Laphyctis orichalcea (Lindner, 1973)

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 : 85-86

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Laphyctis orichalcea (Lindner, 1973)


Laphyctis orichalcea (Lindner, 1973)   Figs 21, 27, 40, 51-55, 56

Laphystia orichalcea   Lindner, 1973: 74.

Laphyctis orichalcea   Londt, 1988: 513.


Based on material examined. General appearance as in Fig. 40.

Head: Dark red-brown to black, but colour masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence, shiny white and pale yellow setose. Antennae mostly dark red-brown, fine silver pruinose, especially scape. Scape strongly pale yellow setose ventrally. Pedicel almost asetose, 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: 0.9: 2.7: 0.8. Face dark red-brown to black, but colour masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence (except for extreme lateral margins of epistomal margin). Width of one eye: face ratio = 1: 1.06 (face slightly wider than width of 1 eye). Face projecting ventrally, profile plane (Fig. 21). Mystacal macrosetae short pale yellow accompanied by many shorter white setae, confined to narrow band along lower facial margin, not extending beyond ventral quarter of face. Dorsal region of face white setose. Frons and vertex dark red-brown to black, colour entirely masked by bright gold-silver pruinescence, fine pale yellow-white setose. Ocellar tubercle fine pale yellow setose (no macrosetae). Postocular (occipital) region dark red-brown to black, colour entirely masked by strong gold-silver pruinescence. Occiput with a curved row of c. 12 short, pale yellow macrosetae dorsally and many fine white setae, mostly ventrally. Palpi dark red-brown, 2-segmented, fine white setose. Proboscis straight, shiny dark red-brown, fine white setose proximally and distally.

Thorax: Dark red-brown to black, uniformly strongly gold-silver and silver-gold pruinose, orange, pale yellow and fine white setose. Pronotum dark red-brown, silver pruinose, fine white setose. Mesonotum dark red-brown, entirely silver-gold pruinose, uniformly fine shiny pale yellow microsetose (longer posteriorly) except for moderately developed, orange lateral macrosetae (4 npl, 2-3 spal, 3 pal). Scutellum dark red-brown to black, entirely fine silver-gold pruinose. Discal scutellar setae yellow, c. 20 apical scutellar setae, directed dorsally. Pleura dark red-brown to black, entirely gold-silver pruinose, fine white and yellow setose. Katatergal macrosetae moderately developed, pale yellow. Anatergites uniformly strongly silver pruinose, asetose. Postmetacoxal area membranous. Legs: Coxae dark red-brown, silver pruinose, white setose. Femora dark red-brown with distal quarter orange, tibiae and tarsi orange, all leg setae orange. Claws well-developed, black with brown-orange basal parts. Empodium red-brown, straight, slightly longer than claws. Pulvilli pale yellow, well-developed. Wings (Fig. 27): ♂ (1) 7.2 × 2.8 mm, ♀ (1) 7.7 × 3.0 mm (female slightly larger than male). Venation: All marginal cells open except for r5, m3, and cua, which are closed and stalked. Veins yellow to yellow-brown, membrane unstained, transparent, entirely lacking microtrichia. Cell cup largely lacking bordering vein (C) and microsetae. Alula well-developed, lacking bordering vein and microsetae.

Abdomen: Red-brown to orange, entirely pale yellow setose, macrosetae yellow, silver-gold pruinose. Tergites (T1-6 well-developed and clearly evident, others reduced and hidden from view below T6) red-brown to orange, entirely yellow microsetose, silver-gold pruinose. T1-5 with pale yellow discal macrosetae. Sternites brown, fine pale yellow setose, silver-gold pruinose.

Male terminalia (Figs 51-54): Genital bulb rotated clockwise through approximately 90°. T7-8 and S7-8 reduced and poorly defined. Epandrium large almost twice as long as broad, deeply bilobed in distal half (Fig. 51, note: distal end of left epandrial lobe and gonocoxite are broken off and missing). Proctiger large, well-developed, projecting slightly beyond epandrial lobes. Hypandrium poorly defined basally, projecting medioventrally as a dorsoventrally flattened, parallel-sided, slightly curved lobe (Fig. 54). Gonocoxites well-developed, broader in lateral view than epandrium, almost as long as epandrium, distal end equipped with strong, short macrosetae, moderately developed macrosetae on distal margin of gonocoxite. Gonostyli large, laterally compressed, broad in lateral view with dorsally directed distal end. Phallus well-developed, shaft as wide as gonostyli in ventral view tapering to a darkly sclerotized tip.

Female terminalia (Fig. 55): Relatively broad and dorsoventrally flattened. Segments 1-6 well-developed, segments 7-8 reduced. Subgenital plate moderately well-developed, almost twice as broad as long, with undulating, four-lobed distal margin.

Type material.

Holotype: Namibia: Erongo: 1♂ ' Laphystia   / orichalcea   Lind. / Lindner det.', 'Sovakopmund [sic. Swakopmund c. 22°40'58"S, 14°31'59"E 12m] SWA. / 10.-16.2.1970 /Lindner leg. [blue]', ' Laphyst   / Laphystia   / sp. / det H. Oldroyd 1970', 'Typus / Lindner 1973 [red ink]' (SMNS]. Note: Lindner (1973) described the species on the basis of a single male, giving details as '1♂ von Swakopmund 10. –16.II.1970’. While he labelled his specimen ’Typus’, he did not actually designate the specimen as holotype in his publication. As there were no other specimens it can be assumed that his single specimen is the holotype.

Material examined.

Namibia: Kunene: 1♀ 'Otjiu / 18°14'S, 13°15'E [c. 18°13'49"S, 13°16'25"E 745m] / Kaokoland / 22 Feb. 1985 / J. Irish, H. Rust’, ’H63397’ (NMNW); 1♀ 'Purros [c. 18°46'23"S, 12°56'34"E 285m], S. Kaoka- / veld S.W.A. / SE 1812Dd / 22.i.1981 / Univ. Van Pretoria’ [NSMA-DIP-07854] (NMSA); 1♂ 1♀ 'Brandberg Mts. [c. 21°05'23"S, 14°40'50"E 550m] / 2214BA [? sic] S.W.A. / 20.2.1969 / B. Lamoral’ [ID Oldroyd as Laphystia   sp. n.] [NSMA-DIP-07850 (♂), 71785] (NMSA); Erongo: 1♀ 'Namibia: Swakopmund: / 10 Km E Swakopmund [c. 22°37'43"S, 014°39'02"E] / 23.2.1990 / leg. Max. Schwarz’ (COGG).

Distribution, biodiversity hotspots, phenology and biology.

Known from four localities in Namibia (Fig. 56). A rarely collected species over a restricted period of time with the most recent collecting event dating to 1990 (Table 1). Collected in January and February (Table 2). Not known to occur in any biodiversity hotspot. The Otjiu (18°13'49"S, 13°16'25"E) locality apparently harbours both L. orichalcea   and L. eremia   sp. n. based on two collecting events in 1929 (early March) and 1985 (late February), respectively. Nothing is known of the biology and while no habitat data are provided, Google Earth images suggest dry river beds where bushes and/or small trees occur.














Laphyctis orichalcea (Lindner, 1973)

Londt, Jason G. H. & Dikow, Torsten 2018

Laphyctis orichalcea

Loew 1858