Diopsis mayae sp. n. (Diptera, Diopsidae), a dominant stalk-eyed fly, occurring from South Africa to Saudi Arabia

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Diopsis mayae sp. n. is the sister species of the well-known West-African D. apicalis. It occurs from Egypt and Saudi Arabia down through eastern Africa to Namibia and South Africa. Both species belong to the D. apicalis species group, a relatively young branch of the Diopsidae, and separated at least 280,000 years ago. Although around 40 species still need to be described in the D. apicalis species group, D. mayae sp. n. and D. apicalis are by far the most dominant species in the group, while both species belong to the very small group of Afrotropical Diopsidae with a wide distribution. Data are presented on sexual dimorphism with respect to eye span for the new species and compared with those for D. apicalis. Both species are secondary stem-borers in rice and other Poaceae. Ecological information is presented for D. mayae sp. n. and compared with the information available for D. apicalis.

Tijdschrift voor Entomologie

A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Entomology since 1857



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  • Diopsis mayae sp. n. ♂, South Africa, KwaMhlanga, 25°21’1’’S 28°45’28’’E, 19.iv.2014. Photograph Peter Webb.

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  • Anterior view of central head (2, 3), dorsal view of thorax (4, 5). – 2, Diopsis mayae sp. n. ♂, Malawi, Lake, Chilwa, Likangala, 28.viii.1974; 3, D. apicalis ♂, Cameroon, Maya, Bassolje, 7.v.2006; 4, D. mayae sp. n. ♂, South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, 1.xii.1994; 5, D. apicalis ♀, Senegal, 7.i.1945. Scale bars = 0.5 mm, photographs Cobi Feijen.

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  • Diopsis mayae sp. n. ♀, Malawi, Lake Chilwa, Likangala, 1973. – 10, ventral view of distal section of abdomen; 11, dorsal view of terga 8 & 10 and cerci; 12, sclerotized ring of ventral vagina wall; 13, subanal plate; 14, spermathecae. Scale bars = 0.1 mm.

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  • Diopsis mayae sp. n. ♂, Malawi, Lake Chilwa, Likangala, 1973. – 15, posterior view of epandrium with surstyli and cerci; 16, lateral view of phallapodeme; 17, ejaculatory apodeme and sac; 18, posterolateral view of surstylus. Diopsis apicalis ♂, Ivory Coast. – 19, posterolateral view of surstylus. Scale bars = 0.1 mm.

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  • Diopsis mayae sp. n. hatched pupa, Malawi, Lake Chilwa, Likangala, 1973. – 20, dorsal view of puparium; 21, detail of anterior section with anterior spiracular stalks and larval head skeleton. Scale bars = 1 mm, photographs Cobi Feijen.

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  • Anterior view of head (6, 7), dorsal view of wing (8,9). – 6, Diopsis mayae sp. n. ♂, Malawi, Lake Chilwa, Likangala, 28.viii.1974; 7, D. apicalis ♂, Cameroon, Maya, Bassolje, 7.v.2006; 8, D. mayae sp. n. ♂, Malawi, Diampwe riv., 20.x.1974; 9, D. apicalis ♂, Togo, Mango, 8.iv.1976. Scale bars = 1 mm, photographs Cobi Feijen.

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  • Eye span plotted against body length. – 22, Diopsis apicalis; 23, D. mayae sp. n.

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