Saturday 7 July 2012

New species of Silver Fly from Brazil.

Silver Flies, Chamaemyiidae, are small True Flies (Diptera) with active predatory larvae, which typically target Aphids or Scale Insects. The group are found worldwide, and have a fossil record dating back to the Eocene.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 12 June 2012, Stephen Gaimari of the California State Collection of Arthropods at the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch of the California Department of Food & Agriculture describes a new species of Silver Fly from Sāo Paulo State, Brazil.

The new Fly is placed in the new genus Chamaeleucopis, a combination of Chamaemyia and Leucopis, two previously described genera to which it bears similarities, and given the specific name trevas, which means 'darkness' in Portuguese. Chamaeleucopis trevas is a 2.1-2.2 mm, dark coloured Silver Fly, with larvae that feed on Scale Bugs of the genus Ceroplastes. It was only found living on one species of plant, the guava, Psidium guajava.

A specimen of Chamaeleucopis trevas. Scale bar is 0.5 mm. Gaimari (2012).

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