The family Kalotermitidae is represented in the Union of South Africa by the genera Kalotermes, Neotermes, Proglyptotermes, Procryptotermes and Cryptotermes. With the sole exception of K. munroi, which is found in the Transvaal Bushveld north of Pretoria, all these species are confined to the coastal belt of the Union from Zululand in the north to Cape Town in the south. The South African Kalotermitidae have the habit in common that the nest system is placed entirely within dead wood, and no connection with the soil is needed or maintained.
Ctenophthalmus is represented by a solitary species, calceatus, in South Africa, whereas the genus is very rich in Central Africa. One might infer from this that it is a tropical genus were it not that it is well represented in the Palaearctic Region. In South Africa calceatus is rare, but widely distributed. This distribution is largely confined to the eastern half of Southern Africa and it may be that it is high rainfall and not temperature that favours the genus.
Since a species is a population, it can only be fully understood by a study of its morphology, taxonomy and biology. For this, however, much material and data are needed, but it may be years before these are available. When the genus Mesoclanis was erected, a rather detailed descriptionption was given, so that the salient characters may have been somewhat obscured. Authors seem to have misinterpreted it, going so far as to place Paroxyna, an older genus, as a sub-genus of it. The grouping of the species as a bio-taxonomic entity has apparently been ignored. The accumulation of more material and data has tended on the whole to complicate the position.
The Lasiocampid moth dealt with in the following notes has been identified as Mesocelis sp. The species under review may be referred to as the Karoo Mesoulis. It appears to have a very restricted distribution, having been found only in a small area, some 18 miles long by a few wide, in the Cape Midlands section of the Karoo. With the species dealt with here, the male has not yet been found, although large numbers of the cocoons have been collected in the field and obtained from reared material.
The paper provides notes on Formicomus caeruleus Thunb. one of the common Anthicidre of South and South West Africa. For comparison a descriptionption is given of its characteristic parts. Two new African species, F. simplicicruralis and F.spatulatus are descriptionbed, both very similar to Formicomus caeruleus, but both lack the male character on the front leg completely.
The specimens descriptionbed below were collected by the writer at Margate, on the South Coast of Natal. The new species of Stegomyia is of special interest, as it is closely allied to Aï¿½des (S) simpsoni, which is one of the proved vectors of yellow fever in East Africa. This species was very abundant in wooded valleys and ravines (dongas) and a prolific breeder in the axils of the so-called wild banana, Strelitzia nicolai, which appears to be its principal breeding place. A. simpsoni and the new species were sometimes collected together from the axils of cultivated bananas.The morphological characters of the two species are here compared in detail.
During a trip to the Northern Transvaal, I collected from the common springhare (Pedetes caffer Pallas) two species of mites. The one was Hypoaspis (Androlaelaps) sp. nov. to be descriptionbed by me; the other one, of which I collected a great number of specimens, represents a new genus also belonging to the Laelaptidae sensu Vitzthum (1943).
The writer and Dr. N. Bolwig, of the Witwatersrand University, visited the Sterkfontein Caves near Krugersdorp on three occasions to explore the recent fauna of these caves. Bats only enter the caves with the onset of the first cold days. Many dead bats were found beneath their hibernation place swarming with dipterous larvae. Other fauna found were three kinds of maggots, most common was a big calyptrate larva which yielded Calliphora croceipalpis, a fly which usually develops in carcasses in the open field. Various other species were also found.
The record of the single species of A piocera from Africa gave me grounds to hope that further species of this very ancient group of Diptera would be discovered in that continent. Thanks to the kind help of Dr. Hesse, I have received all the available Apiocerid material from the South African Museum. Among the fourteen specimens examined I have found a new species descriptionbed below. The record of a second species from Africa made it clear that further new species may be expected, but the discovery provides more substantial evidence for the theory of the faunistic relationship between South Africa, Australia and South America. The family Apioceridae can be regarded as having existed at least from the cretaceous period, when the Afreurasian block of the continents was divided, and Australia and South Africa were drifting in different directions.