It has been said that until all the facts concerning a specimen are known, it cannot be properly classified. To add yet another method of classification, a study of the early stages is here presented. No attempt has been made to alter any names as this method is meant to be studied in conjunction with other methods. This method uses the egg and the first larval instar. The eggs give the subfamily and the 1st instar fixes the genus and species. Other larval instars are a useful support but by themselves they are very unreliable as climate and environment may so change the individual as to make it appear a separate species, even the setae can be so modified in extreme colour variations to make classification very difficult.
In his revision of the Cohort Trachytina Trï¿½gï¿½rdh 1938, Camin (1953) stated the characteristics for the diagnosis of the genus Polyaspis Berlese. In a later publication (1954) he demonstrated "" ...... that Berlese's descriptionption of Polyaspis patavinus (1881), the type species of the genus Polyaspis, was based on at least two different species of closely related mites"" (p. 25). Polyaspis berlesei Camin was descriptionbed in detail as the probable second species used by Berlese in his descriptionption of P. patavinus.
In November, 1955, Professor M. J. Oosthuizen of the Natal Agricultural Research Institute gave me several syrphid flies for determination. These had been reared from larvae found feeding on bulbs of Gladiolus sp. in Pietermaritzburg. The species proved to be Merodon bombiformis Hull (1944), descriptionbed on a single male in the Distant Collection taken in 1898 at an unknown locality in South Africa. The life history of this species has not been descriptionbed, and I have been unable to find references to the immature stages of any of the other nine species of Merodon known from the Ethiopian Region. It seems desirable to give an account of the immature stages of bombiformis as it is evident that this species may at times cause considerable damage to bulbs.
The main insect pest of commercially-grown wattles (Acacia mollissima Willd.) in South Africa is the leaf-eating larva of the wattle bagworm Acanthopsyche junodi Hey\. The original host plants of this insect were some of the many indigenous species of Acacia which, however, it has almost deserted in most areas in which wattles are grown, apparently preferring the wattle trees as food and environment. It is attacked, in its native haunts and in the plantations, by several species of hymenopterous and dipterous parasites, various predatory Arthropods, insectivorous birds, and rodents. It suffers also from fungus and virus diseases.
This material presents evidence of the exceptional richness of the South African Acridid fauna. A complete list of the species known from Southern Africa has recently been published (Dirsh 1956, South African Animal Life. Uppsala) , but the present paper adds a surprising number of new species, and even genera, to those already known from that country. It is to be noted that most of the insects descriptionbed below are either brachypterous, or apterous, in many cases small and larva-like.
The present communication is primarily based on a small collection of stone flies made by myself in the Mount aux Sources area (Natal). In addition I have examined stoneflies collected by Dr. E. McC. Callan of the Rhodes University, and by students of the same University in the Grahamstown area, and also stoneflies collected by J. B. Balinsky in the Northern Transvaal (river Metlapetsi, near Haenertsburg). In this paper I am going to deal only with the stoneflies of the family Leuctridae (Nemouridae?), as the South African representatives of the subfamily Neoperlinae have been dealt with exhaustively by H. B. N. Hynes (1952a, 1952b) and I do not have much to add to the information given.
Canthyporus guttatus n.sp. (Fig. 1) This species, collected by my husband in S.W. Africa, differs very considerably from all the other members of the genus with which I am familiar. It is larger and both the elytral pattern and sculpture are distinctive. Size 4.0 X 1.8 mm. Broadly oval, shining, dark brown with head lighter, pronotum with a divided broad transverse yellow band and elytra each marked with five elongate and one, more rounded and pre-apical, yellow spots. Antennae and legs yellow.
Ceroplastodes psychotriae sp.n. (fig. 1). Test of the adult female oval, strongly convex at maturity, provided with marginal and dorsal waxen appendages. The marginal series is apparently formed by six lateral, two frontal and two caudal appendages, broad, stout and curved downwards; dorsal appendages four, smaller and curved upwards. Wax glassy, white or dirty white. Length 3.5 mm. to 5 mm. Dermis at full maturity moderately chitinised. The following descriptionption of the body structures was made on mounted specimens in which the process of chitinisation had not set in. Antennae of eight segments.
Hoplandrothrips acaciae spec. nov. (Figs. 1-5) Female (macropterous). Length (distended) about 1.9-2.0 mm. Colour: brown to light brown; eyes so deep red as to appear black; ocellar crescents deep red; mesonotum, tergite ix of abdomen and apical half of tube somewhat paler than rest of body; antennae: i and ii largely as brown as body, i above and ii towards apex somewhat paler, iii to viii largely grey to light brown, iii to v greyish yellow in basal one-fourth or one-fifth but the pale and darker areas merge into one another imperceptibly, pedicel of vi also paler than rest of segment, vii and viii rather uniformly grey; legs concolorous with body, except fore tibiae which are greyish yellow in about apical third or fourth, and all tarsi, which are greyish yellow with brown cups; fore-wings hyaline in apical half, with a very feint cloudiness; approximately one-fourth at base behind sub-basal setae similar to apical half, sometimes slightly more infuscate, this basal area merging imperceptibly with the second fourth, which is very pale grey and somewhat darker posteriorly, scale pale grey, darker than rest of wing but paler than antennal vii and viii; hind wings very feintly infuscate and with a median grey line in basal half; wing fringes grey; all major setae of body and appendages pale, very slightly greyish yellow, except the sigmoids on abdomen which are grey to light brown.
This paper descriptionbes a special arrangement of two light sources which made possible the entirely automatic collection of a mass-reared Braconid parasite, Chelonus texanus Cress., which was emerging in 810 rearing units or boxes stacked in a large room (15 X 20 feet). The emerging parasites flew from the rearing boxes to a cloth collecting screen, where they all crawled up towards a large glass funnel and then passed through it directly into a consignment box. The parasites were collected entirely automatically, without being handled at all, so that there was a great saving in labour, apart from the most important fact that they were very much healthier than parasites collected by sucking them up individually into glass vials, which soon became overcrowded.
During an expedition to the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park organised by the National Parks' Board under Mr. R. J. Labuscagne, special search was made for Trypetidae. Owing to the lateness of the season, the second half of May 1956, the veld was dry and the weather becoming cold. Except for Geigeria passerinoides which was still flowering in profusion, the only other common Composite was Platycarpha carlinoides, a curious, almost stemless plant of which both leaves and the large flower grow flat on the soil. Sweeping yielded a few Trypetids here and there; however, at a spot about five miles from Tweerivieren on the Nossop River, a few plants of Pituranthos aphyllus were found heavily infested by a Coccid. There Trypetidae and other flies were rather numerous feeding on the honeydew excreted by the Coccids. Among those collected were four specimens of the following new species.
The occurrence of Syntarucus jeanneli in South Africa had not been established until fairly recently, when the Rev. D. P. Murray identified it amongst Durban specimens of Syntarucus (taken by Mr. Gowan, C. Clark) while investigating the male genitalia of these examples. As a result of this information further specimens were readily obtained by the writer near Durban, in the first instance, on 4th January, 1955. near Newlands, where it was found to frequent bushes of Plumbago capensis Thunb.