Saturday 24 January 2015

A new species of Tachinid Fly from Ecuador.

Tachinids are a family of True Flies, Diptera, found across the globe. They are noted for their parasitoid life-cycle, in which the larvae of the Flies (maggots) grow inside the living body of a member of a host species, typically another Arthropod, eventually killing the host. Unlike parasitic Wasps, which typically can only infect a single host species, Tachinid Flies are often able to target a range of host species. Tachinids have been found to attack caterpillars (the larvae of Butterflies and Moths), including stem mining species which are hard to access from the exterior of the plant, Sawfly larvae, adult and larval Beetles, True Bugs, Orthopterans (Grasshoppers, Crickets etc.) and even Centipedes.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 16 December 2014, Diego Inclán of the Università degli Studi di Padova and the Sección Invertebrados at the Museo Ecuatorianode Ciencias Naturales and John Stireman of the Department of Biological Sciences at Wright State University describe a new species of Tachinid Fly from Ecuador, as part of a review of the genus Eucelatoria in tropical Central and South America.

The new species is placed in the genus Eucelatoria and given the specific name flava, meaning ‘yellow’, in reference to the distinctive colour of its abdomen. Eucelatoria flava is described from two male specimens, both from the same locality, 7 km south of Baeza in Napo Province, Ecuador, at an altitude of about 2000 m. These are 6.6-6.7 mm in length, notably hairy and black in colour apart from the distinctive yellow abdomen.

Specimen of Eucelatoria flava in lateral view. Inclán &S tireman (2014).

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