The South African Sarcophaginae

South African Sarcophaginae - Spilogaster Lateral view of the adult male fly, genitalia extendedThe flesh flies (Family Sarcophagidae) are comprised of three subfamilies Sarcophaginae, Miltograminae and Paramacronychiinae. This project proposes to focus on members of the subfamily Sarcophaginae found within South Africa. Identifying flesh flies is generally recognized as a difficult challenge because the group is rather uniform in its external morphology. The identification of species within this subfamily is most reliably based on examination of the characters of the male genitalia. The only comprehensive key to the African flesh flies is an out of date, ordinary dichotomous text key by Zumpt (1975), but it is difficult to use because of its terminology, and the constraints imposed by having to start at the beginning of the couplets. No other comprehensive keys are available for Africa. For the mentioned reasons, a clearly illustrated, modern key would be invaluable. This has been provided by creating online resources (a scratchpad: SARCBYTES) and a digital key for 2 genera (comprising 96 species) for the South African region.

Current version: The current version of the key was developed as an honours project by C-L. Clitheroe (BSc(Hons) Zoology, Rhodes University) under the Supervision of Professor Martin H. Villet, Prof. of Entomology, Rhodes University. It is probably the first of many versions. It is heavily reliant on images, (microphotographs) taken by the author and many diagrams; copyrighted, provided with permission, from Lehrer, A.Z and Pape, T.

Taxonomic Scope: All described species of Sarcophaginae (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) of South Africa.

Taxonomic standards: PAPE, T. (1996) Catalogue of the Sarcophagidae of the world (Insecta: Diptera). Memoirs of Entomology, International, 8, 1–558.

Author: Crystal-Leigh Clitheroe