ZooKeys 184: 47–55, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.184.2871
Review of the species of Michotamia from China with a description of a new species (Diptera, Asilidae)
Lili Zhang 1,†, Aubrey Scarbrough 2,‡, Ding Yang 3,§
1 Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics & Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang, Beijing, 100101, China
2 Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3 Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Haidian, Beijing 100193, China

Corresponding author: Lili Zhang (tolily@126.com)

Academic editor: Torsten Dikow

received 9 February 2012 | accepted 5 March 2012 | Published 21 April 2012

(C) 2012 Lili Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

For reference, use of the paginated PDF or printed version of this article is recommended.


Three species of Michotamia are recorded from China. Of these Michotamia aurata (Fabricius, 1794) was previously reported from Hainan and Taiwan. Michotamia assamensis Joseph & Parui, 1995 is recorded from China and Laos for the first time, and Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n., is described and figured. A key to the known species from China is provided. A new name, Michotamia subnigra, is given to Michotamia nigra Scarbrough & Hill, 2000, which is preoccupied by Michotamia nigra (Meijere, 1911).


Diptera, Asilidae, Michotamia, new species, China


The species of Michotamia Macquart, 1838 are distinguished from the other Ommatiinae genera by the elongated postpedicel (see Stuckenberg 1999), which is at least 1.5 times longer than the combined length of the scape and pedicel. Of the known 24 species, 22 occur in the Oriental Region (Joseph and Parui 1983, 1984, 1987, 1995; Scarbrough and Hill 2000; Tomasovic and Grootaert 2003, 2008). The remaining two are from the Afrotropical and the Australasian/Oceanian regions, respectively (Geller-Grimm 2003/2004).The species from China remain poorly known with only one species, Michotamia aurata (Fabricius, 1794), reported from Hainan (Hua 1985) and Taiwan (Joseph and Parui 1998). Here Michotamia assamensis Joseph and Parui is recorded from China and Laos for the first time, and a new species, Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n., is described and figured. A key to the known species of Michotamia from China is included. Types are deposited in Institute of Zoology (IOZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Taxonomy Key to the known species of Michotamia (male) from China
1 Hind femur reddish-yellow or brownish-yellow; apical 1/3 of epandrium abruptly curved dorsally, apex obtuse, about 1/3 as wide as epandrium at middle distance from base to apex in lateral view Michotamia aurata
Hind femur largely or at least dorsally black; epandrium wide, margins parallel from base to apex, apex with a weak emargination and prominent dorsal and ventral corners 2
2 Wing hyaline, microtrichia sparse, most abundant apically (Figs 6–7); postpedical 3.5 times combined length of pedicel and scape; fore & mid femora yellow; dorsal surface of hind femur mostly blackish-brown with narrow yellow basally; hind femur narrow, about 7 times longer than diameter medially, blackish dorsally and extending anteriorly, remaining yellowish; apex of epandrium somewhat angular with dorsal corner produced well beyond ventral corner (Figs 2–5) Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n.
Wing brownish-yellow, darkest anteriorly, microtrichia wide spread; fore & mid femora yellowish-orange, black extending from base to near apex dorsally & anteriorly; hind femur wider, 5 times longer than diameter medially, mostly black, basal 1/5 reddish-yellow or yellow; apex of epandrium subtruncate, dorsal corner only slightly produced beyond ventral corner Michotamia assamensis
Genus Michotamia Macquart


Michotamia Macquart, 1838, 1(2): 72. Type species: Michotamia analis Macquart, 1838, monotypic. Hull 1962, 2: 438 [genus description, species list]. Oldroyd 1975, 2: 130 [catalog]; 1980: 346 [catalog]. Daniels 1989: 333 [catalog]. Joseph and Parui 1998, 1: 169 [revision, Indian species]. Scarbrough and Hill 2000: 347 [Sri Lanka].
Allocotosia Schiner, 1866, 16: 845. Type species: Asilus aurata Fabricius, 1794; by original designation.
Allocotasia Wulp, 1872, 7: 249. Lapsus calarni.

Slender, medium [15-20 mm] flies with sparse, short setae on the thorax. Head: Face ventrally with unusually long, stout bristles; proboscis thick, robust with numerous ventral setae, the latter often clustered apically; postpedicel attenuate, as least 1.5 as long as scape and pedicel combined, and at least 1/2 as long as stylus; wide stripe of long, abundant setae present on lower 1/2 of frons; ocellarium with two short, thin setae. Thorax: Mesonotum with dorsocentral bristles either thin or absent; scutellar groove absent. Wing:Mostly or entirely dense microtrichose. Leg: Row of anteroventral bristles absent. Abdomen:Usually clavate. Terminalia:Aedeagus long, often thick, curved dorsally, with apex at or beyond cercus; sternite 8 in females with short V-shaped notch along apical margin apically, a short furrow or fissure, broad X-shaped or U-shaped apodeme internally (Scarbrough 2010; Scarbrough and Tomasovic 2010).


The long postpedicel is useful in diagnosing most species of Michotamia. A few undescribed species of Ommatius (Scarbrough, Dikow, & Tomasovic, in manuscript)and Ommatius specious Scarbrough & Hill, 2000 and Ommatius sparsus Scarbrough & Hill, 2000 have an unusually long postpedicel, i.e. ~1.5 times as long as the pedicel and scape combined. In addition, Michotamia has a low flattened mesonotum in which the maximum vertical height is less than 1/2 the length of the mesonotum, absence of stout anteroventral bristles on the hind femur, and a much longer, curved dorsad aedeagus distinguish the species. Further, a V-shaped apical notch medially which ends in a narrow fissure and a stout X- or U-shaped apodeme on the internal surface of sternite 8 distinguish females. In Ommatius, the postpedicel is usually is only as long as the pedicel and/or scape, rarely much longer; the mesonotum is strongly arched with the maximum vertical height being nearly 2/3 the length of the mesonotum; presence of stout anteroventral bristles on the hind femur; and a much shorter aedeagus, never curved dorsad and reaching the level of the cercus distinguish the species. Females lack a V-shaped apical notch medially that terminates in a fissure posteriorly and a stout X- or U-shaped apodeme on the internal surface of sternite 8.

Michotamia assamensis Joseph and Parui, 1995


Michotamia assamensis Joseph & Parui, 1995: 14. Type locality: India: Amsoi Forest (26°00'46.57"N, 92°32'46.14"E), Assam; Joseph and Parui 1998: 172.
New records.

China: Yunnan: 1 male, Xishuangbanna, Xiaomengyang (22°05'15.15"N, 100°53'57.92"E), 850m, 1957. IX.7, Shuyong Wang; 1 female, Xishuangbanna, Xiaomengyang, 850 m, 1957. X.11, Lingchao Zang. Laos: Vientiane: 1 male, Ban Van Eue, (17°57'48.72"N, 102°36'50.01"E) 1965.XI.30 ~ Native collector, Bishop Museum; 1 male, same data except 1966.II.15, native collector, malaise trap; 1 male, same data except 1966.III.30; 1male, Vientiane, Ci Sion, Vill. de Tha Ngone (18°07'56.86"N, 102°37'41.44"E), 1966.X.24-31, ~ Native collector.


Antennal pedicel brownish yellow, scape and postpedicel black; postpedicel 2.5 times as long as scape and pedicel combined. Fore and mid femora yellowish-orange, black extending from base to near apex dorsally and anteriorly; hind femur wider medially, 5 times longer than diameter, mostly black, basal 1/5 reddish-yellow or yellow; epandrium of male genitalia wide with parallel dorsal and ventral margins, apex subtruncate, slightly emarginated, dorsal corner only slightly beyond ventral corner.


China: Yunnan; India (Assam); Laos (Vientiane).

Michotamia aurata (Fabricius, 1794)


Asilus aurata Fabricius, 1794: 387. Type locality: East India.
Lochites testaceus Bigot, 1878: (10)1, 425. Type locality: Myanmar (=Burma).
Michotamia aurata Oldroyd, 1975, 2, 130; Joseph and Parui (113), 36; 1998, 173.
New records.

China: Hainan: 2 males, 1934.VIII.31, Qi He; 1 female, Qiongzhong (19°02'00.13"N, 109°50'18.20"E), 400 m, 1960. VII. 14, Fushang Li.Yunnan: 2 females, Lancang (22°33'11.19"N, 99°55'55.56"E), 1000 m, 1957.VII. Lingchao Zang.


Antennal scape and pedicel yellow, postpedicel black and twice as long as scape and pedicel combined. Dorsocentral and scutellar bristles absent. All legs yellow, brownish yellow or reddish yellow. Wing with anterior basal half pale yellow and the rest infuscated, r-m well beyond middle of discal-cell.


China: Hainan, Yunnan, Taiwan; Bangladesh; India (Andaman Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Pondicheryy, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal); Indonesia (Maluku Islands, Sulawesi); Laos; Myanmar; Pakistan; Sri Lanka (Amparai, Anuradhapura, Colombo, Galle, Hambantota, Kandy, Matara, Mannar, Monarapala, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya); Thailand.

Michotamia subnigra nom. n.


Michotamia nigra Scarbrough and Hill, 2000: 357. Type locality: Sri Lanka: Kan.: Kandy: Udawattakele Sancturay (7°17'55.96"N, 80°38'32.65"E). [preoccupied by Michotamia nigra (Meijere, 1911: 312 (Java).]

Scarbrough and Hill (2000) described Michotamia nigra from Sri Lanka. Unfortunately they failed to note that the binomen Michotamia nigra (Meijere, 1911) had been used earlier for a species from Java. We propose Michotamia subnigra as a replacement name for Michotamia nigra Scarbrough and Hill.


Sri Lanka.


Dorsal postocular bristles black and strong, middle and lower postocular bristles pale and thinner. Antenna black, postpedicel 3.5 times longer than scape and pedicel combined. Fore and mid femora yellow, dorsal surface of hind femur mostly blackish-brown, base narrowly yellow. Wing hyaline; crossvein r-m at apical 1/3 of discal cell.


Male. Body length 13 mm, wing length 10 mm.

Head. Face brown, sparsely pale haired below antenna and with 2 vertical rows of 6 black bristles on lower 2/3, mystax with strong, yellow bristles; frons blackish-brown, several black bristles laterally; vertex blackish-brown; occiput with pale hairs, its lower portion with long pale hairs; dorsal postocular bristles black, middle and lower postocular bristles pale. Antenna (Fig. 1) black, wide apex of scape and pedicel reddish, postpedicel black, 3.5 times longer than scape and pedicel combined; stylus brown, less than 1/2 as long as postpedicel. Proboscis black, pale hairs basally and apically; palpus black, with black hairs and bristles.

Thorax. Black with white pubescence. Mesonotum black with golden yellow pubescence laterally; 2 dc, 2 npl, 1 spal and 1 pal. Scutellum black with pale hairs and 2 weak marginal scutellar setae. Pleuron wholly black, with dense pale white pubescence. Katatergite with a row of 7 brown bristles. Wing (Figs 6–7) hyaline, tinged grayish apically; veins basally yellowish and apically brown to blackish; crossvein r-m at apical 1/3 of discal cell. Anal cell closed with short stalk. Halter yellow.

Legs (Figs 6–7). Largely yellow; coxae black, with dense pale pubescence and strong pale bristles. Fore and mid femora yellow with black tip, hind femur mostly yellow, blackish anterodorsally. Tarsi reddish-brown except basal half of tarsomere 1 brownish-yellow. Legs with most hairs and bristles black. Fore tibia with 1 av, 2 ad and 2 pd bristles, mid tibia with 2 ad; hind tibia with 1 av, 2 ad and 2 pd bristles. Claws black.

Abdomen (Figs 6–7) with long pale hairs laterally and shorter brown hairs dorsally. Abdominal tergite 1 black, tergite 2 black with yellow band posteriorly, tergites 3–4 blackish at middle, remaining tergites black; abdominal sternites 1–3 yellow, sternite 4 brownish. Abdominal segments 5–7 black. Male genitalia yellow (Figs 2–5). Epandrium wide basally, apex angular and with shallow emargination, dorsal corner produced well beyond ventral corner. Hypandrium somewhat triangular.

Female. Unknown.

Type material.

Holotype ♂, Yunnan: Xishuangbanna, Menghun (21°50'31.37"N, 100°23'08.00"E), 750 m, 1958.VI.1, Chunpei Hong.


The species name yunnanensis refers to the Province of Yunnan.


Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n.is distinguished from Michotamia assamensis by the hyaline wings (Figs 6-7), color of the femora as described in the key, and the combined characters of the terminalia, especially the shape of the epandrium (Figs 2-5). In Michotamia assamensis, the fore and mid femora are yellowish-orange ventrally and posteriorly, black dorsally and anteriorly from base to near apex, the hind femur is mostly black with the narrow base yellowish-orange, and the wing is dark brownish-yellow and basal 1/3 of the anal lobe is hyaline (Joseph and Parui 1995, 1998).


China: Yunnan.

Figures 1–5.

Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n. 1 antenna 2–3 epandrium & cercus (dorsal and lateral views) 4–5 hypandrium & gonocoxites (ventral and lateral views).

Figures 6–7.

Michotamia yunnanensis sp. n. 7 Habitus, lateral 8 dorsal views.


This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30600056), a grant (No. O529YX5105) from the Key Laboratory of the Zoological Systematics and Evolution of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (No. 200903021). N. Evenhuis, Bernice P. Bishop Museum (BPBM), Honolulu, USA, is thanked for specimen loans. H. de Jong of the Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Taxonomische Zoologie, Zoologisch Museum (ZMAN), Netherlands, is thanked for specimen loans, providing information regarding Meijere types, and arranging accommodations for AGS.

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