A new fly to study

Some European colleagues were kind enough to send me specimens of a fly that I have never seen before: Opetia nigra. It is classified in its own family, Opetiidae, a group not known from the New World, but in the past has been most frequently placed in the family Platypezidae, the flat-footed flies (I kid you not; don’t blame me for these common names!).

Opetia nigra male; photo by Inna Strazhnik

I wanted to see specimens because they are a family that are probably related to my Phoridae, although the precise relationship remains elusive. Hopefully, my studying the structure of these flies will tell us something new, although they were treated in great detail by Peter Chandler in his recent book on the flat-footed flies of Europe.

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