oa Annals of the Natal Museum - The Afrotropical species of Aulacigaster Macquart (Diptera: Aulacigastridae: Aulacigastrinae)

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



The world fauna of Aulacigastridae (sensu D. McAlpine 1983), particularly Aulacigaster Macquart, is discussed, and the antennal structure of the Afrotropical species reviewed. Two new species of Aulacigaster are descriptionbed: africana (Royal Natal National Park, Natal, South Africa) and perata (Bamenda highlands, Cameroon). A third species, based on a single damaged male from Cathedral Peak (Natal, South Africa) is left undescriptionbed and is considered to have closer affinity with the Palaearctic species A. leucopeza (Meigen, 1830) than with the former two species. All three African species of Aulacigaster were taken at relatively high altitude (1500 m). It is possible that the southern African species have a life history comparable to that of the Holarctic species of Aulacigaster, which are associated with, and breed in, the sap flows of a wide variety of trees. A. africana sp. n. and A. perata sp. n. are the first named species of Aulacigaster and of the subfamily Aulacigastrinae from the Afrotropical Region. Ningulus simatus D. McAlpine, 1983 (eastern Cape, South Africa) and a second undescriptionbed congener from eastern Zimbabwe are the only other African species of Aulacigastridae, and belong to the subfamily Nemininae. A key to the three Afrotropical species of Aulacigaster is presented; the distribution and affinities of these species are discussed.

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