Melaloncha hyalinipennis Borgmeier, 1933

Brown, Brian V., 2006, Revision of the untreated taxa of Melaloncha s. s. bee-killing flies (Diptera: Phoridae), Zootaxa 1280 (1), pp. 1-68 : 56-57

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1280.1.1

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Melaloncha hyalinipennis Borgmeier


Melaloncha hyalinipennis Borgmeier

Figs. 45 View FIGURES 43–53 , 62 View FIGURES 62–63

Melaloncha hyalinipennis Borgmeier, 1933, p. 95 , 1 fig. (male, female; Chaco).

Holotype. ♂, ARGENTINA: San José de Chiquitos , ix.1926, E. Lindner (not examined; Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart).

Recognition. Unfortunately, the holotype of this species is a male, and males are extremely difficult to distinguish from each other. The following species definition is based on a paratype female specimen collected at the same location as the holotype, as well as more recently collected specimens from other sites.

The female is most easily distinguished from the other two similar species, M. acicula and M. nannocauda , by the fairly thick, dorsally­curved ovipositor.

Male specimens are small, dark Melaloncha with an orange frons. There are probably many similar species from which they cannot be separated using Borgmeier’s (1971b) key to males.

Description. Female. Body length 1.3–1.7 mm. Frons yellow, bare of small setae; ocellar triangle black. Mean frontal width 0.48 head width, range 0.44–0.50. Ocular and genal setae yellow to brown. Flagellomere 1 white basally, apex and segments 1–2 of arista yellow; aristomere 3 black. Palpus white; palpal setulae relatively long, dark. Scutum dark brown, except light brown anterolaterally. Scutellum dark brown. Pleuron light yellowish­brown with silver pollinosity, except basalare and dorsum of anepisternum dark brown. Legs whitish­yellow to yellowish­brown, except apex of hind femur with dark brown spot. Combined length of foretarsomeres approximately 0.9 length of foretibia. Foretarsal claws recurved, with large basal lobe. Mean costal length 0.45 wing length, range 0.42–0.47. Halter whitish­yellow. Abdominal tergites mostly black with silver pollinosity, except anterolateral corners of tergites 2–4, and most of anterior portion of tergite 6, yellow. Venter of abdomen yellow. Ovipositor with basal one­quarter yellow, rest black; tubular, slightly laterally flattened, slightly dorsally curved, relatively short; setose throughout, with medium­sized, sparse setae. Intersegment 7–8 distinctive, in lateral view with triangular, light brown sclerite, continued by clear, triangular apex.

Male (based on a paratype male from the type locality). Frons orange, except ocellar triangle black. Flagellomere 1 orange; palpal setulae black. Postocular and genal setae brown. Scutum dark brown. Pleuron dark brown, with silver pollinosity. Legs yellowishbrown, except apex of hind femur dark brown. Abdominal tergites black, anteriorly with silver pollinosity. Venter of abdomen brown. Cercus damaged and not observed. Epandrium with few scattered long setae.

Host. We observed two females attacking Plebeia bees at San Antonio de Cumbaza, Peru. Flies mounted the backs of bees, perching on them in a similar manner to females of M. maculata (see below). One fly also approached a worker of Scaura latitarsis (Friese) .

Females at Amacayacu, Colombia and Tambopata, Peru were collected at mixed aggregations of various bee species.

Geographical distribution. Widespread in tropical South America.

Material examined. ARGENTINA: San José de Chiquito , 1♂, 1♀, ix.1926, E. Lindner ( MZSP) . BRAZIL: Amazonas: Manaus, Reserva Ducke , 3.13°S, 60.02°W, 2♀, 6–17.vii.1992, J. Vidal ( INPA, LACM) GoogleMaps , Reserva Campina , 2.5°S, 60.0°W, 3♀, 8–, J. Vidal ( INPA, LACM) GoogleMaps ; Bahia: 1♀, 1930, R. Shannon ( MZSP) ; Mato Grosso: Rio Caragaata , 1♀, iii.1953, F. Plaumann ( MZSP) ; Sao Paulo: 1♀ [no other data], J. Lane ( MZSP) . COLOMBIA: Amazonas: Amacayacu National Park, Matamata Station , 3.82°S, 70.26°W, 1♀, 8–12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, M. Sharkey, Malaise trap #5, 1♀, 12.iii.2000, B. Brown, G. Kung, attracted to bee aggregation at honey ( LACM) GoogleMaps , 22 km NW Leticia , 4.04°S, 69.99°W, 1♀, 1–4.ix.1997, M. Sharkey, Malaise trap ( LACM) GoogleMaps . ECUADOR: Napo: Yasuni NP, PUCE Yasuni Research Station , 0.63°S, 76.6°W, 1♀, 3–20.xi.1998, T. Pape, B. Viklund, Malaise trap in rain forest ( QCAZ) GoogleMaps . PERU: Madre de Dios: Tambopata Research Center , 13.14°S, 69.61°W, 1♀, 20.vii.2001, 1♀, 21.vii.2001, B. Brown, G. Kung, honey­sprayed leaves ( LACM) GoogleMaps ; San Martin: Estación “Biodiversidad”, 19 km NE Tarapoto, 6.46°S, 76.29°W, 1♀, 7.vii.2004, B. Brown, E. Corona, honey­spray, 950 m ( LACM) GoogleMaps , San Antonio de Cumbaza , 6.40°S, 76.41°W, 2♀, 9.vii.2004, 1♀, 10.vii.2004, B. Brown, approaching host bee ( LACM) GoogleMaps , 1♀, 3.vii.2004, 8♀, 4.vii.2004, 22♀, 9.vii.2004, 10♀, 10.vii.2004, B. Brown, E. Corona, honey­spray, 400 m ( CNCI, EMUS, LACM, MCZC, MUSM, SEMC, USNM, ZMUK) .


Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo


Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Museo de Zoologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador


Canadian National Collection Insects


University of Kansas - Biodiversity Institute


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Melaloncha hyalinipennis Borgmeier

Brown, Brian V. 2006

Melaloncha hyalinipennis

Borgmeier, T. 1933: 95