We have had quite a bit of rain so far, nothing you wouldn’t expect in a rain forest, but it makes collecting an episodic affair. The light traps run every night, however, even in the pounding rain. So far (after one night), they have turned up two interesting flies.
The first is an acalyptrate, perhaps a lauxaniid, with interesting lines of color along the wing veins. I don’t know how unusual this is, since I don’t work on lauxaniids, but I have never seen anything like this before.
The second interesting thing is a female bee killing fly, genus Melaloncha, from a group that I have worked extensively on. Bee killing flies are parasitoids that attack stingless bees, introduced honey bees, and bumble bees. They are found throughout the Neotropical Region, except for Chile, and attack their hosts either at flowers or at colony entrances. I worked for years on these flies, and have described many new species. In order to collect them we had to learn a lot about their natural history, the most are active only in bright sun in the warmest parts of the day. But there is also a published record from Panama of them attacking nocturnal sweat bee.
Could this be one of those nocturnal bee killers? Perhaps, and this is one of the great things about using a “new” collecting technique in the tropics-finding different things even in groups you have worked on for many years.