Laphria sackeni (Banks)

Dennis, D. Steve, Barnes, Jeffrey K. & Knutson, Lloyd, 2008, Pupal cases of Nearctic robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae), Zootaxa 1868 (1), pp. 1-98: 27-28

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1868.1.1

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scientific name

Laphria sackeni (Banks)


Laphria sackeni (Banks)  

( Figs 12­14 View FIGURES 12–14 )

The following description is based on six pupal cases of Laphria sackeni   from the United States National Museum and one from the California Academy of Sciences. One male case with pinned adult is labeled "Mt. St. Helena, Cal.; IV­3­31; ex pupa fr alder; collected by E.C. Zimmerman; colln. E.C. Zimmerman 1941," Another male with pinned adult is labeled "Placerville, Cal.; 11715g Hopk. U.S.; Pinus sabiniana   ; Sullivan J.J. Colr. " One female pupal case with a pinned adult and two female pupal cases without pinned adults are labeled the same as the Placerville male case. Another female case with pinned adult from the California Academy of Sciences is labeled " California, Tulare Co., Hot Spgs.; V­17­37; pres. by E.C. VanDyke. ”  

Description: Greatest length, including anterior antennal processes, ♂ 15.3–15.5 mm, ♀ 14.3–19.4 mm; greatest width of thorax ♂ 3.9–4.4 mm, ♀ 3.9–5.3 mm; greatest width of abdomen ♂ 3.4–3.6 mm, ♀ 3.6– 4.6 mm, tapering to ♂ 1.9–2.2 mm and ♀ 1.7–2.4 mm at greatest width of abdominal segment 8. Integument subshining golden brown; wing sheath, head, area around thoracic spiracle, posterior antennal processes, and often dorsolateral area of abdominal segments 1–2 darker; spines and other processes glistening reddish brown, darker apically; bristle­like spines yellowish to reddish brown.

Head with pair of cone­shaped, recurved, anterior antennal processes not joined at base and group of 4–5 basally fused, posterior antennal processes that curve and become shorter posteriorly; fifth process sometimes missing or fused with fourth; inner or first posterior process longer than and separated from outer posterior processes by flattened area of heavily sclerotized cuticle; outer 2 posterior processes (fourth and fifth) fused for greater distance than other posterior processes. Facial area with pair of small, basally fused, median spines on each side of midline and single, larger spine posterolateral to outermost posterior antennal process. Labral, proboscial, and maxillary sheaths smooth and elongate; labral and proboscial sheaths with shallow median furrow; proboscial sheath with median posterior swelling; maxillary sheath extending about two­thirds length of proboscial sheath.

Anterior coxal sheath smooth, with anterior, median, longitudinal split. Prothoracic spiracle round, situated midlaterally on small callosity at anterior margin of thorax. Anterior mesothoracic spines at base of mid leg sheath consisting of small, basally fused, posteriorly curved, anterior pair of spines and single, short, narrow, straight posterior spine widely separated from anterior pair. Posterior mesothoracic callosity at base of wing sheath small, bearing short, broadly rounded, apically sclerotized posterior mesothoracic spine. Wing sheath mostly smooth, with median elongate grooves; lacking median and/or basal tubercles. Thoracic area above wing sheath smooth. Apex of hind leg sheath reaching beyond middle of abdominal segment 4.

Abdominal spiracles round, light yellowish to reddish brown, flush or almost flush with cuticle, situated along midline laterally.

Abdominal segment 1 with dorsal transverse row of 23–43 short, stout spines; median spine sometimes bifurcate; outer spines shorter than inner spines; some spines alternately long and short, with 3–5 short spines between 2 long spines; dorsolateral bristle­like spines absent; 3–5 lateral spines present behind each spiracle; venter obscured by wing and leg sheaths.

Abdominal segments 2–4 and 5–6 similar to segment 1, but dorsal transverse row consisting of 24–33 and 15–21 stout spines, respectively; segment 7 with dorsal transverse row of 13–16 spines. Abdominal segments 4–5, and to lesser extent segments 2–3, with stout spines forming a row with 2 peaks, 1 peak on each side of midline; peaks with 1–3 spines pointing anteriorly. Segments 2–7 usually with 5–7 dorsolateral bristle­like spines on each side and 4–6 lateral bristle­like spines behind each spiracle; first and third bristle­like spines on venter and some other bristle­like spines often very long and curved. Segment 2 with 3–5 ventral bristle­like spines on each side of hind leg sheath; segments 3–7 with median space and 13–18 bristle­like spines becoming longer and thicker posteriorly.

Abdominal segments 8–9 curved downward. Segment 8 with 1 large, dorsal spine on each side of midline and sometimes 1–2 short, dorsolateral spines; dorsolateral, round, reddish­brown spiracle at lateral midline; lacking lateral and ventral spines. Segment 9 with pair of dorsomedian tubercles, most prominent in males; short, straight to recurved, dorsal posterolateral processes; larger, slightly longer, rugose, dorsally curved, ventral posterolateral processes; and pair of very large ventral, posteriorly pointed tubercles in male almost touching ventral posterolateral processes.