Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:36 am

Bombyliid Bee Fly Bombylella sp., possibly Bombylella ornata
Family: Bombyliidae. Subfamily: Bombyliinae. Tribe: Bombyliini

Image

Image
Imfolozi

Description
Bombylella sp. are a small, less than 10 mm, delicate species with long slender legs, alula long and narrow, and squama reduced. Those from Africa with mainly black vestiture ornamented with tufts of bright colored hair or opalescent or metallic colored scales in spots on frons and often on thorax and abdomen. The ornamentation is probably for species recognition in dense vegetation (open forest, woodland).

Distribution
Bombylella sp. are mainly Afrotropical, also southern Palaearctic and Oriental.

Biology
B. ornata and Bombylella sp. have been reared once each from dung balls of Scarabaeidae.
Both sexes feed on nectar but females also feed on pollen and many have specialised hairs on the fore tarsi for gathering pollen.

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:40 am

Bombyliid Bee Fly possibly Bombylella sp.
Family: Bombyliidae. Subfamily: Bombyliinae. Tribe: Bombyliini

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Hartebeespoort Dam area, North West Province


The bee flies of the genus Bombylella are small, relatively slender flies with relatively long slender legs; alula long and narrow, squama reduced; vestiture usually predominantly black, hair long and tufted, usually with metallic or opalescent scales in spots on frons and often on thorax and abdomen.
Scape at least 3 x length of pedicel; small, relatively slender flies with relatively long, slender legs; alula long and narrow, squama reduced; vestiture usually predominantly black, hair long and tufted, usually with metallic or opalescent scales in spots on frons and often on thorax and abdomen.

Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:58 am

Woolly Bee Fly Systoechus sp.
Family: Bombyliidae Subfamily: Bombyliinae. Tribe: Bombyliini

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (October)

Description
Stout and furry fly. Legs slender, long proboscis. Small (wingspan 14 mm), with broad head and body covered in plush frosty or chalky white hairs. Many species are known from the region.
Head usually narrower than thorax; hind margin of eye not indented. Cell br equal in length to bm; r-m usually much shorter than m-m, occasionally almost as long; cell r5 closed and stalked; vestiture fine and silky with a clipped appearance at least on occiput and thorax, hair long and dense, white to straw-yellow or brown shading to paler on underside; wing infuscation, if present, diffuse and darker along fore border; gonocoxae without a crest of strong spines or a tuft of long hairs on the dorsal surface, male with phallosome compact often with clasper-like outgrowths.

Habitat
Most common in arid sparsely vegetated areas. Karoo and bushveld.

Biology
Some species of economic importance as the larvae feed on eggs of Brown Locust Locustana pardalina.

Diptera, Brachycera, Asiloidea, Bombyliidae, Lomatiinae

Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:14 am

Subfamily Lomatiinae (Brown Bee Flies)

In this subfamily Lomatiinae, the Bee flies have long wings and narrow body. On each side the posterior surface of head is distinctly concave. They are usually brown to dark brown in colours. Their wing vein Rs forks well before r-m, with R4 and R5 strongly looped. The wings are usually in dark colour and some are patterned. They usually have the narrow and flattened abdomen.
Postcranium with a deep or shallow concavity surrounding occipital foramen. Clypeus reaching antennal sockets. Eyes with an indentation on the posterior margin; scape cylindrical or conical, without a ventral apical bulge; wings elongate, usually longer than body.

Annotated keys to the genera of African Bombylioidea (Diptera: Bombyliidae; Mythicomyiidae) by D. J. Greathead and N. L. Evenhuis

Re: Diptera, Bombyliidae

Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:33 am

Bee Fly Notolomatia pictipennis
Family Bombyliidae. Subfamily Lomatiinae. Tribe Lomatiini

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Description
A medium-sized fly with a wingsan of 20 mm. Body black with dense tufts of black, white and yellow hairs on the sides of the broad flattened abdomen. Wings long and black with central dull orange patch. Short fleshy mouthparts.
Hind margin of eye indented; mesonotum with few bristles at sides, inconspicuous in front of wing; aedeagus pointed; spermathecal bulb short. Abdominal terga entirely black; adpressed scale-like hairs present on abdomen; abdominal cuticle dull, tomentose; spermathecal bulb pear-shaped. Wing only a little longer than body, not entirely infuscated, and with at least the apex hyaline; vein R4 without an appendix and with a rounded bend, vein m-m almost parallel to wing margin so that discal cell appears pointed.
It flies near the ground.

Taxonomic Note
Notolomatia was proposed for afrotropical species formerly included in Lomatia.

Distribution
Afrotropical.

Habitat
Open grassland and woodland.

Diptera, Brachycera, Asiloidea, Bombyliidae, Anthraciinae

Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:52 am

Subfamily Anthraciinae (Black Bee Flies and Stout Bee Flies)

The Anthracinae are the largest subfamily of the Bombyliidae in terms of numbers of species (~2,100 spp. in 170 genera of 6 tribes worldwide).
The tribes Anthracini, Exoprosopini and Villini are, for the most part, easily differentiated and allocated to the correct tribe, but the limits of the Aphoebantini,
Prorostomatini and Xeramoebini in particular are not well defined.
Bee Flies in this subfamily usually large and stout. There are usually patterns on clear wings with patterns on the costal margin area. Clypeus not reaching antennal sockets. Eyes with an indentation on the posterior margin and at least an indication of a bisecting line; if exceptionally (some Prorostomatini) both characters are lacking, then R2+3 arises at right angles at a distance from origin of Rs. Frons at most only slightly tumid, face protruding or not; body slender or broad; usually densely covered with hair and/or scales and with well developed bristles; female with sand-chamber well differentiated and three spermathecae

Annotated keys to the genera of African Bombylioidea (Diptera: Bombyliidae; Mythicomyiidae) by D. J. Greathead and N. L. Evenhuis

Diptera, Brachycera, Asiloidea, Bombyliidae, Anthraciinae

Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:07 am

Subfamily Anthraciinae, tribe Exoprosopini

The tribe Exoprosopini is characterised by having claws with a tooth (= conical spine-like pulvilli) at base, which separates it from the otherwise similar Villini. The Exoprosopini also invariably have an interradial crossvein between R2+3 and R4 (at least three submarginal cells), sometimes also cell r4 divided into two by a crossvein (4 submarginal cells); they usually have two flagellomeres, and are, mostly, larger than Villini.

Annotated keys to the genera of African Bombylioidea (Diptera: Bombyliidae; Mythicomyiidae) by D. J. Greathead and N. L. Evenhuis

Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:09 am

Bee Fly Exoprosopa sp.
Family Bombyliidae. Subfamily: Anthracinae. Tribe: Exoprosopini

Image

Image
Nossob Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (November)

Description
Large (wingspan 40 mm), with short proboscis. Wings nearly always boldly patterned (often banded) with white or pale scales on segments 6 and 7 or on each segment. Eyes without distinct hairs; body broad. Hind tibiae with small scales lying flat.
Extremely species rich genus that includes the largest bombyliids in the region.

Distribution
Exoprosopa is a worldwide genus of flies belonging to the family Bombyliidae (bee-flies). Species are found worldwide, however Southern Africa is especially species rich with over 135 species. In South Africa most species occur in the wooded, summer-rainfall, northern parts of the region.

Biology
Important as pollinators of diverse plant species in the succulent karoo. Parasitize a wide range of insects, including locusts.

Diptera, Asiloidea, Bombyliidae, Anthraciinae, Xeramoebini

Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:41 pm

Subfamily Anthraciinae, tribe Xeramoebini

The tribe Xeramoebini was proposed by Hull (1973) for genera with the face not produced, vein R2+3 arising at a right-angle before or opposite crossvein r-m, and also metepisternum and mediotergite bare. Face rounded, not produced; femora without strong bristles below; body narrow, elongate to moderately broad.

Annotated keys to the genera of African Bombylioidea (Diptera: Bombyliidae; Mythicomyiidae) by D. J. Greathead and N. L. Evenhuis

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies: Diptera Bombyliidae

Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:44 pm

Bee Fly Possibly Petrorossia sp.
Family: Bombyliidae. Subfamily: Anthracinae. Tribe: Xeramoebini

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (October)

Description
Relatively narrow wings, alula reduced and narrow; discal cell long. Crossvein r-m before middle of discal cell.
Face rounded. Hind margin of eye with a bisecting line. Body elongate, abdomen flattened, with hairs and sparse small scales.

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