New data on the distribution of Mydidae in the Afrotropical and Oriental regions (Diptera: Asiloidea)
Torsten Dikow – Field Museum of Natural History, Biodiversity Synthesis Center, Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
Background Cacatuopyginae Leptomydinae
Mydidae – mydas flies – is with 461 species in 66 genera one of the The Cacatuopyginae comprises 6 valid species in 2 genera known so far The Leptomydinae comprises currently 47 valid species in 6 genera
less speciose families of Asiloidea. Species are distributed in the only from India (only in the north-east and south-east of the country), primarily distributed in the Northern Hemisphere with Hessemydas
warmer climates throughout the world (Fig. 1) and arid as well as Indonesia (Java and Sulawesi), and Vietnam. Five of these species belong Kondratieff, Carr & Irwin, 2005 from Madagascar and Plyomydas Wilcox
Mediterranean-type environments are particularly species-rich. to Cacatuopyga Papavero & Wilcox, 1974. & Papavero, 1971 from Peru being the only representatives in the
By far the highest species diversity is found in southern Africa Southern Hemisphere.
(178 species). One of the largest Diptera species in the world is Cacatuopyga auriculosa (Séguy, 1934)
Gauromydas heros (Perty, 1833) (Mydinae), which is known from Two specimens of Cacatuopyga auriculosa from south-eastern Vietnam and Leptomydas Gerstaecker, 1868
southern Brazil and northern Argentina, with a wing length of up to southern Thailand have been located in the BPBM and CAS collections The genus Leptomydas comprises currently 13 species distributed in the
59 mm and a body length of up to 52 mm. and extend the distributional range of this species known so far only southern Palaearctic Region (Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia, and central
from the type locality in northern Vietnam. Asia) and in northern India in the Oriental Region.
Although several regional faunas are fairly well known, e.g.,
Nearctic Region (94 species), Australia (43 species), or Chile (18 Leptomydas ... sp. nov.
species), there are still many regions where new species will be This new species is based on 3 ? specimens located in the ZSMC from
found and need to be made scientifically known in the future. The south-central Nepal and represents the first record of Mydidae from this
aim of this project is to fill some of the distributional gaps and country.
describe several new species from regions Mydidae have not been
recorded from before.
5 mm 5 mm
Cacatuopyga basifascia (Walker, 1859)
Eight specimens of Cacatuopyga basifascia have been located in the
RMNH, ZMHB, ZMAN, and ZSMC collections and extend the 5 mm 5 mm
distribution of this species within Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.
Leptomydas ... sp. nov.
This new species is based on a single ? specimen in the LACM, which
was collected in a Malaise trap in central Thailand during the NSF-
funded TIGER project (Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological
Research). It represents the first new Mydidae species from Thailand.
Fig. 1. Map of the world with type localities of 387 valid Mydidae species (red circles) and
new distributional records from 10 species in 5 genera presented here (yellow triangles).
5 mm 5 mm
Specimens for this project have been studied from the following Cacatuopyga ruficornis (Wiedemann, 1824)
Diptera collections: AMGS - Albany Museum, Grahamstown, EC, Three specimens of Cacatuopyga ruficornis have been located in the DEIC,
South Africa; BMNH - The Natural History Museum, London, which represent the first Mydidae specimens known from the island
UK; BPBM - Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, USA; CAS state of Sri Lanka. Previously, this species was only known from the type 5 mm
- California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, USA; DEIC locality in south-eastern India (Tamil Nadu).
- Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, Müncheberg,
Germany; LACM - Natural History Museum Los Angeles County,
Los Angeles, CA, USA; NMSA - Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, Syllegomydinae Syllegomydas Becker, 1906
KZN, South Africa; NMKE - National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, The genus Syllegomydas comprises currently 24 species distributed
Kenya (specimens collected by R. Copeland); RMNH - Nationaal The Syllegomydinae is the most speciose subfamily taxon with currently
primarily in northern Africa, with a few species in sub-Saharan Africa
Natuurhistorisch Museum, Naturalis, Leiden, The Netherlands; 204 valid species in 25 genera. Species are distributed in northern as well
(Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe), as well as Afghanistan,
ZMAN - Zoological Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands; as sub-Saharan Africa, Israel, Madagascar, and Spain.
Israel, and Spain.
ZMHB - Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany; and ZSMC - Mydaselpis Bezzi, 1924
Zoologische Staatssammlung, München, Germany. Syllegomydas (Notobates) ... sp. nov.
The Afrotropical genus Mydaselpis comprises currently 5 species all
This new species is known from 16 specimens (BMNH, NMKE,
distributed in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
NMSA) and is being described from Kenya. It has some resemblance to
Results Mydaselpis ... sp. nov. Syllegomydas (Notobates) arnoldi Bequaert, 1938 from Zimbabwe, but is
This new species is represented by 11 specimens (AMGS, CAS, NMKE, presently only known from Kenya.
In this project Mydidae have been recorded for the first time from
Kenya, Mauritania, and Tanzania in the Afrotropical Region and NMSA) and is being described from Kenya and Tanzania, therefore
Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand in the Oriental Region. Six new extending the distribution of Mydaselpis to eastern Africa.
species from Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania, and Thailand have been
identified and are presently being described. A manuscript will
be submitted in early 2010. The distributional ranges of several
Mydidae species from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions have
5 mm 5 mm
Acknowledgements & Funding
5 mm 5 mm Syllegomydas (Notobates) ... sp. nov.
The author thanks the many museum curators who made specimens This new species is based on 17 specimens (CAS, NMKE) and is
available through loans and for the hospitality when visiting the restricted to Kenya. It is outstanding within Syllegomydas (Notobates) for
collections. In particular, I would like to thank Robert Copeland for Vespiodes Hesse, 1969 its very narrow postgenae so that the compound eyes nearly touch each
providing the majority of specimens from Kenya (now in NMKE) The Afrotropical genus Vespiodes is currently known from 9 species other ventrally on the head.
and Brian Brown for making the TIGER samples available for study. occurring in the DR Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa,
This project is funded by an NSF REVSYS Grant (DEB 0919333; Zambia, and Zimbabwe and all species appear to be wasp mimics.
PI Torsten Dikow, Co-PI David Yeates). Previous funding that Vespiodes ... sp. nov.
supported some of the museum visits has been provided by an NSF This new species is based on a single ? collected in south-eastern Kenya
Dissertation Improvement Grant (DEB 0608258; PI James Liebherr, (NMKE) and extends the distribution of the genus to eastern Africa.
Co-PI Torsten Dikow). Partial funding is also provided by the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation funding of the
Biodiversity Synthesis Group of the Encyclopedia of Life.
5 mm 5 mm
Syllegomydas proximus Séguy, 1928
A single ? of this small species (CAS) from the western edges of the
Sahara represents the first Mydidae species recorded from Mauritania
5 mm 5 mm and is also the third locality for Syllegomydas proximus, which was
previously only known from southern Niger.