Allograpta amphotera ( Bezzi, 1928 )

Ramage, Thibault, Charlat, Sylvain & Mengual, Ximo, 2018, Flower flies (Diptera, Syrphidae) of French Polynesia, with the description of two new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 448, pp. 1-37: 5-6

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Allograpta amphotera ( Bezzi, 1928 )


Allograpta amphotera ( Bezzi, 1928) 

Figs 2AView Fig, 3View Fig A–B

Xanthogramma amphoterum Bezzi, 1928: 74  (holotype: ♂, BMNH; type locality: Cook Islands, Rarotonga).

Differential diagnosis

Species with yellow face with a medial black vitta, scutum black with a continuous lateral yellow vitta from postpronotum to scutellum, scutellum yellow with a median black macula, terga 2 and 5 with two lateral yellow maculae and terga 3 and 4 with a broad yellow fascia. It differs from A. nigripilosa  only in the wing microtrichia, as stated in the key.

Material examined


FIJI: ♂, “Holo- // type ” [round, red margin], “ Rarotonga 9 // 1920. // H.W. Simmonds ” “ Xanthogramma  // amphoterum  // Type Ƌg n.sp.” [red ink], “Fiji Is. // // Imp.Bur.Ent. // Brit. Mus  . // 1929–1.” ( BMNH).



FIJI: 1 ♂, Movua, Nov. 1920, H.K. Simmonds leg. ( BMNH); 1 ♀, Lautoka, Aug. 1919, R. Veitch leg. ( BMNH).

Other material

FRENCH POLYNESIA: 1 ♂, Austral Islands, Rurutu, Mar. 1925, St. George Expedition ( BMNH).

COOK ISLANDS: 1 ♂, Rarotonga, Avatiu Valley, 28 Mar. 1999, C. Wilkinson leg. ( BMNH); 1 ♀, Rarotonga, Avarua, 0–200 m a.s.l., Nov.–Dec. 1979, N.L.H. Krauss leg. ( BMNH).

Geographical distribution

Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Marquesas Islands (?), Society Islands(?) and Austral Islands), Samoa.

Status in French Polynesia


Flowers visited

No records (ferns?, see Aubertin & Cheesman 1929).


There are five DNA barcodes for Fiji specimens of this taxon with the following BOLD Process ID numbers: CNCDB1923-11, CNCDB1924-11, CNCDB1925-11, CNCDB1926-11 and CNCDB1927-11 (all by J.H. Skevington). The Barcode Index Number ( BIN) for them is BOLD:AAZ6685 (


Aubertin & Cheesman 1929: 172 (records); Hull 1937: 83 (catalogue); Vockeroth 1969: 129 (list); Thompson & Vockeroth 1989: 441 (catalogue); Mengual et al. 2009: 15 (list).


Aubertin & Cheesman (1929) recorded this species for the first time from French Polynesia (Tahiti, Raiatea and Bora-Bora) and mentioned that it was abundant on fern-covered slopes. Hull (1937) listed this species from Fiji, the Marquesas Islands and Tahiti, while Vockeroth (1969) mentioned it from Samoa. We were not able to collect specimens during any field expeditions, even though it might be abundant. The only studied specimen from French Polynesia that has the same wing microtrichia pattern as the holotype of A. amphotera  is a male from Rurutu in the BMNH.

This species and A. nigripilosa  are extremely similar, and after the study of the type material by XM, it is still not clear whether they are the same taxon or two different species, one located in the western and southern parts of the south Pacific Ocean ( A. amphotera  ) and the other ( A. nigripilosa  ) restricted to the central part. In the BMNH, there is a male ( Cook Islands: Rarotonga, Avatiu Valley, 28 Mar. 1999, C. Wilkinson leg.) with the cell bm bare on the basal ¼. This male does not match the type of A. amphotera  , indicating a potential intraspecific variability or some damage during preservation of this specimen. This specimen might also be a male of A. nigripilosa  that reached the Cook Islands, broadening the distribution range of this species. At this point, we should consider the records from French Polynesia by Aubertin & Cheesman (1929) as doubtful, since they were reported prior to the description of A. nigripilosa  by Hull (1944). More specimens are needed to understand the variability of these Oceanic species of Allograpta  , but the analysis of the available DNA barcodes, including the specimens of Allograpta  from Fiji mentioned above, resolved Fijian and Polynesian specimens in the same cluster, with a bootstrap support value of 100 in the Neighbour-Joining analysis. Moreover, BOLD groups all of these specimens in the same Barcode Index Number (BIN), BOLD:AAZ6685 ( Although resolved in the same clade, the barcodes of Fijian and Polynesian specimens form two  different clusters. In further studies we will try to collect more individuals of Allograpta  to test the molecular variability of these two species; at the current stage, the synonymy of A. amphotera  and A. nigripilosa  seems plausible.














Allograpta amphotera ( Bezzi, 1928 )

Ramage, Thibault, Charlat, Sylvain & Mengual, Ximo 2018

Xanthogramma amphoterum

Bezzi M. 1928: 74