During my most impressionable years my mentor was the Rev. Venis Robinson, a devout Christian and an able and enthusiastic entomologist. I owe him a deep debt of gratitude. He and my parents taught me that the true aim of life was the knowledge of God. They also impressed upon me that the least of His works was more worthy of study than the greatest works of man for 'in His works He is made manifest'. I was introduced to the study of insects as an expression of some aspects of the Divine.
The reduviid genus Phonoctonus is composed of several species of rather large predatory bugs, and is distributed over tropical Africa and Madagascar (Villiers, 1948). Economically the genus is of some interest as its members are associated with the Pyrrhocoridae, and some of them are well-known predators of Cotton-stainers (Dysdercus spp.). Perhaps the greatest scientific interest of the genus, however, lies in the close mimetic resemblance that members of the genus show to certain of the Pyrrhocorids on which they prey.
Isophanes capeneri spec. nov. Colouration (in -alcohol). Head various shades of brown. Vertex very dark, slightly paler between the eyes and the branches of the epicranial suture. Epicranial suture distinct, very darkly margined. Frons dark, with a darker median patch. Postclypeus of the same colour, darker still towards the anterior border. Labrum dark, palar laterally. Genae very dark. Eyes almost black. Ocelli pale. Antennae pale brown, each segment of the flagellum darker distally, the paler section decreasing in proportion to the darker in each segment from the proximal to the distal segments.
Three papers have been published in recent years by Dr. G. van Son of the Transvaal Museum descriptionbing new species of the genus Thestor Hubner (Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa Vol. IV, 179-196, 1941, Annals of the Transvaal Museum, Vol. XXI, Part 2, 214 - 6, 1949 and Part 4, 439 - 445, 1951). Thus seven new species and two new subspecies were added to the known three species of this group, showing a concentration in the S. W. Cape.
Additional distribution records, taxonomic descriptionptions and miscellaneous notes. The first part of this paper is concerned with a collection of culicine mosquitoes made in Tongaland in April and May of 1955. Tongaland is a native territory, situated on the northern coastal plain of Natal and bordered on the western side by the Ubombo (or Lebombo) Mountains.
The purpose of this paper is to report on new species and records of South African intertidal flies of the family Canaceidae collected and sent to me during the last few years by Mr. B. R. Stuckenberg of the Natal Museum. When I reviewed this family in 1951 (Occas. Papers B. P. Bishop Museum 20 : 245-275) the only known South African species were Canace cala Cresson and Nocticanace caffraria (Cresson), each known from only a single specimen collected at East London, Cape Province.
The species of Phonoctonus are rather large African reduviids which prey on various members of the Pyrrhocoridae, a marked mimetic resemblance often existing between predator and prey. At one time or another three species have been found, more or less commonly, in the southern savannah region of Gold Coast. The three species are P. fasciatus Beauvois, P. subimpictus Stal, and P. lutescens, Guerin and Percheron, and the present paper is an account of their immature stages.
Phumosia pretoriensis n.sp. Related to P. metallica (Curran), but body darker metallic and more densely dusted. Shape of hypopygium (fig. 1) quite different, resembling that of P. pseudolucilia (Villeneuve).
The most recent definition of the genus Pteronyssus Robin, 1868, has been given by Gaud (1952, 1953). According to this author the genus is characterised by the hypertrophied third pair of legs in the male, the absence of spines or tubercles on the anterior legs, the presence of a single median vertical hair, and the subdivision into three parts (one anterior and two postero-lateral) of the notogastric plate of the female.
In spite of the fact that the sub-family Apioninae is characterised by numerous species, little detailed information as regards the bionomics of the various species is available. While the general trend of the life cycles of those species investigated is rather similar, small differences do occur. These differences are of potential value in the field of taxonomy, where difficulty is experienced in discriminating between species as well as in the field of economic entomology. A fundamental requirement. in advocating control measures against an injurious insect is an intimate knowledge of its life history.
Last year Dr. W. J. Hall, Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Entomology, kindly sent me some thrips collected on papyrus in the Sudan by Dr. I. W. B. Thornton, Lecturer in Zoology, University College of Khartoum. I am greatly indebted to Drs. Hall and Thornton for allowing me to study this interesting material. In addition to the specimens dealt with below, the collection contained many larvae, which I have not been able to study in detail. Four very interesting uniques were also included, which I am retaining for later study, in the hope that additional specimens will be collected.
Considerable biological study has been made in South Africa of the Karroo Caterpillar; Loxostege frustalis Zell. and its parasite complex by Dr. S. J. S. Marais, and it was especially desired that the identity of the parasites should be firmly founded. The Braconidae are being descriptionbed by my colleague Mr. G. E. J. Nixon in a companion paper. Some Chalcididae were received; and most were determined as a probably new species of Peltochalcidia Steffan 1948: Monsieur J. R. Steffan kindly consented to study them, and his paper should appear in the Bulletin du Museum d'histoire naturelle in early 1956. There remained the Perilampidae and Ichneumonidae, which are treated below.
Macrocentrus maraisi sp.n . Male Female. Bicoloured; head and thorax, except propodeum and metapleura, fulvous red; propodeum (and to a less extent the metapleura) and at least the basal and more apical segments of the gaster, blackened; all the coxae, trochanters and femora pale but the hind tibiae and, more deeply, all the tarsi, blackened. Stemmaticum black. Scape blackish but reddened beneath; flagellum evenly blackish throughout. Wings evenly hyaline.
The genus Pachyphymus was erected by Uvarov (1922) on the basis of Calliptamus cristulifer Serville 1838, with only the female sex known. The genus was regarded as ""somewhat related, probably, to Acorypha Krauss and Acoryphella G. - Tos. Its proper systematic position cannot be defined until the male is known"".
During the course of a recent investigation into the insect pest of cowpeas, special attention was paid to those insects belonging to the Apioninae. Detailed work was undertaken on the structure of Piezotrachelus varium, and comparisons made with Apion (Conapion) chirindanum. Many of .the anatomical details are useful in the taxonomic determination of the species concerned.