Melaloncha laselvae, Brown, 2006

Brown, Brian V., 2006, Revision of the untreated taxa of Melaloncha s. s. bee-killing flies (Diptera: Phoridae), Zootaxa 1280 (1), pp. 1-68: 31-32

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

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scientific name

Melaloncha laselvae

new species

Melaloncha laselvae   new species

Figs. 16 View FIGURES 13–24 , 59 View FIGURES 56–61

Recognition. See comments for the similar M. zurquiensis   , from which M. laselvae   can be differentiated by characters in the key.

Males key to M. costaricana   in Borgmeier (1971b), from which they differ by the longer setae on the surstylus. They are extremely similar to those of M. lacerna   , which have a faint median frontal furrow (lacking in M. laselvae   ).

Description. Female. Body length 1.6–2.7 mm. Frons orange, punctate; ocellar triangle dark brown to black. Mean frontal width 0.35 head width, range 0.31–0.38. Ocular and genal setae black. Flagellomere 1 basally white, apically yellow to light brown; aristomeres 1–2 and base of 3 light brown, apex dark brown. Palpus yellow; palpal setulae black. Scutum dark brown, except anterolateral corner light brown. Scutellum brown, with anterolateral round spots faintly indicated. Pleuron mixture of light and medium brown; basalare dark brown. Legs yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur dark brown. Forefemur with apically rounded flange on apical one­third. Foretibia shorter than in M. zurquiensis   , 0.6 length of forefemur, such that foretibia plus foretarsus subequal to forefemur. Combined length of foretarsomeres 0.50 length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws recurved, with large basal lobe. Mean costal length 0.51 wing length, range 0.48–0.54. Halter yellow. Abdominal tergites black, with silver pollinosity anteriorly. Venter of abdomen gray. Ovipositor medium brown on basal one­third, apically dark brown; tubular, with narrowing on apical one­third, and narrowed area laterally flattened; ventral apex with tuft of numerous long setae, otherwise with scattered, shorter setae, especially dorsally.

Male. Frons orange, except ocellar triangle black. Median furrow absent. Flagellomere 1 basally white, apically brown. Palpus white; palpal setulae black. Scutum dark brown, except light brown anterolaterally. Pleuron dark brown, except proepisternum and anterior portion of anepisternum light brown. Legs yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur dark brown. Abdominal tergites black, anteriorly with silver pollinosity. Venter of abdomen gray. Basal one­third of cercus dark brown, apical two­thirds whitish­yellow. Surstylus with relatively long apical setae.

Host. This species was attracted to aggregations of Trigona silvestriana Vachal.   at La Selva.

Geographical distribution. Costa Rica.

Derivation of specific epithet. Named for the locality where most specimens were collected.

Holotype. ♀, COSTA RICA: Heredia: La Selva Biological Station , 10.43°N, 84.02°W, 15.iv.–1.v.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/10/089, 100 m [INBIOCRI001264342] ( INBC). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes. COSTA RICA: Alajuela: 20 km S Upala , 1♀, 12–30.iv.1991, F. D. Parker ( EMUS)   ; Cartago: Turrialba , 9.93°N, 83.67°W, 1♀, 15–19.vii.1965, P. Spangler ( USNM) GoogleMaps   ; Heredia: La Selva Biological Station , 10.43°N, 84.02°W GoogleMaps   , 4♀, 15.ii–2.iii.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/04/019, M/05/20, M/07/022, M/08/023, 1♀, 16.iii.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/12/043, 3♀, 15.iii–1.iv.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/07/54, M/10/057, M/13/060, 5♀, 1–15.iv.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/04/067, M/05/068, M/06/069, M/11/074, M/12/ 075, 2♀, 15.iv.–1.v.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/07/086, M/10/089, 1♂, 4♀, 18.v.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/05/100, M/07/101, M/08/102, M/12/107, 4♀,, ALAS, Malaise trap M/06/123, M/12/118, M/14/120, 1♀, 2.vii.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/15/ 149, 1♀, 15.vii.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/12/162, 1♀, 4.viii.1993, ALAS, Malaise trap M/15/177, 3♂, 5♀,, ALAS, Malaise trap M/03/389, M/04/390, M/08/393, M/ 10/395, M/12/397, 1♀, 17.vii.1995, ALAS, Malaise trap M/04/ 402, 100 m ( INBC, LACM, MCZC, MUCR, SEMC, ZMUK)   , 1♀, 23.vii.2000, 1♀, 24.vii.2000, 2♀, 25.vii.2000, G. Kung, bee screen ( LACM)   .


Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Museo de Insectos


University of Kansas - Biodiversity Institute