Melaloncha calatha, 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 : 28

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

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scientific name

Melaloncha calatha

new species

Melaloncha calatha   new species

Fig. 13 View FIGURES 13–24

Recognition. This species is easily separated from others in the M. sinistra   group by the yellowish body color, the dark­colored halter, and the extremely long setae at the apex of the ovipositor.

Description. Female (male unknown). Body length 2.4 mm. Frons yellow, punctate; lateral ocelli with medial black band, ventral ocellus with dorsal black band. Frons 0.39 head width. Medial furrow present, but extremely faint. Ocular setae brown dorsally, yellow laterally and ventrally; genal setae yellow. Flagellomere 1 white basally, light brown apically; arista dark brown. Palpus white; palpal setulae yellow, small. Scutum yellowish brown. Scutellum yellowish­brown, with round anterolateral dark brown spots. Pleuron yellow to white; basalare dark brown. Legs yellow. Forefemur slightly swollen anteriorly along entire length. Combined length of foretarsomeres approximately 0.5 length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws recurved, not greatly enlarged, with large basal lobe. Costa 0.50 wing length. Halter dark brown. Abdominal tergites yellow, with lateral dark brown maculae. Venter of abdomen yellow. Ovipositor yellow on basal one­third, with apical two­thirds dark brown; short, curved dorsally; with long, fine setulae, especially dorsally, and extremely long, thicker setae curving posterodorsally from ventral apex.

Host. Unknown. The single specimen was attracted to a mixed aggregation of bees.

Geographical distribution. Bolivia.

Derivation of specific epithet. From Latin calathus, for a type of basket, euphemistically referring to the enclosing structure formed by the long setae at the apex of the ovipositor.

Holotype. ♀, BOLIVIA: La Paz: 40 km N Caranavi, Cumbre Alto Beni, 15.83°S, 67.56°W, 21.iv.2004, E. Zumbado, honey spray, 1600 m [ LACM ENT 194428 View Materials ] ( CBFC). GoogleMaps  


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County