Monday 8 July 2013

A new species of Axymyid Fly from the northwest United States.

Axymyids are medium sized, stout bodied, True Flies (Diptera) related to the Gnats, Midges, Mosquitoes and Crane Flies. They have a fossil record going beck to the Jurassic, but are rare today, with only six described species.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 26 June 2013, Bradley Sinclair of the Canadian National Collection of Insects and Ottawa Plant Laboratory describes a new species of Axymyid Fly from the northwest United States. 

The new species is named Plesioaxymyia vespertina, where 'Plesioaxymyia' means 'sharing some primitive traits with 'Axymyia' and 'vespertina' means 'from the west'. The species is named from two specimens, the first collected in mixed woodland at Isabel Pass in Alaska in mid July 1962, and the second in conifer forests in the Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State in the mid July 2012. Plesioaxymyia vespertina is  a 3.7 mm dark brown Axymyid Fly. 

Plesioaxymyia vespertina, female specimen from Washington State. Scale bar is 1 mm. Sinclair (2013).

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