The occurrence of stalk-eyed flies (Diptera, Diopsidae) in the Arabian Peninsula, with a review of cluster formation in the Diopsidae

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Catalogue and distribution data are presented for the six Diopsidae species known to occur in the Arabian Peninsula: Sphyracephala beccarii, Chaetodiopsis meigenii, Diasemopsis aethiopica, Diopsis arabica, Diopsis mayae and Diopsis sp. (ichneumonea species group). The biogeographical aspects of their distribution are discussed. Records of Diopsis apicalis and Diopsis collaris are removed from the list for Arabia as these were based on misidentifications. Synonymies involving Diasemopsis aethiopica and Diasemopsis varians are discussed. Only one out of four specimens in the D. elegantula type series proved conspecific with D. aethiopica. The synonymy of D. aethiopica and D. varians is rejected. A lectotype for Diasemopsis elegantula is now designated. D. elegantula is proposed as junior synonym of D. varians. A fly cluster of more than 80,000 Sphyracephala beccarii, observed in Oman, is described. The occurrence of cluster formations in the Diopsidae is reviewed, while a possible explanation is indicated.

Tijdschrift voor Entomologie

A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Entomology since 1857



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  • Distribution maps of Diopsidae species in the Arabian Peninsula. – 1, Sphyracephala beccarii (also showing type locality in Eritrea); 2, Chaetodiopsis meigenii and Diasemopsis aethiopica (also showing type locality in Eritrea); 3, Diopsis mayae; 4, Diopsis arabica and Diopsis sp.

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  • Anterior view of head or central head. – 5, Sphyracephala beccarii, female, Saudi-Arabia, Wadi-Maharish; 6, Diopsis mayae, female, Mozambique, Namaacha; 7, Diopsis mayae, male, South Africa, Pietermaritzburg; 8, Chaetodiopsis meigenii, female, Namibia, Katima; 9, Diasemopsis aethiopica, male, DR Congo, Mboma; 10, Diopsis arabica, female, Saudi-Arabia, Jebel Fifa. Scale bars = 0.5 mm, photographs Cobi Feijen.

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  • Dorsal view of wing. – 11, Sphyracephala beccarii, female, Saudi-Arabia, Wadi-Maharish; 12, Chaetodiopsis meigenii, male, DR Congo, Bomane; 13, Diasemopsis aethiopica, female, Togo, Amoutchou; 14, Diopsis mayae, male, Mozambique, Buzi; 15, Diopsis arabica, female, Saudi-Arabia, Jebel Fifa. Scale bars = 1 mm, photographs Cobi Feijen.

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  • Wadi Darbat, Sultanate of Oman, 10.xi.2014. – 16, habitat of the Wadi; 17, overview of clusters of Sphyracephala beccarii on tree trunk, dark sections are clusters, specks on pale sections are individual flies; 18, detail of cluster of Sphyracephala beccarii, single Chaetodiopsis meigenii in lower left corner; 19, Chaetodiopsis meigenii near cluster. Photographs 16, 17 Martin Kühn; photographs 18, 19 Ralph Martin.

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  • Clusters in Diopsidae. – 20, Wadi Darbat, Sultanate of Oman, 10.xi.2014, detail of cluster of Sphyracephala beccarii showing layered structure (photograph Ralph Martin); 21, Matema, Tanzania,, cluster of Diasemopsis varians with some Sphyracephala munroi in between, note densely layered structure on lower leaf just left of centre (photograph Martin Grimm).

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