Tag Archives: Diptera

New Species: March 1 to 10

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Here is a list of species described from March 1 to March 10. It certainly does not include all described species. Most information comes from the journals Mycokeys, Phytokeys, Zookeys, Phytotaxa, Zootaxa, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, and Systematic and Applied Microbiology, as well as journals restricted to certain taxa.

Pristimantis_attenboroughi

Pristimantis attenboroughi is a new frog species described in the past 10 days and named in honor of Sir David Attenborough.

SARs

Plants

Fungi

Sponges

Entoprocts

Annelids

Kinorhynchs

Nematomorphs

Nematodes

Arachnids

Myriapods

Crustaceans

Hexapods

Ray-finned fishes

Lissamphibians

Reptiles

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Filed under Systematics, taxonomy

Friday Fellow: Cute bee fly

ResearchBlogging.orgby Piter Kehoma Boll

Recently the appearance of a new pokémon, Cutiefly, has brought a lot of attention to the real world species in which it is based. So why not bring it to Friday Fellow so that you may know a little more about this creature? Its name is Anastoechus nitidulus, which I will call here “cute bee fly”, as most people find it very cute.

The cute bee fly is indeed very cute. Photo extracted from modernhorse.tumblr.com

The cute bee fly is indeed very cute. Photo extracted from modernhorse.tumblr.com

The cute bee fly belongs to the family of flies called Bombyliidae and commonly known as bee flies. The name comes from the fact that adults usually feed on nectar and polen, just like bees, and some of them are important pollinators.

Feeding. Photo extracted from reddit, posted by usar AnanasJonas.

Feeding. Photo extracted from reddit, posted by user AnanasJonas.

Unfortunately, just as many species, the cute bee fly may be very popular among laypeople and you find a lot of nice pictures of it on the web, just as the one above. However, scientifically, very little is known about its ecology.

Nevertheless, on thing is certain: despite its cuteness, it is not such a lovely creature. Its adult life flying from flower to flower hides a dark and evil past. During their period as larvae, bee flies are predators or parasitoids, meaning that they grow up by eating another animal alive, from inside out, in something that is certainly very horrible for the poor victim.

In the case of the cute bee fly, things are not that terrible. They feed on the egg-pods of grasshoppers, especially of the genus Calliptamus, so we can say that they are parasitoids of eggs instead of adults, but then you realize that eggs have embryos, so they are actually baby-eaters!

O_O

O_O

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References:

Brooks, A. (2012). Identification of Bombyliid Parasites and Hyperparasites of Phalaenidae of the Prairie Provinces of Canada, with Descriptions of Six Other Bombyliid Pupae (Diptera) The Canadian Entomologist, 84 (12), 357-373 DOI: 10.4039/Ent84357-12

Jazykov (Zakhvatkin), A. (2009). Parasites and Hyperparasites of the Egg-pods of injurious Locusts (Acridodea) of Turkestan Bulletin of Entomological Research, 22 (03) DOI: 10.1017/S0007485300029904

Wikipedia. Bombyliidae. Available at < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombyliidae >. Access on July 26, 2016.

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Filed under Entomology, Friday Fellow, Parasites, Zoology

Friday Fellow: Housefly

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Today we are going to look closer at one of the most widespread insects, the housefly, Musca domestica. There is a good chance that one of them is right now in the same house, perhaps in the same room, as you.

Have you ever wished to be a fly on the wall?

Have you ever wished to be a fly on the wall? Foto by Muhammad Mahdi Karim.*

The housefly originated somewhere in the Middle East, in the Arabian Peninsula or Northeastern Africa, and spread all over the world most likely due to human influence. It is the most common fly species in human residences, measuring 8–12 mm in length as adults, females being slightly larger than males. The thorax and the legs are dark and the abdomen usually light yellow. The eyes are large and red and the antennae are very short.

When mating, a male housefly mounts a female and injects his sperm, the copulation taking from a few seconds to some minutes. The female rarely mates more than once, storing the sperm to use it repeatedly. She lays about 500 eggs in her lifetime, usually in batches of about 100 eggs. Larvae hatch from the eggs within a day and feed on almost any kind of decaying organic material. The larval stage takes from 2 to 5 weeks to be complete, depending on the temperature: the higher the faster.

A housefly larva. Photo by Pavel Krok.*

A housefly larva. Photo by Pavel Krok.*

As houseflies are closely associated with humans and feed on a variety of substances, they are responsible for spreading several diseases, including many bacteria, protozoans, parasitic worms and viruses. Insecticides have been the most common way to control housefly populations, but some strains have become immune to some of the most common inseticides, such as DDT.

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References:

Marquez, J. G.; Krafsur, E. S. 2002. Gene flow among geographically diverse housefly populations (Musca domestica L.): a worldwide survey of mitochondrial diversity. Journal of Heredity, 93 (4): 254–259.

Wikipedia. Housefly. Available at: < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housefly >. Access on October 11, 2012.

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*GNU FDL
These images are licensed under a GNU Free Documentation License.

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Filed under Entomology, Friday Fellow