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Robber flies from Sint Eustatius, Lesser Antilles, with the descriptions of Efferia exaggerata sp. N. and the male of Ommatius prolongatus Scarbrough (Diptera: Asilidae)



Four species of robber flies are recorded from Sint Eustatius, Lesser Antilles. Efferia exaggerata sp. n. is described, as well as the male of Ommatius prolongatus Scarbrough.
Accepted by C. Lamas: 14 Mar. 2019; published: 16 Apr. 2019
ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
(online edition)
Copyright © 2019 Magnolia Press
Zootaxa 4586 (1): 141
Robber flies from Sint Eustatius, Lesser Antilles, with the descriptions of Efferia
exaggerata sp. n. and the male of Ommatius prolongatus Scarbrough
(Diptera: Asilidae)
European Invertebrate Survey – the Netherlands / Naturalis Biodiversity Center, PO Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands.
Four species of robber flies are recorded from Sint Eustatius, Lesser Antilles. Efferia exaggerata sp. n. is described, as
well as the male of Ommatius prolongatus Scarbrough.
Key words: Dutch Caribbean, northern Leeward islands
The robber fly fauna of the Caribbean has received quite some attention from researchers, much of which focused
on the Greater Antilles where the bigger islands are situated, which harbor a greater diversity (Bromley 1929;
Dumbardon-Martial 2015; Farr 1963; 1965; Scarbrough 1984; 1985; 1996; 1997; Scarbrough & Knutson 1989;
Scarbrough & Perez-Gelabert 2006; 2008; 2009). The Lesser Antilles are less well known, with only twelve
species recorded and more than half of the islands lacking records entirely (Dumbardon-Martial 2015; Papavero
2009). Eight of these species are restricted to the Lesser Antilles and here a ninth, presumably endemic, is
described from Sint Eustatius, stressing the hypothesis that the Caribbean is an important biodiversity hotspot as
suggested by Myers et al. (2008).
In October 2015 a Tropical Biodiversity and Field Methods course was organized by Naturalis Biodiversity
Center, Leiden, the Netherlands on the island of Sint Eustatius, Lesser Antilles. The island, affectionately called
Statia by its inhabitants, is a small island in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles. It lies south of Sint Maarten and
is neighbored by Saba to the northwest and Saint Kitts & Nevis to the southeast. Formerly a constituent country of
the Netherlands Antilles, in October 2010 it became a special municipality of the Netherlands. The island is saddle-
shaped, has an area of 21 square kilometers and comprises two volcanic areas separated by lowlands. The northern
hills, called Boven, are covered in dry forest and shrubland, whereas the southern part consists of a dormant
volcano called the Quill, which supports more diverse, lush forest, especially in the crater; this is classified as
humid evergreen forest (Van Andel et al. 2016).
Material and methods
Specimens were collected from 2–18 October 2015; an overview of the collecting sites is provided in table 1.
Several specimens had one leg removed for DNA barcoding. All material was deposited in the collection of
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands (RMNH).
Label data are given in full for the Holoytpe, individual label information is given in quotes with the lines
separated by a forward slash ‘/’; additional information is provided in square brackets. All specimens were
collected by the author, unless stated otherwise. Terminology of morphological characters follow Scarbrough
Apulvillasilus gen. nov. is proposed as a new monotypic Asilinae genus from Argentina, based on Apulvillasilus boharti sp. nov. The new genus is separated from other Asilinae genera mainly by the absence of empodia and pulvilli. Its placement in the Myaptex group is proposed. Description, diagnosis, images of the habitus, male and female terminalia, a distribution map, and an updated key for the genera of the Myaptex group are provided.
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The life and works of entomologists who described species of Diptera from Mexico before the publication of the Biologia Centrali-Americana are presented, including some commentaries about the collectors. Here are listed all the Mexican Diptera species-names proposed by Thomas Say (15 species), Rudolph Wilhelm Wiedemann (35 species), Pierre Justin Marie Macquart (71 species), John Obadiah Westwood (5 species), Bracy Clark (1 species), Francis Walker (91 species), Luigi Bellardi (176 species), Camilo Rondani (5 species), F. Jaennicke (24 species), Edward Adolph Gerstaecker (8 species), Jaques Marie Frangille Bigot (205 species), Alfred Dugès (1 species), Friedrich Moritz Brauer (3 species), F. M. Brauer & J. F. Bergenstamm (13 species), Ermanno Giglio-Tos (177 species), and Ewald Rübsaamen (2 species). Included are a total of 832 specific names of the following 51 current families (in phylogenetic order): Tipulidae, Culicidae, Simuliidae, Anisopodidae, Bibionidae, Ditomyiidae, Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae, Xylomyidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Rhagionidae, Pantophtalmidae, Therevidae, Mydidae, Asilidae, Nemestrinidae, Acroceridae, Bombyliidae, Empididae, Dolichopodidae, Syrphidae, Conopidae, Micropezidae, Neriidae, Psilidae, Tanypezidae, Richardiidae, Otitidae, Platystomatidae, Tephritidae, Dryomyzidae, Sepsidae, Sciomyzidae, Lauxaniidae, Lonchaeidae, Ephydridae, Drosophilidae, Chloropidae, Heleomyzidae, Rhinotoridae, Anthomyiidae, Scatophagidae, Muscidae, Hippoboscidae, Streblidae, Nycteribiidae, Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Tachinidae, and Cuterebridae. The original reference, type-locality, depository museum or collection, present taxonomic status of each name and additional references are presented.
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Caribbean dry forests are among the most endangered tropical ecosystems on earth. Several studies exist on their floristic composition and their recovery after natural or man-made disturbances, but little is known on the small Dutch Caribbean islands. In this study, we present quantitative data on plant species richness and abundance on St. Eustatius, one of the smallest islands of the Lesser Antilles. We collected and identified trees, shrubs, lianas and herbs in 11 plots of 25 x 25 m in different vegetation types. We compared their floristic composition and structure to vegetation surveys from roughly the same locations in the 1990s and 1950s. We found substantial differences among our 11 plots: vegetation types varied from evergreen forests to deciduous shrubland and open woodland. The number of tree species cm DBH ranged between one and 17, and their density between three and 82 per plot. In spite that all plots were subject to grazing by free roaming cattle, canopy height and floristic diversity have increased in the last decades. Invasive species are present in the open vegetation types, but not under (partly) closed canopy. Comparison with the earlier surveys showed that the decline of agriculture and conservation efforts resulted in the regeneration of dry forests between the 1950s and 2015. This process has also been reported from nearby islands and offers good opportunities for the future conservation of Caribbean dry forests.
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The species of Efferia from Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles are reviewed. Twenty species are recognized including 12 new species from the Dominican Republic: E. alia sp. nov., E. angusta sp. nov., E. bullata sp. nov., E. clava sp. nov., E. exacta sp. nov., E. incisura sp. nov., E. picea sp. nov., E. serrula sp. nov., E. sinuosa sp. nov., E. suspiciosa sp. nov., E. spinula sp. nov., and E. woodleyi sp. nov., and 1 from Puerto Rico: E. montensis sp. nov. Seven previously described West Indian species are recognized: E. forbesi (Curran, 1931), E. fortis (Walker, 1855), E. fulvibarbis (Macquart, 1848), E. haitensis (Macquart, 1848), E. nigrimystacea (Macquart, 1847), E. portoricensis (Curran, 1919), and E. stylata (Fabricius, 1775). An unresolved species from Tobago and Trinidad is also reported. All of these belong to the aestuans species group. New synonyms include: E. pachychaetus (Bromley, 1928) = E. fulvibarbis (Macquart, 1848), syn. nov.; E. tortola (Curran, 1928) = E. stylata (Fabricius, 1775), syn. nov.; and Phoneus flavotibius Bigot, 1878, = E. fortis (Walker, 1855), syn. nov. Efferia haitensis (Macquart, 1848) is removed from synonymy with E. stylata (Fabricius, 1775). The male of E. stylata is discovered and described. Lectotypes are designated for E. haitensis and E. nigrimystacea. The species is removed from the list of species from Hispaniola. Endemism is high with most species limited to single islands. Only E. stylata and E. forbesi occurring in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and E. nigrimystacea in the Lesser Antilles are more widespread. Hispaniola has the greatest diversity with 15 species whereas Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles have 5. Keys, illustrations of the left wing of selected males, and terminalia of all known species are included. A check-list of the West Indian species of Efferia, including an unresolved species from Tobago and Trinidad, is also provided.
Three new West Indian species of Leptogaster: hyacinthina, lineatus and bahamienses of the obscuripes species group are reported and a key to all known species is presented. The identification of L. obscuripes and L. obscuripennis is discussed and L. roederi is redescribed. Lecotypes are designated for L, obscuripennis and L. roederi.
Resumo Examination of types and comparative studies of the male genitalia permitted a reclassification of Blepharepium Rondani, 1848, the only recent representative of the tribe Blepharepiini. This tribe can be distinguished from all other tribes of Dasypogoninae by the presence of a complete prosternum. Blepharepium has the following recognized species: 1. annulatum (Bigot, 1857 (= secabile Walker, 1860; southern Mexico, Central America, northwestern South America, West Indies; forest areas); 2. cajennensis (Fabricius, 1787), with 3 subspecies: i. cajennensis s. s. (= inserens Walker, 1851; = auricincta Schiner, 1867; = inca Curran, 1942; Guianas, coastal Venezuela, western Brazilian Amazonia, Peru, northern Bolivia); ii. coarctatum (Perty, 1833; = bonariensis Macquart, 1838; = occidens Walker, 1851; = lynchi Carrera, 1949; open formations of Guiano-Brazilian subregion) ; iii. cunctabundum, n. ssp., forest areas of the States of São Paulo south to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; 3. fuscipennis (Macquart, 1834 ; = insertus Walker, 1851; - maculipennis Macquart, 1855; western Amazonia, Brazilian Atlantic forest); 4. luridum Rondani, 1848 (- modesta Bigot, 1878; Amazonia); 5. subcontractum (Walker, 1856; = bassleri Curran, 1942; western Amazonia); 6. priapus, sp. n., from Arizona, Phoenix; 7. sonorensis, sp. n. (annulatum group of sibling species; Sonoran Desert, s. Utah to n. Mexico); 8. surumu, sp. n. (annulatum group of sibling species; southern Venezuela, northeastern Roraima Territory in Brazil). "Senobasis" borealis James, from the the Oligocene shales of Florissant, Colorado, may also belong to Blepharepium. Considerations on the biology, ecology, and evolution of the group are given.
The fauna of predaceous and parasitoid flies of Dominica appears to be relatively poorly developed, as represented by the Asilidae (4 species), Bombyliidae (5), Conopidae (1), and Pipunculidae (9). One species of Asilidae (Cerotainia melanosoma) and 2 species of Pipunculidae (Tomosvaryella spangleri and Metadorylas dominicensis) are described as new. The females of Efferia nigrimystaceus (Macquart) and Tomosvaryella tuberculata Hardy are described for the first time. Keys to the Pipunculidae and to the Cerotainia known or likely to occur in the West Indies are included. /// La fauna de moscas predatoras y parasitoides de Dominica, relativamente parecen estar pobremente desarrolladas, basado en su representación por Asílidas (4 especies), Bombílidas (5), Conópidas (1), y Pipuncúlidas (9). Se describen como nuevas una especie de Asílida (Cerotainia melanosoma) y 2 especies de Pipuncúlidas (Tomosvaryella spangleri y Metadorylas dominicensis). Se describen por primera vez hembras de Efferia nigrimystaceus (Macquart) y Tomosvaryella tuberculata Hardy. Se incluyen claves para Pipuncúlidas y para Cerotainia, conocidos o que pudieran ocurrir en la Indias Occidentales.
Four new species of Ommatius Wiedemann, the female of 0. stramineus Scarbrough, and the male of 0. nigellus Scarbrough from Hispaniola are described. A lectotype for O. gwenae Scarbrough and a neotype for 0. cinnamomeus are selected. Notes of previously named species, new records, illustrations of terminalia, and a key to the species are included.