Laphyctis sp., 1858

Londt, Jason G. H. & Dikow, Torsten, 2018, A review of the assassin-fly genus Laphyctis Loew, 1858 with descriptions of two new species (Diptera, Asilidae, Laphriinae), African Invertebrates 59, pp. 75-106 : 86-89

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scientific name

Laphyctis sp.


Laphyctis sp.   Figs 22, 56


The following specimen is unique and probably represents an undescribed species. It is in poor condition and so we refrain from providing it with a name until additional material becomes available.


Based on the single female listed below.

Head: Dark red-brown, but colour masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence, shiny white and pale yellow setose. Antennae mostly orange-brown, fine silver pruinose, especially scape. Scape pale yellow setose ventrally. Pedicel with only a few tiny setae distally. Postpedicel with narrow terminal cup-shaped style, opening oblique and enclosing a spine-like sensory element. Segmental length ratios = 1: 0.7: 1.9: 0.5. Face dark red-brown, but colour masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence (except for extreme lateral margins of epistomal margin). Width of one eye: face ratio = 1: 0.94 (face slightly narrower than width of 1 eye). Face hardly projecting ventrally, profile slightly convex (Fig. 22). Mystacal macrosetae shiny pale yellow, confined to ventral third of face. Dorsal region of face fine white setose. Frons and vertex dark red-brown, colour masked by dull gold-silver pruinescence, fine white setose. Ocellar tubercle fine white setose (no macrosetae). Postocular (occipital) region dark red-brown, colour masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence. Occiput with rows of c. 9 moderately long, pale yellow macrosetae dorsally and many fine, shiny white setae, mostly ventrally. Palpi brown-orange, 2-segmented, fine white setose. Proboscis straight, red-brown, fine white setose proximally and distally.

Thorax: Dark red-brown to brown-orange, uniformly silver-gold pruinose, pale yellow and fine white setose. Pronotum red-brown, silver pruinose, fine white setose. Mesonotum dark red-brown and orange-brown, entirely fine gold-silver pruinose, uniformly fine shiny yellow-white microsetose except for moderately developed, pale yellow lateral macrosetae (3 npl, 4 spal), pal setae absent. Scutellum dark red-brown, entirely fine gold-silver pruinose. Discal scutellar setae fine yellow, apical scutellar setae absent. Pleura brown-red to dark red-brown, entirely gold-silvery pruinose, fine white setose. Katatergal macrosetae moderately developed, fine pale yellow. Anatergites uniformly silver pruinose, asetose. Postmetacoxal area membranous. Legs: Fairly uniform orange-brown, shiny white to pale yellow setose. Coxae fine silver-gold pruinose. Claws well-developed, dark red-brown with orange basal parts. Empodium orange, straight, slightly longer than claws. Pulvilli pale orange, well-developed. Wings: ♀ 9.5 × 3.4 mm. Venation: All marginal cells open except for r5, m3, and cua, which are closed and stalked. Veins yellow-brown, membrane unstained, transparent, microtrichose (except for small parts of some basal cells). Cell cup with weak bordering vein (C) and microsetae. Alula well-developed, lacking bordering vein and microsetae.

Abdomen: Dark red-brown to black, fine white microsetose, macrosetae pale white, silver pruinose. Tergites (T1-6 well-developed and clearly evident, others reduced and partly hidden from view below T6) dark red-brown to black, silver pruinose, lateral margins, most of surface apruinose. T1-6 with pale white discal macrosetae. Sternites dark red-brown, colour masked by silver pruinescence, fine white setose. Genitalia not dissected.

Material examined.

Zimbabwe: Matebeland North: 1♀ 'Sawmills [c. 19°35'00"S, 28°02'23"E 1065m] / S. Rhodesia / 10.12.1926 / RHR Stevenson’ [ID Fisher - Laphystia   ] [NSMA-DIP-07858] (NMSA).

Distribution, biodiversity hotspots, phenology and biology.

Known from a single locality in Zimbabwe (Fig. 56) and single collecting event (Table 1). The Sawmills (19°35'00"S, 28°02'23"E) locality apparently harbours both this undescribed species and L. gigantella   based on two collecting events in 1926 (early December) and 1919 (late December), respectively. Not known to occur in any biodiversity hotspot. Collected in December (Table 2). Nothing is known of the biology.