First record of an Atomosiini from Europe (Diptera: Asilidae)

[Erstnachweis einer Atomosiini aus Europa (Diptera: Asilidae)]

Zásmuky (Czech Republic)     Frankfurt a. M. (Germany)

[published in: Studia Dipterologica 7(1): 87-91, Halle an der Saale]

Abstract: Goneccalypsis gooti spec. nov. spec. nov. is described and illustrated from specimens collected in Spain. This is the first record of an Atomosiini in Europe. It is compared with three other known species of the genus, and a key is given. In addition, a key to the Palaearctic Atomosiini is also presented.
Key words: Diptera, Asilidae, Goneccalypsis, spec. nov., key, Palaearctic, Europe, Spain

Zusammenfassung: Goneccalypsis gooti spec. nov. aus Spanien wird beschrieben und illustriert. Dies ist der erste Nachweis einer Atomosiini aus Europa. Die Unterschiede zu den drei bereits beschriebenen Arten dieser Gattung werden in einem Schlüssel dargestellt. Weiterhin wird ein Schlüssel für die paläarktischen Atomosiini vorgestellt.
Stichwörter: Diptera, Asilidae, Goneccalypsis, spec. nov., Schlüssel, Paläarktis, Europa, Spanien



Among some Asilidae from Spain in the collection of HRADSKÝ, the authors found two specimens of the tribe Atomosiini (subfamily Laphriinae). Comparison with the descriptions of the known genera shows that they are new species of the genus Goneccalypsis HERMANN (1912), which is known from the Afrotropical and the East Palaearctic regions.


Goneccalypsis gooti spec. nov.
(Figs 1-6)

Material: Holotype male, Spain, prov. Teruel, Moscardon, 1600m, 40º 20'N 1º 32'W, 27. VII. 1965, leg. V.S. V. GOOT. Paratype male with the same locality. Both types are currently deposited in the collection of M. HRADSKÝ (Zásmuky). A future deposition will be provided in a public collection.


Head black; face flat, silvery pruinose, somewhat darker between base of antenna and ocellar tubercle; two small and shiny spots below antenna (Fig. 1); back of head pale pruinose in lower part, brownish in upper part; ocellum shiny. Mystax composed of long, dorsoventrally flattened, shiny, silver-white, scale-like bristles divided apically and occupying lower frons, with a few pale hairs; upper frons below antenna with two long, downcurved, yellow-whitish hairs and a few short, fine, silvery hairs of normal type; postgenal beard white; hairs at base of proboscis, palpi, and back of head silver-white; ocellum with two long and black bristles, and two small brown hairs standing behind; five yellow occipital bristles restricted to lower 1/3 back of head on each side. Antenna black with a brownish tomentum (Fig. 2); ratio of segments: 1 to 0.5 to 1.8 to 0.4 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, microsegment); segment 1 with fine brown hairs and a longer hair on ventral side; segment 2 with brown hairs and black bristles; segment 3 lacking bristles except for a single, black, distodorsal bristle at base of microsegment.
Thorax black. Front border of pronotum with a silvery tomentum. Mesonotum shiny, without tomentum, punctate only on humeral callus; yellow hairy on humeral callus and between dorsocentral bristly hairs behind transverse suture; dorsal bristles: 1 black presutural, 1 black supra-alar, 1 yellow postalar, and fine, yellow, dorsocentral bristly hairs reaching the hairy area on humeral callus. Pleura silvery pruinose except for a large, shiny, bare area that includes parts of mesopleuron and most of sternopleuron; postnotal fan (metapleural tuft) and short hairs yelowish-white. Scutellum shiny black, not punctate, with a groove in front of hind border; with a few yellow hairs at its base and hind border, and with two strong, black, marginal bristles. Metanotum silvery pruinose with two stout yellow bristles and a group of fine yellow hairs on each callosity. Legs dark brown and yellow; short hairs and bristles white, except for some bristles on tarsi and hind tibiae. Coxae black, yellow apically; with a silvery tomentum and white hairs. Femora and tibiae dark brown, their bases, tips and a posteroventral stripe yellowish. Tarsi dark brown. Hind tibiae a bit more robust than other tibiae. Wings somewhat brownish, infuscated by microtrichia; venation usual (Fig. 3). Costal margin with brownish hairs, hind border with yellow hairs.
Abdomen black. Tergites shiny, distinctly punctate and covered with fine, laterally longer, and yellow latero-discal bristles, latter a little darker in the paratype. Sternites brownish with a pale tomentum and a few short yellow hairs. Hypopygium brown with yellow hairs, somewhat rotated and poorly visible in dorsal view (Figs. 4-6). Basistyles (gonopods) without stout bristles at apex, strong hairs only on outer surface except for base.
Body length: 4.6 mm; wings: 3.1 mm.
Derivatio nominis: The species is named after mister V.S. V. GOOT (Amsterdam).
Condition of types: The left hind leg of the holotype is lacking. The paratype is broken, the abdomen and legs are separated on two plates, and the right 3rd antennal segment, the right hind leg and the left middle leg are lacking.


back to the keys


Key to the species of Goneccalypsis HERMANN, 1912


Length of body: 6.9-8.5 mm; upper face and occiput with a row of black bristles; length of wings: 5.5-6.5 mm; 1st antennal segment with black hairs and bristles, ratio of segments: 1 to 0.72 to 1.65 to 0.51 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, microsegment); metanotum with a cluster of stout black bristles; scutellum with two marginal bristles; legs black and shining except for yellowish-brown knees; basistyles (gonopods) with 3-4 stout bristles at apex and strong hairs on outer surface except for base . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lucida HERMANN, 1912


Length of body: 4.6 mm; length of wings: 3.1 mm; upper face and occiput with a row of yellow bristles; 1st antennal segment with yellow hairs and bristles, ratio of segments: 1 to 0.5 to 1.8 to 0.4 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, microsegment); metanotum with two stout yellow bristles and a group of fine yellow hairs; scutellum with two marginal bristles; legs dark brown and yellowish (femora and tibiae black with yellow bases, tips, and a posteroventral stripe); basistyles (gonopods) without stout bristles at apex, strong hairs only on outer surface except for base . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gooti spec. nov.

back to the description


Goneccalypsis gooti spec. nov.

Figs 1-6: Goneccalypsis gooti spec. nov., male. - 1: head in frontal view; - 2: head in lateral view; - 3: right wing; - 4: hypopygium in ventral view; - 5: hypopygium in dorsal view; - 6: hypopygium in lateral view. Scale bars = 0.2 mm.


Additional comments

HERMANN (1912) placed Atomosia argenteoviridis (HERMANN, 1907), a species from Transvaal, in a new genus, Goneccalypsis, and added a second species, G. lucida, from Formosa (= Taiwan). LONDT (1982) redescribed G. argenteoviridis, based primarily on newly collected material from Malawi and South Africa. He described a third species, G. montanus, from Lesotho and South Africa, which was similar to G. argenteoviridis, but differed in colour of the mystax and in structure of the male genitalia. NAGATOMI & IMAIZUMI (1986) and NAGATOMI & NAGATOMI (1989) published a redescription of G. lucida, based on Japanese material.
HERMANN (1912) separated Goneccalypsis from the very similar genus Loewinella by the presence of scale bristles in the mystax of males, the somewhat longer 2nd antennal segment, and lack of dots on the scutellum. Londt (1982) found that the width ratios of eye to frons were less than 1.5 in Goneccalypsis but greater in Loewinella, whereas NAGATOMI & IMAIZUMI (1986) deny this for G. lucida. The ratio is nearly 1.6 in G. gooti spec. nov. The new species is the first record of an Atomosiini in Europe, except for the fossil record of Protoloewinella keilbachi SCHUMANN, 1984, described from Saxonian and Baltic amber (GELLER-GRIMM, 1998). Another Palaearctic representative of this tribe is Amathomyia persiana HERMANN, 1912, which is known ranging from North Africa to Central Asia. Members of the tribe Atomosiini (subfamily Laphriinae) are predominantly distributed in the tropics, mainly South America. Spain supports a very interesting fauna, because it has long been known as a refugium during the Ice Age. So there we can find some relict insects which might have become extinct in Middle Europe. A similar situation is found in the tribe Isopogoninae. Thus, GELLER-GRIMM (1997) has described a new species of Paraphamartania from Spain, a genus in which the congeners are known from Syria and Israel.

back to the keys


Key to the Palaearctic genera of the tribe Atomosiini
[after HERMANN (1912) and LONDT (1982)]


Head strongly expanded laterad, its transverse diameter more than twice as great as vertical height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amathomyia HERMANN, 1912
(One Palaearctic species: Central Asia and North Africa)


Head not so strongly expanded laterad, its transverse diameter not more than twice as great as vertical height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


Face without scales in both sexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Loewinella HERMANN, 1912
(Two Palaearctic species: Central Asia)


Face with scales in males . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Goneccalypsis HERMANN, 1912
(Two Palaearctic species: Europe and Japan)



We are grateful to Mrs. K. GOTTSCHALK (Frankfurt) and Dr. S. GOLOVATCH (Moscow) for valuable critical comments and linguistic help, respectively.



  • GELLER-GRIMM, F. (1997): A new species of Paraphamartania from Spain (Diptera: Asilidae). - Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) 563: 1-5; Stuttgart.
  • GELLER-GRIMM, F. (1998): Protoloewinella keilbachi SCHUMANN, 1984 aus dem Baltischen Bernstein (Diptera: Asilidae). - Studia Dipterologica 5(1): 84; Halle.
  • HERMANN, F. (1907): Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Asiliden III. (Fortsetzung). - Zeitschrift für systematische Hymenopterologie und Dipterologie 7: 65-78, pl.; Teschendorf.
  • HERMANN, F. (1912): Beiträge zur Kenntnis der südamerikanischen Dipterenfauna auf Grund der Sammelergebnisse einer Reise in Chile, Peru und Bolivien, ausgeführt in den Jahren 1902-1904 von W. SCHNUSE. Fam. Asilidae. - Nova Acta Academiae Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolinae Germanicum. Naturae Curiosorum 96: 1-275; Halle.
  • LONDT, J.G.H. (1982): Afrotropical Asilidae (Diptera) 6. The tribe Atomosiini (Laphriinae). - Annals of the Natal Museum 25(1): 221-240; Pietermaritzburg.
  • NAGATOMI, A. & IMAIZUMI, H. (1986): Redescription of Goneccalypsis lucida (Diptera, Asilidae). - Memoirs of the Kagoshima University Research Center for the South Pacific 7(2): 106-118; Kagoshima.
  • NAGATOMI, H. & NAGATOMI, A. (1989): Female terminalia of Goneccalypsis lucida and Laphria nigrovittata (Diptera, Asilidae). - South Pacific Study 9(1-2): 1-10; Kagoshima.


Author's addresses

Fritz Geller-Grimm
Spielmannstr. 20
D-65934 Frankfurt a.M.

Milan Hradský
Mlékovice 40
CS-28144 Zásmuky
Czech Republic

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Compiled by: F. Geller-Grimm