Amiota imperator, Jones & Grimaldi, 2022

Jones, Lance E. & Grimaldi, David A., 2022, Revision Of The Nearctic Species Of The Genus Amiota Loew (Diptera: Drosophilidae), Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2022 (458), pp. 1-181 : 135-137

publication ID 10.1206/0003-0090.458.1.1


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Amiota imperator

sp. nov.

Amiota imperator View in CoL , sp. nov.

Figures 69E–F View FIG , 72F View FIG , 78 View FIG , 96A View FIG

DIAGNOSIS: Large fly (ThL 1.60–1.73 mm), honey to light brown, legs white, middle tibia with comb of ~20 upright setae; arista with medium to long plumosity; epandrium squat, broader than deep, dorsally complete, cercus pendulous; subepandrial sclerite with pair of slender, spinelike appendages that project forward; aedeagal apodeme long and slender, length almost 2× width of base; inner paraphysis with distal, globose lobe densely covered in membranous scales.

DESCRIPTION: Large fly (ThL 1.60–1.73 mm), color always light, varying from golden honey to light brown (darkening in older museum specimens), abdomen darker, legs brilliant milky white (sometimes yellowing in older material), setation on body jet black. Cheek milky white posteriorly. Palp yellow. Katepisternum darker than rest of pleuron. Middle tibia with comb composed of ~20 setae, length of longest setae approximately equal to width of tibia, central setae slightly longer than those flanking the ends of the comb. Tergites 1 and 2 lightly colored. Arista: Medium, plumose; longest branches D3– D4; A.R. 0.36; 6 dorsal, 2–3 ventral branches; D5 pointed laterad; arista trunk with very long microtrichia that shorten apicad. Male genitalia: Epandrium squat, width ~0.7× height; dorsally complete, not medially split; ventral lobe rounded, with ~15 medium-length setae, ~8–9 setae clustering near apex of epandrium, long setae absent from medial area of epandrium. Cercus grading into surrounding membrane, not recessed into epandrium, pendulous (ventral margin overhanging surstyli). Surstylus with 7 prensisetae, apices blunt, becoming smaller dorsally, spinelike seta arising below the most medial prensiseta; entire surstylus distally setulose. Subepandrial sclerite moderately sclerotized, shieldlike; with pair of long, slender, spinelike processes arising from anterior portion, pointing backward. Outer paraphyses (?) apparently fused distally into a small membranous lobe that is bifid and with a deep notch, lateral surfaces each with pair of sensilla. Inner paraphysis a heavily sclerotized digitiform lobe, the apex with a globose membrane densely covered in minute lanceolate scales. Aedeagal apodeme distinct, slender, length more than 2× width of base; tapering past middle point, “distal plate” expanding, almost circular, not wider than base; single flange forming a central column. Hypandrium simple, incomplete in middle; lateral arms slightly thickened with membranous, ventrally pointed gonopod. Median membranous structure between paraphyses (?aedeagus), with central swale and covered with setulalike projections. Ejaculatory apodeme small and stout, sclerotized, length ~0.4× depth of epandrium. Head and thorax measurements: (n = 5; Am 291, 507, 562, 642, 703) FL/FW 0.66 (0.61–0.74), EL/EW 1.37 (1.20–1.50), EL/CW 14.68 (12–18), FML/FMW 0.38 (0.37–0.41), PR /RR 0.54 (0.46–0.61), ThL 1.66 (1.60–1.73 mm).

TYPE MATERIAL: Holotype: male: USA: MI: Marquette Co., Huron Mtns., Huron Mtn. Club property vicinity, 46.874950, -87.891717, Leg. T. Werner, 6–12.vii.2018, Am 680, [specimen glued to paper point, dissected]. Deposited in the American Museum of Natural History ( AMNH). GoogleMaps Paratypes: USA: MI: Marquette Co., Huron Mtns., Huron Mtn. Club property vicinity, 46.874950, -87.891717, Leg. T. Werner, 6–12.vii.2018, 5♂ (Am 703*, 1072, 1584–1586*, AMNH) GoogleMaps .

OTHER MATERIAL EXAMINED: Canada: Ontario: Algonquin Provincial Park, Swan Lake Station, Scott Lake Survey , 1993-06-19 through 1993- 06-31, leg. Larson / Marshall / Barr, pan A3, hemlock, clubmoss, 1♂ (Am 530, DEBU) ; Algonquin Provincial Park, W. R.S. A (B3), 1994-07-01, leg. R. Bonduriansky, 1♂ (Am 610*, DEBU) ; Hald.-Norfolk Reg., Turkey Point Provincial Park , site 1, 2011-05-31 through 2011-06-15, leg. Brunke and Paiero, forest malaise pans, debu01153255, 1♂ (Am 613, DEBU) ; Northumberland Co., Peter’s Woods Provincial Nature Preserve , front woods, 2011-07-12 through 2011-07-26, leg. Brunke and Paiero, forest malaise pans, debu01153255, 1♂ (Am 614, DEBU) ; Peterboro Co., Keene, Mill St. Trail, 2001-07-14, leg. W.J. Crins, 1♂ (Am 562*, DEBU) ; Rattlesnake Pt. Conservation Area , 43 28 N, 79 55 W, 2010-06-19, leg. B.J. Sinclair, forest, 1♂ (Am 1268, CNC) GoogleMaps ; Smith’s Bay , Nr. Picton, 1970-01-07, leg. J.F. McAlpine, 2♂ (Am 1187, 1193, CNC) . Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Islands N.P., Lone Shieling, Over small stream in maple forest, 1983-07-01, leg. J. R. Vockeroth, PG732859, 1♂ (Am 1397*, CNC) . Quebec: Gatineau Park, Lac Phillippe , 2014-07-05, leg. O. Lonsdale, 1♂ (Am 1305, CNC) ; Hull , 1958-06-30, leg. W.W. Moss, 1♂ (Am 1381, CNC) ; Mont Tremblant , 3000′, 1959-07-15, leg. B. V. Peterson, 1♂ (Am 1380, CNC) ; PN de la Jacques-Cartier, Le Confluence Tr. , 47 11 30 N, 71 22 43 W, 2019-07-15, leg. B.J. Sinclair, CNC1700874 View Materials , 1♂ (Am 1223, CNC) GoogleMaps ; Old Chelsea, Summit King Mtn. , 1965-06-20, leg. D.M. Wood, 1♂ (Am 1534, CNC) . USA: Alabama: Haleyville , 1953- 07-06, leg. M. R. Wheeler, [illegible description], 1♂ (Am 296*, AMNH) . Arkansas: Newton Co., Buffalo Na. River, Lost Valley , Clark Creek , 335m, 36 0 36 N, 93 22 28 W, 2019-06-04, leg. B.J. Sinclair, CNC 1556621 View Materials , 1♂ (Am 1303, CNC) GoogleMaps . Connecticut: Riverton , 1980-07-01, leg. S.A. Marshall, debu 01081399 [Am 602], 2♂ (Am 558*, 602, DEBU) . Georgia: Indian Spring State Park, Indian Spgs. , 1950-06-21 through 1950-06-22, leg. T.C. Hsu and Stephens, “= Steyskal leucostoma 3,” 2015.9, 1♂ (Am 291*, AMNH) . Indiana: Wayne Co., Richmond , 1962-08- 26, leg. T. R. Marsh, 1♂ (Am 1593*, INHS) . Maine: Guerette , [no date, likely 07-1948], [collector unknown, likely T. C. Hsu and M. R. Wheeler], [genitalia on slide, no pinned specimen] 1♂ ( AMNH) . New Hampshire: Franconia , [no date], leg. A. T. Slosson, Ac. 26226, 1♂ (Am 127*, AMNH) . New York: Bronx Co., New York Bot. Garden , 40.864029, -73.875571, 2018-08-02, leg. L.E. Jones and L. Li, swept around head, 1♂ (Am 642*, AMNH) GoogleMaps ; Monroe Co., Rochester, Highland Pk. , 43.132600, -77.602784, 2018-07-26, J. Jaenike, 1♂ (Am 722*, AMNH) GoogleMaps ; N. Evans, 1912-07-04, leg. M.C. van Duzee, 1♂ (Am 388*, CAS) ; Trumansburg , 1983-07-19, D. Grimaldi, 2♂ (Am 125*, 126*, AMNH) . North Carolina: Graham Co., Robbinsville , 1976-06-09, leg. G.E. Bohart, 3♂ (Am 505–507*, EMUS) ; Highlands , 1902-08-15, [collector unknown], 1♂ (Am 292, AMNH) ; Highlands, Skittle Creek , 1957-07-19, leg. W. R. Richards, 1♂ (Am 1384, CNC) ; Rich Mt. , 2000′, 1957-07-31, leg. W. R. Richards, 1♂ (Am 1382, CNC) . Ohio: Portage Co., West Branch State Park , 1988-07-17, leg. B.A. Foote, 2♂ (Am 315*, 316, AMNH) .

ETYMOLOGY: From imperator, Latin meaning “emperor, commander-in-chief, ruler,” in reference to the size of this new species, among the largest in Eastern North America, and its distinctiveness.

DISTRIBUTION: Amiota imperator is found throughout Eastern North America. Of note, this striking, new species was collected in the Thaines Family Forest of the New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, New York City.

COMMENTS: Pinned specimens of this species can look remarkably similar to species of the rufescens species group in size and color. Amiota imperator can be separated from these species by the comb on the midtibia of the males. This species is uncommon in most localities, usually collected as one individual rather than a series. Three specimens (DEBU) were caught via malaise and pan traps. Amiota imperator is likely the species referred to as “ Amiota species B ” by Wheeler (1952), although none of the specimens collected in Maine have been seen except for the genitalia of a male on a slide (no pinned material) in the collections of the AMNH. This species exhibits the characteristic behavior of attraction to eyes and face common to many Amiota .


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


American Museum of Natural History


Ontario Insect Collection, University of Guelph


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Illinois Natural History Survey


California Academy of Sciences













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