Diario del proyecto Insects - Southern Africa (identified for the 1st time on iNat or difficult to identify)

Archivos de diario de enero 2024

11 de enero de 2024

Novius iceryae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Almost hemispherical, a little longer than broad, and slightly narrowed behind; above very finely and closely punctured, and rather densely clothed with fine grey pubescence; shining black, with a large semicircular blood-red spot at the base of the elytra, enclosing the scutellum.
Head flattened; inner margin of the eyes straight; antennae, palpi, and labrum, red.
Thorax produced and rounded posteriorly, truncate in front of the scutellum, strongly produced and rounded at the sides, the lateral margin slightly reflexed, anterior margin narrowly testaceous.
Scutellum elongate-triangular, the apex acute.
Elytra impressed on each side of the scutellum, the humeral callus very prominent, humeral angles somewhat produced anteriorly, rounded, and slightly elevated.
Under side and legs pale red, strongly punctured, and with fine grey pubescence; epipleurae strongly
concave, black; tibiae strongly emarginate for the reception of the tarsi, the outer edge strongly but obtusely angulated and fringed with long grey hairs.
Length 4 - 5 mm.

"base of the elytra with a large semicircular blood-red spot, enclosing the scutellum"
Recorded from South Africa, also "collected from the Eastern Cape, Republic of South Africa, and had the following label data: “Sundays / River Valley / C.N. Smithers / March 1953”


Possible synonyms and colour variants listed here:

Observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1065213-Novius-iceryae

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 10:34 MAÑANA por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Homoeocerus (Homoeocerus) tigrinus Hesse, 1925 (Hemiptera: Coreidae)

Body pale greenish-yellow with greenish spots underneath and with dark spots on pronotum and corium. Antennae annulated.

Original description:

Illustrated in Hesse 1925, fig 5:

Distribution: Namibia, Botswana.

iNat observation:

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 11:03 MAÑANA por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Solanophila infirma (Mulsant 1850)

Oval, pubescent. Black prothorax. Elytra subcordiform. Distinctive colored species with dark red elytra, each of which is black bordered all around and has 6 yellow spots.

Original description:

Illustrated in Fürtsch 1991, fig 29

Type locality: Port Natal (Durban).

Obesvations on iNat: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/690050-Solanophila-infirma

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 12:32 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Chnootriba natalensis (Sicard 1907)

Cordiform, slightly pointed on the posterior end, prothorax black, densely clothed with white pubescence. Elytra red, decorated with seven yellow spots and a black border. Black underneath and the tip of the abdomen is yellow.
Spot pattern: The first three spots are quite large and in a triangle: the 1st in the humeral angle; the 2nd one near the suture, where it touches the black sutural margin; and the 3rd slightly behind the 2nd spot on the exterior margin. The next 3 spots form a forwardly convex arc. The inner spot touches the margin again, the outer one is slightly behind the inner one and the last spot is rounded at the apical angle.
Length 6.2-6.5 mm

Original description:

Illustrated in Fürsch 1991, fig 151

Type locality: Natal.

Obesvations on iNat: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/668931-Henosepilachna-natalensis/browse_photos?order_by=created_at&quality_grade=any

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 01:58 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Cryptocephalus dregii Suffrian 1857

Head orange. Pronotum orange with or without two black spots or irregular markings; smooth with very fine punctures; the anterior and posterior margined outined in black. Elytra black and smooth, very shiny.

There is a modern description with illustrations for the variable spots on the prothorax:

Original description:

iNat observations:

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 02:55 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Hyperechia bifasciata Grünberg 1907

Thorax with band of pale hairs on the posterior margin. Tergites I and II of abdomen with yellow or white pilosity; tergites II-VII of abdomen without hairs on side or ventral surface. Cheeks with black hairs.

Original description:


Distribution: Tanzania; Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo

iNat observation:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/195271383 (a new record for Namibia!)

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 03:24 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Cryptocephalus octopustulatus Thunberg 1787

A small species (length 3.6-4.3mm). Head black with a large orange spot on frons, large eyes. Pronotum
completely black, almost impunctate, basal pronotal margin with a row teeth. Elytra glabrous, punctation of elytra arranged in regular lines distinct to elytral apex, interstices with rows of micro-punctures, each elytron black with 4 orange red spots.

Distribution: South Africa (Western Cape and Eastern Cape)

Illustrated in:
Olivier, A. G. 1808. Entomologie, ou histoire naturelle des insectes, avec leurs caractères génériques et spécifiques, leur description, leur synonymie et leur figure enluminée. Coléoptères. Tome 8, fig 88

Photos of type, figures 26-32, in:
Schöller, Matthias; Bezděk, (2018). Cryptocephalus Species Described from South Africa by Johan Christian Fabricius and Carl Peter Thunberg (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cryptocephalinae). Annales Zoologici, 68(4), 749–768. doi:10.3161/00034541ANZ2018.68.4.003

iNat observations:

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 04:19 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Caffroblatta pulcherrima Rehn, 1922

Size small; form robust depressed ovate: surface smooth, moderately polished. Tegmina corneous, semi-transparent, abbreviate, distal margin obliquely truncate, venation absent except in vicinity of humeral trunk. No wings present. Limbs very robust, heavily spined.
General colour of pronotum, tegmina, other dorsal thoracic segments, tibiae and tarsi pale zinc orange to ochraceous-orange; dorsal and ventral surfaces of abdomen solidly brownish black, with the exception of narrow lateral margins which are orange rufous, on the distal segments the margins being broader proximad on each individual segment. Head of the pale general colour but washed to a variable degree with rufous to ferruginous; eyes mummy brown; palpi and mouth-parts deep fuscous brown; antennae fuscous. Coxae and femora to variable degrees washed with fuscous, the articulations, and to a lesser extent the margins, pale. Cerci pale.

Description in: Rehn, J. A. G. 1922. Ann. Transv. Mus. 9(1) :

Illustrated in Rehn, J. A. G. 1922. Ann. Transv. Mus. 9(1): Dorsal outline of male

Type locality: South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Pinetown.

iNat observations:

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 05:04 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Blepharodera ciliata Burmeister, 1838

Blepharodera ciliata is mottled with brown; the adult females measure up to 30 mm in length and males
up to 25 mm with a wing-span of 65 mm; nymphs are mottled with grey and resemble the apterous females, except for size. This species is usually found under the sand near the stems of plants and both adults and nymphs have been collected on the beach under the stems of Tetragonia decumbens and Arctotheca
populifolia during October to December.

Original description:

Female llustrated in:
Prins, A. J. (1983): Morphological and biological notes on some South African arthropods associated with decaying organic matter. Part 1. Chilopoda, Diplopoda, Arachnida, Crustacea and Insecta. Annals of The South African Museum 92. Pages: 53-112

Photo of male type on Cockroach Species File:

iNat observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/653279-Blepharodera-ciliata/browse_photos?order_by=created_at&quality_grade=any

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 06:38 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Phyllocrania paradoxa & Phyllocrania illudens

Some notes on the alleged invasion of P. illudens in continental Africa:

In the 19th century, Burmeister and Saussure & Zehnter gave this mantis two different species names merely based on different geographical origins. Phyllocrania illudens from Madagascar and Phyllocrania paradoxa of Africa (all of Africa south of Sahara) show no difference, which was long ago noted by Roger Roy (https://horizon.documentation.ird.fr/exl-doc/pleins_textes/pleins_textes_5/b_fdi_10-11/12394.pdf) and other experts.
If one would like to stick to the idea of two or three look-alike species, it does not make sense to assume that these species would overlap in distribution and that P. illudens occurs in mainland Africa.

(1) According to original description P. illudens is told by the length and shape of the head process and the front legs being not rugose.


Head process: dilated at tip, extremely long ribbon-like, obliquely cut off round asymmetrically, flat, carinate only at base, longer than the front femora.
Front legs: femora and tibiae almost smooth, on their external face, covered with rounded, spaced granulations.

(2) There is no scientific record of P. illudens from continental Africa.

(3) There are variations within and between the assumed P. paradoxa populations, each and every individual has its unique shape of head process.

(4) Identifications of P. illudens usually come from people involved in the pet trade industry or are based on descriptions and photos provided by this industry.

(5) "But for an animal so widely kept, shockingly little is known about its biology and behavior in its natural habitat. Nobody is even sure how many species of ghost mantids there are. Three species of the genus Phyllocrania have been described, only to be synonymized a few years ago. All three were recognized as separate species based on the differences in the shape of the leaf-like process on the head, which can vary wildly within the same population. Ghost mantids, like many other insects that rely on leaf-like camouflage, display an ungodly degree of polymorphism, and no two specimens are alike. But the species’ distribution, throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, hints at the possibility of distinct, genetically isolated lineages."
"No two individuals of ghost mantids are alike, which prevents their principal predators, birds and primates, from learning how to tell them apart from real leaves."
Quote from Piotr Naskreckis blog: https://thesmallermajority.com/2015/09/15/ghost-hunting/.

(6) Figures of P. illudens:
Note the very long head process!
Fig 39: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/53546505

Publicado el enero 11, 2024 07:24 TARDE por traianbertau traianbertau | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario