Thread subject: :: Bromophila caffra

Posted by Andrew Whittington on 27-10-2008 10:23

Hi everybody ... I'm back on line again.

Yes, B. caffra is correct, it is the only species in the genus, defined as Valery says by the lack of ocelli in the adult flies (scars are sometimes visible where the ocelli should be), red (plastic looking) head, black body and wings. Adults vary considerably in size, specimens ranging from 12 - 22mm (body length) and 24 - 50 mm (wing span).

This species is distributed along the easter seaboard of the African continent from Kenya southwards , arcing out across Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Our knowledge of larval habits is very rudimentary. There appears to be an association with the roots of Terminalia trees (Combretaceae), from which the larvae sequester various toxic compounds (probably cyclic triterpenes) possibly for defense. This may render the adults toxic too, as a defense against predation - not a thoroughly tested hypothesis.

Adults are slow moving and ponderous ... and photogenic!

Edited by Andrew Whittington on 27-10-2008 10:27