Something “new ” for Central America

When in Brazil a few years ago, my team of Giar-Ann Kung, Wendy Porras, and I found the spiny, brachypterous (short-winged) females of phorid genus Pheidolomyia. These flies, which live in the nests of the ant genus Pheidole, were only known from Brazil. Once back home in Costa Rica, however, Wendy quickly found them there, too. This demonstrates two important principles of dipterology: 1) Wendy is a great collector, and 2) our knowledge of the distribution of tropical flies is extremely fragmentary.

A female Pheidolomyia from Costa Rica - photo by Inna Strazhnik

A female Pheidolomyia from Costa Rica – photo by Inna Strazhnik

After I remarked on yet another interesting “South American” phorid fly showing up at La Selva Biological Station during the ALAS (Arthropods of La Selva) project, the ant ecologist Jack Longino agreed with me, only partly joking that “if you collect long enough at La Selva, you get the entire Neotropical fauna!” Now, that’s a hypothesis that would be fun to test.

5 comments on “Something “new ” for Central America

  1. J. Hash says:

    I’ve heard that Jack Logino also said the same thing specifically about ants, so maybe every Neotropical ant associated phorid will show up at La Selva. I wonder what proportion of the total known associations have also been documented at La Selva.

  2. Jeff Bjorck says:

    Rudolph, the Red-nosed phorid??? :o) Yet another amazing creature! But as we all know, the entire neotropical fauna may already be nesting in my mulch bucket in L.A!

  3. marksolock says:

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  4. Vctor says:

    It is so,
    RHL Disney long caught Malaise trap in his garden and found the entire fauna of Megaselia of Britain

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