07'S 29°26'E], 500 m [error - c. 1456 m], 26.iii.1994, Londt (NMSA); 1♀, Castleburn resort area, 29°44'17"S 29°17'36"E, 1650 m, 23.ii.2000, Londt, River Walk grassland river banks (NMSA); 1♀, Castleburn resort area, 29°44'22"S 29°17'58"E, 1620 m, 16.i.2014, Londt, Mlambonja River (NMSA); 3♂, Garden Castle Hotel area, 29°45'05"S 29°13'38"E, 1760 m, 14-16.i.2014, Londt, Stones, Mlambonja River (NMSA);

1♀, Castleburn resort area, 29°44'20"S 29°17'54"E, 1620 m, 19.iv.2014, Londt, Mlambonja River; 1♀, Mhlatuzana River, 29°48'S 30°45'E, 500 m, 18.xii.1990, Whittington & Londt, indigenous forest Jackson's Falls (NMSA); 1♂ 1♀, Pietermaritzburg, 30°36'S 30°22'E [unlikely and erroneous record], 1.xii.1994, Cradock (NMSA). TANZANIA: 1♂, 20 km N Uvinza [5°06'S 30°23'E, c. 1020 m], xi. 4 [or ii] 1964, Dudley (NMSA). ZIMBABWE: 1♂, Umtali [= Mutare c. 18°58'S 32°39'E c. 1100 m] District, Kebokon [? - indistinct], 12.x.1931 (NMSA).

Distribution ( Fig. 17View Fig. 17), phenology ( Table 1) and biology:Although there are few records beyond South African borders, this is a fairly widely distributed species that is likely to be found at many places throughout the eastern parts of Africa. The species has been collected during every month from October to April ( Table 1) and so it can be said with certainty that this is a summer-active asilid. I have collected this species on no fewer than 12 occasions and can testify to the fact that individuals are invariably found resting on rocks in and along streams and rivers. One such locality, in the scenic Drakensberg Mountains, is pictured here ( Fig. 2View Fig. 2). They are active fliers, which makes collection difficult (without falling into the water or getting the net drenched). My experience is backed up by a number of other collectors in the information provided on labels. Although some labels suggest that individuals may have been collected on vegetation, this is probably unlikely as I have not encountered them resting on vegetation (apart from dead twigs amongst riverine rocks). Interestingly enough, the species appears to be at home along rivers running through highly developed suburban places in the greater Johannesburg area, where streams are probably somewhat polluted. Little biological information is available.














Congomochtherus elferinki Londt & Tsacas, 1987

Jason G. H. Londt 2014

Congomochtherus elferinki

Londt & Tsacas 1987: 32