Brachyopa cummingi Moran and Skevington

Skevington, Jeffrey H., Young, Andrew D., Locke, Michelle M. & Moran, Kevin M., 2019, New Syrphidae (Diptera) of North-eastern North America, Biodiversity Data Journal 7, pp. 36673-36673: 36673

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Brachyopa cummingi Moran and Skevington

sp. n.

Brachyopa cummingi Moran and Skevington   sp. n.


Type status: Holotype. Occurrence: catalogNumber: CNC_Diptera106864; recordedBy: J.M. Cumming; individualCount: 1; sex: male; lifeStage: adult; Taxon: scientificName: Brachyopacummingi Moran and Skevington; kingdom: Animalia; phylum: Arthropoda; class: Hexapoda; order: Diptera; family: Syrphidae; genus: Brachyopa; specificEpithet: cummingi; taxonRank: species; scientificNameAuthorship: Moran and Skevington 2019; vernacularName: Somber Sapeater; nomenclaturalStatus: new species; Location: country: Canada; stateProvince: Ontario; locality: Ottawa ; decimalLatitude: 45.266667; decimalLongitude: -75.75; Identification: identifiedBy: K. Moran; Event: samplingProtocol: hand collected; eventDate: 1986-05-14; year: 1986; month: 5; day: 14; verbatimEventDate: 14.v.1986; Record Level: language: en; institutionCode: CNC; basisOfRecord: PreservedSpecimen GoogleMaps  


Size: Body length 5.8 mm; wing length 5.4 mm

Male: Head: Yellow to orange; face concave, covered in white pollen and bare, lower face projecting forwards along the oral margin; gena pale pilose, shiny anteriorly and white pollinose posteriorly; frontal triangle shiny, bare except for white pollinosity and short pale pile narrowly along eye margin; vertex yellow, except ocellar triangle black, white pollinose and pale pilose; occiput white pollinose, pale pilose with some short black setae on dorsal ¼; antenna wholly yellow to orange, scape and pedicel with short, pale pile, pedicel about as long as scape, postpedicel oval, about twice as long as wide, with minute sensory pit on inner surface, arista minutely pubescent; eye bare, very narrowly dichoptic.

Thorax: Mesonotum dull brown, pale pilose, white pollinose except for two medial, bare stripes starting at anterior edge and running about three-fourths the length of mesonotum and four bare vittae, two before transverse suture and two after; scutellum yellow, pale pilose, sparsely white pollinose and without macrosetae; subscutellar fringe absent; postpronotum yellow, pale pilose and white pollinose; postalar callus yellow, pale pilose and white pollinose; pleuron yellow, covered in white pollen; anterior anepisternum, katepimeron and meron bare; posterior anepisternum and anepimeron pale pilose; katepisternum discontinuously pale pilose; metasternum yellow, white pollinose, bare; legs yellow, pale pilose; meso- and metacoxa sparsely white pollinose; metafemur with black setulae along ventral side; wing entirely densely microtrichose; halter yellow; calypter white.

Abdomen: Oval, unicolorous light brown, pale pilose, sparsely white pollinose.

Genitalia: Epandrium subquadrate, longer than wide, narrows slightly dorsally; cercus with laterally compressed, subtriangular sclerotised outer portion covered in long pile and membranous inner portion; surstylus short, with broadly fused, for ⅓ the length of the ventral lobe, dorsal and ventral lobes, dorsal lobe short, rounded apically, ventral lobe large and elongate rectangularly, dorsal lobe densely setose on apex and with dense cluster of long pile on outer surface just prior to apex, ventral lobe with sparse smattering of pile on outer surface; subepandrial sclerite divided with one arm off of each surstylus, joined only where it articulates with hypandrium; ejaculatory apodeme narrow, straight; phallapodeme long and narrow; postgonite hooked ventrally, adjacent to hypandrium; dorsal hypandrium with paired, pointed, long arms projecting from distal end, with triangular tooth near tip; phallus simple tube within hypandrium.

Female: Unknown.

See Fig. 6.


Arista pubescent but not plumose. Male postpedicel with distinct sensory pit. White pollinose on scutum. Postpronotum and scutellum yellow in colour. Wing hyaline. Katepisternum pilose on dorsal half. Scutellum pale pilose; completely pollinose. Abdomen unicolorous light brown; completely pollinose.


This species is named for the collector of the only known specimen. Jeff Cumming works at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes where he specialises on Empidoidea  systematics.


The only known specimen of this species was collected in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


This extremely rare fly has been collected once in mid-May (14 May 1986).

Taxon discussion

We were unable to sequence this specimen. Morphologically, it appears to be closely related to B. daeckei   Johnson 1917. Brachyopa daeckei   lacks the distinct sensory pit on the postpedicel that is present in B. cummingi   . Additionally, B. daeckei   has dark brown instead of pale yellow postpronotum and scutelllum, gold instead of white pollinosity on scutum and a pitch black instead of pale brown abdomen. Genitalia of B. cummingi   and B. daeckei   are similar, except surstylar lobes of B. daeckei   are fused over ½ the width of ventral lobe in comparison to B. cummingi   in which they are fused for ⅓ the width.

Common Name

The common name given to the species by Skevington et al. (2019) is Somber Sapeater.